Arts and Entertainment

Stimulus package cabaret

UMO Ensemble members Esther Edelman and Lunelle Sjoberg will perform at the “Stimulus Package Cabaret.”  - Courtesy photo
UMO Ensemble members Esther Edelman and Lunelle Sjoberg will perform at the “Stimulus Package Cabaret.”
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Vashon’s performance art troupe, UMO Ensemble, is gearing up to present its third annual cabaret on the Island.

The benefit event has a timely name — “Stimulus Package Cabaret” — and will feature two nights of entertainment from UMO Ensemble members and other local and international artists.

Performances will feature aerial and acrobalance work, juggling, clowning, fire dancing, songs and more.

UMO is raising money to sustain its operations and continue to produce new work. Now in its 17th year, the ensemble has toured its productions internationally and won rave reviews including one from The Village Voice that said, “UMO stumbles, as if by accident, on the part of us that is closest to heaven.”

The ensemble’s creative process is rooted in physical theater. Improvisations in movement, character, vocalizing and writing are the basis for the development of new works. For each piece there is a member of the ensemble who serves as artistic director, holding the larger picture in mind. Since its arrival on Vashon Island in 1989, UMO Ensemble has created more than 20 original works for the theater.

The ensemble’s material reflects the members’ diverse range of styles and skills, including dance, puppetry, clown work and acrobatics.

The group’s most recent work, “Rubble Women,” will be presented Feb. 26 through March 5 at David Smith Warehouse in Seattle.

For its “Stimulus Package Cabaret,” the ensemble has planned two nights of revelry that will include a performance by renowned Seattle salsa band Tumbao on Sunday and a set of nostalgic rock music by the Island band The Sympathics on Monday.

UMO performers will include Esther Edelman, Janet McAlpin, David Godsey, Martha Enson, Kevin Joyce, Mik Kuhlman, Elizabeth Klob and Lynelle Sjoberg.

Other performers include Sabine Rieck and Henry Luederwaldt from Teatro Zinzanni, Tim Furst from The Flying Brothers’ Karamazov and Jason and Evelyn from Circus Contraption.

Both evenings will conclude with an auction and raffle featuring contributions from Island businesses and artists.

For more information about UMO’s past performances, visit

Benefit details

UMO Ensemble’s “Stimulus Package Cabaret” will be presented Sunday and Monday, Jan. 25 and 26, at The Hardware Store Restaruant.

Tickets to each night of “Stimulus Package” are $20 and can be purchased in advance at The Hardware Store and Books by the Way. Organizers said that the event has sold out for the past two years and recommend that cabaret-goers reserve tickets in advance. For reservations to dine prior to the show, call The Hardware Store Restaurant at 463-1800.

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