Seattle Based Musical Hits The Big Time On Broadway

We all know Seattle is a cultural metropolis, even if much of the rest of the world doesn’t. So, to say it’s exciting to see a musical with its roots in Seattle hit the Broadway scene, might be a bit of an understatement.

The musical smash “Come From Away” got its start on the stage of the 5th Avenue Theater, right here in Seattle, (as The Seattle Repertory Theater’s best-selling show ever, no less) and this month, it makes its debut under the bright lights of Broadway.

While it may seem like strange subject matter for a musical production, “Come From Away” takes us back to one of the most tragically memorable periods in recent American history, September 11th, 2001. But this show is not about gloom and doom, or irreparable loss, nor is it about spinning what happened into something to sing about or a comical view of the events of that fateful day, but rather, shines a light on the true and often untold story of the airline passengers stranded away from home during that time.

After the attacks on 9/11, the FAA shutdown our airspace indefinitely. That means you were not leaving the country by plane, and if you were out of the country already, you couldn’t come back home either.

Photo: Chris Bennion TheWrap.com

In light of their inability to come back stateside, there were approximately 7,000 airline passengers destined for the US that were instead forced to land in the quaint Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland.

The humble town of Gander had only 500 hotel rooms in total, and suddenly found itself playing host to 7,000 unexpected visitors. So, in true Canadian fashion, the residents of Gander opened their homes to these stranded strangers, and more importantly, they opened their hearts.

“Come from Away” tells the story of the beauty in humanity after such a catastrophe, with the Townspeople feeding, clothing, housing and caring for those stranded.

“They didn’t have time to organize or structure a response other than the human response of we will help them,” said Kenny Alhadeff, one of the producers of Come From Away in an interview with King5 News. “We will clothe them. We will feed them. We will shelter them.”

Alhadeff is not only a Broadway producer with such critically acclaimed productions as the Tony Award winning “Memphis” on his resume, but also a Seattle native with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest.

As soon as Alhadeff and his company secured the rights to “Come From Away” he knew he wanted to bring some more local talent onboard to really make this production “sing” (pun intended). He started by recruiting locally-grown and critically hailed Musical Director/Conductor Ian Eisendrath to arrange the music, right here at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater.

The cast boasts West Seattle native and star of the hit musical “Memphis”, Chad Kimball as one of the major players, as well as another familiar face on the Broadway stage, Kendra Kassebaum.

While Kassebaum may not have been born and raised in Seattle, she chose Seattle as her home many years ago, after a very successful turn in New York and on Broadway (You may recognize her as the bubbly-blonde Glenda the Good Witch in the musical phenomenon “Wicked”).

Even though she sought to escape the craziness of the NYC life, the beautiful story of “Come From Away” was powerful enough to pull her back, much to even her surprise, calling it “the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life”.

Most productions seek to add star-power when they finally hit the “Big-Time” of Broadway, but Alhadeff and Co. have chosen to keep the original cast intact for their Broadway debut. That’s a lot of Northwest sourced talent cropping up in the Entertainment Capital of the World, to tell a very powerful, and moving story.

The marquee is up for the Broadway run of Come From Away. (© David Gordon) TheaterMania.com

“It’s a show that transcends an evening in the theater,” Eisendrath said. “It’s a story that causes you to leave entertained, but deeply moved, and soul revived, and you think about how you live and what you hope the world might become.”

If ever there was a story that found the light in the darkness of true calamity, the tale told in “Come From Away” is it. A beautiful, moving true story about the goodness in people, about community without borders, about love, loss and coming together as citizens of the world to help those in need with selfless acts of kindness and grace.

“Come From Away” not only tells a story that is often forgotten, but serves as a wonderfully entertaining and truly touching reminder of the healing that can be found in the most unlikely places and the triumph of good and altruism over evil and suffering.

“A great piece of theater won’t end the war; it won’t cure cancer. It won’t stop the disparity in wealth,” said Alhadeff. “It won’t bring civility back to the political arena, but it will carve a path of light in your soul so you can do those things.”

“Come From Away” began its Broadway preview on February 18th, and will officially make its debut on March 12th.

For more information about the show or how to get tickets, click here.

Taste Seattle At Arcade Lights 2017!

Round up the crew and head down to the market on Friday, March 24th for a fantastic, fun event that brings together a diverse selection of over 70 local vendors to delight you with tastes of their delectable products. And their vendor list is still growing!

Arcade Lights is a wonderful opportunity to sample and savor delicious drinks, foods and sweet treats, from a wide array of local, small-batch, and artisan vendors. It’s always a fun and festive event, where you can enjoy something local and tasty, try something new and have a blast, under the Arcade Lights!

Each year, Arcade Lights brings together local favorites and new comers to pedal their wears and get you hooked on their goodness, and this year looks to be no exception. Where else will you find Theo Chocolates, DiLaurenti Food & Wine, Hot Lips Soda, Copperworks Distilling, Morning Glory Chai, Woodinville Ciderworks, Diamond Knot Brewing and many more local loves all at the same place? Only in Seattle, and only at Arcade Lights.  Be sure to check out a full list of vendors and brace yourself for taste bud paradise!    

This year’s event is sponsored by Seattle Met, DRY Sparkling and DEI Creative and, as always, proceeds go to benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation which helps to maintain our market and keep the community thriving.

Grab your tickets before they’re gone, and get ready for fun under the Arcade Lights!

Arcade Lights at Pike Place Market, 7:00 pm, Friday, March 24th Tickets-

General Admission – $60
Tickets include tastes of as many of the hand-crafted savory and sweet bites as your heart desires – while supplies last – and include five tokens for tastes of beer, cider, non-alcoholic drinks such as root beer and sodas and wine. Tasting glass included. Additional tokens will be available for purchase.

Early Entry – $80
Limited Early Entry into Arcade Lights 30-minutes before the General Admission crowd! Includes 5 drink tokens, unlimited food, plus early entry at 6:30 pm.

VIP with Early Entry – $150
VIP guests have exclusive access to the VIP Lounge, which includes seating, music, and exclusive food and beverage tastings from elite vendors. VIP Guests receive 10 drink tokens and UNLIMITED food, and can enter the VIP Lounge at 6:00 pm to begin celebrating before entering the Main Arcade at 6:30PM with Early Entry. VIP guests can use the VIP Lounge at their luxury anytime throughout the night.

Arcade Lights is a 21 and over only event, so please plan accordingly.

For more information, visit the Pike Place Market website.

How tall is Capitol Hill in Seattle?

Volunteer Park SeattleThe highest point on Seattle’s Capitol Hill is 444.5 feet above sea level near the water tower (of course) in Volunteer Park.  How does Capitol Hill compare with other Seattle neighborhoods when it comes to height?  How about 5th behind High Point/Delridge in West Seattle (512 feet), Greenwood (yes, Greenwood) at N 145th St which has conflicting information (492 or 475 feet), Queen Anne (456 feet), and Maple Leaf (455).

According to Wikipedia, Capitol Hill also has half of Seattle’s 12 steepest streets.  The eastern slope just below the arterial on 23rd has most of the steepest street. Roy (21%) and Ward (19%) both between 25th and 26th a long with Highland (18%) and Lee (18%) between 24th and 25th.  The western slope also has their steep streets with Boston (19%) between Harvard and Broadway and Roy (18%) between Melrose and Bellevue.  The Seattle DOT has different grades for these streets although they admit the information may be out of date.  Nonetheless, both agree Capitol Hill has many of Seattle’s steepest streets.

Why did we say “of course”, when we said the highest point in Capitol Hill was by the water tower?  We could explain it, but this water tower article does a better job than we ever would.

Picture above of Volunteer Park Water Tower By Steven Kevil (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (httpcreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons