Arts and Entertainment

Music, film and laughs on the Island | Arts & Entertainment Briefs

Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants.  - Courtesy Photo
Chris Ballew, aka Caspar Babypants.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Band brings Afrobeat to the Bike

Cascadia 10, an 11-person band that plays Afrobeat music, will have a free, all ages show at 9 p.m. Friday at the Red Bicycle Bistro. The Seattle group plays mostly original, danceable songs inspired by the music of Nigeria and western Africa.

Weird Load, a Vashon band, will play a free show at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bike. The band was formed in the early 1990s as an offshoot of Captain Dick and the Portholes. Fronted by Chris Craggs, the band also includes Bret Harper, Brett Bacchus, Loren Sinner and Anchorage resident John Hanson, who flies down to Seattle for Weird Load gigs.

Both shows are for all ages until 11 p.m. and 21 and older after that.


See three free short films as part of Vashon’s Big Joy Project

The Vashon-based Big Joy Project, a documentary and website about poet and experimental filmmaker James Broughton, will show a series of short films as part of Peter Ray’s Lunavision series at 7 p.m. Saturday at Café Luna.

Three of Broughton’s most celebrated short films, as well as a 20-minute sneak preview of the Big Joy documentary, will be screened. The Broughton titles shown will be “Four in the Afternoon,” “The Bed” and “Testament.”

“These are some of Broughton’s most celebrated works,” said associate producer Aimée Cartier, “and they make you laugh.”

Originally shown in 1968, “The Bed” is now in the Modern Museum of Art’s collection, but its full-frontal nudity was so groundbreaking at the time Broughton had a hard time getting it printed.

Recently, the Big Joy Project was invited to be a part of a project forum for works-in-progress at Independent Documentary Week at Lincoln Center in New York.

The project is about halfway toward its fundraising goal of $400,000 to complete the  documentary. Donations will be accepted at this free event.


Caspar Babypants puts a new twist on classic kids music

Caspar Babypants, one of the most popular music acts for kids in Seattle, is returning to Vashon.

The act is the creation of Seattle rock legend Chris Ballew, who won fame in the band The Presidents of the United States of America. He will have a show at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Blue Heron.

As Caspar, Bellew performs well-known songs like “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Ring Around the Rosie,” but sometimes adds verses that change the songs.

“I’m not a preservationist,” he said. “I like to keep it changing, keep it current.” He has a reggae version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” for instance, and a Ray Charles style “Larry Had a Little Cow.”

Tickets for the show, $5 for anyone younger than 10, $8 for Vashon Allied Arts members and $10 general, are on sale at the Blue Heron, Heron’s Nest, Vashon Bookshop and

To check out the music in advance, visit


Film critic returns for a Godfather screening, this time Part II

Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan will host a benefit screening of “The Godfather: Part II” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at Vashon Theatre.

The Vashon Film Society-hosted benefit is the second time Turan has helped raise funds for the theater; last year, he presented the first “Godfather” film at the theater. This year’s proceeds will go toward initial costs of installing a new digital projection system in the theater.

The theater will open for beer and wine sales a half hour prior to the screening. Turan will introduce the film and lead a question-and-answer session after it is over.

Tickets cost $12 general, $11 for kids and seniors, and $10 for Vashon Film Society members. To get a free membership to the Film Society, email with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.


Save the date for the holiday tour

Mark your calendars for the 29th annual holiday Art Studio Tour, slated for the first two weekends in December — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11. Some studios will also be open Friday, Dec. 3, during the Gallery Cruise.

More than 40 studios representing nearly 100 Vashon artists will open their doors this year for the tour. Barnworks, Waterworks, Quartermaster Press and Vashon Woodworking will display work by a dozen or more Islanders.

Highlights of the tour will include jewelry and ornaments by Ginny Ciszek, oil paintings by Pam Ingalls, super realistic paintings by Kristen Reitz-Green, hand-dipped beeswax candles by Emily Pruiksma and Shane Jewell and much more. For more information, visit


Standup competition returns to Vashon on Thanksgiving Eve

As it does each year, the Vashon Theatre will host one night of semi-finals of the Seattle International Standup Comedy Competition on the night before Thanksgiving. Some of the best comedians from around the country will perform in hopes of winning laughs and moving on to the finals in Seattle on Nov. 27.

The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23. Tickets are $17 and $15. For more information, visit


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