by Kirby LindsayMoisture Festival (MF) can be very difficult to describe. In its 7th year, the Comedy/Varietè show, with vaudevillian aspects, inspires delight and excitement in those who’ve experienced it, and bewilderment in those who say, “Moisture what?”
In November 2009, Festival organizers published a book of Moisture (available at Fremont Place Books) with a sample of the ump-teen-illion incredible images taken by their three official photographers – Michelle Bates, John Cornicello and Mark Gardiner. At a January Fremont Chamber of Commerce meeting, Ron Bailey, MF Development Director and Founder, explained that the book works well to explain the show to the uninitiated.
Still, the best way to find out why fans get gleeful as Moisture nears is to attend a show. In 2010 Moisture has moved into more venues, with over 100 dancers, jugglers, musicians, magicians, strippers, singers, comics, clowns, contortionists, aerialists, bubble blowers, and general miscellaneous performers. Haven’t gotten tickets to Moisture yet? What could you possibly be waiting for?
A Venue Near You
For the first time, Moisture Festival will travel to Open Space for Arts & Community (18870 103rd Ave SW) on Vashon Island and the Georgetown Ballroom (5623 Airport Way S). “Both of those places have large artists’ communities,” Bailey explained, and in Georgetown, “the neighborhood business district found enough sponsors to support the event.”
On March 26 & 27 Moisture will stage three Varietè shows on Vashon, with tickets available to purchase on-line, and through Vashon’s Books By The Way. On April 2 & 3, the last weekend of the Festival, Moisture moves to Georgetown for three Varietè shows.
Fremont remains home for a majority of Moisture. From March 18 – April 4, Hale’s Palladium (4301 Leary Way NW) will convert into a boisterous Big Top. Since 2005, Mike Hale has generously made his one-time keg storehouse available – and Moisture organizers have repaid this generosity by steadily improving the space.
According to Bailey, the Festival offers “the best of both worlds – the funky Hale’s Palladium and the classy ACT.” For, in addition to the old-world circus charm of the Palladium, since 2007 ACT – A Contemporary Theatre (7th & Union), in Downtown Seattle, has welcomed Moisture Festival’s Liberty Burlesque. “It’s kind of cool for the artists to be in a real theater,” Bailey commented.
The Festival kicked-off their 2010 season at the Falls Theater at ACT on March 11, with Varietè and Burlesque shows. Liberty Burlesque returns there on April 1, 2 & 3 (tickets available through the ACT box office.)
When a Show Becomes More
Additionally, Moisture Festival has collaborated with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) for three select screenings. At the SIFF Cinema (321 Mercer Street) at Seattle Center, Moisture Festival will host the West Coast premiere of the documentary “Dirty Martini & The New Burlesque” on March 29. Director, Gary Beeber, and his subject, Miss Dirty Martini, will be on hand for the show. They will also offer the ventriloquists’ documentary, “I’m No Dummy” on March 30 and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” on March 31, each with a special live Festival performance. Tickets can be purchased through the SIFF Box Office.
Also, every year the Festival schedules special fundraising shows. This year they will raise money, on March 19 at 10:30p.m., for recording the fantastic final CD from now-disbanded Circus Contraption, (expect a few special Circus guests!) On March 20, at 3 p.m. at Hale’s, proceeds go to a scholarship fund for SANCA (School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts), Seattle’s own non-profit circus school. The annual “Aerlift” aerial fundraiser, presented by The Aerial Army of Love takes flight Wednesday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. Finally, 15% of proceeds from the 3 p.m. show on March 27 at Open Space goes to Vashon Youth & Family Services.
For those new to Moisture, never before have there been so many great opportunities to get the habit. For those who already familiar with this marvelous mayhem, do not delay! Tickets go quickly, and then the chance for Moisture is gone for another year…
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.