February 27, 2015

Special Workshop!! Physical Eloquence: Mime, Gesture, Physical Characters

Michael Trautman
 Michael Trautman has been onstage with the Moisture Festival before as the outrageously funny KING PONG, and we are so excited to have him back this year, and for more than just the festival! Having gone to college to study Political Science with the intention to be a lawyer, Michael eventually realized that a law career did not sound like much fun. He took a mime class and by the next year, had an invitation to be a founding member of a Kansas City based school and performing company, Mimewock. The stage was set, and a life of performing began.

Michel Trautman photo by Michelle Bates
Luckily, Michael likes to share what he has learned about physical stage presence and performing in front of an audience. If you've ever wanted to learn what it takes to combine movement and humor for an audience, here's your chance! Michael will be offering a workshop called Physical Eloquence: Mime, Gesture, Physical Characters. You will learn to understand and use the language of the body and through this physical approach, you will learn to create your own performance material. This will be held Saturday, April 11 at 12 pm at West of Lenin Studio, located at 203 N 36th Street. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here. But hurry! There are only 24 spots available, and they will fill up fast. Don't worry if you're new to this sort of thing... Michael welcomes all experience levels! All that is required is your ticket and enthusiasm! 

Special thanks to our friends at West of Lenin for hosting this workshop!

You can also see him perform at some of the Moisture Festival variete shows! Dates will be posted here very soon! Now's your chance to decide if you want to sit back and laugh or learn to make people laugh (why not both?!). Remember, the workshop has only 24 seats available, so buy your tickets today!!

February 24, 2015

Laughter, Magic, and Whistling

It takes a special kind of person to be on stage at the Moisture Festival in front of an audience night after night. All of our performers are full of personality and have that special quality required to be in the spotlight, so you can be assured that no matter what show you see, you will have a fun and exciting time! Here are a couple of performers you should have on your radar for the 2015 festival.

Ngaio Bealum photo by John Cornicello

Ngaio Bealum was on stage just one night last year at the festival, and the audience wanted more! He started out as a juggler in San Francisco, but now spends most of his time on the road, performing at various festivals, headlining comedy clubs, and occasionally appearing on television shows such as The Sarah Silverman Program and Laughs. Ngaio is also a frequent guest on Doug Benson's podcasts and currently writes for the Sacramento News Review. He even has some feature length film credits under his belt: Nine Months with Hugh Grant,  It Burns When I Laugh, and Hey Monster, Hands Off My City. The latter is a film adaptation of a one-man play that was performed at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 2011. Make sure to check here for your chance to see him this year!

Alfredo Fettuccini photo by Michelle Bates
Alfredo Fettucini has been on the Moisture Festival stage before, but it has been awhile since we've seen him! As a young lad, he began performing in San Francisco, setting a bowl out on the street at the Fisherman's Wharf while performing magic tricks. As it can happen when you have talent and personality, cash appeared and the magic continued. Eventually, Alfredo (we think his real name is Bob), met Tom Noddy (we know his other name is The Bubble Guy), who introduced him to the West Coast vaudeville circuit. Many performances and character inventions later, Bob/fredo was well known and well loved. He doesn't do much performing lately, spending most of his time on his other projects, which include 3D photography and film-making. Don't miss your chance to see him this year at these shows!

Jason Victor Serinus photo by Michelle Bates

How well can you whistle? Do you think you could whistle part of an opera? Jason Victor Serinus can! If you've seen the Peanuts cartoon She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown, you've heard Jason whistle Puccini's "O mio babbino caro" as the voice of Woodstock. Jason is an award-winning whistler, taking home first place in multiple categories at the Carson City, NV Whistle-Offs and the Louisburg, NC International Whistlers' Competition. He was even inducted into the Whistler's Hall of Fame in 2003! Jason has wowed television audiences with his whistling skills on such programs as The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin show, and CBS Sunday Morning. When he isn't whistling, Jason is writing music reviews for online and print publications, as well as editorials and opinion pieces. The whistling is something you'll have to see to believe, so make sure and get tickets to one (or all!) of these shows!

February 19, 2015

Lofty Ladies

Humans have yet to develop wings, but certain people like to defy that fact and fly anyway. The Moisture Festival always features some aerial artists so you can live the dream of flight vicariously through them. Aerial acts can feature various apparatus such as silks, ropes and hoops, and an aerial trapeze can be flying, swinging, or static. Come see these performers (and more!) fly high at the 2015 festival!

Pamela Donohoo

Performing for the first time at the Moisture Festival, Pamela Donohoo is a choreographer, dancer, gymnast and aerial artist who has performed with various performing arts organizations all over the world. She obtained a degree from Stanford University in Cultural and Social Anthropology, and likes to use her amazing kinesthetic talents to create works that highlight social issues around the globe. Pamela says that her vision is to "to generate art that inspires people to think critically and contribute positively to their world." Her piece "Warrior Woman" is an aerial pole and acrobatic dance performance created to pay respect to the peace-building and conflict-enduring women around the world. She has choreographed pieces around other themes such as water, racism and empowerment, and industrialization and sustainability. We are thrilled to have her on stage at this year's Moisture Festival! Check here for showtimes, posted by the end of the month.

Camille Swift photo by Nancy Behall
 Camille Swift is another new face at the festival this year, with training and experience in various aerial arts. She began her training at the Aloft Loft in Chicago, and has also trained in Paris at the Association Volaverunt. Her specialties include static and single-point trapeze. In 2012, Camille started Top Star Trapeze in Champaign, Illinois and has really enjoyed teaching classes that focus on building strength, flexibility, and aerial awareness. One of her newest projects is with Acrobatica Infiniti Circus. This bills itself as a "nerd circus", combining circus, cosplay, and genre fiction. In addition to all of these things, Camille has recently come to Seattle for some training with a Moisture Festival veteran group, Duo Rose. We can't wait to see what she brings to the stage this year! Check back later this month for her performance schedule.

PJ (Jennifer Perry)

This year, we are pleased to welcome a solo act from a very talented aerialist that we've had the pleasure of seeing perform in the past. PJ, also known as Jennifer Perry, has been onstage (abovestage?!) at the Moisture Festival in the past with the Aerialistas, and we are excited to see what she'll do this year. PJ graduated from Western Washington University and is now a Kinesiologist and a Pilates Instructor as well as an aerialist. She has been performing since 2008, both locally and internationally, with the Aerialistas, Dream Science Circus, and the Bellingham Circus Guild. PJ has also spent a year living in Saudia Arabia teaching Pilates to the royal family! Her knowledge of the physical form and ability to utilize that knowledge is something you will definitely want to see! Check here in late February for a schedule of her performances.

February 17, 2015

Clowning Around at the Moisture Festival

Did you know there is actually a word for the fear of clowns? Coulrophobia is a word that hasn't been around for long, showing up mostly online rather than in any known printed dictionary. The clowns coming to this year's Moisture Festival are certainly not scary, though you may find yourself laughing until you cry. Don't be afraid to buy tickets to see these performers!

Imam Lizarazu photo by John Cornicello
First, we have a returning act who has been captivating audiences all over the world with her unique style of clowning. Iman Lizarazu started her stage performance at age six as Mouse in the Nutcracker Ballet. In addition to training in classical ballet, Iman began learning circus arts from the Moscow Circus training gym, and her love of this craft grew. She studied circus in Dresden, miming in Paris, and even astrophysics! Yes, Iman has a PhD in Astrophysics from the Max Planck Institute in Munich. She has been active in both Clowns Without Borders and Doctors Without Borders, performing in Kosovo, St. Petersburg, and Cuba. Nairobi, Africa now has a circus school thanks to Iman! She has been juggling, miming, and clowning her way around the world for years, and we never know when she'll turn up next on the Moisture Festival stage! Make sure you check her performance schedule and get tickets to a show!

Benedikt Negro

 Another talented performer who started performing in a single-digit age is Benedikt Negro. His first professional performance at age nine was as a sideshow artist, making money performing magic at various street festivals. Benedikt's interest in the circus arts grew, and he went to pantomime school in Berlin. After that, he was offered an amazing gig! Since 2002, Benedikt has been the lead character of Cirque du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. In addition to years on the Cirque stage, Benedikt has toured with Circus Apollo and "Hallucination Company". He also teaches a workshop in Mime and Pantomime. We're excited to have him at the festival for the first time in 2015. Benedikt's talents are amazing, so check here to find out when you can see him perform!

Michael Davis
New to the Moisture Festival stage but not new to performing is the intriguing Michael Davis! His clown education began in the 70's when he was handpicked out of over 2,000 applicants to attend Clown College, then spent several years on the road clowning around with the Ringling Brothers Circus. You may have seen him on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Late Night with David Letterman, Sesame Street... the list goes on! He's even performed on Broadway (NYC, not Capitol Hill, Seattle) in "Sugar Babies" with Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller.  To add to the list of places you may have seen him, he's performed as Chef Tad Overdone at Teatro Zinzanni right here in Seattle. We are really excited that the stars have aligned to bring Michael to the Palladium this year! Show times will be posted here by the end of the month, so make sure to check back and grab some tickets for the whole family!

February 13, 2015

Moisture Festival and Teatro ZinZanni Present: MishMash Circus Bash!

MishMash Circus Bash 2014 photo by Michelle Bates
Birds of a feather love to flock together. The clowns are at it again. Following last year's sold out collaboration, an all-new *MishMash Circus Bash* will play for two nights in 2015 (April 7 and 8) under Teatro ZinZanni's famous spiegeltent, the Moulin Rouge! This event is co-presented by Moisture Festival and Teatro ZinZanni and features all-star talent from both organizations. Why do we have such fantastic variety entertainment in Seattle? Teatro ZinZanni led the way presenting the best world-class entertainment in their exciting circus cabaret shows, and Moisture Festival has become an annual gathering place for variety artists. Together these organizations have put Seattle on the map as a world-renowned center for the variety arts. It's a marriage made in varieté heaven.

Teatro Zinzanni
Your party will be seated restaurant-style at tables and in booths in the antique cabaret tent imported from Belgium. The tent is circular and intimate (it seats around 285). The action of the show takes place all around the restaurant and is clearly visible from all vantage points in the room. We offer general admission and premium reserved seating. Seating will be pre-assigned before you arrive for the performance, based on tickets purchased together. Guests in the General Admission Seating section will usually be sharing a table with at least one other party. Private table ticket holders (for two or four) will be seated at premium private tables. If you would like to be seated with or near another party who purchased tickets for the show separately from your party, simply send your request to ticketquestions(at)moisturefestival(dot)org.

The tent will open at 6:30 so you have plenty of time to get comfortable, and have a bite to eat if you choose. The Teatro ZinZanni kitchen will be serving an a la carte menu if you would like to purchase dinner. Food and beverages are not included in the ticket price.  The full bar in the lobby will open at 6pm.   Beverages are also available from your server once you are seated.

You won't want to miss this special event! Get tickets today for Tuesday April 7th or Wednesday Aptil 8th! Early bird discount through Feb 20.

February 12, 2015

Magical Moisture Acts!

The Oxford-English dictionary defines magic as "the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces". One could also define it as "awesome, exhilarating fun" and "something amazing to see at the Moisture Festival". Whatever definition you choose, you'll want to keep your eyes open for these enchanting entertainers!

Jen Kramer
Jen Kramer will be at the Moisture Festival for the first time this year, and we are so excited to have her! She currently headlines a regular show at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort in Las Vegas, and has also performed in multiple countries, on numerous television shows and been profiled in print and online publications. The secret is out... Jen Kramer is marvelously magical!

Somehow, she has also found the time to attend Yale, graduating with distinction in 2014 as a Theater Studies major. During her time there, she was also the founder and president of the Yale Magic Society. Jen has used her talents to bring joy to the Winthrop University Hospital's Cancer Center for Kids, the HUC-JIR soup kitchen in Manhattan, and while in high school, started a magic rehabilitation program at Mount Sinai Hospital.  Oh, and to top it all off, Jen is a black belt in Shotokan Karate! Is there anything she can't do? Check here later this month for showtimes so you can see the magic of Jen Kramer for yourself!

Majinga the Magician
The Moisture Festival is the world's largest and longest running comedy/variete festival, so it makes sense that we would feature a magician who has been performing in the longest-running magic show in the San Francisco Bay area. Majinga the Magician's "Magique Bazaar" has been wowing audiences with magic, variety acts, dancers, and more since 1998. He's even been published... "Book of Magic" from Klutz Press has sold over two million copies, and he's contributed to a handful of other books about magic.

Majinga the Magician was touring Indonesia and China when he saw something fascinating that he could not ignore. "Bian Lian" (change of face) originated over 300 years ago from the Sichuan Opera, and Majinga spent an intense four years studying this feat and creating his own character, Lian Qi Bian. He has respectfully resurrected this ancient art form and astounded audiences at the Magique Bazaar in San Francisco and the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Majinga is a must-see, so make sure you get tickets to one of his performances! Check back at the end of February for show dates and times here.

February 10, 2015

When Half Is Just as Good as a Whole

Some of our acts are going for double duty... being on-stage as a duo, then also performing solo. You will love them together and separately, so make sure not to miss any of these stellar acts at the 2015 Moisture Festival!

Raspyni Brothers photo by John Cornicello

The Raspyni Brothers have been delighting audiences with their hilarious antics for decades, opening for various music and comedic acts, appearing on "The Tonight Show", and have even been awarded World Juggling Champions four times! These unrelated siblings are masterful at taking everyday objects and turning them into interesting, flying objects. They will return this year, so check the list of their show dates right here in the coming weeks. As you can see from this photo, you may even get a chance to be part of the show!

Dan Holzman photo by Mark Gardiner

 One-half of the Raspyni Brothers is Dan Holzman, and we know his solo performance will be a whole lot of fun! He has been juggling since childhood, and has spent some time juggling all kinds of objects. When asked once about what unusual props he has used in a routine, his answer was, "a blowgun, battleaxe, and a head of cabbage." Dan is also in the Guinness Book of World Records, and you may have seen a younger version of him in the 1974 cult classic film "It's Alive!" With so many talents, it's hard to say exactly what he'll bring to the stage this year. Check for his showtimes here later this month.

Kamikaze FireFlies photo by Michelle Bates

Back in 2012, Kamikaze FireFlies wowed our Moisture Festival audience by crowd-surfing the audience in large plastic bubbles. We never know quite what they'll do next, but we do know it is always a good time! The dynamic duo of Rob Williams and Casey Martin will knock your socks off, even if you aren't wearing socks! They have both been involved with performing for delighted audiences for years, so check here to see what dates they will be on the Moisture Festival stage.

Rob Williams photo by John Cornicello

When not performing as a part of the Kamikaze FireFlies, Rob Williams can also be found doing solo performances. The last time he performed solo for the Moisture Festival, we discovered he was great at making sandwiches. You think that sounds kind of unimpressive, and that basically anyone can make a sandwich? What if I told you that from start to finish, opening packages and all, he made the sandwich with his feet? Now THAT is impressive! Don't worry, just like any good chef, he washed up before starting. You won't want to miss whatever Rob dishes up next, so buy tickets to one of the dates we'll list here in the next couple weeks!

February 5, 2015

Frank Olivier's Twisted Cabaret Returns to Seattle!

You've seen the insanely funny antics of Frank Olivier at Moisture Festival, don't miss his one-man-show!

Frank Olivier’s Twisted Cabaret and Pandemonium Vaudeville Show is a one-man show with a cast of a dozen characters, each more talented and demented than the last. Frank Olivier has performed around the globe, bringing his world class comedy juggling act to literally millions of people. In this show, Frank delivers more than just amazing juggling and comedy. Each night Frank takes on a dozen different roles performing a dozen different acts as well as singing and dancing his way into your heart.

Twisted Cabaret opens Thursday night February 5 and runs Thursdays through Sundays in Hale's Palladium for three weeks. 

To learn more about Frank Olivier's Twisted Cabaret, visit the website: www.TwistedCabaret.com
Tickets at:  http://twistedcabaret.strangertickets.com

Fabulous Festival Favorites!

There are some acts that we just love to see return to the festival each year! If you've missed any of these performers before, you can stop kicking yourself and get your tickets now for their 2015 festival performances. The comedic antics of these three performers will have you oooohing, ahhhhing, and making any other sounds of excitement you tend to make when you see impressive feats of physical comedy and dexterous skill.

Henrik Bothe

Henrik Bothe was born in Denmark, but luckily for us, he had access to The Ed Sullivan show. The plate-spinning act set his brain a-spinning, and he began practicing, much to the dismay of his mother's dishes. This led him down the path of performing arts, and he has expanded his abilities beyond plate-spinning to include juggling, balancing, and even escaping a straightjacket WHILE riding a unicycle! Once, he even performed a juggling act on "A Prairie Home Companion". You wouldn't want to miss a performer who is so good that they wanted him to juggle on a radio show! Show dates and times will be posted in late February here.

Lindsay Benner photo by John Cornicello

An act that manages to be both charming and wildly impressive is the talented Lindsay Benner. After receiving her BFA in acting, she continued crafting her talents and expanding her horizons to include solo variety acts. Lindsay has performed at various festivals, college campuses, on television programs such as The Tonight Show and has even appeared in movies! Her unique brand of comedy, juggling, and bringing happiness to audiences all over the world is a must-see. The schedule of performances will soon be updated here, so check back to make sure you get tickets for one of her shows!

Bill Robison

Bill Robison is another fascinating festival favorite that we've enjoyed watching over the years. His high-energy antics will delight everyone in your party, young and old alike. Comedy is an art form, and Bill is certainly an artist! He's been working on bringing laughter and fun to audiences for over 25 years, and some of those audiences have been right here at Hale's Palladium. You may have seen him outside before the festival in his Floaty Boat, playing songs on the ukelele while floating around in his canoe, but if not, check out the video below! You can see Bill's performance schedule on the Moisture stage posted here in late February.

February 3, 2015

Music Groups at Moisture Festival 2015

Part of the great variety of our variete includes musical acts, and we have some talented artists lined up for you this year! These two bands include strong voices and interesting lyrics, both telling stories of sorts while showcasing amazing aural aptitude.

The Bobs photo by John Cornicello

First, we have an A Capella quartet like no other... The Bobs! This Grammy-nominated group takes what you think you know about music and turns it upside-down, and side-ways, cross-wise... you get the point. Though they started their musical career performing uniquely arranged covers of popular songs, the Bobs have created their own songs over the years and released a number of albums, including 2013's "Biographies", highlighting famous and not-so-famous people throughout history.

It has been over 30 years since the Bobs first sang a note together, and though the owners of the voices have changed, the group remains a strong, cohesive vocal unit that will make you smile with their captivating harmonies and clever lyrics. The Seattle Times once described them as "a musical equivalent of a Gary Larson drawing", but you won't have to go to the Far Side to see them. Just check here for show dates, grab your friends and family, and head on over to Hale's Palladium to see the Bobs!

Uncle Bonsai photo by Michelle Bates

Another band you won't want to miss is Uncle Bonsai. This group adds an acoustic guitar to their three part vocal harmonies, and humorous and sometimes strange lyrics weave stories to entertain you. In 2013, they released a "bedtime book for grownups", The Monster in the Closet/Go to Sleep. This book of 2 songs, illustrated by the band members, also includes a recording of the songs, showing that this band can take it to the next level with multimedia offerings.

Having started performing in the early 80's, Uncle Bonsai has opened for many well known bands, including the Bobs! After an eight year hiatus, they reunited in 1998 to create more sonic stories, and now continue to titillate us with their tales. Chris Lunn with Victory Music Review said Uncle Bonsai "are one of the best things to erupt since Mount St. Helens... as startling as a dog with good breath." We think they are just delightful and are thrilled to have them back at the festival. Check here in late February for showtimes.