In addition to rejoicing over the long-awaited return of the glowing orb in the sky (fingers crossed!), this month, in several stories, we also celebrate the creative process, from a high-end leather artist to the extraordinary talent found in local high school musical productions.
The 5th Avenue Theatre, whose 15th Tony Awards–style program (which we cover in this month's issue) on June 12 recognizes this emerging youth talent, is, of course, also a Broadway incubating machine, churning out hit after hit. One of my “bucket list” projects has been to photograph the cast and behind-the-scenes talent of one of these Broadway-bound shows that are first staged locally. The stars finally aligned with Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, which opens this month. Photographing this group of experienced stage actresses and behind-the-scenes professionals almost felt like cheating: When the shoot started, our subjects snapped into action and effortlessly captured the fun, awkward, flirty, eye-rolling experience of a high school reunion we were going for. Robin Schiff, who wrote the play on which the movie was originally based (yes, Romy and Michele were initially side characters in the play “Ladies’ Room”), the movie and the stage musical, especially got into it.
It’s hard to fully appreciate how much work goes into producing a shoot like this. We are grateful for the army of creative minds who helped, especially our staff photographer Hayley Young. Another cool insight into the creative process: While we were setting up, artistic director David Armstrong would occasionally pop in a pair of ear buds and pace the floor. He told me he was listening to different potential opening numbers for the musical. Though I didn’t get to listen in, it seemed that he landed on “the one.” The whole photo shoot left everyone with that feeling of creating something fantastic together (well, at least we think so).
We debut our own show of sorts in this issue with our redesign of Seattle magazine, under the art direction of design director Matt Cole. It’s hard enough to find people who know how to design print well, let alone someone with magazine editorial experience. But Matt, who has been directing art for Seattle mag for more than a year now, is a fellow magazine junkie and has the necessary design talents in spades. And, he happens to be a really, really nice guy. The redesign is the visual expression of the experience that our entire team has been working hard to craft and deliver: one that takes full advantage of the visual nature of a glossy magazine, something you still won’t find on your smartphone or tablet; an experience that provides a beautiful, lush, photographic respite from the barrage of media messages, together with stories that deliver funny, insightful, entertaining, surprising, deferential and thoughtful information about and reflections on our rapidly changing city. My aim for every issue is to create a “cultural time capsule” of Seattle in these pages.
Welcome to Seattle magazine’s 2017 version—let us know what you think.