Seattle Arts Events


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.


As summer winds down, fall arts are in full swing. The annual Seattle Fringe Festival celebrates live theater and performance with 22 new productions this year. This five-day festival takes the stages of some of Seattle’s most known fringe theatre stages, such as Annex Theater, the Northwest Film Forum, Eclectic Theater, and Calamus Auditorium at Gay City Arts. It runs from September 17th through 21st.

The Fringe Festival features an eclectic mix of local and visiting artists, genres and styles. All venues are within walking distance.  Each live performance runs no more than one hour long, and tickets are just $10. Featured artists were chosen through a lottery among those who applied for a spot.

Click here for a detailed schedule of Seattle Fringe Festival. Check out comments and highlights from participants and audience members below: 

Featured photo from seattlefringefestival.org
Seattle Fringe Festival

  1. Check out the Seattle Fringe Festival this weekend! Live, affordable art. Can’t beat that:  http://ow.ly/BEKda 
  2. Seattle Fringe Festival offers 22 inexpensive shows: Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson reports:  http://bit.ly/1oyJr83 
  3. The Seattle Fringe Festival starts today! Woo-hoo! The next 5 days are going to be jam packed with incredible…  http://fb.me/3a22Hsnvs 


Seattle is known for its innovation and progressive thinking, creating a supportive community for designers and artists to grow and collaborate. All of these ideas come together at the Seattle Design Festival, which celebrates the ways design makes life better. The festival began on September 5th and ends on September 19th, providing two weeks of workshops, discussions, gatherings and events to facilitate the exchange of creative ideas.

This year, the Seattle Design Festival (SDF) focuses on Design in Motion—the ways in which design moves us from place to place, frame to frame, present to future. There are still a few days left of events before the closing party, so get involved! Click here for a detailed schedule of events.

With so many pieces to the SDF puzzle it’s difficult to highlight just one, or even a few, of the festival’s events. Check out below how attendees and organizers enjoyed this year’s Design in Motion celebrations. Way to keep the creativity flowing, Seattle!

Featured photo via Seattle Design Festival.

Seattle Design Festival 2014

Seattle Design Festival 2014

  1. The Seattle Design Festival delivered dancing crayons, community murals and friendship bracelets. Not… http://t.co/zKecUBR8xy
    The Seattle Design Festival delivered dancing crayons, community murals and friendship bracelets. Not…  http://instagram.com/p/soA0c-R61D/ 
  2. The Design Festival’s architectural walking tour isn’t in Gtown, but we’re fans of Capitol Hill too!  http://fb.me/1HlEC46MA 
  3. Lots of nice stuff at the Showcase14 Pop-Up Shop #sdf2014 @ Seattle Design Festival http://t.co/8MoM3MiTho
    Lots of nice stuff at the Showcase14 Pop-Up Shop #sdf2014 @ Seattle Design Festival  http://instagram.com/p/sqcKY1BQfN/ 
  4. Seattle Design Festival: Designing For Flight by AIA Seattle Women In Design  http://shar.es/11FRk0  via @RunwayGirl there figured it out!
  5. We are part of the Seattle Design Festival this year and will be showcasing our facility on Thursday at 5:30 p.m….  http://fb.me/1A26hQ9Tx 
  6. Great discussion on affordability and growth in Seattle earlier today at the Seattle Design Festival. #SDF14 http://t.co/W1F7J9dff9
    Great discussion on affordability and growth in Seattle earlier today at the Seattle Design Festival. #SDF14 pic.twitter.com/W1F7J9dff9
  7. The Seattle Design Festival is happening until Sept 15th, featuring a ton of design-inspired events:  http://ow.ly/BfYZM  #artSEA