A Christmas Gift from Taryn Darr: Grandma Frances’ Wassail Recipe

Wassail
‘wäsəl,’ ‘wä-sāl’
verb

  1. To drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  2. To go from house to house at Christmas singing carols. (“Here we go a-wassailing…”)

noun

  1. Spiced cider or ale or mulled wine and spices drunk during celebrations for Twelfth Night and Christmas Eve.

I grew up in Oregon and every Christmas, the family would gather from near and far to celebrate the holidays at my Grandma Frances’ home in Astoria where a big batch of her wassail recipe would be simmering away on the stove. It wasn’t Christmas until you walked into her house and that unbelievable smell of fruit and spices hit you.

Wassail Photo
This is a recipe that my great grandma made for Grandma Frances when she was a girl. Grandma Frances is a little older now and has passed the torch. Now my mom and my aunt make it for all of us. My mom even has the original recipe card—soft, tattered and well-loved! When I grew up and moved out and got my own place in Seattle, I remember calling her at Christmas and saying, “I need the wassail recipe” and now I have my own beat-up recipe card that I keep close all season long. Continue reading “A Christmas Gift from Taryn Darr: Grandma Frances’ Wassail Recipe”

Buyer Beware: It’s Scalper Season

How to guarantee you are getting the best prices when you buy tickets for a family outing this holiday season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: twinkly lights are on the trees, your favorite peppermint and eggnog beverages are on sale at all the coffee shops, family and friends are coming to visit and there is a multitude of festive events to choose from to put you all in the spirit. It’s always exciting to plan a trip to downtown Seattle with the family—an afternoon of shopping, a ride on the Westlake carousel, a fancy dinner at one of the stellar area restaurants, and tickets to a spectacular show like Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn at The 5th Avenue Theatre.

This is also an exciting time for ticket re-sellers to prey on families trying to plan special occasions just like this. These brokers (also called scalpers) buy tickets to entertainment events all around the city and then sell them to unsuspecting consumers at more than 100% markup. This practice is legal in the state of Washington, but can be very hard on the wallet!

Here are some tips to make sure you are getting the best deal on tickets to shows like Holiday Inn this winter! Continue reading “Buyer Beware: It’s Scalper Season”

Volunteer Spotlight: John Sigala

When did you start volunteering at The 5th?

I’m a new volunteer and started volunteering at The 5th with The Sound of Music.

Why do you love musical theater?

I was introduced to musical theater in 1968 when I went to London through my high school summer foreign study program.  I saw Man of La Mancha and loved it and see a musical whenever I can. Continue reading “Volunteer Spotlight: John Sigala”

Getting to Know The 5th: A Uniquely Seattle Broadway Experience

 

Did you know that the large majority of shows you see on The 5th Avenue Theatre stage are self-produced? This fact actually makes The 5th incredibly unique, so let me explain what this means.

There are two ways that a musical appears on our stage. Once or twice a year, you’ll see a show that is part of a national tour. These musicals are hot from the Broadway stage and are now traveling across the country. In these productions, you will see sets, costumes and staging that is often the same or very close to what audiences experienced during the show’s run on Broadway. Recent national tours have included Tony®-award winners (or nominees) like Fun Home, Matilda and Something Rotten! Continue reading “Getting to Know The 5th: A Uniquely Seattle Broadway Experience”