Arts and Entertainment

Performers converge for 'mother of all shows'

Aerialist Esther Edelman will be one of many featured performers at Islewilde’s benefit.  - Greg White photo
Aerialist Esther Edelman will be one of many featured performers at Islewilde’s benefit.
— image credit: Greg White photo

A constellation of Island performers will come together on Mother’s Day eve to raise money for Islewilde, Vashon’s annual homegrown performance festival.

The benefit, slated for 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, May 9, will take place at the cavernous Open Space for Arts & Community — better known as “O” — and is aptly billed as the “Mother of All Shows.”

Doug Skove, Islewilde’s managing director, said the evening will be a “swirl of entertainment and action” with performances by 20 acts on three stages.

The six-hour performance marathon will be hosted by Arlette Moody, a well-known Island vocalist, musician and dancer. She’ll oversee a lineup of local talent, including aerialists, puppeteers, clowns, comedians, singers and songwriters.

Janet McAlpin and David Godsey, who own “O,” will join Esther Edelman in an aerial performance that Skove promised would be “full of strength and grace.”

He’s also excited to have booked a well-known Seattle band, Capt. Leroy and the Zydeco Locals, to play at the benefit, and he is certain that the band’s high-energy blend of traditional and modern tunes —  sung in both French and English — will get the crowd on its feet.

“This is the band that inspired so many dancers the last time they performed for Islewilde, the floor almost gave out at the old gym,” he said, referring to the now-shuttered historic gym next to The Harbor School.

Other musical acts will include the brother-sister team of Dominick and Madeleine Wolczko, The Felt Bats (who usually perform as The Felt Hats), Tribal Voices, the duo of Madeleine Sosin and Amy Denio and rap artists The Untitlists.

There will also be plenty of laughs on tap, with comedy performances by Steffon Moody, Steve Lipke and the comedy ensemble Muskrat Love.

Other Island performers will include Mik Kuhlman, Justine Freese, Lynelle Sjoberg, Elizabeth Ripley, Angela Langmann, Rob Strausser and Jon Whalen.

It’s a show of force in support of Islewilde, an Island institution that has been a fixture on Vashon’s summer calendar since 1990, when the grassroots arts festival made its debut.

This year’s festival will take place Aug. 14 to 23 at a location yet to be announced.

Islewilde is created from scratch each year by its participants — a loose federation of stilt walkers, jugglers, circus performers, actors, musicians and other celebration artists of all ages.

Over the course of nine days leading up to the festival, workshops are held to determine what the content of the festival will be — a process that often results in what is billed on the festival’s Web site as a “scrappy, do-it-ourselves, let’s-put-on-a-show kind of affair.”

Show details

Islewilde’s “Mother of All Shows” will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday, May 9, at “O” located at 18870 103rd Ave. S.W.

Tickets are $20 per person, with everyone under age 18 admitted free. An optional dinner is available at 6 p.m. for an additional $20 by reservation only. Call 463-1947 to reserve.

Tickets can be purchased at and at the door. For more information, visit

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