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Shows

    January 2017

    Off Broadway’s only improvised pirate musical – “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told” – will be performed at Gesa Power House Theatre on Friday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m.

    Think “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets “Whose Line is it Anyway?” – with a splash of “Monty Python”, “Gilbert & Sullivan” and “Mad Libs” tossed into the mix!
    Flung into the future by a musical-loving Sea Witch, a crew of misfit pirates-turned-actors must now perform the greatest pirate epic ever seen on stage! But when their script is partially obscured by a tragic squid ink accident, the crew must turn to the audience to fill in the missing bits of the plot. Cast members improvise their musical adventure, seamlessly weaving the audience suggestions into scenes, songs and more!

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    February 2017

    Gesa Power House Theatre presents “Jazz Noir” by the Dmitri Matheny Group on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 7:00PM.

    “Jazz Noir” puts a fresh spin on familiar TV and movie themes (film noir, spy thrillers and crime dramas), and includes new works and jazz classics. Highlights of the concert include a Noir Medley of cinematic favorites (Touch of Evil, Laura, Chinatown, Vertigo, Taxi Driver, Blues in the Night) and an original Crime Scenes suite – a dreamlike series of vignettes linked together with voice-over narrative in the hard-boiled detective style of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

    Directed by Dmitri Matheny (“one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” —International Review of Music), the Dmitri Matheny Group has developed an engaging repertoire and a strong international following. The group’s signature sound pleases both crowds and critics, balancing fresh, original works with familiar jazz classics, hard bop, west coast cool and selections from their 10 critically-acclaimed albums.

    Dmitri Matheny has performed with the Temptations, the Four Tops, Bobby Rydell, and Frankie Avalon and the O’Jays, and he appears on more than 70 albums as composer, arranger, producer, annotator, or flugelhorn soloist.

    Matheny’s film scoring and soundtrack credits include the PBS documentary Mary, Paradox & Grace (1996), the short film Greenhorn Creek (1997), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art production Voices & Images of California Art (1997), and the RKO Pictures feature film Shade (2003), directed by Damian Nieman and starring Gabriel Byrne, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith, Thandie Newton, Sylvester Stallone and Stewart Townsend.

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    Walla Walla Valley Honda presents the first show in the 2017 Little Watts Children’s Series of Family Entertainment – “Benjamin Franklin” – Friday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m. Meet the intrepid inventor, quipping author, productive scientist, and founding father: Mr. Benjamin Franklin. You’ll travel with him, meet his friends, help him in his work and learn all about the courageous and diligent man who tamed electricity with a kite and a key. Enjoy a fascinating and humorous romp with one…

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    March 2017

    Focus on Cancer of Walla Walla will present a fundraiser and auction to benefit Team Julianna at Gesa Power House Theatre on Saturday, March for at 6:00 p.m. Activities will include music by Frog Hollow Band, live and silent auctions, and local wine.

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    Former New York actor/director, and star of The Last Five Years will teach a workshop on Sunday, March 5, from 2 to 6 p.m. on the elements of live performance and creating original theater.

    Actor-students will participate in group exercises highlighting aspects of storytelling through performance. They will then use what they have learned to workshop and create dynamic pieces of live theater. Friends and family are invited to attend a final working performance in the last hour of the workshop.

    Admission to the workshop is free with proof of purchase of a ticket to see “The Last Five Years” ($20 without). Actors of all ages (minimum age 12) are welcome.

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    Youth entrepreneurship is what this event is all about – and this year there is a lot on the line: $10,000!

    Preliminary workshops and events lead up to the final event held at Gesa Power House Theatre on Tuesday, March 7 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. High school and college participants will pitch their business ideas to a panel of six judges. Students will be given three minutes to present their pitch and five minutes for Q&A by the panel. Upon deliberation, the judges will distribute the cash award (from a potential pool of $10,000) at their discretion in an awards ceremony. The K-8 winner from the February 23 competition will also be awarded their cash prize. Food & beverages will be served.

    This series of events has been a four-year creation to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

    ​Inspired by the TV show Shark Tank, students take an idea, create a business plan, consider the financial viability of their business and pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Local Walla Walla business leaders contribute as mentors, coaches and judges.

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    Gesa Power House Theatre launches its season of live theater with a modern musical on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m.

    “The Last Five Years” is written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, and is an emotionally powerful and intimate modern musical about two young New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, the woman, telling her story starting at the end and working backwards, the male character, Jamie, tells his story chronologically. The two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.

    “The Last Five Years” is directed by former New York City director and producer and Walla Walla native Tyson Kaup, who will also perform the male role. Local performer Sarah Bess Hemenway will play the female role. Local musicians will join the actors on stage and provide accompaniment.

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    A&N Productions presents: Shelby Earl Album Release with Planes on Paper on Saturday, March 11 at 7:00 p.m. at Gesa Power House Theatre. This event (21+ only) is sponsored by Walla Walla Cannabis Company.

    Shelby Earl’s first two albums earned the kind of raves any musician would kill for. Upon hearing her 2011 debut, Burn the Boats, NPR’s Ann Powers called Earl her “new favorite songwriter,” and she wasn’t alone. Accolades followed from Rolling Stone to the Wall Street Journal and a million music sites in between that positioned her somewhere to the left of Neko Case, a few blocks from Sharon Van Etten, catercorner to Angel Olsen. She toured everywhere, playing with the likes of Loudon Wainwright, Rhett Miller, and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, who spoke for many people when he said Earl had “the most heartbreakingly beautiful voice in Seattle.”

    Two years later, she followed up with the equally powerful Swift Arrows, and returned to the touring trenches, startling audiences around the world with songs that laid bare an inner landscape full of darkness and loss, as well as the defiant resolution not to be consumed by them. Both records are gorgeous, painstakingly crafted, and, not to put too fine a point on anything, full of heavy emotional weather. (Not for nothing did Powers observe that Earl’s writes “for those of us who have been through a few things.”)

    But take a minute to consider what it means to have been through a few things. It suggests reaching the other side. Eight years after burning her (figurative) boats to pursue life as a professional musician, quitting her job, and forging a career, Shelby Earl found that her inspiration was leading away from the darkness and anger she so fruitfully explored on those first two LPs and toward the light that would yield her third, and most accomplished record to date.

    That light shines through every facet of the album, from the songwriting, whose thematic concerns turn away from savage self-exploration and toward coruscating character studies, ballads, and swooning pop gems. The new songs retain her gift for a dark lyrical turn, but locate the telltale images in the context of other people.

    Once producer Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Brandi Carlisle, Eric Bachmann) came on board, and the whole team entered the studio, the process took flight. It wasn’t a question of “going pop,” incorporating more danceable beats, or mobilizing the vogue for vintage keyboard soul—though both of those aesthetics lurk at the edge of the frame throughout. No, it was something much simpler: The Man Who Made Himself a Name is the sound of an artist who, having lived and chronicled some catastrophically hard times, found herself on the other side feeling happier, healthier, healed—and making music that sounded like it.

    There is a vocal synergy that exists between Navid Eliot and Jen Borst, the two core members of the Washington-based folk group Planes on Paper. They each have clear, unique voices, but when combined, a special kind of musical beauty emerges.

    “In a modern age where indie folk groups with male/female harmonies are as common as a Starbucks on every corner, Planes on Paper offer an organic alternative, refreshing in its artistry.” – The Revue

    Reserved Seating Tickets: $15
    VIP Tables (includes on stage seating and wine for 4 people): $80

    This event is restricted to 21 and older (ID required).

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    Gesa Power House Theatre launches its season of live theater with a modern musical on Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m.

    “The Last Five Years” is written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, and is an emotionally powerful and intimate modern musical about two young New Yorkers who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, the woman, telling her story starting at the end and working backwards, the male character, Jamie, tells his story chronologically. The two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.

    “The Last Five Years” is directed by former New York City director and producer and Walla Walla native Tyson Kaup, who will also perform the male role. Local performer Sarah Bess Hemenway will play the female role. Local musicians will join the actors on stage and provide accompaniment.

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    Gesa Power House Theatre will screen the current Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production of “The Tempest” on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:00 p.m.

    “The Tempest” is brought to life on the RSC stage in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios, featuring some of today’s most advanced technology in a bold re-imagining of Shakespeare’s magical play, and starring Simon Russell Beale. The production was filmed live in Stratford-Upon-Avon and rebroadcast internationally to select screens.

    On a distant island a man waits.

    Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him. Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.

    Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in a production directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran.

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