Posts Tagged ‘things to do in Seattle’

There’s always a well of playful joy that courses through my body anytime Evil Dead comes up. Whether it’s rewatching the original films or watching previews for the upcoming show (Ash vs Evil Dead!!), a part of me regresses to a fifteen year old, all giddy with excitement. Even the subpar video games were playable because of this.

And it was with this excitement that I sat in an old, uncomfortable seat in Renton, Washington for Evil Dead the Musical.
For a musical I’ve seen four times, I was still able to easily find enjoyment in the production. While it wasn’t the best production I’ve seen, it did manage to surprise me with some creative dialog, and even adding a character. 
The vocal performances were not great, however. Cues were hit and the dialog was funny but with the exception of one or two performers, the singing was average at best. The actors could hit all their notes but the harmonizing was off, perhaps because of the changing of ranges needed to accommodate the differing styles of the actors. The acting was decent and silly when it needed to be and serious for the few moments of poignancy. The performers and crowd seemed to be feeding off of each other, the latter of which loved it. This was perhaps due to the subject and knowledge of the source material rather than the performances. Or perhaps it was the copious amounts of fake blood that was unabashedly thrown and splattered onto the pre-warned crowd. Squirt bottles, small balloons, and even a hose were used within the “splatter zone” (roughly the front half of the theater). The end was especially messy. There was so little pretense that the actors, supposedly in the midst of a climatic battle, would bring out buckets full of red liquid and dump it over the heads of select audience members. Not the most verisimilitude for a show but the crowd couldn’t care less.
This musical has become almost a tradition for me. Whenever it’s playing at a theater in town, I try to see it. I’ve never regretted that decision. I had a great time, as did my wife who, never having seen the movies, found the experience a good one. I just need get her into the splatter zone next time 😉


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Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination

I don’t know why, after several viewings of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, it took me this long to visit a chocolate factory myself. After all, we have one in the Seattle area and it’s been on my to do list for a long time. I think it took so long because I knew it couldn’t match the imaginative and surreal world of the chocolate factory I had watched on TV during my formative years. I didn’t want that image to be spoiled. I mean, they wouldn’t have Oompa Loompas or edible furniture…would they?

Theo Chocolate in Seattle, is nestled in the business district of the Fremont neighborhood and takes up a typical city block. Walking up to the factory, a nutty aroma emanates from the vents. Quite a surprise knowing what waits inside.

Between me and my girlfriend, the tour cost fourteen dollars. Not too bad considering we got to wear hairnets! (I forgot to take a selfie and my girlfriend would KILL me if I posted a photo of her, so take a cue from Gene and imagine!) I also had to wear a face mask because of my five o’clock shadow.

Our tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. It was interesting to find out about how chocolate is harvested from pods which contained a tasty fruit as well, shucked, roasted and fermented. As she told us about the history of the factory as well as chocolate, she passed out samples. I enjoyed all of them, probably the sea salt dark chocolate the best.

*One thing about this tour – like chocolate, dark especially. One girl who was also on the tour refused to even try some of the samples! Blasphemy! Why are you on a CHOCOLATE tour if you’re not going to try the CHOCOLATE! Fortunately, that left more for me but still…go to Target and get a Snickers. Sheesh!

Anyway, the tour was interesting although since we were the last tour of the day, many of the machines were in a state of repair and cleaning. I would have liked to see the big roaster roasting and the different flavors being mixed in. We were able to see some cool chocolate sculptures and try a few really interesting flavors like Chinese 5-spice truffle and coconut curry dark chocolate.



Of course, the tour ended in the chocolate shop so we walked away with quite a few bars and truffles. I didn’t find any little orange people or edible decorations but there were many imaginative and wonderful combinations of chocolate to try. And the chocolate is amazing!

Also of note for the pet owners out there…what dogs can’t digest is the little nib at the center of the cocoa seed. This is NOT used in white chocolate so dogs are able to digest this. They will however, have to spend a few extra minutes and the dog park in order to work off the extra poundage.


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I almost forgot. The horror exhibit at the EMP in Seattle, while cool, wasn’t the only area there. There was also a sci-fi room and a fantasy room. Both were cool, with the fantasy exhibit being slightly more exciting because of the room and having a display for Shannara creator Terry Brooks, the Northwest fantasy author with over 21 million copies of his novels in print and someone I’ve actually met! That put it over the top for me. There was also a few pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings that were very cool and the only thing that no one was allowed to take photos of. Other items of interest include costumes from The Princess Bride, concept art from The Dark Crystal, and David Bowie’s tight pants from Labyrinth.




The sci-fi wing contained lots of movie props, most notable for me were the guns from Men in Black, the T-800’s skull from T2: Judgement Day, and Data’s uniform from Star Trek: TNG. As fun as it was to see these things, they all looked like things you could buy at any costume and toy shop. You could easily tell the guns were made of plastic and the model ships from Independence Day looked like cheap toys. It was laughable but a testament to the film makers would can take these silly looking props and make them believable. We also watched a short, sci-fi film that was surprisingly engaging. It looked like a film school final project but it was impressive nonetheless.





These, along with the horror exhibit, make for a fun time. I only wish there were more displays. Walking through all three of these rooms, took about an hour. If we had watched all the horror movie videos, it would have added a half hour, but it seems a cheap way to extend the museum experience. You watch youtube for short videos like that. A museum needs to have things you can’t see anywhere else, in person. Hopefully, they’ll expand each of these sections in the coming years.

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I had a great time writing up all those reviews last month and as a follow up, I went to the EMP today and checked out their horror exhibit. Although it was small, there were plenty of videos, telling the history and interesting facts of some of the scariest movies there are. The videos were interesting to watch and hearing the opinions of people in the business like Hostel’s Eli Roth about Evil Dead 2 was a great thing for any fan of the genre.

Since the exhibit was small, it might not be worth the $20 entry fee. But any member should check it out and the horror can will find some cool things there. Check out the pics and see for yourself.








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After living in the Seattle area my entire life, I finally did one of the most touristy things a person here can do – I experienced Ride the Ducks.

Since I live here and travel the interesting roads of Seattle on a regular basis, I went nowhere new except into Union Bay because the “ducks” are land/sea vehicles. Other than an informative tour of the houseboats around the lake and a different view of Gasworks Park, the roads we traveled were familiar.

What really made the tour was our guide/driver, Captain Rik O’Shay. His shtick was loud and puny; he donned several hats and wigs, and would play very old songs to go along with where we were in the city. When we went through downtown, he played “Downtown”. When we went into the water, he played the theme from Gilligan’s Island. When we returned to land, he played “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson. Though dated and corny, it worked because he was, if only in appearance, into what he was doing.

We were also given “quackers” to keep, a kazoo-like device that sounds like a duck when blown into. These helped liven the dull parts as he commanded us to “noise assault” people on the street with our cacophony of quacks. The people on their cell phones didn’t seem to appreciate it.

We started near Seattle Center, viewed the EMP up close before heading down to the water where we viewed the wharf and all the piers along the water. We then looped up First Avenue, past the hammering man and Pike Place Market. We then made our way over the bridge into Ballard and Fremont before getting in the water near the University District. After that, it was a short journey back through lower Queen Anne and the duck depot.

Being a local, I couldn’t get a full appreciation of the tour but for a tourist or anyone unfamiliar with Seattle, I can see it being a good time.







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