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 06


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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

PhotoLush 2015: Professional photographers from around the region will be on hand to share their talents at "PhotoLUSH 2015" happening from 5:30-10pm Friday, and 9:30am-10pm Saturday at Broadway Hall, 1300 Broadway. Leaders in the industry will lead photo shoots, helm technique demos, focus on business lessons and much, much more. Entry is $100 for the entire weekend of "laughter and learning." more »

The Harold: View classic improvisational skills when showings of "The Harold"—an improv style that intermixes games and scenes to create a uniquely amazing show—begins this weekend with 8pm and 10pm performances at the Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Additional showings of the format continue Fridays and Saturdays through March 21. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. more »

An Evening with Robert Frost: Attend "An Evening with Robert Frost" at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at the Anacortes Community Theatre, 918 M Ave. Tickets to see the reader's theater event are $5. All proceeds benefit the theater's ClassACT Program. more »

Skagit Opera’s Cinderella: The classic fairy tale known as Cinderella—or La Cenerentola—will be brought to life by the Skagit Opera at the final weekend of performances at 7:30pm Friday and 3pm Sunday in Mount Vernon at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $25-$59. more »

Whatcom County Home and Garden Show: More than 150 vendors from Bellingham, Blaine, Sumas, Ferndale, Deming, and Lynden will show and sell their gardening, home building and interior design wares at the 36th annual Whatcom County Home and Garden Show taking place from 11am-9pm Friday, 10am-9pm Saturday, and 11am-4pm Sunday at Lynden's Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, 1775 Front St. Seminars, cooking demos, prize giveaways, performances, beer and wine tastings and more will be part of the fun. Entry is $7-$8. more »

Penn Cove Musselfest: Chowder tasting, mussel-eating and chowder competitions, farm tours, activities for all ages and much more will be part of the 29th annual "Penn Cove Mussel Fest" happening from 5:30-8:30pm Friday, 10am-9pm Saturday, and 10am-5pm Saturday at various locales in Coupeville. Prices vary. more »

The Music Man: Forty-two students, a technical crew and a full student pit orchestra will bring The Music Man to life with performances at 7pm Friday and Saturday, and 2pm Sunday at the auditorium at Bellingham High School, 2020 Cornwall Ave. Tickets to see the musical about a con man who tries to dupe Iowa townsfolk regarding a kid's band he claims to be organizing are $8 for students and seniors, and $10 general. Additional showings happen March 13-15. more »

Musical Adventures: As part of Mount Baker Theatre's 19th Education Program series, area youth are invited to attend a performance of "The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley" at 10am and 12:15pm at the theater's headquarters at 104 N. Commercial St. Tickets are $6-$7.50. more »

VIGIL FOR PEACE: Join the longest-running Peace Vigil in the country—48 years and counting—from 4-5pm every Friday afternoon at the corners of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. more »

Western Line Dancing: No partner or experience is necessary to take part in Western Line Dancing classes Friday nights at Lynden's Ten Mile Grange, 6958 Hannegan Rd. Newbies start at 5:45pm, beginners from 6:30-7:30pm, and intermediates from 7:30-8:30pm. Entry is $5 per class. more »

Wild Whatcom Moon Walk: Area women are invited to join Wild Whatcom Walks for a "Moon of the Chinook" outing from 6-8pm in Whatcom County (the locale will be revealed upon location. Attendees can explore what spring mean to them, listen in on courting beavers and discover "what's so magical and irritating about pollen." Entry is $12. more »

Gallery Walk: As part of the monthly First Friday Gallery Walk, peruse various galleries and businesses from 6-9pm throughout downtown Anacortes. This month's participants include the Anne Martin McCool Gallery, Burton Jewelers, "Anacortes Inside Out" at City Hall, the Scott Milo Gallery, the Majestic Inn and Spa, and more. more »

Art Walk: Put on your walking shoes for the monthly Art Walk happening from 6-10pm throughout downtown Bellingham. Participants this month include Allied Arts, Make.Shift Art Space, Studio UFO, the Redlight, Fourth Corner Frames & Gallery, Dakota Art Gallery, the Waterfront Studio Artist Collective, JHoney Salon, and more. Check out the website for a full listing. more »

Parenting Nutrition: Marie-Laure Valandro shares ideas from her book Nutrition for Enlightened Parenting, at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book attempts to bring greater consciousness to one of life’s most common and vital activities—eating. In the book, Valandro presents an organic picture of how we can take charge of our day-to-day nutrition and become more aware of ourselves and the world around us. more »

Salish Sea Early Music Festival: The Salish Sea Early Music Festival series continues with a concert featuring "JS Bach Sonatas" at 7:30pm at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St. Tonight's performance features baroque flutist Jeffrey Cohan, Susie Napper on viola, and Hans-Jurgen Schnoor on harpsichord. Suggested donation is $15-$25 (youth 18 and younger are always free). more »

Julian Velard: Rising star Julian Velard brings his engaging style of theatrical, piano-based pop to Bellingham for a "Music in the Manor" concert at 7:30pm at the Lairmont Manor, 405 Fieldston Rd. Tickets to see the "new crooner"—who's expected to perform hits from his latest release, If You Don't Like It, You Can Leave—are $10 for students, $15 general, and $25 per couple. more »

Sanford Hill Piano Series: Western Washington University's Sanford-Hill Piano Series continues with a classical music concert by celebrated 20-year-old pianist Beatrice Rana at 7:30pm at the school's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $16-$32. more »

Friday Night Dance Party: A mix of swing, Latin and ballroom will be highlighted and danced to with an introductory lesson at the weekly Friday Night Dance Party from 7:30-10pm at the Bellingham Dance Company, 1705 N. State St. Admission is $5-$7. more »

Jazz Ensembles: A free "Jazz Ensembles" concert begins at 8pm at Western Washington University's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. Entry is open to the public. more »

Salsa Night: Rumba Northwest continues its "Friday Night Salsa" gatherings from 9pm-12am every Friday at Cafe Rumba, 1140 N. State St. The event kicks off with Salsa lessons by Antonio Diaz and Heather Haugland, followed by dancing to a variety of hot Latin rhythms until midnight. Entry to the all-ages event is $4. more »

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