News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


"Secret Life of Bugs" on at NW Puppet Center

May 5th, 2013 by master

Secret Life of BugsNorthwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave. N.E., presents “The Secret Life of Bugs” weekends through May 12.

Step through a magnifying glass into the miniature world of insects. With mesmerizing blacklight puppetry, witness the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Along the way, spiders, dung beetles and dragonflies engage in daily activities such as orb weaving, nesting, and hunting. An exotic soundtrack provides the thread connecting different species in the web of life. This entertaining and educational performance has been developed with assistance from expert entomologist Erin Sullivan of Woodland Park Zoo.

Curtain is at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $10.50/$8.50 child (up to 16)/$9 Senior (65+) and are available at the box office 30 minutes before curtain, by calling 1-800-838-3006 or at Brown Paper Tickets.

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Upcoming events in and around Maple Leaf

April 18th, 2013 by master

We’ve received a slew of emails about area events that we thought we’d share beyond just posting them on our events page:

  • Tomorrow, April 19, there’s a performance of The Wizard of Oz at 6 p.m. at St. Catherine Parish School, 8524 Eighth Ave. N.E. Admission is free with a canned food item or $5 per ticket.
  • Also tomorrow, there’s an “Evening in Italy” fundraiser for North Helpline from 5:30-9 p.m. at Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Ave. N.E. There will be live music, a wine toss, raffles and a full spaghetti dinner for $10/adults, $5/children.
  • For the next two weekends, you’re invited to Northwest Puppet Center’s latest show: “Chickens and Pigs and Bears … Oh My!” at 9123 15th Ave. N.E.:

    “Chickens and Pigs and Bears . . . Oh My!” is a celebration of some favorite stories presented in new and creative ways. Audiences will delight in the different styles of puppetry, live music, poetry and audience participation. Puppeteer Peter Allen performs “The Three Little Pigs” with marionettes, “The Little Red Hen” with shadow puppetry, and “The Three Bears” with rod-puppetry. A wonderful performance for audiences 3 years old and up.

    Curtain is at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sundays through April 28. Tickets cost $10.50 general admission, $8.50 for children up to age 16, and $9 for senior 65 and older, and they’re available at Brown Paper Tickets.

  • One of the neighborhood’s biggest events is coming up on Wednesday, April 24: The quarterly Maple Leaf General Community Meeting from 7-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary, 504 N.E. 95th St. Topics will include transportation issues, how the new Northgate urban center will affect Maple Leaf, and tree regulations.
  • Next Thursday, April 25, you can learn more about area construction at the Northgate Way Improvement Project Open House from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Northgate Library, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E. The Seattle Department of Transportation in planning roadway improvements along North 105th Street and Northgate Way, from Greenwood Avenue North to Lake City Way Northeast. Improvements will include complete roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, and drainage improvements from Greenwood Avenue North to Corliss Avenue North. SDOT will also upgrade signals, and street lighting from Greenwood to Lake City Way. This is your chance get in comments before final design by the second quarter of 2013; construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and is anticipated to continue through summer 2014.
  • Also on April 25, “Roads and Runoff” is the topic of the monthly Thornton Creek Alliance meeting from 7:15-9 p.m. at Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave. N.E. Art Brochet will discuss the Seattle Department of Transportation’s repaving project on Northeast 125th Street, as well as Seattle Public Utilities’ plans for Mayor Mike McGinn’s new stormwater goals. The group also will be talking about the past year’s accomplishments and goals for next year. For more information call, Judy Olson at 206-523-4384.
  • Fun for the whole family is planned from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the “Magical Mac and Cheese” event at Northgate Community Center:

    Turn your macaroni and cheese into a magical evening of dinner and entertainment! We will have basic macaroni ‘n’ cheese and you add your favorite toppings. In addition, Xakary the Magician and his pet rabbit can mesmerize you with his magic. For ages 1 and older. Please register in advance at 206-386-4283. Cost is $5 per person or $20 for a family.

  • And of course, don’t forget about the 12th annual Olympic View Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26-27. There will be vegetable and fruit starts, herbs, flowering annuals, premium perennials, pottery, garden art and more both days, as well as special children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, as well as treats from Peaks Frozen Custard from noon to 5 p.m.

Spring Fever hits Maple Leaf!

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"Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" opens at Puppet Center

March 2nd, 2013 by master

“Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” begins a three-weekend run today at Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave. N.E.

Carter Family Puppets is bringing its own original production of this Middle Eastern folk tale from “Arabian Nights” to the stage with “hand-carved puppets, beautiful scenery, special effects and plenty of laughs,” according to the Puppet Center.

Showtimes are at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from March 2-17. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets or at the box office 30 minutes before showtime; cost is $10.50 for adults, $8.50 for children up to age 16, and $9 for seniors 65 and older.

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"Images of China" opens at NW Puppet Center

January 18th, 2013 by master

Starting tomorrow, Dragon Arts Studio is bringing a two-weekend run of “Images of China” to Maple Leaf’s Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave. N.E.

Turtle and crane puppets
“Crane and Turtle” courtesy Northwest Puppet Center.

“Images of China” is a a collection of vignettes drawing from Chinese culture and literature, including “Crane and Turtle,” shown above, which is a traditional puppet act inspired by a classical poem.

The Donkey's Best Friend
“Donkey’s Best Friend” photo courtesy Northwest Puppet Center. [Read more →]

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Northwest Puppet Center's marionette opera extravaganza begins tonight

April 12th, 2012 by master

Although adults are always welcome at Northwest Puppet Center, for the next two weekends they’ll likely make up a lot more of the audience during the annual marionette opera extravaganza, which this year is “Il Girello: The Wheel of Fortune.”

Photo of “Il Girello” courtesy Northwest Puppet Center.

The show’s official dates are from April 13-22, but tonight the theater at 9123 15th Ave. N.E. is offering a preview performance at 8 p.m. for just $10, with tickets available only at the box office.

More on the opera from the Puppet Center:

In 1682, this production debuted in Venice.  Now 330 years later, the oldest extant marionette opera is resurrected!  With help from a magical root, Girello the gardener becomes king for the day.  In guise of the King of Thebes, he locks up the corrupt ministers and frees the wrongly convicted lovers.  When the true king returns, there is much mayhem as two kings are giving contradictory orders.  Staged by Carter Family Marionettes with a beautifully hand-carved cast of characters and live musical ensemble!

Regular showtimes are at 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sunday from April 13-22. The Puppet Center notes that the performance is not intended for young children as it “includes some bawdy humor, innuendos and potential for a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ resulting in brief puppet nudity.”

Regular tickets cost $32 general admission; $28 for senior 65 and older; and $28 for children. Advance tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets or by calling 800-838-3006. While you’re at the Puppet Center, don’t forget to check out the new exhibit “Cheering up the Great Depression: Puppetry & the WPA.”

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NW Puppet Center opens Great Depression exhibit

March 25th, 2012 by master

Photos courtesy the Cook/Marks Collection, Northwest Puppet Center.

In a sign of the current times, Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave. N.E., has recently opened up its new exhibit, “Cheering up the Great Depression: Puppetry & the WPA.”

Puppets in the exhibit are part of the Cooks/Mark collection of more than 5,000 puppets donated to the Maple Leaf theater. The Puppet Center first debuted the collection with its previous exhibit, the “The World of Puppetry: Treasures from The Cook/Marks Collection,” which it first put on display at Seattle Center.

Dmitri Carter with the Puppet Center explained that they often rotate the exhibit so the kids who visit frequently have fresh puppets to ooh and aah over.

“Kids don’t want to sit still before the show,” he said, “so they’re usually running around the exhibit and running around the playground.”

The new exhibit is strictly Americana, giving it quite a contrast with the previous international exhibit, which featured geishas and other puppets from around the world.

The exhibit is open before and after shows or by appointment, and the next show at the Puppet Center is the 17th century comic marionette opera “Il Girello: The Wheel of Fortune” from April 13-22.

“I think it’s been fun for the families in the neighborhood,” Carter said about the Puppet Center’s location in a residential part of Maple Leaf. “It’s been really great being in this small community, even if we don’t have the kind of visibility we could if we were in downtown.”

For more information, visit the Northwest Puppet Center website or call 206-523-2579.

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Young Maple Leaf actors to star in "Annie"

January 4th, 2012 by master

Two Maple Leaf-area actors are among the young talent starring in Broadway Bound‘s upcoming performance of “Annie,” which is showing Friday, Jan. 13, through Sunday, Jan. 22, at the Broadway Performance Hall on Capitol Hil.

Among the 200 young actors ages 5 to 16 starring in “Annie” and “Annie. Jr.” are Sarah Gustafson (left), age 12, a seventh-grader, and Maya L’Abbe (right), age 10, a fourth-grader. From the news release:

Themes present in Annie are especially poignant in the current social and political climate. Much like today, people in the 1930’s were struggling with unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. These struggles are emphasized in the play in the song entitled “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover.” The citizens of a “Hooverville” (a shanty-town named for Hoover) sarcastically express their appreciation to Herbert Hoover for their current situation.

Tickets to “Annie” cost $17.50 and are available at Brown Paper Tickets or by calling (800) 838-3006.

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Today's the day to help Northwest Puppet Center

June 23rd, 2011 by master

If you’re a fan of Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave. N.E., there’s a unique opportunity to make your dollar stretch further until midnight tonight through the Seattle Foundation. Dmitri Carter with the Puppet Center tells us:

Today (Thurs. June 23 until midnight) there is a special one-day opportunity to support our non-profit organization and have your gift stretched with additional funding from Seattle Foundation and the sponsorship of local businesses.  Please consider making a gift online:

Even if the arts are not your priority, there are many worthy non-profits so please do show your support for the causes important to you.  Full list of participating non-profit organizations can be found here:

Thank you for helping make a difference during these challenging times!  On July 1, we begin our new fiscal year and we look forward to another season filled with great programs in 2011-2012.

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Local actor, playwright performing "The Preacher"

June 13th, 2011 by master

Although Northgate-based actor Timothy Brandt accidentally fell into theater just over 10 years ago, it’s now become such an important part of his life that he’s written and is starring in his own one-man show the next two weekends at Freehold Theatre, 2222 Second Ave.

Brandt co-wrote the play, called “The Preacher,” with director Gina Robertson, but he says the idea comes from a combination of his youth growing up in a conservative area of Pennsylvania and the video from the 1991 Genesis song “Jesus He Loves Me,” which stars singer Phil Collins as a evangelist.

“I like big characters and I’ve always wanted to play a TV evangelist,” Brandt said. “He’s not sincere, he’s just trying to swindle money out of you.”

The short description of the play:

THE PREACHER is a comedy about Joe Damonti aka Reverand Earl Smith and his journey to redemption through zany twists and turns in his personal and professional tangles!  A gambler, Joe switches his identity to that of a TV Evangelist to attempt to make a quick buck selling a “One way ticket to Jesus”.  The trials and tribulations related to the show as well as his personal issues with gambling debt lead you through funny and sometimes touching events. [Read more →]

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Taproot Theatre brings us 'Drama with your Mama'

April 6th, 2011 by master

Photo courtesy Taproot Theatre/MyBallard.

Have you got an aspiring 1- to 3-year-old actor/actress in the house who’s ready for some springtime fun?

Taproot Theatre is bringing its “Drama with your Mama” classes to our neck of the woods this spring at One Life Community Church, 3524 N.E. 95th St., in Meadowbrook.

Classes are from 10-10:45 a.m. Mondays from April 25 to May 23. Cost is $65 for all five weeks, or $15 to drop-in each week. Here’s a little more from Taproot Theatre about what you can expect: [Read more →]

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