This Week's Cover


Summer Meltdown

It happens every year. No, not just the Summer Meltdown Festival, but also the Subdued Stringband Jamboree. Every single year since the inception of both homegrown, homemade music festivals (with the exception of that one year, and possibly some time near the beginning that is so far back in history that it no longer counts), they have happened during the exact same weekend.

Every single year.

I talk about it every year as well. I don’t necessarily think by pointing out this ongoing scheduling conundrum that I will do anything to resolve it, freeing

Continue Reading »

This Week

The Gristle

Lockup Lockstep

LOCKUP LOCKSTEP: Imagine a game show in which contestants must choose between two doors to move on to the final round. The catch is—whichever door they choose, there is a burly Sheriff on the other side eager to lay down some hurt on the contestants.

In June, the City of Bellingham approved a new Jail Facilities Use Agreement (JFUA) with the county in response to the announcement by Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo that he intended to reduce the population in the main jail following the outcome of a 2015 voter initiative to fund and

Continue Reading »


Intermission? Or curtains?

Mount Baker Summer Rep goes on hiatus



Ralph’s whisper to the absent Carol, the tearful last word of The Last Romance—part of last year’s Summer Rep series at the Mount Baker Theatre (MBT)—may have carried a lot more meaning than we knew. Summer Repertory itself seems to have ended as suddenly as Ralph and Carol’s chaste and emotional fling.

The series, which would have played its 10th season this month, was cancelled after 2016’s three plays were picked and directors chosen—just before actors were to be hired and rehearsals scheduled.

Continue Reading »


Summer Meltdown

Coming full circle 2


It happens every year. No, not just the Summer Meltdown Festival, but also the Subdued Stringband Jamboree. Every single year since the inception of both homegrown, homemade music festivals (with the exception of that one year, and possibly some time near the beginning that is so far back in history that it no longer counts), they have happened during the exact same weekend.

Every single year.

I talk about it every year as well. I don’t necessarily think by pointing out this

Continue Reading »


The Dinner

A multi-course mystery


One of the interesting things about reading fiction is that it allows the reader to explore the darker side of human nature from the safety of a favorite armchair or hammock. 

You’ll need some distance to delve into Dutch author Herman Koch’s 2012 thriller The Dinner. It’s a gripping novel, recounting one night (and one meal) at a trendy Amsterdam restaurant, where two sets of parents meet to discuss an incident involving their sons. As each chapter unfolds, the tone

Continue Reading »


Summer Soup

Gazpacho, past and present


In high school, I was the cook at a small Harvard Square Café called the Blacksmith House. Today, one would probably need a culinary degree—not to mention a high school diploma—to suck on the rarified air of that closet of a kitchen, but this was the 1970s, before the food revolution, and you didn’t need any special training to pronounce, much less prepare, the dishes on the menu.

I look back fondly on those days and the wacky cast of characters, such

Continue Reading »


Festival Fun

Arts at the Port


Every summer, the Anacortes Arts Festival—which this year takes place Aug. 5-7—puts on an extravaganza of fine painting, photography, fiber art, ceramics, glass, sculpture, mixed media and video. For the chosen 45 artists whose work has been accepted by the jury to exhibit in “Arts at the Port,” it’s a great distinction and a boost to careers.

A few artists from the local community are chosen in advance to contribute works for the parallel Allen Family Focus Gallery. This year, its theme is

Continue Reading »


Chautauqua 101

Party in the parks


When the Chautauqua Movement kicked off in 1874 on the shores of New York State’s Chautauqua Lake, it was with the clever idea that learning should continue throughout the course of one’s life.

Akin to a summer camp for adults, that first Chautauqua, and many that followed, offered a mix of entertainment and education, often including speakers, performers, musicians, teachers, preachers and specialists of the day (Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony, etc.).

“When a Chautauqua came to town, all normal activity stopped

Continue Reading »

On Stage

The Shoe Play

A sole-searching story


There were a few moments during last Friday’s showing of Quality: The Shoe Play when the fourth wall got a bit wobbly.

It wasn’t a big surprise. Since Bellingham TheatreWorks is staging the play about two women fighting a sole-searching battle for supremacy at a high-end shoe store at an actual shoe store, the conceptual barrier between the fictional work and its viewers was already thinner than one would expect at a night at the theater.


Continue Reading »


Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Catch them if you can


Life has a funny way of interfering with, well, life.

In the case of Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the captivating new film from New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows), it’s definitely for the better when a taciturn city ‘tween enters the world of a set-in-his-ways, country-dwelling senior citizen. Their lives will forever change, no matter how much they think they don’t want them to.

The kid in question is pudgy and

Continue Reading »


Captain Fantastic

Father knows best


It’s always tricky using a modifier like “fantastic” in a movie’s title, because if the film doesn’t live up to it, the snarky review headlines just sort of write themselves. Sadly for copy editors the world over, Captain Fantastic won’t have that problem. Not only is it wonderful, but it is also heartfelt, comedic, gorgeous and just the right amount of sad.

Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six children off the grid in rural Washington. They live

Continue Reading »


Stars under the stars: »

Stars under the stars: »

Stars under the stars: »

Stars under the stars: »

Marrowstone Music Festival:Orchestral and chamber music rehearsals, master classes, and professional performances for the public will be part of the 73rd annual Marrowstone Music Festival taking place July 24-Aug. 7 at Western Washington... »

Tall Ship Sails and Tours:Take part in tours and public sails on the historic tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain through Aug. 3 leaving from the Squalicum Harbor Marina, 2600 N. Harbor Loop Dr. Suggested... »

Anacortes Summer Series:The Port of Anacortes Summer Concert Series features the swing sounds of the A'Town Big Band from 6-8pm Wednesday at Seafarers Memorial Park, 601 Seafarers Way. From 6-8pm Friday,... »

Whatcom Old Settlers' Picnic:Celebrate the rich history of the area and the great people that call it home at the annual "Whatcom Old Settlers' Picnic" taking place Thursday through Sunday at Ferndale's Pioneer... »

Skagit Tours:As part of the annual "Skagit Tours," Seattle City Light, the North Cascades Institute, and the National Park Service offer Diablo Lake boat tours, Gorge powerhouse tours and Newhalem tours... »

Boating Center Open:The Community Boating Center is open from 12pm to sunset on weekdays, and 10am to sunset on weekends through the summer at their headquarters at 555 Harris Ave. Rentals include kayaks,... »

Bard on the Beach:William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, and Pericles are currently showing in repertory as part of the 27th "Bard on the Beach" season at Vancouver,... »

Shakespeare NW:See the Bard's classic tale of love and money set in a town that's known to love its money when The Merchant of Vegas shows at 7pm Thursday at Mount... »

Beauty & the Beast Jr.:Showings of Beauty and the Beast Jr. conclude this weekend with performances at 7pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at Oak Harbor's Whidbey Playhouse, 730 SE Midway Blvd. Tickets are $... »

The Lion King:Performers ages 9-16 will share their talents at performances of The Lion King at 7pm Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, 1059 N. State... »

The Wizard of Oz:The Ferndale Summer Youth Theatre Institute presents The Wizard of Oz: Young Performers' Edition at 7pm Thursday and Friday, and 3pm and 7pm Saturday at Ferndale High School, 5830 Golden Eagle... »

Graffiti Dance Theater:Western Washington University's theater and dance department brings its Graffiti Dance Theater onstage for shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at Fairhaven's Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Choreographer and... »

That's Not My Department:Local playwright Willow McLaughlin's That's Not My Department continues this week with 7:30pm performances Thursday through Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. The comedy focuses... »

The Shoe Play:Bellingham TheatreWorks presents showings of Quality: The Shoe Play at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at Fairhaven's 12th Street Shoes, 1204 Harris Ave. The black comedy by Vancouver playwright Elaine Avila focuses... »

Mt. Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival:The Noah Wotherspoon Band, Carson Diersing, Magnus Berg, the Wasteland Kings, Josey Wales, the Bobby Patterson Band, the Naughty Blokes, Popa Chubby, and Selwyn Birchwood will be among the performers... »

Birch Bay Music Festival:Nearly 20 performers from around the region will share their talents at the sixth annual Birch Bay Music Festival taking place from 8am-10pm Friday and Saturday, and 9am-7pm Sunday... »

Wild Things:Kids, adults and adventurers can join Holly Roger of Wild Whatcom for a "Wild Things" Community Program from 9:30-11am at North Lake Whatcom Park. Suggested donation is $5.  »

Children's Craft Fair:Enjoy a wide array of crafts and baked goods made by children at registered booths at the 48th annual Children's Craft Fair taking place from 11am-1pm on the lawn... »

Plover Rides:The Plover ferry runs through the summer from 12-8pm Fridays and Saturdays and 10am-6pm Sundays departing on the hour from the Blaine Visitor's Dock, Gate II at Blaine... »

Charity Golf Tournament:Sign up for Draper Valley Farms' second annual Charity Golf Tournament starting at 12:30pm at Burlington's Avalon Golf Links, 19345 Kelleher Rd. Entry is $100 per person, or $400 per team, and include... »

Ferndale Farmers Market:Local vendors and farmers will sell their wares at the Ferndale Farmers Market from 1-6pm every Friday through Oct. 28 at 2007 Cherry St.  »

Salmon Dinner Sail:Combine your tastes for adventure and delicious food when the three-hour "Bellingham Bay Salmon Dinner Sail" returns this week aboard the Schooner Zodiac leaving at 6pm from the Bellingham Cruise... »

Farm Tunes:Swedish Mafia performs on the patio as part of the summer's "Farm Tunes" series from 6-9pm at BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian. At the free event, you can enjoy "food,... »

Sin & Gin Tours:Learn more about the history of vice and sin that helped make the foundation of our urban locales what they are today at the Good Time Girls' annual "Sin & Gin... »

Wine and Music:Show up at from 7-9pm for a "Concert in the Courtyard" at Artifacts Cafe and Wine Bar, located inside Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. A special weekend wine... »

Not a Werewolf Story:Sandra Evans reads from This Is Not a Werewolf Story at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The middle grade book of fiction focuses on Raul, a loner with a... »

Dancing on the Green:Bellingham Parks and Rec's weekly "Dancing on the Green" event takes place from 7-9:30pm at the Fairhaven Village Green, 1207 10th St. Tonight's gathering kicks off with a lesson by... »

An Improvised Musical:Mainstage players will take on the magical world of musicals for the final weekend at performances of "An Improvised Musical" at 9pm Friday and Saturday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay... »

Cannabis Guide



2016 Ad




Wine Bar A



Cascadia Weekly

Home | Views | | Archives | Advertising | Contact | RSS

© 1998-2016 Cascadia Newspaper Company LLC | P.O. Box 2833, Bellingham WA 98227-2833 | (360) 647-8200