As you know from past Editor’s Explorations, we love live theater and live music so we were happy to hear that “In My Life: A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” was playing at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA). Since we also love the Beatles, we knew we had to go.
The show coupled live music and theater, and it was really terrific. Brian Epstein, the Beatles late manager, is the narrator and walks your through their start and first five years of stardom while the band plays over 30 Beatles hits. The performers were top notch, and the crowd was encouraged to dance and sing along throughout the show. We had a great time and loved the ECA facility.
The building is the original auditorium for Edmonds High School built in 1936. It was renovated and opened as the ECA in 2006. It is a showcase theater with 704 seats in the auditorium and a beautiful lobby area welcoming over 75,000 patrons annually.
The ECA is open year round presenting theater and concerts as well as hosting meetings and social events. The ECA is a nonprofit organization hired by the City of Edmonds Public Facilities District to manage the facility. They produce their own shows, and make the facility available to rent.
Over the next month, there are a number of wonderful holiday concerts and events planned. And on January 11, 2018 the ECA is presenting the world premiere of “Love Heals All Wounds.” It is collaboration between internationally renowned choreographers and dancers Lil Buck and Jon Boogz. The show addresses the social issues we are facing as a nation, while also seeking to promote diversity, inclusion and empathy as a uniting force.
Lil Buck was named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch in 2011 and has collaborated with a broad spectrum of artists including JR Damian Woetzel, the New York City Ballet, Madonna, and Spike Lee. Jon Boogz is a movement artist, choreographer, and director who seeks to push the evolution of what dance can be. He has choreographed for notable icons including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Naomi Campbell, Gloria Estefan, and Pharrell. This is a “don’t miss” show!
We also really like the community of Edmonds. The downtown area is somewhat chic and has many great stores and restaurants. As much as we’ve enjoyed our few visits, we still have a lot of exploring left to do here!
Check our www.edmondscenterfortheare.org for more information and tickets for upcoming shows.
During a recently aired episode of the popular Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, longtime host Guy Fieri visited Seattle and presented an interesting segment on the Bizzarro Italian Café. Our neighbors, big fans of the show, suggested that we give the establishment a try.
In the show, Fieri regularly features “funky joints” and in this episode highlights the eclectic and whimsical atmosphere that is Bizzarro---housed in a former auto workshop. Fieri samples a few specialties including the Elk Bolognese and described it as being “monster tender” and not gamy at all. Since it’s only a short drive to the Wallingford neighborhood, we thought it was time to check it out with our friends Brad and Pam.
Long before the Food Network feature, Bizzarro has been a Seattle favorite since 1986. There is always a crowd clamoring to get in to enjoy delicious scratch made pasta, check out the funky décor, and become fast friends with entertaining and very capable wait staff. In checking out their website post visit, I realized that Jaedra James, who was our server, happened also to be a co-owner!
When we arrived we were told the wait would be 45 minutes (they only take reservations for groups of six or more) so we gave our number and went next door to the Blue Star Café and Bar for a drink. Bizzarro does have beer and wine but there is no bar or other seating area inside. The gal at Blue Star was great, and we discovered immediately that many people followed this routine. Turns out we only had to wait about 25 minutes, and the phone rang. As we paid our bill at Blue Star our waitress encouraged us to come back for a nightcap or dessert (she said they were stellar).
Back at Bizzarro, we were seated and immediately loved the place. The décor was awesome and included unique and varied forms of lighting as well as tons of interesting photos, art and Americana. It is a lively (and loud) but fun setting. We shared the Arancini (risotto balls stuffed with cheese then breaded and fried) appetizer, and the sauce was so delicious we mopped the plate clean with our focaccia bread.
For the main courses we all tried a different entrée and everyone was pleased with their choices. My husband Bob ordered the Elk Bolognese and loved it while I selected the Sugar Snap Pea Carbonara. It was so flavorful, light and delicious! We want to come back and try a couple of the more uniquely named dishes including “I Gnocchi What You Did Last Summer,” “The Forest Floor Frenzy,” and of course, the Sunday specialty known as “Sunday Night Meatball.” Based on what we’ve sampled so far, I am sure they will be tasty! It certainly is easy to see and taste why the Food Network crew featured Bizzarro. And yes, we did walk around the corner to the Blue Star Café for a nightcap and a delectable bit of dessert, which made for a perfect ending to a great meal and evening. http://www.bizzarroitaliancafe.com
My Husband and I have been meaning to get out to another island since our “exploration” to Anacortes in June. We were thrilled when we received an invite for my sister’s birthday weekend celebration on Whidbey Island. Perfect – we’d get a chance for more exploring, check out a place we had been itching to see, and help my sister celebrate a milestone birthday to boot.
We took the ferry out of Mukilteo to Clinton on the east side of Whidbey Island. Mukilteo is only about 35-40 minutes from Woodinville depending on traffic of course. The schedule has a ferry departing about every 30 minutes so once we arrived it was a pretty quick turn around and a short trip to the island. We were warned during the summer season the ferry could be very busy with long waits so a reservation is recommended.
Our accommodations were arranged at Fort Casey Inn on the west side of the island and only about a 30-minute drive from the Clinton ferry terminal. The total length of Whidbey Island is about 55 miles.
The Fort Casey Inn is the former Non-Commissioned Officers’ Quarters that have been fully restored to their original glory. It was built for the active defensive installation of Fort Casey, which neighbors the Inn.
Built over 100 years ago, most of the Georgian Revival-style homes for rent at the Inn are two bedrooms with one bath and are decorated with patriotic memorabilia and antiques. You feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. The inn is owned and operated by Seattle Pacific University.
I discovered that a few of our fellow guests had stayed at Fort Casey (the installation side in the barracks) in the past as a chaperones with Washington school’s annual 5th grade trip to the island. One guest reflected that it was many of the students’ most memorable field trip throughout their school years and admittedly brought back fond memories for her as well.
In addition to using seven of the houses, we also used Garrison Hall for our gatherings and meals. It was the ideal size for our group, which totaled about 30 for the birthday party. All in all, it was a terrific place for a group to get together.
With Fort Casey right next door, it’s an easy walk around the grounds with fantastic views from the beach. We discovered many trails that looped around the area and offered a variety of sunset views over the water.
Fort Casey sits on Admiralty Bay in the Puget Sound that is part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The strait is 154 kilometers long and is the Salish Sea’s outlet to the Pacific Ocean. It separates Washington state from British Columbia (province) and from the beach at the fort looking across you can see Victoria, British Columbia and Olympic National Park in the distance.
We spent an afternoon exploring the historic town of Coupeville just a few minutes drive down the road. There is a plethora of shops to browse and restaurants for every taste bud.
When we left the island, we drove north to Deception Pass and followed our way around back to I-5. On the day of our visit, the bridge going over the pass was pretty socked in by fog and had an eerie vibe as if we were heading into an abyss. With moments of clearing, however, you could see the magnificence of the bridge. We will definitely plan for a future Editor’s Exploration around Deception Pass!