If We Build It, Will They Come?

Many local arts-watchers thought that McCaw Hall (and its funding troubles) signaled the end of the region's two-decades-long arts-building boom. But developers and midsize arts organizations apparently didn't get the message. In this issue of Seattle Weekly, we report on the $12 million arts makeover of the Cooper School in Delridge (see article). Meanwhile, in the International District, the Wing Luke Museum is scraping together $24 million to turn the East Kong Yick Building into its new home. And the city of Edmonds has announced a planned $18 million remodel of a former school into a performing arts complex. Meanwhile, organizations of all sizes—from the humble Civic Light Opera to the mighty Seattle Opera—are scrambling to meet operating expenses. Hmm: Expensive buildings plus strapped arts organizations plus a limited pool of public and private funds for the arts. Who's doing the math? LYNN JACOBSON


The creative team behind the 5th Avenue Theatre's world-premiere musical Princesses is busy retooling the show in response to a spate of negative local reviews. So far it's been called "glib" and "underplotted" (Misha Berson, Seattle Times); "sit-com predictable" (Seattle Weekly's own Steve Wiecking, see review); and a show with "unpleasant characters driven by unpleasant emotions" (Joe Adcock, Seattle Post-Intelligencer). This for a musical that has Broadway pretensions à la Hairspray. Jennifer Rice, a 5th Ave spokesperson, says the book has been substantially rewritten since opening night (Wednesday, Aug. 17), and the producers still hope to book a N.Y. theater this fall. LYNN JACOBSON


The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy (the local arm of the Grammy folks) is planning a fall fund-raiser for Sept. 24. The dinner will honor four individuals/groups who have shaped the Northwest music scene: Kate Becker, once known as the Teen Queen for her pioneering work at Redmond's all-ages Old Firehouse; Cornish College music prof Julian Priester, who has performed and recorded jazz trombone with the greats; the Kingsmen, popularizers of "Louie Louie"; and Sub Pop Records, midwives of the Seattle Sound. The cheapest ticket in the house (the Westin Grand Ballroom) is 95 bucks, but proceeds will benefit the chapter's ongoing programs in support of the local music industry. For more information, call 206-834-1000. LYNN JACOBSON


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