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  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|May 16, 2024

    Starting Saturday, nature and train buffs can pedal on railroad tracks on the 13-mile roundtrip from the former Simpson Lumber Camp 1 to Shelton West of U.S. Highway 101 and back, past Dayton farmlands and into the woods along the Goldsborough Creek. Vance Creek Railriders offer trips on the four-seat railriders at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. on Thursdays through Mondays, with no service on Tuesday or Wednesday. Patrons are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to check in at the of...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 16, 2024

    After a quartet of specials near the end of last year, the latest season of "Doctor Who" is underway on its new American streaming home of Disney+, so with a little more than three aired episodes under his belt, it's time to take stock of the 15th Doctor, played by Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa. Alert viewers may have already spotted Gatwa as one of the army of Kens who populated the cast of last year's "Barbie" (sporting frosted blond hair, no less), but what strikes me about his...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|May 9, 2024

    Set in 1595, the musical "Something Rotten!" follows the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, who struggle to find success in the theatrical world as they compete with the wild popularity of their contemporary William Shakespeare. "They'll lose their financial support if they don't write a hit play," said Michelle Whittaker, who directs the Connection Street Theatre production that opens Saturday in Shelton. "And Shakespeare is like the Elvis of his day." But the brothers are sidetracked by...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 9, 2024

    It looks like Forks won't be the only corner of the Olympic Peninsula to gain fame from a supernatural entertainment franchise, given the critical and audience acclaim that Netflix's "Dead Boy Detectives" have garnered since all eight episodes of their first season began streaming April 25. The original "Dead Boy Detectives" were co-created by writer Neil Gaiman for his DC Comics Vertigo imprint series, "The Sandman," and just as Netflix began adapting that 75-issue, 1989-96 comic book title wit...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 2, 2024

    It's a rare treat for me to be able to review the work of a hyper-local filmmaker, at the very least because they tend to be savvy enough to take advantage of the natural landscapes we share here in the Northwest. When Bainbridge Island-based Rachel Noll James wrote, directed, co-produced and starred in "Ingress," she made it practically in her backyard, but the meditative sci-fi film has more than pleasant settings to recommend it. That being said, cinematographer Dan Clarke deserves...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 25, 2024

    In the 2004 movie "Mean Girls," formerly homeschooled Cady Heron (played by Lindsay Lohan) is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school - until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, the ex-boyfriend of the alpha Plastic, Regina George. The movie, written by former "Saturday Night Live" head writer and "30 Rock" creator Tina Fey, was transformed into a musical that debuted on Broadway in 2018. The Shelton High School Drama Club brings the story to life in...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Apr 25, 2024

    After seeing her star-making turn in Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon" last year, all that Hulu had to do to get me to watch its true-crime miniseries "Under the Bridge," which began streaming its first two episodes April 17, was to cast Oscar-nominated Native American actress Lily Gladstone as one of its leads. Gladstone plays Saanich Police Officer Cam Bentland, a composite character representing local law enforcement in this miniseries' dramatization of the real-life 1997 murder...

  • Two poets present works at Shelton library

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 25, 2024

    Two poets who combine poetry and their work in psychology, both residents at Hypatia-in-the-Woods in Mason County, will share their works aloud at the Shelton Timberland Library. Kripi Malviya, an existential psychologist and poet from India, reads her poems from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday. Malviya’s work has been published in World Literature Review, the Sky Island Journal, Muse and the Black Warrior Review. She is the winner of the 2017 Rhythm Divine International Poetry Chapbook contest for her first poetry collection, “ale(theia).” Malviya runs...

  • Songs about tangoing Martians and colonoscopies

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 25, 2024

    Seattle singer/songwriter Deb Seymour writes tunes about hitchhiking chickens in electric cars, tango dancing with Martians and the absurd indignities of undergoing a colonoscopy. “Life is so difficult you can’t take it seriously sometimes,” Seymour said in an interview with the Journal from her home in Ballard. The performer one fan described as a combination of Joni Mitchell and Lucille Ball brings her original tunes, a few covers and comic banter to a concert at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Germain’s Episcopal Church, 600 N. Lake Cushman Road, H...

  • Minneapolis folk duo returns to Hoodsport

    Gordon Weeks|Apr 11, 2024

    In the spring of 1977, a young woman with long flowing hair and a guitar caught the eye of Curtis Teague on a beach in Santa Cruz, California. He ran down a trail to greet the stranger. "I appraised her with loving eyes and said, 'I play guitar too,' " he recalled in a telephone interview with the Journal Monday. "I said, 'That's nice,'" Loretta Simonet remembered. Curtis returned five minutes later with a mandolin. They played together publicly that night at her scheduled gig, and they've been...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Apr 11, 2024

    I'd meant to see "Dumb Money" near the end of last year, but recent absurdities in the news had me feeling weirdly nostalgic for the comparatively quaint online firestorms of the COVID era. Indeed, while the art of cinema has progressed now to where many movies have incorporated the realities of social media into their narratives, "Dumb Money" is the first film I've ever seen in which Reddit, as a forum, has legitimately earned a supporting cast member credit. Because the filmmakers wisely...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 28, 2024

    In playwright Susan Sandler's charming comedy "Crossing Delancey," Isabelle Grossman seems to be living the dream. She has a rent-controlled apartment in New York City's Upper West Side, a job at a prestigious independent bookstore, lots of friends and a handsome local author to dream about. However, none of this matters to Bubbie, a strong-minded traditional Jewish grandmother who worries that her granddaughter is living alone. Unbeknownst to Isabelle, Bubbie hires a marriage broker, who introd...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 28, 2024

    As was the case with 2021's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," I registered the divergence in reactions to "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire." As with the previous film, many reviewers can't seem to stand it, whereas audience reaction scores have been overwhelmingly positive. "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" is not a film whose screenplay will be studied by future film nerds for how well-constructed it is, in the way the original "Ghostbusters" and 1985's "Back to the Future" are now. But what's ironic is...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 21, 2024

    Steven Delopoulos and Johnny Phillips from the band Burlap to Cashmere perform The Sounds of Silence Tribute at 7 p.m. Friday at the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center. The duo sings the songs of Simon and Garfunkel and other singer/songwriters of that era, including Bob Dylan, John Denver, Harry Chapin, Cat Stevens and Don McLean. As members of the band Burlap to Cashmere, the two have opened for Elvis Costello, Hootie and the Blowfish, Bob Weir and REO Speedwagon, and recently,...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 21, 2024

    I somehow missed "Saint Maud," the 2019 debut film by writer-director Rose Glass, but after seeing "Love Lies Bleeding," which Glass directed and co-wrote with Weronika Tofilska, I'm definitely checking out whatever she has to offer from this point forward. "Love Lies Bleeding" is quite possibly an even more lesbian film than "Drive-Away Dolls," which I reviewed just a few weeks ago, but this is in no way a criticism. For a London-born gal whose lifespan post-dates the 1980s, Glass has a knack...

  • Satire, murder mystery on North Mason stage

    Gordon Weeks|Mar 7, 2024

    North Mason High School Drama Club students perform two one-act plays - "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "The Still Alarm" - at 7 tonight, Friday and Saturday in the school's theater at 71 E. Campus Drive in Belfair. Regular admission is $8, with students with an ASB card admitted for $5. Both one-act plays are old-time classics: "The Still Alarm" is 99 years old and "Sorry, Wrong Number" debuted during World War II. Drama Club Advisor Hilary Gennaro said she considered modern one-act plays for the...

  • 'Dune: Part Two' finally delivers what Herbert's novel deserves

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 7, 2024

    Denis Villeneuve stuck the landing. I've only followed Villeneuve's filmmaking career since "Sicario" in 2015 - he's been directing feature films since 1998 - but every film he's made from "Sicario" forward, including 2016's "Arrival," 2017's "Blade Runner 2049" and 2021's "Dune," has been virtually flawless. "Dune: Part Two" is no exception, as Villeneuve gives Frank Herbert's 1965 epic science fiction novel the cinematic adaptation it's always deserved. Even brilliant auteurs that include...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Feb 29, 2024

    Alicia Healey and Wes Wedell are Seattle singer/songwriters who draw inspiration from their rural roots and have collaborated musically for more than two decades. The two perform in concert at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Germain's Episcopal Church, 600 N. Lake Cushman Road, Hoodsport. Admission is a suggested donation of $15, but no one will be turned away. Each will perform a set of original songs. "I will be backing him up, and he'll be backing me up," Healey said in a joint telephone interview...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Feb 29, 2024

    Minor spoiler to start: "Drive-Away Dolls," contrary to its mildly misleading trailer, is not set in the 21st century. This matters because this period piece from 1999 is probably a golden mean between an absence of cellphones, whose presence would preclude most of this film's plot points, and a relative level of LGBTQ acceptance in society, which allows our lesbian protagonists to be careless over the course of their misadventures. It also matters because "Drive-Away Dolls" represents a...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Feb 22, 2024

    The British classical crossover group Vox Fortura performs at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center. The trio's eclectic set can include everything from Elgar and Bizet's "Pearl Fishers" to David Bowie, John Legend and Ed Sheeran. The group was a semifinalist on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent." The Mason County Community Concerts Association presents the show as part of its annual program. Single-concert tickets are $30 for adults, with children under age 18...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Feb 22, 2024

    This year's Academy Awards are coming up next month, but I've never been any good at predicting the winners, so I thought I'd look back at a film that was nominated for eight Academy Awards 30 years ago and didn't win one. When "The Remains of the Day" premiered in 1993, my tastes ran more toward Miramax than Merchant Ivory, but a family friend recently suggested to my mother, the retired English teacher, that they give the film a second viewing. My mom had taught the 1989 Booker Prize-winning...

  • Getting Out

    Gordon Weeks|Feb 8, 2024

    The long-running soap opera "The Bold and the Young" is in its last days. The hunky hero has self-esteem issues, the actor playing the villainous old man on the series for 40 years is more interested in soup, and the heroines are slightly psychopathic. The executive producer gives the squabbling cast an ultimatum: complete one episode overnight or the show dies. But when the director ends up murdered, the other cast members start dying. Can the cast discover the murderer before the show is...

  • In the Dark Reviews

    Kirk Boxleitner|Feb 8, 2024

    In adapting Martin Amis' 2014 novel, "The Zone of Interest" to the big screen, writer-director Jonathan Glazer takes seriously the phrase, "the banality of evil," originally popularized by Hannah Arendt in 1963. Arendt and Glazer express the legacy of the Nazis during World War II by focusing on how they hid their evil in plain sight, behind a screen of domestic mundanity. Glazer's adaptation of "The Zone of Interest" lacks a plot, as it centers on German SS officer Rudolf Höss (played by...

  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Jan 25, 2024

    Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, a former Los Angeles Raiders cheerleader, was a fledging standup comic when her YouTube clip "Nail Salon" attracted a reported 100 million views. Her character of a Vietnamese-American nail salon employee named My Linh/Tammy changed her life, Johnson-Reyes said in a telephone interview with the Journal from Los Angeles. "I had nothing to my name and then I'm on a hit TV show and touring the country," she said. Johnson-Reyes performs shows at 6 and 9 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Litt...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jan 25, 2024

    It's a measure of how far pop culture has progressed that "The Iron Claw" is neither Zac Efron's first critically praised performance, nor is it the first film about professional wrestling to earn critical acclaim. "The Wrestler" revitalized Mickey Rourke's career 16 years ago, and Efron's performance was the best thing about "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" five years ago, but what still makes "The Iron Claw" stand out is how successfully it simulates a specific era of professional...

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