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FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016


Four Billies Elliott

The young actors behind Village Theatre’s season closer by Daniel Nash

This month, Village Theatre opened the first locally produced version of “Billy Elliot the Musical,” the Elton John-scored stage adaptation of the 1998 film “Billy Elliot.” The show — about a boy in hardscrabble northern England who shirks boxing lessons to take ballet in secret — has won mountains of accolades in most of its incarnations, including 10 Tony Awards for its Broadway run. It hasn’t been seen in Seattle since February 2011, during its second national tour. “‘Billy Elliot’ is as big as ‘Les Miserables’ [put on by Village in 2013],” Director Steve Tomkins said. “Actually, it’s bigger. You have all kinds of dancing, musical numbers… there’s flying from cables. There are a whole lot of elements to the show.”


Nikita Baryshnikov, Bito Gottesman, Philipp Mergener and Vincent Bennett share the title role in an upcoming production of “Billy Elliot.”

Photo by Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre




A guide to, and a review of, Seattle International Film Festival screenings PG 8

Sizzleworks Chef Carol Dearth shares some of her favorite patio noshes PG 10


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FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016


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FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016

The Don’t Miss List: SIFF edition

The Seattle International Film Festival isn’t relegated to Sea-town. Here’s where you can see the latest films in Bellevue and Kirkland.

May 28

Angry Indian Goddesses | 6:30 p.m. at Lincoln Square

Logan Lerman, left, and Sarah Gadon, right, play a young collegiate couple challenging the mores of the 1950s in this period drama based on Philip Roth’s 2008 novel of the same name. Photo courtesy of the Seattle International Film Festival


By Allison DeAngelis

It’s 1951, and young American men have two options: college or Korea. But when an idealistic young man becomes entangled with the wrong type of girl, will it be her or his individuality and self-proclaimed atheism at a religious college that lead to his undoing? Indignation tells the story of Marcus Messner, a young Jewish man who departs his parents’ stifling home in Newark, New Jersey for a small college in Ohio, where he meets well broughtup, sexually expressive but mentally unwell WASP-y student named Olivia. Over the course of their brief relationship and Marcus’ first few months mixing traditional academia, Marcus struggles with the complexities of 1950s conformism and his college’s

overbearing dean. The film features stellar performances by the cast, which is impressive in light of the fogginess of each character’s motivation. Whether Marcus’ father is really going crazy — as he and his mother theorize when she contemplates divorcing, before changing her mind in exchange for Marcus’ promise to end things with Olivia — or if he is simply the 1950s equivalent of a hover parent is never explained. Star Logan Lerman (best known for his leading role in The Perks of Being A Wallflower) is surprisingly convincing as a young Jewish man, and his scenes sparring with the college dean (played by Tracy Letts) are particularly enjoyable. Visually, Indignation is stunning. But

aside from problems with poor pacing, the film seems to crash into its ending, which feels like a sharp 90 degree turn from the proceeding 100 minutes of plot and could have been set up better. It also left this viewer grappling with the film’s ambiguous message. Indignation tackles many complex issues — religion, family dynamics and the stigmas of mental illness, among others — and leaves the audience to come to their own conclusions. Theater fans will enjoy Indignation, which feels like watching a stage performance. Those who enjoy period dramas will revel in the script’s, director’s and actors’ dedication to the era. All can watch Indignation when it is comes to movie theaters on July 29.

Brought to you by Washington Audiences may recognize some familiar venues to two of the 2016 Seattle Film Festival’s works: The Architect and Captain Fantastic. In the Architect, Eric McCormick (TV’s Will and Grace) and Parker Posey (Irrational Man, Superman Returns) play an couple with polar-opposite personalities who hire to James Frain (TV’s The Tudors, Orphan Black) design their dream home. Director Jonathan Parker took full advantage of the Seattle-area scenery, and many an Eastsider will appreciate the couple’s journey in area real estate and home construction.

Riotous and refreshingly honest, this empowering female buddy comedy takes place during a beachside bachelorette party, where six women from diverse backgrounds examine what it means to be a woman in contemporary India.

Goat | 9 p.m. at Lincoln Square

This realistic psychological drama is a brutal portrait of college masculinity that follows a 19-year-old boy as he pledges a fraternity and is swept up in a series of hazing rituals that become more and more insidious.

May 29

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World | 1 p.m. at Lincoln Square

From the great Warner Herzog comes a beguiling philosophical exploration of how the internet and technology has changed humanity, featuring interviews with visionaries, scientists, hackers and a group of forest dwellers recovering from “internet overdose.”

June 2

Equals | 9:20 p.m. at Lincoln Square

In a future utopian society where crime has been eradicated through human genetic manipulation, two young worker drones (Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Hoult) find themselves afflicted with the “disease” of emotion and are forced to go on the run.

June 4

Battle of Sevastopol | 6 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center

An epic war biopic about Ukrainian sharpshooter Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who earned the nickname “Lady Death” for her prowess in battle, was sent by Joseph Stalin in 1942 to convince the U.S. to join the war and formed a lasting friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt.

June 5

Much Loved | 6 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center

This film has been banned in Morocco due to its controversial content, but you can watch the talk of four sex workers in Marrakesh at the Kirkland Performance Center.

June 6

Nalendi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale | 6 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center

Photos from “The Architect,” above, and “Captain Fantastic”, left. Photo courtesy of the Seattle International Film Festival

As a part of its tribute to actor Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), the festival is showing his latest film, Captain Fantastic. Mortensen stars as a father raising a troop of children by his own education and exercise system who must leave the woods of the Pacific Northwest behind for his wife’s funeral and a custody battle. Tickets to the screening next month may already be sold out, but Captain Fantastic will hit theaters in July.

More than a nature documentary, this tale of an orphaned baby elephant growing up in a Botswana rescue camp who does everything she can to survive against the odds is loaded with edge-of-your-seat moments, eyeopening information and adorable animal footage.

June 12

Frank and Lola | 6 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center

Actors Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots share a sizzling chemistry in this romantic noir thriller about a Las Vegas chef whose increasing possessiveness sends him on an international quest for revenge, uncovering surprising details about his lover’s past.

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016



Photo by Mark Kitaoka and Tracy Martin/ Village Theatre

But the production comes with a built-in problem: The title character — and therefore, the actor — is 13 years old. A 13-yearold with proficiency in tap, ballet, singing, stage acting and wire work. “The national tour of the show actually created a sort of ‘Billy School,’ but all the former actors who already went through the training are 16, 17, 18 years old,” Tomkins said. “There’s this brief, brief window that an actor can play Billy and they have to know all these skills. So it becomes a real challenge.” So Tomkins and Village choreographer Katy Tabb came up with a plan to recruit a small group of local tween boys and train them for nine months as they aged into the role. They found four young actors on the Eastside: Bito Gottesman, Nikita Baryshnikov, Vincent Bennett and Philipp Mergener. Each boy came in with a pre-existing skill set. Gottesman, Baryshnikov and Mergener each had dance experience in ballet, contemporary or ballroom, while Bennett had both ballet and acting experience, most recently starring in the Village Theatre KidStage production of “Peter Pan.” But all four had a slew of new skills to learn in a short amount of time. “[Compared to dancing] There’s a lot more interaction between you and the rest of the cast,” Bennett said on break during a recent rehearsal. “It’s two completely different arts.” The theater nabbed the boys as their stars under a deal in which they would provide extensive training in performance art skills. To make it to a successful opening night,

training would be everything. It was up to Tabb to coordinate their education in everything from tap to vocal work and dialect training. But it turned out she wouldn’t have to do much prodding. Fueled by youth, each of the boys dove into practicing new skills without any of the caution Tabb said she often sees with adult actors. And the camaraderie they developed proved to be a double-edged sword, driving them into heated competition with each other even as they became fast friends. “I don’t think that you should ever lay back,” Gottesman said. “You should always try your best.” It wasn’t unusual for Tabb to have to tell one of the Billies that, no, they really didn’t need to repeat that tap step again until they came into practice next time. “Because of that fearlessness they have, I have to put the brakes on them a little bit,” she said. “They have a little bit of immortality on their side, mentally. Especially in the beginning, when it was just the four of them and me, a lot of my job was keeping them in check and making sure they were keeping themselves healthy.” Each Billy found something different to appreciate about their training. “I would say the most interesting thing for me would be the [Yorkshire] dialect training,” Baryshnikov said. “You have these sounds and … you have to work them into your speech to make it sound right. I really like that.” “Tap, definitely,” Mergener said. “I’ve really liked [watching] tap, but I’ve never taken it before this. … It was really fun to me to dive into it and now I’m practicing advanced steps.” Despite their passion, training wasn’t without its challenges — the main one be-

ing the onset of puberty. “They were all hitting growth spurts during the training,” Tomkins said. “So they were all in the position of finding a new center of gravity. But it’s funny: Nature sort of takes over and smooths things out. “For example, one of the boys — I won’t say who — has grown these long, long limbs that flop around every which way.” Tomkins laughed at the thought as he bounced in his seat, springing his arms up and down in pubescent mimicry. “Until he dances — then he becomes a gazelle.” The pressure’s mounted on the boys as the calendar inches closer to opening night. On Tomkins too — as of late April, he said he still didn’t know how he would split up the boys’ roles so that they could give each other ample rest while remaining fresh. But Tabb said she’s been brought to tears more than once as she’s watched the boys

practice scenes with the rest of the cast. She called her nine months with the four Billies Elliot the “best job [she] ever had.” “I’m excited to see, with all the skills they’ve learned in this process, where they’ll go with it next,” Tabb said. “They want to succeed so badly. And the truth is, they’re all ready to rise to the occasion.”


Show runs until July 3 in Issaquah, then July 8-31 in Everett Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and some Tuesdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Thursday, June 2; 7 p.m. Sundays; and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Francis J. Gaudette Theatre 303 Front St. N. Issaquah, Washington 98027








GINger & Tonic

Nibble and sip

Happy hour at home

I am not a gin and tonic fan, but this is so great — I was very pleasantly surprised … and refreshed!


Mix one part each: gin, tonic water and ginger beer. Add a spritz of lime juice. Pour into tall glass over lots of ice. Garnish with a spear of fresh ginger or ginger coins on a skewer. Serve immediately. AHHhhhhh!!!

I absolutely adore sitting on my patio, nibbling on a delicious nosh and sipping a cool, refreshing beverage. A couple of my friends introduced me to two of my new favorites for this year: a gin and tonic spiked with ginger beer and fresh ginger, plus a mouth-watering fruit and goat cheese nibble. I’d love to share them with you — come on over!

Sweet Hot Pecans

Just a warning: these are very addictive, and disappear rapidly from my pantry! And they are a great addition to any salad, adding crunch along with a party of flavors.

Nectarine & Goat Cheese Crostini

What you’ll need:

• 2 to 4 teaspoons sea salt • 1 teaspoon cayenne • 5 to 6 tablespoons sugar • 1 egg white • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce) • 1 pound pecan halves

What you’ll need:

• 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar • 2 ciabatta rolls, thinly sliced, about 16 slices total • olive oil, to brush • 5 ounces soft goat cheese • one ripe nectarine, pitted and thinly sliced • 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme • 16 sweet hot pecans (recipe follows) • freshly ground black pepper


In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the vinegar by a third, until it becomes slightly thick. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 425°F. To make the crostini, arrange the ciabatta slices on a sheet pan; brush or spray with olive oil. Bake in hot oven until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool. Top with a slice of nectarine;

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016


drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction. Sprinkle with thyme and press a pecan on top. A quick sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper finishes them off. Serve immediately. Makes 16 crostini. I think this would be great with peaches, pears, apples, plums … well, the possibilities just might be endless!

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the salt, cayenne and sugar; set aside. In mixing bowl, whisk egg white until very frothy. Add hot pepper sauce, then add pecans. Mix well. Sprinkle sugar mixture over and mix to coat. Spread in large baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, turning pecans occasionally, until pecans are lightly browned. Makes about 3-1/4 cups.

About the author

Carol Dearth is the owner of Sizzleworks cooking school in Bellevue. A Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Dearth is a Certified Culinary Professional designated by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Dearth offers free recipes and tips at

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theEastside Scene - June 2016  
theEastside Scene - June 2016