Mount Baker Theatre to collect donated prom, princess dresses at 'Beauty and the Beast'

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 2, 2013 

In conjunction with the staging of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" Monday and Tuesday, May 6-7, at Mount Baker Theatre, theater staff will collect gently used prom and princess dresses at both shows to distribute to the YWCA and to Blue Skies for Children.

The YWCA has long had a program to distribute clothing to women who, for a variety of reasons, need assistance, whether clothing for job interviews, for back-to-school or for help in a crisis.

Blue Skies for Children has several programs that assist children, and in 2012 received the Chamber of Commerce's Non-Profit of the Year award.

Patrons coming to either show are welcome to bring one or more gently used, laundered princess dress for young girls or prom dress for teens. After the touring company leaves, theater staff will take the princess dresses to Blue Skies and take the prom dresses to the YWCA.

EVENT AT BAYOU OYSTER BAR BENEFITS 'GOLD TIME GIRLS' DOCUMENTARY

Join Bellingham's Good Time Girls and Sarah Goodin for an evening of entertainment from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Bayou's Oyster Bar, 1300 Bay St.

The fundraiser supports the ongoing production of a feature-length documentary film about Sara Holodnick and Marissa McGrath, who started and lead the Good Times tours and research the history of liquor and the legal sex trade in early Bellingham.

The event will feature the Good Time Girls performing a saucy version of "Drunk History." Goodin will perform two songs written for the film by director Dan Hammill.

"This is a great opportunity to support local filmmaking while having a very unique experience out on the town," Hammill said.

Included in the $25 admission are a champagne toast, oysters and appetizers. Tickets are on sale through Brown Paper Tickets. Details: Good Time Girls on Facebook.

PICKFORD TO SHOW SNEAK PREVIEWS OF MOVIES

Pickford Film Center is among 20 nationwide markets selected by distribution innovator Gathr Films to hold sneak previews of first-run films ahead of the studios' New York and Los Angeles theatrical openings. The program will have year-round offerings, with four films or more per month.

Gathr Films' approach recently shook up the film distribution landscape with the successful nationwide release of the documentary "Girl Rising."

"Pickford Film Center is thrilled to be a part of Gathr Previews, which brings back the excitement of being the first in the neighborhood to see great films on the big screen, before their wide release," Michael Falter, program director at Pickford, said in a press release. "Our film fans will have the opportunity to be local and national taste-makers."

Coming up Saturday, May 4, is "The Iceman," starring Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder.

Also in the same series, on May 9, is "Everything Went Down," a collaborative musical by Emmy-winning Portland filmmaker Dustin Morrow, Seattle indie-rocker Kate Tucke, and Vancouver theater artist Noah Drew. The feature-length film was shot in Bellingham.

The film follows a young professor (played by Drew) who has become a shell of a person following the death of his wife. At the same time, a young singer- songwriter (Tucker) has begun to lose faith in the struggle to make a name for herself as a musician. Bogged down by the pressure to turn her art into commerce, she has lost sight of why she wanted to make music in the first place.

Unfolding over the space of a few weeks, the film chronicles the budding friendship between the professor and singer, as the energy and beauty of her music begins to bring him back to life, and the value of her music to him reawakens her to the merits of making music.

The film was inspired by Morrow's work with music therapy and music education programs. A portion of profits from the release will be donated to music therapy programs for children. Details: pickfordfilmcenter.org, www.gathr.us.

UPFRONT PLANS 27-HOUR IMPROV MARATHON

Improvisers from The Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St., will perform 27 straight hours of improv on stage starting at 8 p.m. Friday, May 3, and ending at 11 p.m. Saturday May 4. A new show starts every hour on the hour, including The Upfront's most popular improv formats.

Audience members can buy tickets to see individual shows or buy a "stay-as-long-as-you-can" pass that's good until they exit the theater. There will also be a limited number of "hardcore" passes for people who want to try to stay the entire time.

Successful "hardcore" audience members win a three-month pass to shows at The Upfront, and a poster signed by the performers. Food, beverages and stretch breaks will be provided.

Local nonprofit groups will participate by trying to log as many hours in the audience as possible for their organization. The nonprofit with the most audience hours will win a fundraiser benefit show by The Upfront. Last year's winner was Camp Lutherwood.

Most tickets will be sold only at the door, based on availability. Individual shows are $5 or $10, depending on the hour. The "stay-as-long-as-you-can" pass is $20; a "hardcore" pass is $35.

Only 50 "hardcore" passes will be available, available online at theupfront.com. Nonprofits that want to participate can call 360-733-8855.

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