This Week's Cover


Adoration of Dora

Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after meeting

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This Week

The Gristle

The Rule of No Rule

THE RULE OF NO RULE: “The future is brighter today,” political organizers at SAVE Whatcom crowed in response to a decision by a panel of three state Court of Appeal judges last week that overturned the finding of the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board that Whatcom County had been heedless in planning growth in tandem with adequate water supply. “The county won a clear victory in the case,” the conservative political group broadcast, ”a victory also perceived to apply to rural

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Living in the volcano’s shadow


Lava and pyroclastic flows (avalanches of hot rocks and gasses), mudslides and lahars (flowing, concrete-like soups of rock fragments and water), highway realignments and lane closures! The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

On Thurs., Feb. 19, representatives from Whatcom County Sheriff’s Division of Emergency Management and others gathered at the East Whatcom Resource Center in Maple Falls for short talks on disaster preparedness in light of the State Highway 542 Realignment Project and

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Feel good all over again


Roughly midway through The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a lovesick Bill Nighy notes that Judi Dench’s character has “checked out,” referring of course to her status at the hotel. Still, the pun hangs in the air, suggesting a possible euphemism for a more permanent condition. The imminence of death serves as a source of both comedy and poignant self-reflection in this spirited sequel to the unexpected 2012 success.

If the first Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was all about seeking rest

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Vacation Bookshelf

Dispatches from paradise


For me, one of life’s greatest luxuries is finding time to read. On a recent Hawaiian getaway—in between whale- and sea-gazing, plentiful swimming expeditions and sunset cocktail hour—I spent two weeks doing just that.

My trusty Kindle provided me with some of my reading material—such as Alice Munro’s award-winning 1986 short story collection, The Progress of Love; Caitlin Moran’s intriguing and salacious How to Build a Girl; and a spooky tale dubbed The Regulators by Richard Bachman

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What We Do in the Shadows

A bloody good time


In Twilight, in True Blood, in Hammer horror titles and Draculas down through the decades, vampires have functioned as a metaphor for sexual hunger, passion above reason, seduction, temptation, addiction, infection and the lure of immortality, not to mention the pluses of pointy dentition.

The vampires in What We Do in the Shadows are symbolic of something else altogether: epic unkemptness.

A you-are-there mockumentary about a trio of bloodsuckers who inhabit a creaky abode in Wellington, New

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Red Army

The real miracle on ice

Three things the Russians take very seriously: ballet, chess, and hockey. Red Army, Gabe Polsky’s lively documentary about the famous Soviet hockey team of the 1970s and ’80s, is, in a sense, about all three. The team known as the Red Army combined balletic grace with chesslike strategy on the ice. Most hockey aficionados consider them to be the greatest squadron of all time.

Polsky, whose parents were Soviet Ukrainian immigrants and who himself played hockey for Yale, centers his film on

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The Calm Before the Storm

A winter’s weekend beside the sea


We were headed to the beach for some midwinter R&R. A couple of days beside the hissing surf—that kind of thing.

Sure, there was a storm in the forecast. Heavy rain. High winds. But maybe it would hold off for a few days. We were feeling lucky.

Although it was only 3pm when we reached road’s end at Rialto Beach, the light was already fading. We quickly donned our backpacks and headed north up the beach on an outgoing tide. After a mile and a half our progress was halted by Ellen Creek,

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On Stage

Adoration of Dora

Madness and the muse


Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after meeting

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Love and Other Demons

Animal attractions at Honey Salon


In a large painting titled “Nightmares,” a horde of black horses seems to be materializing out of thin air; there doesn’t appear to be any solid ground beneath their feet, and the sky above them is a nebulous, hazy white.

Longtime Bellingham artist Michelle Schutte says the painting—part of her “Love and Other Demons” exhibit currently on display at Honey Salon—has nothing to do with a fear or distrust of those of the equine persuasion, but rather is part of a bigger picture.

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Lentil Underground

A movement with staying power


Lentils are a humble ingredient that appear in many earthy foods; simple, nourishing foods like Indian dal or hippie mush—the kind of food that feeds villages.

It turns out that lentils come from a plant that has a similarly beneficial impact on the land where it grows, and on the communities that cultivate it.

During the height of the 1980s farm crisis, four Montana farmers joined forces in a hunt for alternatives to the commodity agriculture system that was destroying their land and

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Mother Russia or Mommy Dearest?


Vladimir Putin’s Russia—brutal, carnivorous, delusional, but monstrously well-evolved for crushing both spirits and lives large and small—is taken to task in this excoriating portrait of the state’s omnivorous hunger for control in a far-flung northern fishing community on the Barents Sea. The Russian Federation’s 2015 Academy Award entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category (it lost to Poland’s Ida) lives up to its title and then some.

Director Zvyagintsev (2003’s The Return)

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The Sidekicks

You can go home again


Bellingham is rife with people who possess great skills and talents, are generous with their time and expertise, unselfishly work for the good of the whole of the music community, and are just plain delightful to be around.

I’d like to say that we could not do without them, but all too often we know these treasures are really only on loan to us, their stay here is finite and at some point they will leave to seek other opportunities, different landscapes, new lives.

When this happens, we

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Best of Bellingham

What's the best neighborhood? The one you live in, judging from this fiercely competitive category. With more than 2,400 entries in the Cascadia Weekly readers choice awards, every neighborhood was named again and again. But with so many terrific places--Trader Joe's, Hardware Sales, Kulshan Brewing Company, Jeckyl & Hyde, Homeskillet, on and on--Sunnyland comes out on top.

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Mar 05


High School Bands: After performing in festivals throughout Washington, the Mount Vernon High School bands and orchestras present a performance of music from their core repertoire at 7pm at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $4 for students, $6 for seniors, and $8 for adults. more »

Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is accepting single-poem submissions from Whatcom County residents until March 31. Winners are invited to read their poems at a free public awards ceremony on Thurs., May 14, and winning poems are displayed for a year in front of the library and on WTA buses. Walk Award poems are displayed on plaques in front of the Bellingham Public Library for a year; placards of both Walk and Merit Award poems circulate in WTA buses throughout the county. See the guidelines more »

Spring Book Sale: Tables will be re-stocked on the regular at a Spring Book Sale happening from 10am-6pm Thursday and Friday, and 10am-1pm Saturday, at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. All proceeds of the sales of books and media for all ages will benefit the library. more »

Uncle Vanya: Western Washington University Performing Arts debuts its version of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7:30pm Saturday, at the Performing Arts Center. Tickets to see the "masterpiece of frustrated longing and wasted lives" are $11-$16. Additional showings happen March 11-14. more »

Mary Poppins: Students will present performances of the musical Mary Poppins staring this week at shows at 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday at the Ferndale High School Auditorium, 5830 Golden Eagle Dr. Tickets are $7-$10. Additional showings happen at 7:30pm March 12-13, and 1:30pm and 7:30pm Sat., March 14. more »

Adoration of Dora: Lojo Simon's Adoration of Dora concludes this week with performances at 7:30pm Thursday through Sunday at the iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave. The play is an exploration of the life of surrealist photographer Dora Maar as she "lives with the threat of war and in the shadow cast by her lover, Pablo Picasso." Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Sundays show is $6 for students, seniors and service industry employees more »

Spring Exhibit Reception: Celebrate artists from around the region at a reception for the continuing Spring Juried Exhibit from 6-8pm at Lynden's Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St. The selected juried works can be seen alongside the "From Dusk to Dawn: Twilight and Night Skies" exhibit and paintings by Anacortes-based artist Jennifer Bowman. Entry is free. See the works through May 30. more »

Mexican Kitchen: Ana Jackson helms "The Mexican Kitchen: Empanadas & Chiles Rellenos" from 6-9pm at the Cordata Community Food Co-op, 315 Westerly Rd. Entry is $39; a $5 beer option will be payable at class. more »

NSEA Trivia Night: The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will host a fundraising Fish Trivia Night at 6pm at Aslan Brewing Company, 1330 N. Forest St. Entry is $5; funds raised will benefit NSEA's Scientific Monitoring Prog more »

Finn Fancy: Randy Henderson reads from his new book of fiction, Finn Fancy Necromancy, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Henderson is the grand prize winner of Writers of the Future Award for 2014, a Clarion West graduate, and member of SFWA and Codex. more »

Uzbekistan Travelogue: Writer and traveler Marie Laure Valandro will focus on "A Single Woman's Travels and Trekking in Uzbekistan" at a Travelogue series presentation from 7-9pm at Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Suggested donation is $3. more »

Necromancy Tale: Award-winning writer Randy Henderson reads from his new book of fiction, Finn Fancy Necromancy, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book of fantasy focuses on a man who was framed for the crime of dark necromancy and his search for truth. more »

Folk Dance Party: Learn Balkan, Israeli, Romani and Greek dancing with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers from 7-10pm every Thursday at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. Suggested donation is $5 (first-time visitors and students are free). more »

Fourth Corner Folk Dancers: Learn Balkan folk dances with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers from 7:15-10:15pm every Thursday at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St. All ages are welcome, and no partner is necessary. Suggested donation is $5; first-time visitors and students are free. more »

Nordic Ski Club Meeting: Bring a treat to share and talk about where there is snow and who has been having fun skiing at the monthly Nooksack Nordic Ski Club meeting at 7:30pm at the Garden Street Methodist Church, 1326 Garden St. New and prospective members are always welcome. more »

Night Beat: Whatcom Symphony Orchestra percussionist and Squalicum High School band director Kay Reilly will return for a Bellingham Music Club "Night Beat" recital at 7:30pm at the First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave. A plethora of area musicians will join her for the show. Tickets are $10. more »

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Celebrate more than 50 years of joyous and uplifting music when Ladysmith Black Mambazo returns to Bellingham for a 7:30pm performance at the Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. The a cappella vocal group has created a musical and spiritual message that has touched a worldwide audience, while maintaining the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native South African musical traditions. Tickets are $20-$45. more »

GOOD, BAD, UGLY: Watch “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” at 8pm every Thursday at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. At 10pm, stick around for “The Project.” Entry is $7 for the early show, $4 for the late one. more »

Composers of Western: New and original music from talented Western Washington University students will be highlighted at a "Composers of Western" performance at 8pm at the school's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Entry is free and open to the public. more »

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