Stretch your entertainment time and dollar

Fall is here. The weather is turning cooler, the children are forced back to school and the arts are coming out of their summer siesta.

Once again, the calendar is so full that you can't get to everything unless you've got unlimited funds and free time.

But with a little careful budgeting of time and cash, you can at least attend one live performance every weekend this month. If you go to previews or "pay-what-you-can" nights, the entertainment dollars can stretch even further.

Outdoor entertainment

The ever-fabulous Bumbershoot - four days of music, theater, comedy and art at the Seattle Center - gets its annual outing starting Friday and ending Monday. It's worth taking the bus south to catch one of Seattle's best events.

On my good days at Bumbershoot, I usually catch three bands, two theater shows and a something completely different (puppets, anyone?) and eat more fried food than is good for the gall bladder.

On the bad days, I stand in line a lot but still catch just as many shows. Multiple layers of clothing and comfortable shoes are a must.

Just remember, if you're going to the Pixies or one of the other big evening shows at Bumbershoot, you may be required to get a wristband, and they do really run out by noon.

But pack a picnic, go for a day, enjoy the other bands and do take time to catch some of the "other stuff" that floats through the festival: circus acts, quirky films, stand-up comedy or the art exhibits.

One-day tickets are $25, but the multiple-day passes are an even better deal. For complete schedule of all events, check

Next week, you can still enjoy an outdoor concert, albeit a bit more sedate, at the Woodland Park Zoo. The ever-popular Duffy Bishop Band, with singer Lisa Mills, play the zoo's North Meadow on Sept. 10.

The ticket revenue ($16 to $20 per person) benefits the Phinney Neighborhood Association. Call 783-2244 for more information.

ProseWest moves to Ballard

If you're a fan of the ProseWest reading series, a longtime fixture at the Wit's End Bookstore, you need to drive a little farther west to get your prose fix. The reading series has moved to Ballard.

ProseWest, an offshoot of the Seattle poetry group PoetsWest, remains an mix of selected readers and open-mic time for writers of fiction, essays, biographies, histories and any other type of nonfiction.

Readings will now take place every second Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Penny Café, 1707 N.W. Market St, in Ballard. For more information, contact J. Glenn Evans, at 682-1268 or

'Museum Pieces,' improv at Bathhouse

As part of its New Theater Project Series at Seattle Public Theater (SPT), "Museum Pieces" plays Monday, Sept. 6, through Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Bathhouse, 7312 W. Green Lake Drive N.

Using the poetry of Lily Brett, the play tells the story of a Holocaust survivor and her daughter in Australia.

The Monday, Sept. 6, performance will be "donate-what-you-can." For the rest of the run, tickets are $15 per person.

"Museum Pieces" begins at 7:30 p.m. each night. For more information, call SPT at 524-1300.

The improvisational comedy group Sisters of Sal provides late-night comedy at the Bathhouse this fall. You can catch them at 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sept. 4, Oct. 2 and Nov. 6. Tickets are $7 at the door.

Future plans: Shakespeare indoors

It's getting colder, so Shakespeare is moving indoors at the end of the month. Taproot Theatre Company (TTC) follows up its successful run of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" with Will's sharp-tongued comedy of the warring Benedick and Beatrice, "Much Ado About Nothing."

TTC's producing artistic director, Scott Nolte, has shifted the setting from Renaissance Italy to 1945 New York. As with the original, the "gentlemen" are coming back from a war (World War II, in this case) and met by a number of romantic complications.

Candace Vance and Timonthy Hornor play the sparring Beatrice and Benedick, while Jesse Notehelfer and Robert Martin are their young friends, Hero and Claudio.

TTC offers previews on Sept. 22 and 23, and there will be a special "pay-what-you-can" performance on Sept. 29.

Regular tickets for "Much Ado About Nothing" are $18 to $28, depending on performance night. For more information, call the TTC box office, at 781-9707.

Broadcast readings

Since 1997, the Jack Straw Writers Program has provided local writers with a venue to present their work. In many cases, the writers create new works for the program and read to the public. Teaming up with KUOW, Jack Straw regularly broadcasts these readings.

If you're interested in hearing new work and being part of a radio audience, the next scheduled reading is Sept. 15 at 7 p.m., at Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E. Call 634-0919 for more information.

Rosemary Jones writes about entertainment and the arts for the North Seattle Herald-Outlook. Her column appears the first and third weeks of each month. E-mail her at healingpgs

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