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Backstage at the MBT’s Monthly Newsletter October 2013

Healing Discovered Coming Soon Through Music Jon Batiste & Stay Human Sat 10/5

By Katharine Conrad


ome vocalists launch their careers in gleaming, ornate concert halls. Others begin at crowded openmic nights, or (these days) post YouTube videos from the comfort of their own homes. George Hill’s first venue was a grimy, graffitied tunnel beneath L.A.’s crime-laden Continued on page 3 MacArthur Park.

Royal Crown Revue Fri, Oct 18

Joy Luck Club Sat 10/26

For Tickets

Call (360) 734-6080 or visit

104 N. Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225 360.734.6080 2013-2014 MBT BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013-2014 Season Sponsor

Backstage is published for free once a month by the Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225 Admin Phone: (360) 733-5793 Fax: (360) 671-0114 Design: Beth McPeek Editor: Kim Laskey Contributing Writer & Copy Editor: Katharine Conrad Ad Sales: John Schapiro

John Pedlow – President Edwin H. (Skip) Williams – Vice-President Mark Thoma – Treasurer Jane Carten – Secretary Daniel Larner – Past-President Wendy Bohlke Bob Brim Mike Carr Dennis Catrell Brian Finnegan William (Bill) Gerrie Ann Kaiser Peg Larson Rick Luke Christine Perkins Megan Stanfield John Templeton Dave Graham – Ex-Officio (MBT STARS) .......... Brad Burdick - MBT Executive Director

COVER STORY cont... In 1985 Hill had just finished he asked the choir to sing at an 8 years of military service in upcoming wedding, which led Korea. Though he considers to another singing gig. Before his time in the Marines the best long the choir was singing part of his life, he began to show regularly, and Hill had found his symptoms cause. “Music is a “Music is a powerful powerful healing of PTSD and found force,” he says. healing force” himself “It showed us facing the increasing difficulty recovery is possible, and it can of readjusting to civilian life be fun, too.” with no resource to turn to for Today the choir is made help. “There weren’t many up of veterans who have programs around,” says Hill, overcome hardships similar to Continued on page 6 whose self-medicating led to substance abuse and eventually homelessness. For 12 years he Helping to Keep lived on the street, entertaining Mount Baker Theatre himself by singing in the MacArthur Park tunnels (he particularly liked the acoustics). In August of 1998, Hill entered the V.A. hospital’s New Directions program, founded in 1992 to provide comprehensive services to struggling veterans. The program offered Hill food, Cleaning Equipment and Supplies shelter, and the rehab he for the Workplace & Home needed. • Green Cleaning Specialists The New Directions • Floor and Carpet Care program director, having learned • Paper and Can Liners that Hill could sing, suggested • Window Cleaning he start a choir with other • Restroom Supplies program members. Hill agreed • Equipment Rentals & Repairs to arrange a group to perform for 360-671-7400 some visiting state legislators, or 800-272-8586 one of whom was so impressed 1250 Iowa St, Bellingham


September 2013 | | 360.734.6080 3

Hot THIS MONTH Jon Batiste - and Stay Human -

Saturday, October 5, 2013 • 8pm With his unique voice, virtuosic piano chops, and dapper sense of style, Jon Batiste transcends music genres and has ignited New York City’s music scene. Raised among the sounds and rhythms of New Orleans, Batiste and his modern jazz ensemble, Stay Human, is lauded for their world-class music, high energy, and uplifting spirit. “There’s not a word in the dictionary that will fully prepare you for the musical experience that Jon Batiste will give you, so go see it for yourself.” – Washington D.C. Examiner


Friday, October 18, 2013 • 8pm Formed in 1989 in Los Angeles, Royal Crown Revue (RCR) is often credited with starting the swing revival movement of the 1990s. The band’s unique hybrid sound emerged out of their mutual admiration and love of rhythm and blues, jazz, punk, rockabilly, soul, and swing, among other styles of American roots music. RCR’s rise to fame began with an appearance in the 1994 Jim Carrey blockbuster The Mask. Today, Royal Crown Revue continues to play to sold-out crowds across the globe, satisfying longtime fans and welcoming the next generation of “royalty” with their trademark high-powered style. 4 October 2013 | | 360.734.6080


THE JOY LUCK CLUB Saturday, October 26, 2013 • 8pm Based on the popular book, The Joy Luck Club is a timeless and engaging story, both poignant and humorous, that resonates with a wide array of audiences through its universally shared issues and themes common to every family. On The New York Times best-seller list for over 75 weeks, Amy Tan’s 1989 novel garnered multiple award nominations and critical acclaim, as did the 1993 film adaptation. “Blending hilarity and heartbreak, the play has moments both side-splitting and shattering... Devastatingly emotional.” - The Los Angeles Times

New Directions Veterans Choir Wednesday, October 30, 2013 • 7:30pm

Voices with heart, soul, and stories you’ll never forget

The award-winning New Directions Veterans Choir consists primarily of men and women who became homeless following their proud service in the U.S. military. Non-profit veteran services organization New Directions gave them hope and direction, and now these talented veterans are an inspiration to countless others. An a cappella ensemble, the Choir sings renditions of doo-wop, soul, gospel, and pop music. The group got its big break on America’s Got Talent and has since been featured on NBC Nightly News and E! Entertainment Television. Sponsor:

U.S. Bank Foundation October 2013 | | 360.734.6080 5

...from page 3

Hill (including homelessness and substance abuse), as well as friends and family of veterans. Carleton Griffin, now an addiction counselor, spent 28 years homeless before walking nearly 30 miles to the New Directions facility. Danny Tucker recalls his mother’s musical visits during his stay at a V.A. hospital mental health ward, saying “She would come and bring me some KFC and we’d sit in the piano room and sing.” He joined the choir to help other veterans as his mother helped him.

Upcoming EVents

In fact, beyond their own recovery, New Directions Veterans Choir members sing to encourage others. Hill says many vets are ashamed to ask for assistance, and the choir wants to spread the message that “it’s okay for a warrior to get help… I don’t want to see another veteran go through what I went through.” This year the choir hopes to inspire on a grand-scale with their first national tour, gracing the MBT Main Stage on October 30. [Some of the above material was adapted from an article by Susan Scaffidi, contributing writer for The Bakersfield Californian (2013)]

- Indicates a Mount Baker Theatre Promoted Event WT - Walton Theatre ER - Encore Room

MBT Presents Jon Batiste & Stay Human • Sat 10/5 | 8pm | $20-$42 WSO: Celebrate! Debut – Introducing Yaniv Attar • Sun 10/6 | 3pm | $12-$32 Que Sera! Celebrating Doris Day Feat. Kristi King (WT) • Sat 10/12 | 7pm | $28 Northwest Ballet Theater: Dracula • Sat 10/12, 7:30pm & Sun 10/13, 2pm | $24-$32 Teton Gravity Research: Way of Life • Thu 10/17 | 8pm | $12 advance/$15 door MBT Presents Royal Crown Revue • Fri 10/18 | 8pm | $30-$45 Great Big Sea • Sun 10/20 | 7:30pm | $35/29.50 advance, $35.50/$30 day of show MBT Presents The Joy Luck Club • Sat 10/26 | 8pm | $20-$42 Jami Sieber: Electric Cello Performance (ER) • Sun 10/27 | 7:00pm | $15/24 MBT Presents New Directions Veterans Choir • Wed 10/30 | 7:30pm | $20-$39 WSO: Violin Virtuoso Gil Shaham • Sun 11/3 | 3pm | $12-$49 MBT Presents MOMIX: “Botanica” • Mon 11/4 | 7:30pm | $20-$49 Warren Miller’s Ticket To Ride • Fri 11/8 | 8pm | $21 Visit for a complete listing of events All ticket purchases are subject to applicable fees. Group, age-related, or other special discounts may apply - check with the Ticket Office or online.

6 October 2013 | | 360.734.6080

ree FToURs Interested in a tour

Special Thanks to our

2013-2014 Sponsors:




of the historic Mount Baker Theatre? They’re free and they’re fun! Contact Cindi Pree at 360-733-5793 x309 or




A Great Nation Deserves Great Art

U.S. Bank Foundation

Member Receptions Supported by

Galbraith & Kimberley Pediatric Dentistry WADE BENNETT KING EDUCATION SERIES SPONSOR


Dawson Construction • Magas Insurance Agency WECU - Whatcom Educational Credit Union Whidbey Island Bank sponsor partnership David & Cheryll Blair • Phillip Chen & Chiann Yang Frank & Patti Imhof • Bob Moles & Julie Johansen Steve & Margie Kimberley • Chuck & Elsie Walter October 2013 | | 360.734.6080 7

october 2013

Backstage at the


104 N. Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225

One 50% off ticket per valid ID - hr before show

Backstage at the Baker - October 2013  

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