Miss Witherspoon Snubbed

No play is good enough for the Pulitzer panel. Plus: Items on Shawn Wong and the late Scott Weldin.


This year, Marymoor's summer concert series looks to be even staler than the old Summer Nights series used to be. With popgrass darlings Nickel Creek and cookie-cutter frat-boy fave Rob Thomas as the heavy hitters, this leaves pop genius Sinéad O'Connor as the edgiest artist in an otherwise Play-Doh-soft concert lineup. Though she's now taken for granted and often cast as a pariah, O'Connor forever altered the landscape of women in rock. Let us not forget that her shaven head was not a fashion statement but a demand that she be taken seriously as an artist, and not as a sex symbol. To see the complete Marymoor schedule, go to www.concertsatmarymoor.com. Tickets: 206-628-0888. BRIAN J. BARR


ACT Theatre's next play—Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon—has been in the news recently for not winning a Pulitzer. In fact, it was one of three plays nominated by Pulitzer jurors that were eventually snubbed by the 19-member Pulitzer Prize board. There will be no prize for drama this year—a fairly rare occurrence (it's happened twice in the past 20 years). But does anyone care? A lot of great American plays never bagged a Pulitzer, including Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out and John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation. Playwright Craig Lucas, whose Light in the Piazza (with Adam Guettel) was rumored to be in Pulitzer contention, has been widely quoted as saying the Pulitzer committee "wouldn't know the world if it ran over them with a truck." For info about ACT's production: 206-292-7676 or www.acttheatre.org. LYNN JACOBSON


UW professor of creative writing and Asian-American studies Shawn Wong wrote his second novel, American Knees, back in 1995. The tale of a philandering academic and his various intersections with ex-wives and old lovers is back in print from University of Washington Press, and it's now a movie, Americanese, currently making the festival rounds. Joan Chen is among the stars in the L.A.-set roundelay of attachment, guilt, and stalking. Look for it in Seattle theaters this year, perhaps at a festival near you. BRIAN MILLER

SCOTT WELDIN 1945–2006

Longtime Seattle-based set designer Scott Weldin died last week at the age of 60; he had been ill with brain cancer. Weldin, a UW graduate, had created sets for ACT Theatre, Intiman, the Seattle Rep, Empty Space, Seattle Children's Theatre, and dozens of outfits around the country. One of his most recent local shows was Vincent in Brixton at ACT, for which his work was praised roundly by critics. Among the many local artists saddened to hear the news of his death was Seattle Children's Theatre artistic director Linda Hartzell: "I would like to thank him for his talent and leadership in the community," she said. "He was always such a gentleman and enthusiastic about the work." LYNN JACOBSON


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