America’s Car Museum Features The James Hetfield Collection

When the doors of LeMay – America’s Car Museum opened on Thursday, Jan. 20, visitors got a brush with greatness: 10 otherworldly, custom-built hot rods of rock-star proportions from an exhibition titled Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection. On public display for just the second time ever, Reclaimed Rust is the product of decades of design and building collaboration between rock music icon James Hetfield and some of the best-known custom car builders in the world, including Rick Dore (Rick Dore Kustoms), Scott Mugford (Blue Collar Customs) and Marcel De Lay (Marcel’s Custom Metal).

Consisting of vehicles designed and custom-built by and for Hetfield, Reclaimed Rust pushes the limits of automotive design with billowing fenders, removed pillars, chopped tops, shaved handles and sinewy silhouettes that the original manufacturers could never have envisioned.

“The sleek lines and one-of-a-kind designs in Reclaimed Rust could stand on their own celebrity,” said David Madeira, Vice Chairman and CEO of America’s Automotive Trust. “However, anyone who sees this exhibition will feel the creative horsepower of James Hetfield and his team in these cars. In any art, whether it’s music, visual or automotive design, you can tell when an artist sees the potential of their tools and materials, rather than limitations.”

The collection includes vehicles that live up to their heavy-hitting names such as Skyscraper (a 1953 Buick Skylark), VooDoo Priest (a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr), Slow Burn (a 1936 Auburn 852 Boattail Speedster), Crimson Ghost (a 1937 Ford Coupe), the Dead Kennedy (a 1963 Lincoln Continental built by Hetfield himself) and the Black Pearl and Aquarius (both special constructions hand built from a drawing).

The collection is owned by and was first displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2020. It is on display at LeMay – America’s Car Museum now through Jan. 31, 2023.
For more information about this exhibition and LeMay – America’s Car Museum, visit


Imagine Van Gogh: Coming to the Tacoma Armory

In 2008, Annabelle Mauger crafted her very first immersive Van Gogh exhibition and, in the last few years, the finalized project has become an incredible hit. Imagine Van Gogh, the Original Exhibition in Image Totale© sold over 500,000 tickets across Canada in 2020 alone. The exhibit will be presenting stunning renditions of Van Gogh’s classic artwork in over 200 of his paintings brought to life in a breathtaking immersive experience. Mauger and Julien Baron, renowned for their work at Cathédrale d’Images in Les Baux-de-Provence, France, are no strangers to the immersive art world — in fact, they are pioneers of the medium. Since 2016, the duo have developed and expanded Image Totale© to create a truly emotionally cathartic experience for visitors.

In order to create such a unique exhibition, Mauger and Baron used warping techniques to adapt the surface to the projected image, releasing the art being trapped inside of the canvas. “The choice of images, the way they are positioned, their rhythm and their association with the music all compose this original creation conceived by Annabelle Mauger and developed with Julien Baron.”

Online reservations for Imagine Van Gogh are encouraged, as admission is based on timed-entry and tickets are sure to sell out quickly! Each ticket is valid for one person, with no re-entry permitted and they are nonrefundable. The exhibition is open at the Tacoma Armory until January 30, 2022, with shortened hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

For Additional Information and Tickets


Danny Vernon – Elvis Illusionist

Call them what you will … Illusionist, Impersonator or Tribute Performer … many of us love hearing a great Elvis song that brings the King of Rock ‘n Roll to life. If you are one of us, your chance to see an award-winning local Elvis performer is coming up Wednesday, December 22nd and Thursday, December 23rd at the Muckelshoot Casino in Auburn.

For more than three decades, Danny Vernon has been performing his Elvis show honed by listening and singing along to records purchased by his Dad.  “Dad would buy the sound track soon after seeing the movies in the 60’s,” said Vernon. “I do those songs really well, so I enjoy performing them,” he added.

Vernon is known for his high energy Elvis Tribute shows that focus on connecting with his audience while performing three distinct areas of Elvis’ career. From Hillbilly cat of the 50’s, to the sleek 60’s movie years and then of course onto the sexy 70’s jumpsuit era, each show highlights the voice, look and passion of the musical icon known as Elvis.

Vernon strives to celebrate Elvis not to pretend to be him. “I know people like the show to be as authentic as possible, so I try not to lose my own personality in it,” he said recently.

Tickets for the 8 o’clock shows at the Muckelshoot can be secured by contacting the Muckelshoot via phone at (800) 804-4944 or on-line at

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate the holidays in true Elvis style with Danny Vernon’s Elvis Tribute shows.

For more general information about Danny Vernon and his performances around the Puget Sound, visit his website at

Harlequin Presents Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Harlequin Productions presents Producing Artistic Director Aaron Lamb’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, November 26 – December 31 at the State Theater in downtown Olympia..

Hailed as the greatest ghost story ever told, we begin a new Holiday tradition at Harlequin with a fresh adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story of transformation, absolution, and grace. Join us for a Holiday classic that’s sure to please, with a healthy dose of cheer and the kind of ghostly special effects that only Harlequin can deliver.

Delayed by the COVID pandemic shutdown, this production marks the beginning of a new tradition of Holiday shows at Harlequin. Beginning in 1994, almost every Harlequin season began with a new addition to the Stardust canon, a series of original musicals featuring classic tunes from the 1940s to 1950s. They were a unique and beloved part of the South Sound Holiday season. In 2019, Harlequin began the transition to A Christmas Carol with Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol, which was well received by the community. With the premiere of Mr. Lamb’s adaptation, the new tradition has finally begun!

What can audiences expect from this new adaptation? Says Lamb, “The great majority of the text is directly from the page. We’re as close to the Dickens original as we can be…with a couple of major changes. My adaptation is a collage of all my favorite parts of other productions and versions of A Christmas Carol that I’m familiar with, with some of my own choices.”

Why A Christmas Carol, a play done by so many theaters during the Holidays? To answer, Mr. Lamb speaks to his acting career: “As a professional actor, I did a Holiday show every year for 12 years, and most of those (the best ones) were some version of A Christmas Carol. Some of my own best theater experiences are with this show. One year, I did a bus and truck tour of A Christmas Carol through the Midwest. It was a snowy, stormy year. We’d sleep on the bus, get off, do a show, get on the bus again…it was horrible. I should have been miserable. But I was having a great time, because I was playing Fred, the most positive character in A Christmas Carol, and every day the play ended at Fred’s level of positivity and good cheer.”Mr. Lamb continues, “A Christmas Carol has all the best elements of live theatre. The different things we can do with the same story are limitless. The ghost story lets us as a theater company flex our technical muscles and pull out the stops where we excel. The redemption story gives the actors the purest character arc in all of theater. So you may have seen it before, but I promise you’ve never seen this one. We will surprise you!”

Out and About This Holiday Season

Don’t let the winter weather stop you from getting out and about this holiday season. Fill your thermos with hot cocoa, bundle up with hats and coats, and head out to enjoy one or more of these wonderful ways to spread holiday cheer.

Winter Markets at Point Ruston

Saturdays on December 5, 12, and 19
Enjoy live music and explore the offerings of over 40 vendors, all with products grown or made in Washington State. Shoppers will be able to find seasonal vegetables, treats to take home, gifts for the holidays, and more.

Olympia Holiday Farmers Market

Saturdays and Sundays, November 6 – December 19

As the nights get longer, enjoy the season of lights with one or more of these illuminating experiences.

Gig Harbor Lighted Boat Parade

Watch the boats circling the harbor all along the Gig Harbor waterfront.
December 11

Winter Solstice Lights

Lakewold Gardens
November 19-28


Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Winter Wonderland

Northwest Trek
December 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Fantasy Lights

Spanaway Park
November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022

If you are seeking an indoor festive experience in venues with plenty of physical distancing, consider one of these options.

Wander through the decorated trees at Christmas in the Forest held at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake (formerly Hotel RL Olympia), this year celebrating “Hope and Joy” and raising funds for the Providence Southwest Washington Foundation.

Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent Van Gogh with the unique exhibition, Imagine Van Gogh, presented by Tacoma Arts Live at the Tacoma Armory.

Plan a special gathering to make gingerbread houses. This year Greentrike will present its annual Gingerbread Jamboree as individual private parties where families are provided with kits that include everything needed to build their own sweet constructions.

Please check websites for details regarding health precautions related to any of these events.


Enjoy the Sounds of the Season

Holidays can feel like days of busyness. From gift shopping to party planning to decorating, it can feel like the season rushes by and is over before you know it. Taking time to enjoy the sounds of the season with a live performance can provide the pause you need to rest and reflect on the importance of the holidays. Throughout the South Sound, there are plenty of special concerts to attend this year.

Symphony Tacoma will present two performances for the holiday season. Holiday Favorites will be an evening of music from your favorite holiday shows, a lighting of the menorah, a Christmas sing-along, and beautiful music by Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices that will capture the themes, spirit, and sounds of the season. They will also present an annual performance of Handel’s sacred oratorio Messiah.

Another option for vocal music is the annual Christmas concert, Hope, performed by the PLU Choir of the West, University Chorale, and University Symphony Orchestra. Works by Howard Darke, Brian Galante, Richard Nance, and others will mix with traditional carols and seasonal favorites to celebrate hope and renewal in this joyful season.

Celebrate the winter solstice and its warm traditions with a concert of original and traditional acoustic music featuring Windham Hill artists at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Also check the schedules for planned holiday concerts by Tacoma Concert Band, Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Federal Way Symphony, and Olympia Symphony. If you are seeking some nontraditional music to celebrate the season, Tacoma Arts Live has you covered with the swinging tunes at Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party and the ukulele master and jolly ambassador of aloha, Jake Shimabukuro in Christmas in Hawaii.

Whatever the season brings you, make music a part of your holiday celebrations.

Please check websites for details regarding health precautions related to any of these performances.

For Additional Information and Tickets


Lakewold Garden’s Susan Warner

Bringing art, music, and nature together, Susan Warner, executive director of Lakewold Gardens, is continuing a lifelong journey creating programs and building experiences based on collections that create conversations about important social and environmental issues. She has pioneered and presented many new programs and initiatives which have transformed the cultural landscape of South Puget Sound while also providing spaces for diverse voices and perspectives.

Warner, who is a founding staff member of the Museum of Glass, also continues to advise the Museum on a variety of education initiatives including the recently launched Junior Curator Academy. In-person or virtually, middle school students from the local area learn from subject matter experts as they explore the creative process, influences, and materials used in individual works of art.

This program, like Warner’s many other exhibitions and programs, builds on the art history philosophy called deconstruction. First used by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida in the 1970s, deconstruction is a form of criticism that asserts that there is not one single intrinsic meaning to be found in an artwork, but rather many, and often these can be conflicting. She sees this as an essential part of the power that collections have to stimulate conversations.

While not a collection of artwork, Lakewold Gardens has an extensive collection of plants which includes over 800 species of rhododendrons and 30 Japanese maples. Warner’s leadership at Lakewold Gardens combines her wealth of professional education and curatorial experience with her personal passion for gardening. She wants South Sound residents to consider Lakewold Gardens as “a garden for all” because many people in our community do not have access to a private garden as well as the healing power that can be found through a connection with nature.

The Gardens took on even more significance over the past year during the pandemic. “Having a place where you can go and be safe while enjoying nature has been scientifically proven to help people,” noted Warner. “We’ve been intentional in reaching out to invite the community to the gardens through virtual events like Black Splendor, which showcased local Black musical artists, and partnerships with local organizations like MusicWorks4Veterans and Write 253.”

One upcoming event that she is excited about is the installation celebrating the winter solstice. Multimedia artist Sam Stubblefield will fill the garden with sound and light in a preview of Winter Solstice Lights from November 19-28. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the Gardens in a whole new way as art, music and nature intertwine in this unique and creative event.

For Additional Information


Capital Mall Unveils Large-Scale Art Mural

Capital Mall makes a big statement with the installation of a 1,400 square-foot outdoor mural between Century Theatres and Old Navy. Representing Capital Mall’s commitment to the local community, this mural, appropriately titled “Water & Land,” highlights the bountiful natural resources found in Thurston County. Specifically, the South-facing wall depicts ingredients found in water (oysters, halibut, salmon, kelp, etc.), and the East-facing wall depicts ingredients foraged from the land (strawberries, mushrooms, honey, etc.). This imagery is illustrated in loose, gestural graphics, patterns and overlays, with an organic, handmade “makers” feel. The colors are bold, bright and modern, yet refined to a limited color palette with slight vintage feel. The composition relies heavily on layering and interaction as the artist wanted to reflect its vibrant Pacific Northwest-theme.

Washington state native, Sarah Robbins, designed and painted the mural in early September. “Art has a huge role in a building community. I think there’s ways that it can bring people together,” explains Robbins about the project. With the launch of the center’s LIVE LOC-OLY initiative, Capital Mall’s goal is to highlight locally owned stores, showcase restaurants using locally sourced ingredients, and provide space for unique uses such as the recent grand opening of the newest branch of Timberland Regional Library. This community focused mural colorfully aligns with that vision.

“We are listening to our local community and their needs,” explains Stefanie Cicerello, marketing and business development manager at Capital Mall. “We love providing shopping and dining opportunities to our community and constantly strive to make that experience enjoyable. One of the ways we can do this is to showcase local artists and take a holistic approach to our role in the community. This mural celebrates the agriculture and flavor profiles of Olympia and the surrounding area.”

About the Artist:
Sarah Robbins is an illustrator, painter and designer living and working in Seattle, WA. As a Jill-of-all trades when it comes to art, she is not tied to any particular style or medium. She uses imagery, patterns, typography and color to create work, and strives to make something unique and custom for every project. Sarah prides herself on making classic pieces that can work on multiple levels straddling the line between specificity and ambiguity, often allowing room for people to interject their own thoughts and experiences into the work. Sarah believes it is important to create pieces that can amplify the voices and stories of others, not just her own.

For more information
Instagram: @sarah_robbins

For more information about Capital Mall, visit our website at

New Orleans Cajun & Zydeco: Shake Down the House in Olympia

As we usher in the colder weather, things are heating up at the Washington Center for Performing Arts with a double bill performance featuring the best in Cajun and Zydeco music on October 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience bring the sounds of New Orleans to Olympia. “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!”

For the past 40 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and created and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet. Their distinctive sound derives from the distilled spirits of New Orleans jazz, blues rock, folk, swamp pop, Zydeco, country and bluegrass. Since becoming the first Cajun band to win a Grammy with “L’amour Ou La Folie” and then a second Grammy in 2010 with “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” BeauSoleil has garnered many accolades, including twelve Grammy nominations.

Similarly, Terrance Simien , two-time Grammy award-winning artist and eighth generation Louisiana Creole, has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is – and is not. Simien, and his talented band, has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his bandmates have performed over 9000 concerts and toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career.

The combination of these two award-winning bands proves to be a real barn burner, bringing attendees out of their seats for clapping and stomping to a night of musical delights that will long be remembered.

For Additional Information and Tickets


From Musicals to Backcountry Bayou – Live Performance is Back!

Steep Canyon Rangers

For months, the stage lights have been dark, the green rooms have been empty, and box offices have stood silent as performing arts venues were closed during the pandemic. Actors, singers, musicians, dancers, magicians and performers of all kinds got creative and offered virtual plays and performances, but they were all simply passing the time until they could be with a live audience again. Come fall we can all rejoice in the return to in-person performances throughout the South Sound. From musicals to backcountry bayou, live performance is back!

In Olympia, the Harlequin will be performing three plays in repertory this fall— Tenderly, the Rosemary Clooney Musical based on the life of Rosemary Clooney, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, and Until the Flood by Pulitzer Prize Finalist Dael Orlandersmith. At the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Boogie from the Bayou, a New Orleans zydeco musical performance is scheduled for late October.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Tacoma’s offerings include Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy Award-winning bluegrass sextet, and the play Tribes, which won the 2012 New York Drama Critics Circle Award presented by Tacoma Arts Live. At the grand dame of Tacoma’s theatre scene, the Tacoma Little Theatre, you can find two classics: Terms of Endearment and Clue: On Stage. In Tacoma’s West End they are warming up their vocal cords and stretching out their hipscs-inspired production called All Shook Up, a modern rock ’n roll take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Just to the north, the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center will be presenting a wide array of acts including performances by Irish balladeers The High Kings, Grammy-winning guitarist and singer Robert Cray, country music singer Josh Gracin, and classic rock cover band The Hit Men.

Robert Cray

Circle the weekend of November 5 and 6 to make sure you get a seat to enjoy the feeling of shared laughter. Tacoma Arts Live will be presenting the ever-popular David Sedaris, known best for his appearances on the radio show This American Life. American comedy legend Yakov Smirnoff will make a rare appearance at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center.

Before you know it, Christmas songs will be playing in every store, so take a moment to check out the holiday offerings planned for the South Sound which include A Christmas Carol (Harlequin), The Wizard of Oz (Tacoma Little Theatre), and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party (Tacoma Arts Live).

So no matter what your preference, there is plenty to pick from this fall from the South Sound’s performing arts venues. See you at the theatre!

For Additional Information and Tickets