Spotlight: Gay rights theater, Edith Piaf and great writers; see it all in Langley this week

Posted in Feature, Spotlight, Theater and Dance

Langley has it all this week, from some literary lights of Seattle to plays about gay rights and Edith Piaf. Here’s the scoop:

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and the Hedgebrook retreat for women writers have partnered to create a program that brings together writers and book-lovers. Join WICA and Hedgebrook at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16 for “Three Great Authors. One Literary Evening,” with Seattle natives Erica Bauermeister, the nationally bestselling author of “The School of Essential Ingredients”; Jennie Shortridge, the author of four best-selling novels, including her latest “When She Flew”; and Carol Cassella, practicing anesthesiologist and author of the novels “Healer” and the bestseller “Oxygen.”

The Literary Series offers intimate conversations with bestselling Hedgebrook authors and a chance to see local artists bring excerpts of the authors’ works to life in short, staged readings. Tickets are $8 for all seats.

OutCast Productions has a few tickets left for the staged reading of the new documentary play “8” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Black Box Theater at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds in Langley. (The evening performance is sold-out.)

“8” is written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”) and is based on interviews and the transcript of the Ninth Circuit Federal case for marriage equality.

The play will be presented by 21 island actors with a Q & A afterwards facilitated by Dr. Grethe Cammermeyer.

Tickets are $15 and all profits will go to the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Purchase tickets online by credit card at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/312071 or by reserving tickets by email at ocp@whidbey.com to be held at the door to be paid by cash or check.

Also on the boards this weekend at Whidbey Children’s Theater is “Songbird of Paris, Edith Piaf,” a play with music written brilliantly by local playwright Martha Furey and performed with soulful simplicity by Joni Takanikos, accompanied by her son Max Cole-Takanikos.

This play endeared audiences to the dramatic story of the French singer when it premiered at the Black Box Theater two years ago and then traveled to Ireland for performances there in 2011. It also saw a five-week run this past December at the Marsh Theater in Berkeley, Calif. and  sold-out all of its houses there.

Don’t miss its revival on Whidbey Island at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 and Saturday, Jan. 19 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20 at 222 Anthes Ave. in Langley. Tickets are $12 at the door or at Eddy’s in downtown Langley.

(At top: Max Cole-Takanikos and Joni Takanikos in Martha Furey’s “Songbird of Paris, Edith Piaf” at the Black Box Theater in Langley in 2011. Patricia Duff photo.)

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