Arts Briefs | Jan. 25 edition

Whim W’Him Returns, Seattle Opera Chorus, Ron Artis II and Family, and more.

Hot Tickets

Vashon Center for the Arts has announced several upcoming shows that are expected to sell out quickly.

These include a second show at the venue for renowned comedian Paula Poundstone, whose Feb. 9 performance at the venue sold out. The second show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at VCA.

Another show, “Small Island, Big Song,” has been announced for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 — a return for a musical event first presented at VCA in 2022. The musical and dance extravaganza features performers from 16 island nations of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, carrying a message of community and conservation. The show is free for ages 18 and younger.

Tickets are also now on sale for a concert by alternative music icon Pete Droge, joined by his longtime partner in music and life, Elaine Summers, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at VCA. Droge, an islander, has not performed at VCA since 2016 — making this a rare and intimate evening, presented by Debra Heesch and VCA, not to be missed.

And, if all that isn’t enough, drag diva Dina Martina will make her Vashon debut at VCA with a show, “Sub-Standards,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6.

Find out more and purchase tickets to the shows at

Whim W’Him Returns

Dance aficionados can witness emotive new creations by renowned choreographers Bret Easterling, Joseph Hernandez and Olivier Wevers, at Whim W’Him dance company’s “Winter ‘24” program, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at Vashon Center for the Arts’ Kay White Hall.

Whim W’Him has regularly presented news works at VCA — a collaboration and partnership that VCA Executive Director Allison Halstead-Reid has lauded as both a credit to VCA’s facility and a gift to local audiences.

The company’s latest work, she said, should not be missed.

Find out more and get tickets at Admission is free for ages 18 and younger.

Seattle Opera Chorus

See and hear the Seattle Opera chorus in a concert at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, at Vashon Center for the Arts. The 36-member chorus will perform selections including “The Bell Chorus” from Pagliacci, “Choral Dances” from Britten’s Gloriana, “Stomp Your Foot” from Copland’s “Tenderland,” and much more. The ensemble will highlight the many characters an opera chorus personifies — including soldiers, humble town folk, witches, sailors, aristocrats, and more.

Purchase tickets at

Ron Artis II and Family

A Vashon favorite, Ron Artis II and his band will perform in a concert presented by Debra Heesch at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at Vashon Theatre.

Artis, a Hawaiian musician inspired by deep Delta blues, gospel, northern soul and R&B, moved to Oahu with his family when he was four years old. He was one of 11 children, all of whom grew up immersed in a creative and religious household led by his musically gifted parents.

He has performed and collaborated with Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac), Jack Johnson, Jake Shimabukuro, Booker T Jones, Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce), and G Love, among others.

His songbook is laced with intention, deep conviction, story, and a heart that has truly been there, said Heesch.

With four studio albums, 60+ songs, thousands of flights, and shows in 15 countries, Artis and his family band continue to find inspiration in sharing music with live audiences.

“To me, music is about giving,” said Artis. “When I’m performing, I let go of everything. I look out into an audience and feel: ‘What do they need right now?’ We as artists have been given a gift and gifts are meant to be shared.”

General admission tickets to the show are $20.

Golden Oldies Players

Island author Jeanie Okimoto has penned a new play, based on her 2012 novel, “Walter’s Muse,” that will have a staged reading at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Bethel Church.

Okimoto described the play, set on Vashon, as “an old people’s romantic comedy,” while adding that she guessed “seniors” might sound better.

The show — complete with ukulele-playing parts claimed by Joe Okimoto and Bill Kirschner — has a cast made up entirely of Vashon actors and musicians in the 70s and 80s, an ensemble Okimoto (who is 81) has dubbed “The Golden Oldies Players.”

The company also includes Patricia Kelly, who helped Okimoto develop the play, Rich Wiley, Gretchen Neffenger, Marjon McDermott, and Peter Kreitner.