The promise of the future never looks brighter—and the problems of the past are never further away—than in the carefully rose-colored vision of The Official Version; which is why you can feel free to keep one eyebrow arched when I tell you that the following professional departures and arrivals in that hectic little airport known as Seattle's arts scene occurred without any bumps. Heavens, no, there wasn't an ounce of dissatisfaction between any of the exiting parties and their beloved former places of employment. The subject is probably best summed up by The Stranger's recently appointed editor in chief Dan Savage, who, when asked about the exit of that paper's film editor Jamie Hook, replied simply, "We don't talk about these things."
So, then, Wiggly World honcho Hook is out, and Sean Nelson, who's also a member of local band Harvey Danger, is in as Stranger film guy. And, as most people probably know by now, the invaluable John Hartl recently left his post as the main film critic for the Seattle Times, inspiring hundreds of applicants to send in resumes under the assumption that it can't be too hard to watch movies for a living. John Dunavent, who has been the executive director of Seattle Theatre Group (STG) since 1998, is off to Palm Springs and a reliably rumored association with the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex, the future home of the Academy Awards. Meanwhile, STG is moving on with Josh LaBelle as director—and we've heard buzz that it's bringing both American Ballet Theatre and Twyla Tharp's new company to the Emerald City (not to mention—oh, thank you, whoever you are—Ann-Margret's stage musical debut in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas).
Okay, Lauren Marshall has a good excuse: She's stepping down from her position as producing artistic director of Seattle Public Theater (Cornish faculty member Hal Ryder is coming aboard) to give birth to her first child. How's this for a sticky segue? The junior Marshall won't be the only recent theater arrival: Yale graduate and ex-Annex-ite Allison Narver (yay!) officially began as artistic director of the Empty Space last month; Stephan Hando started his leadership of the stellar fringe company Printer's Devil; and Kurt Beattie, fresh from his success as Art director at the Rep, is now associate artistic director (his old Rep job) at A Contemporary Theatre.
Finally, that vitriolic homeless guy is still standing there screaming on the corner of Sixth and Pine with a handmade cardboard sign that reads, "Frye Apt. and Seattle Police is communist! You are damn liar! Devil stop!" Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but in a time of dizzying change, it's comforting to know we can still blame the communists.