Willy Wonka Jr. kids take the stage
Kids studying musical theater at Vashon Center for the Arts will light up the stage in “Willy Wonka, Jr,” an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s tale of a magical chocolate factory. The show includes many of the catchy songs from the 1971 film as well as new ones. An open dress rehearsal will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 2, followed by performances at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Tickets are $5 for the dress rehearsal and $10 to $14 for the performances. Buy tickets in advance at vashoncenterforthearts.org.
Bands tribute Blondie and Talking Heads
Little Creatures, a local Talking Heads tribute band, will play a free show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Red Bicycle Bistro & Sushi. The band, which delves into the Talking Heads catalog from its early, minimal days to its later, bigger sound, includes Rick Vanselow, Andy James, Stephen Buffington, Dorsey David, Jon Whalen and Alex Drissell. The show will open with a set from Parallel Lines, fronted by Alex Drissell, who will channel Deborah Harry in some vintage Blondie numbers. Backing her will be Andre Sapp, Andy James, Rosie Jefferson, Stephen Buffington and Erin Rubin. Show-goers should wear their dancing shoes to the show, said Pete Welch, of Vashon Events, who is presenting the night of music. The show is for all ages until 11 p.m., and 21 and older after that.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at Vashon Center for the Arts. The celebration will include performances from the Baile Folklorico dance group and music from the Mariachi de Guadalajara band, in the Kay White Hall from 2 to 3 p.m. After the performance, the fiesta will continue in VCA’s atrium with more mariachi music, dancing and food. Admission to the event is $5.
Patterson Hood plays at Vashon Theatre
Acclaimed rocker Patterson Hood, of the Drive-by Truckers, will play a solo show at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at Vashon Theatre. The show, Hood’s first on Vashon, is presented by Debra Heesch. Advance tickets, $35 for the first four rows of the theater and $22 general admission, are on sale now at vashontheatre.com. All day-of-the-show tickets at the door (if any are left) are $25.
Roots balladeer comes to town
Scott Cook, a roots balladeer from Alberta, Canada, will play a show at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, on the new stage of Snapdragon (see story, page 1). Cook, who accompanies himself with finger-style guitar and clawhammer banjo, “brings humor, years of roads, disarming honesty and a deep love of humanity to his song-craft and storytelling,” said presenter Debra Heesch. Cook has toured internationally and released six albums since 2007. His credo, according to Heesch, is that “songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.” Tickets are $10 at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com.
Art and crafts for the Zen Center
The Puget Sound Zen Center will host an arts and crafts sale, with work by about 25 local artists, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 10, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Vashon Center for the Arts. The sale will also include a silent auction for other services and experiences, including kayak tours, gardening help and private yoga classes. Additionally, scrolls of calligraphy from China and objects made from Japanese cotton and silk fabrics will be included in the sale. All proceeds will go toward the development of nearly 7 acres of land, adjacent to the Harbor School, purchased by the Zen Center in the spring of 2018. The event will also include a panel discussion, “Artist’s Mind — Zen Mind,” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, in the VCA lobby. Panel members Pam Ingalls, Bruce Morser and Alex Echevarria, and moderator Koshin Christopher Cain, abbot of the Zen Center, will discuss the artistic process. Work by all three artists will be on exhibit and available for purchase after the panel discussion. Refreshments, including bowls of matcha (the type of whisked green tea served at tea ceremonies and in Zen temples in Japan), will be available for purchase. For more information and to preview the art, visit pszc.org.
Get set for saxes and more
The Tacoma-based South Sound Saxophone Ensemble will present a benefit concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Vashon High School Theatre. The ensemble, formed in 2015 and conducted by Erik Steighner, features over 20 musicians playing soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophones. The all-volunteer group includes both amateur and professional players ranging from high schoolers to retirees. The McMurray and VHS bands will also perform, as will the Monday Jazz Band and the award-winning Vashon percussion duo of Chick Green and Ethan Choo. The program will feature works by J.S. Bach, Brian Balmages, Percy Grainger, Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cassio Vianna. V.I.B.E.S. is a nonprofit organization that supports band education at McMurray Middle School and Vashon High School. For the music-packed show, there is a suggested donation is $10, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Vashon Opera’s ‘Streetcar’
Vashon Opera will present “A Streetcar Named Desire,” with André Previn’s jazz-inspired score, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Vashon Center for the Arts. The opera will feature an all-star cast of noted regional opera stars. Tickets, ranging in price from $25 to $48, are on sale now at vashonopera.org. Vashon Opera’s conductor, Dr. James Brown, will present a free opera preview lecture on “Streetcar” at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Vashon Library. Brown will conduct and direct the opera. He has previously worked in the same capacity in 16 other Vashon Opera productions.
Film tackles anxiety
The documentary, “Angst,” will have a free screening at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Vashon Presbyterian Church. Through first-hand accounts and expert commentary, the film details many facets of teen anxiety, presenting it as a misunderstood and growing cultural epidemic. The film also suggests tools for young people affected by anxiety and mental disorders, as well as their parents. There will be time for discussion following the viewing of the movie, and light refreshments will be provided. For more information about the film, visit angstmovie.com.