OLY ARTS is your leading guide to Thurston County entertainment. This newsletter features Alice in Wonderland, Indigo Girls and the best local arts and culture for March 16-22.
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Faith and Begorrah, It's OLY ARTS!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody! Yet again, there's so much terrific live entertainment in downtown Olympia this week, we just can't fit it into our usual three columns. In addition to the events featured below, check out these musical highlights: the Faculty and Friends Concert at North Thurston High School, the Memory and Light choral concert at SPSCC, the French Masters concert by the South Puget Sound College Orchestra, Alex "The Zaniac" Zerbe at the Capitol Theater, Spring Freshness from the Olympia Symphony Orchestra and The Donny McCaslin Quartet of jazz artists at SPSCC's Minnaert Center. (Can you tell it's the first week of spring?) There's also an art workshop about Pottery and Otherness at SPSCC and continuing runs of The Mousetrap at SRO in Yelm and The Understudy at Harlequin Productions. Whew! This double-decker OLY ARTS newsletter is your cultural digest for Thurston County, March 16-22.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Forget everything you know from Disney’s version of Alice. Olympia Family Theater is about to bring forth the world premiere of local thespian Kate Ayers’s original adaptation, and there'll be nary a Tweedledee or -dum in sight. Ayers’s take is based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, while Disney’s classic was based on its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. Directing OFT’s adaptation is its co-founder, artistic director and veteran Alice director Jen Ryle. This is her third time directing this show at OFT, but the first time using an in-house script. “Our Alice is not the snooty Alice from the original story," says Ryle. "There will be many surprises in store for people who think they know what to expect.”

When: 7 p.m. Mar. 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31;
2 p.m. Mar. 18, 19, 25 and 26, Apr. 1 and 2

Where: Olympia Family Theater,
612 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

How much: $13-$19

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Bridget Kibbey
Bridget Kibbey

Emerald City Music is a chamber music series that appeals to all music lovers, not just people who already appreciate classical music. It's bringing master harpist Kibbey to the Washington Center stage. For anyone worried chamber music might be too uptight, one listen to Kibbey should assuage that concern. She shreds on the harp, as much as anyone can be said to shred on a harp. Dexterous fingers fly across strings in complex arpeggios, achieving a melodic percussion that draws the listener in to a reverie. This show performs twice: once in Seattle, and once in Olympia. With Emerald City Music singing chamber music’s praises, now's a great time to dive in with open ears.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18

Where:  The Evergreen State College Recital Hall,
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia

How much: $10-$28

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Indigo Girls

Indigo Girls

During their groundbreaking career, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been perfecting their signature blend of folk and rock, inspiring fans with a strong message of grassroots activism. The Washington Center presents an unforgettable evening with the Grammy-winning duo behind hits like “Closer to Fine,” “Galileo,” "Shame on You" and "Peace Tonight." A special guest artist, Lucy Wainwright Roche, will open the evening; the Indigo Girls will play a 90-minute set after intermission. Lucy Wainwright Roche ("Once In," "Snare Drum") stars as "Jeri" on Stuff You Should Know and is the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche, thus half-sister to Martha and Rufus Wainwright.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 17

Where: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

How much: $23-$72

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Johann Sebastian Bach

St. John's Concert Series: Bach

The 332nd birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach will be celebrated with a 24-hour marathon, with all of Bach’s organ compositions performed by Curt Sather. The marathon begins at midnight and will be streamed around the world. The organ is a 3,800-pipe instrument built in 1967 and recently installed at St. John’s. The marathon raises funds to complete the installation. Organists sometimes present marathon recitals, but rarely of 24 hours. When asked how he can play from midnight to midnight, Sather replied, “This is such great music that I’m never tired of playing it. Just like reading a great novel or traveling to a special destination, I see this as an energizing pilgrimage.”

When: all of Tuesday, March 21

Where: St. John's Episcopal Church,
114 20th Ave. SE, Olympia

How much: free

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Restless Vocal Band

Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival

This popular event brings the vocal acrobatics and stage flair of the a cappella scene to the public in a high-energy sing-off. It's one of eight U.S. regional contests so, by the end of the evening, one group will be selected to compete at the national competition in May. Each of the seven competing ensembles, chosen by Masterworks based on an audio application, will perform a 10-minute set. Participating groups, composed of three to eight members each, will be ranked on musicality and stage presentation by a panel of five judges. Awards will be given for first, second and third place, audience favorite, best original song and best original arrangement. Last year’s regional champion, Restless Vocal Band, will host.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18

Where:  The Washington Center,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

How much: $13-$29

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Elizabeth Lord

StoryOly: Freedom

On the third Tuesday of each month, Rhythm & Rye hosts StoryOly, Olympia’s most beloved “story slam” event. Half the suggested donation to compete or listen goes to Olympia SafePlace. Starting at 5:30 p.m., volunteers throw their names in a hat, and 10 are invited to tell an eight-minute autobiographical story on a pre-supplied topic. A judging panel chooses the winner. (Remember, you can listen to selected stories every Tuesday on The Oly Arts Podcast! See below for download details.) This month, contestants relate personal anecdotes about memorable moments when they received "Mixed Messages." Your host for StoryOly is its co-founder, famed actor and raconteur Elizabeth Lord.

When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 21

Where: Rhythm & Rye,
311 Capitol Way N., Olympia

How much: $5-$10 suggested donation

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Give a Listen to the Free
OLY ARTS Podcast!

Can you believe we post new episodes five times a week?

Oly Appetizer, a guide to local wining and dining, appears now on Mondays.
StoryOly, sponsored by Rhythm & Rye, appears on Tuesdays.
Oly Amplifier, a guide to local music, appears on Wednesdays.
Sound Stages, a guide to local theater, appears on Thursdays.
Oly Update is our preview of the weekend to come, appearing every Friday.

Special thanks to Winderemere Olympia's agent Alan Fuller, the sponsor for The OLY ARTS Podcast!

Find your copy of OLY ARTS's winter 2017 print edition downtown at
every local theater, Batdorf & Bronson, Bread Peddler, Olympia Farmers Market
and many live-art venues!

OLY ARTS is your full-color, expert guide to arts and culture in the Olympia region.
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