Talented troupe of local actors formed

Greetings Crossroads readers. May was a busy month. I directed and put on a play, went to an art opening and a concert and have not had a chance to catch you up on what's happening art-wise in the Valley.

Greetings Crossroads readers. May was a busy month. I directed and put on a play, went to an art opening and a concert and have not had a chance to catch you up on what’s happening art-wise in the Valley.

Annie Dlouhy, local artist, recently had an exhibition of new work at Isadora’s during the month of May. She titled the show “The Music Series.” It featured a wonderful collection of colorful images of musicians and other musically inspired works. My favorite was a piece called “Harmonica II.” The painting showed a street musician playing his mouth harp. It was evocative of the impressionist style with bright reds and yellows, but also had a quality of softness and quiet emotion that was very moving. I’ve often passed those players on the streets. They sometimes project an air about them as if to say, “It’s OK if you walk on by – I’m half playing for myself anyway.” That’s the feeling I got from that painting. Similarly, Annie says that about her work.

Annie talked to me about her process as a painter. “I don’t start with an idea, I start with a shape. The shape sometimes suggests a color or another shape and before you know it, I’ve got something started. The music series began as a shape of a bend in a guitar in one painting and led to another and another, and it just became an outpouring of painting in a short time,” she said.

Annie is a graphic designer and artist. Her work is very expressive and fun (as is she). She’s been in the North Bend area for over 10 years and is currently refurbishing a cabin/studio in Moon Valley. She plans on focusing on painting and doing more exhibitions in the near future.

If you’d like to see a sample of her work, e-mail her at desol@aol.com and she can forward you a few images. Signed and numbered prints in limited quantities are available.


A few weeks ago I went to see “Voices of the Valley” at the Snoqualmie United Methodist Church. Harley Brumbaugh directs the choir. They presented a program of music that included selections from Irving Berlin, Rogers and Hammerstein and original songs.

The choir is mostly made up of members of the church and under Brumbaugh’s direction, they filled the hall with heartfelt and beautiful vocal arrangements. One beautiful number was Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” set to music by Randall Thompson. The program was very inspiring.

It is nice to know there are choirs like this in our area. Voices of the Valley recorded the session and announced that a CD will be available sometime in August. They have also appeared as part of Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live programs in the past few years. When you see them on a program or listed in the paper, I suggest taking a friend and going to listen to some wonderful music.


I directed and produced a wonderful show at North Bend’s Unity Theater last month titled “Story Theatre.” Everyone involved was terrific. I’m very glad to have the beginnings of a local troupe of talented and fun actors I can call on for future productions.

The show featured 15 local adults and children performing as characters from the Brothers Grimm fairytales and Aesop’s fables. “Story Theatre” uses a refreshingly simple and effective style of telling the stories. The players, dressed in simple peasant garb while only using some hats, a bench and a few chairs as props, make you feel like you’re watching a troupe of wandering minstrels who have stopped by to entertain you with age-old stories using good, old-fashioned storytelling skills.

In the tale of “The Fisherman and His Wife,” Karen Nelson played a dissatisfied, high-maintenance greedy wife and Rob Boose played her good-natured husband who catches a magical flounder. The flounder was played by 9-year-old Paul Nelson (Karen’s son). Ed Benson and Bill Stone, wearing silly black aviator hats, played “Two Crows” who try to figure out how to best open a clam.

The kids in the show were terrific. Henny Penny (Rose Young, age 8), Ducky Daddles (Abbie Grimstad, 12), Goosey Poosey (Natalie Copeland, 13), Cocky Locky (Conner Bloyd, 12), Turkey Lurkey (Rebekah McFarland, 12) and a sneaky Foxy Woxy (Sean Stone, 15) told the story of a hysterical chicken who thinks the sky is falling and gets the whole barnyard in a tizzy. The story was set to the music of Country Joe MacDonald’s “Fixin’ to Die Rag.” The eerie story of the “Robber Bridegroom” added a little spookiness to the mostly comedic stories.

This production delighted everyone who saw it, young and old alike. It was perfect family entertainment.

“More from Story Theatre” will be back at the Unity for an encore performance at some point soon, and the troupe is slated to perform selections from the show at The Festival at Mount Si in August. Check at the theater’s Web site, www.unitytheater.org, for details.


The Unity Theater, located at 119 North Bend Way, needs volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved, call me at (425) 831-5667. As always, if you have any news or information about arts in the Valley, please let me know. E-mail me at gary@unitytheater.org.