Friday, March 25, 2022

Sara Gettys ‘Warmer Days’ at Childhood’s End

Reviewed by Alec Clayton
In the early-to-mid 20th century, commercial art and comic art were considered something less than fine art. And then along came Andy Warhol with his soup cans and multiple celebrity portraits and Roy Lichtenstein with his blown-up comic strip images and the surrealistic comic art of the Chicago School, a.k.a. the Hairy Who. The border between so-called fine art and comics and advertisements vanished, and many people didn’t know what to take seriously and what to ridicule. As the song says, “Anything Goes.”

There are elements of all these approaches to art in Sara Gettys’ exhibition “Warmer Days” at Childhood’s End Gallery. In the front window hangs the massive “Exuberance,” a painting in acrylic on wood of two black bunnies boxing. The exuberant flair of this painting will hopefully draw many pedestrians and motorists into the gallery where they will find almost a hundred works of art by Getty, including paintings and porcelain/mixed media sculptures — all colorful, playful, and exciting. Yet, as playful and cartoonish as they are, this is serious art.

Her images are mostly of rabbits with a few horses and birds and flowers thrown in. Her sculptures include bowls, plates, and flowerpots with fantasy flowers that stand alone or hang on walls. Edges of shapes in her paintings are generally hard, but the paint application within shapes varies from smoothly to roughly brushed with interior patterns of dots or stripes, and large swaths of color. In other words, the rabbits and birds and flowers appear on first look to be flat cut-out shapes adhered to canvas or wood with all the painting being patterns and shapes within them.

“Hare” is a large red and pink head of a rabbit with overlapping areas of color and a dot pattern outside the image on a ground that appears to be behind the rabbit in places and to overlap the rabbit in other places.

“Rabbit 1-16” is a stacked series of 16 paintings with paper, ink, and thread with large areas of loosely brushed red, blue, turquoise, and orange with line drawings of rabbit heads that weave in and out.

“After Everything We’ve Been Through” pictures the silhouette of a bird soaring from bottom right to upper left with inside the silhouette expressively painted areas of yellow, orange and blue.

“Big Agave” dominates the back wall of the gallery going almost floor to ceiling. It pictures a stylize red agave plant above a line drawing in white and blue of three rabbits.

“Dream Rabbit in Moonlight” is a black porcelain rabbit imprisoned by what appears to be bands of gold duct tape. It is a morbid image among so many playful images.

Overall, this is an impressive show and a bright welcome to the warmth of spring after a long and depressive winter and fall. In a statement on the gallery website, Gettys said "Warmer Days is a project I started as a way to push back on the chill dreary days of our PNW winter and the anxiety and uncertainty of the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic."

On Dec 6th, 2021, the Cultural Key to the City was awarded by Mayor Selby to Childhood’s End owners, Bill and Richenda Richardson, followed by the Business of the Year award from the Olympia Downtown Alliance

Sara Gettys ‘Warmer Days’
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Childhood’s End Gallery
222 4th Ave W Olympia

Monday, March 21, 2022

God Said This at Dukesbay Productions


Reviewed by Alec Clayton

Jim Winkler and Aya Hashiguchi

James (Jim Winkler) is a gruff, profane and loveable Kentucky hillbilly, a recovering alcoholic obsessed with collecting and selling rocks. He serves as character in and narrator of Leah Nanako Winkler’s God Said This. The “audience” to his narration are fellow alcoholics (not seen on stage) at his AA meeting. He opens the play by introducing himself and saying he’s an alcoholic, that his wife, Masako (Aya Hashiguchi), is in the hospital with cancer, that his oldest daughter, Hiro (Leilani Berinobis), hates him, and his youngest daughter, Sophie (Jasmine Jaqua), has found religion. James and Hiro think Sophie’ religiosity is absurd, but Masako prays with her, and that just might have healing power.

During his drinking days, James was an abusive father. Now he wants to make up with his daughters, but they’re having nothing to do with it.

Hiro is a worldly rebel determined to crush the expectations of a dutiful Japanese-American girl. All of the women, in fact, shatter the cliched images of Japanese women, and James is nothing like the stereotypical redneck alcoholic. They are all well-rounded complex human beings.

Enter John (Jacob Tice), Hiro’s old high school friend. He is a single father who never left his Kentucky home, and Hiro assumes he’s a downhome, uncomplicated playboy. They get drunk and high together, and Hiro wants to “make out” (her term) with him. But he wants nothing to do with that. He wants their friendship to be one-hundred percent platonic (his terminology)—proving that he, like all the family, fits no stereotypes. He has a post-graduate degree and is dedicated to loving and protecting his thirteen-year-old son.

The cast is outstanding, including Berinobis as Hiro is a stand-in for the originally cast actor and had only four rehearsals before opening night. She performed with script in hand but did not need it all the time and did not let that hamper her performance.

Both Winkler and Tice fit so smoothly into their roles that it seems they are not acting at all.

Hashiguchi plays the wife/mother, Masako, as brave and loving with the sweetest of smiles, but

Hiro (Leilani Berinobis) and John (Jason Tice)

she sometimes breaks down into unstoppable sobbing.

Jaqua’s Sophie is the only character who comes close to behaving like the sweet and dutiful Japanese daughter. She is quiet and seemingly shy but stands up bravely in the practice of her brand of Christianity and surprises everyone from time to time with her rebelliousness (smoking a joint, for instance).

The family was not able to get along in the past, but in coming together to be with Masako they learn to forgive and to love one another.

Kudos to director Randy Clark, sound designer Niclas Olson and lighting designer Michelle Weingarden Bandes for their excellent work.

God Said This was the 2018 winner of the Yale Drama series competition chosen by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Aktar, who described it as conveying “a deeply felt sense of the universal—of the perfection of our parents’ flawed love for each other and for us . . .”


God Said This

7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through April 3

Dukesbay Theater, 508 6gh Ave. upstairs above the Grand Cinema (no handicap access)

$15 at

Sunday, March 6, 2022

A Chorus Line at Tacoma Little Theatre



The ever popular A Chorus Line was scheduled to open at Tacoma Little Theatre two years ago but got shut down by Covid. Finally it’s back, with direction and choreography by Eric Clausell and musical direction by Jeff Bell.

From the pen of legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch, come seventeen Broadway hopefuls who divulge their very touching life stories as they sing and dance their hearts out in a cattle-call style audition for a new Broadway musical.

A Chorus Line brilliantly evokes both the glamour and grind of showbiz, and is the musical for everyone who’s ever had a dream and put it all on the line. The iconic score of this Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winner features such classics as “What I Did for Love,” “One,” “I Hope I Get It”, “Singular Sensation” — and let’s not forget the hilarious “Tits and Ass.”

Tacoma Little Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line features: Heather Adams Arneson as Lara, Ian Bartlett as Mark, Haunz Stroschein as Gregory, Mallory Carbon as Judy, Richard Cubi as Mike, Loucas Curry as Richie, Roycen Daley as Paul, Emma Deloye as Maggie, Nick Fitzgerald as Bobby, Valentine Fry as Kristine, Melanie Gladstone as Val, Anna Herron as Vicky, Keola Holt as Diana, Devin Jackson as Ensemble, Danielle Locken as Sheila, Annelise Martin as Ensemble, Allen Melo as Ensemble, Derek Mesford as Don, Rebecca Nason as Ensemble, Micheal O’Hara as Zach, Alan Plaster as Ensemble, Whitney Shafer as Cassie, Natalie Silva as Bebe, Josh Wingerter as Al, Hannah Ashcraft as Ensemble, and Thea Frances Yumang as Connie.


7:30 p.m.   Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through April 3.  


Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I Street, Tacoma


$29.00, $27.00 (Seniors 60+/Students/Military), and $22.00 (Children 12 and under), pay what you can March 24

A Chorus Line is recommended for ages 12 and up. 

TLT requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the door for all audience members and masks will also be required while inside the building.  For our full COVID-19 protocols please visit

Photo courtesy of Dennis K Photography