Tipping the Tip Toppers

Talking to the Tip Toppers after they finished their run at the “Tip Top Lounge” as part of

Allan Loucks on keys Dan Seese on percussion

Allan Loucks on keys
Dan Seese on percussion

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” on Sunday. (It was the first time BAT had live pre-show, intermission and post-show music. Thanks to Tip and Top.)

The Tip Toppers (who is Tip and who is Top still eludes me) started getting more and more tips as the weeks progressed. So, I asked why?

What they said is when they played more traditional Holiday tunes the tip jar over-flowed. When they played more modern Holiday pieces the tip jar slowly filled. When the abandoned Holiday tunes all together, the tip jar went wanting.

What does this say about BAT’s audience? The Tip Toppers? Or the power of Holiday music to cause one to tip? BAT does not have those answers, but keep this random real life study in mind when you walk into an establishment with traditional Holiday music playing.


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Elephant in the room

There is a reason why BAT is holding three fundraisers in December, while it also has bat-logo-banner-trans-940x198.pngBob’s Holiday Office Party” on the main stage. Like every small theater, it is impossible for BAT to cover its expenses through ticket sales.

BAT’s work is well worth over $200 per seat, but that is out of range of many who now come and see better live theater at BAT. Art should not only be for those who can afford $200 plus tickets. Theater should be for everyone: a way to grow and support Burien. That philosophy is why BAT has not raised ticket prices in over 5 years, and why $7 Sunday (the first Sunday of the run) has become a tradition at BAT.

But you cannot go to see small theater without understanding what this articles says. “Nonprofit theatres all over the country are in trouble.” Small theaters like BAT need your support.

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Buy local

BAT buys local when possible. Here is a good example, the Bourbon in Bob’s Bourbon Rider, one of the specialty cocktails BAT created for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” was IMG_0235distiller nearby, in Woodenville. Not right next door, but not that far away.

While doing your Holiday shopping, if you cannot find what you are looking for locally, and you shop Amazon remember to use Amazon-Smile and select BAT as your charity.  If you do that BAT will receive .05% of your purchase price DETAILS.

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“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” info

“Bob’s Holiday Office Party” is a fun filled Holiday comedy aimed to help you de-stress.  But don’t take BAT’s word for it:

Highline Times review HERE


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Composing and Performing the Music Score for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party”

By Allan Loucks

People often mistake what I’m doing for “sound-design” or “doing-sound” However, I am il_fullxfull.224312765composing and performing a music score, which has much more in common with the script than anything else.

My music scores are always one complete piece of music. They are NOT a series of individual cues. The entire score has a beginning, middle, and end. This always coincides with the beginning, middle, and end of the story. It helps to think of each separate music-cue as a movement, a part of the whole, just as a chapter is part of the story. It’s a cause-and-effect flow, moving forward: each piece is the result of the music that came before it. Just like dialog. It also helps to think of the music more like a narrator, which best describes its function in the production.

For this show, I began by analyzing a couple hundred Christmas songs, looking for qualities that make these types of songs sound the way they do. I managed to find a 4-note musical motive common to at least half of them.

I decided to use this motive as a structural basis for composing the entire music score. This includes the beginnings and ends of acts, the song for solo-voice, and the “records”

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Holiday Concert with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet

On December 17, BAT presents a Holiday Concert with the Northwest Symphony quintet-poster-finalOrchestra Brass Quintet featuring Natalie Dungey, soloist (check out solo starting at at 2:34). This will be traditional Holiday music played by a brass quintet in chamber music style.

The quintet is:

Philip Dungey – Trumpet
Natalie Dungey – Trumpet
Julia Broome-Robinson – Trombone
Ron Gilbert – french horn
Chris Barnes- Tuba

The Holiday concert/fundraiser begins at 7:30 pm and runs until 9:00 pm

Tickets are $10 at the door and they are available ONLINE and at the door, while tickets last.

Here is a list of what you’ll hear:

Canzona per Sonare No. 2 Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612)
Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream Felix Mendelssoohn, arr. by Ron Gilbert
Christmas Bell Fantasy Arr. by Bill Holcombe
La Virgen De La Macarena Traditional, Arr. by Geoffrey Bergler
Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen Johannes Brahms, Transcribed by Lewis Niven
Scherzo John Cheetham
Canzona per Sonare No. 4 Giovanni Gabrieli, transcribed by Graeme Page

— Intermission —

Sonata from Die Bankelsangerlieder Anonymous (c. 1684)
Fum, Foom, Phoom Traditional, Arr. by T. Cooper & C. Warren
The Christmas Song Mel Torme & Robert Wells,
Arr. by Luther Henderson
Minor Alterations David Lovrien, transcribed by Chas Warren
“Christmas Through the Looking Glass”
Christmas Time is Here By Vince Guaraldi, Arr. by Zack Smith
Let It Snow, Frosty! Arr. by Paul Chauvin
We Wish You A Merry Christmas Arr. by Zach Smith

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Fire Watch 2014

On December 10, 2013, BAT suffered through a fire. (Fire bad!)fire-poster-final-1

On December 10, 2014, BAT is going to take time out of its Holiday craziness to thank those who put out the fire and helped BAT stay afloat. Join BAT for Fire Watch 2014.

Fire Watch 2014 is a thank you party and fundraiser that rocks.

There will be a rock n’ roll band, The Superchargers, playing classic rock.

The Superchargers are:

Darren Olsen (bass/guitar)

Ken Strong (guitar)

Nick Hagen (drums)

Mark Ralston (vocals/percussion)

Ann Sager (keyboards/vocals)

Brian Callahan (sax/vocals)

Chris Barker (guitar/bass); and

Harmonica Bob (if available).

There will be dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres and BAT’s bar will be open! Turbo Turkey will fill the band breaks with improv!

The party starts at 7 pm and lasts until 10 pm.

There is a $5 cover. Tickets at the door. BAT requests people RSVP to rsvp@burienactorstheatre.org by Noon on Dec. 10 so BAT has a headcount when it orders food.

BAT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and operates on revenue from ticket sales, donations, grants, sponsorships and volunteers.

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Food for thought and giving

BAT is holding a food drive for a local food bank all during “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.”  If you bring non-perishable food with you, you can get $2 off you ticket price, if you buy your ticket at the door.  But what to bring?  HERE is a list to help you choose.

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Amazon Smiles at BAT

BAT is part of Amazon Smile. What that means is that if you shop on Amazon, you can help create better live theater when you shop. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There are a few things you have to do to give to BAT: 1) go to http://smile.amazon.com/ (you may want to book mark this page so you can use it whenever you shop on Amazon); 2) On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you will be asked to select a searchcharitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases; 3) select Burien Actors Theatre from the list of charities (search for Burien Actors Theatre), then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to BAT equal to 0.5% of every purchase you make. This does not cost you anything.

When you sign up on Amazon Smile and select BAT you’ll get an email like this:

Thanks for visiting smile.amazon.com! Per your request, we have successfully changed the AmazonSmile charity you are supporting to Burien Actors Theatre.

Remember, if you want Amazon to donate to Burien Actors Theatre, you need to start each shopping session at the URL http://smile.amazon.com, and we will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.

AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.

If you can’t find what you need locally, sign up to give to BAT, and shop on Amazon Smile.

If Holiday shopping is getting to you, or not, don’t miss “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” (TICKETS) and enjoy the Season.

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Dry tech

This morning was dry tech for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.” Then wet tech. So what is the difference?

Dry tech is where the designers and the stage manager go through all of the cues, and they agree where each cue will start and end during the show. Sometimes it is choosing the right word IMG_20141122_173126993-2for the cue to start. Other times, it is agreeing on what motion will happen to trigger the cue. This is also when all the issues about missed or added cues are worked out.

Hopefully, by now, the sound cues and light cues are all written, and ready to go. Sound levels are typically set between dry and wet tech. Other times levels are set during cue-to-cue, also called wet tech.

Up until dry tech, the designers have been working pretty much on their own. This is the first time everything comes together.

There are no actors at dry tech. The actors arrive in time for wet tech. Actors hate wet tech. Lots of time standing around while details and levels are worked out. Plus the actors do not get to run the whole show. They just run the parts where there are cues. Sometimes over and over until the cue is right.

The actors have had weeks to get their parts down. The tech crew has just a week to learn their part.  Tech went well.

Don’t miss this Bob’s Holiday Office Party (TICKETS). It opens the day after Thanksgiving.

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