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Originally published January 21, 2013 at 8:44 PM | Page modified January 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

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Overlooked slice of grunge gets its due

A rock ’n’ roll theater piece about women artists of the grunge era opens next month at ACT Theatre. Fundraising to back the show has brought in $65,000, but $25,000 more is still needed.

Seattle Times staff columnist

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In the 2011 book “The Strangest Tribe,” author Stephen Tow devoted only one of 272 pages to female artists. Two half-pages, if we’re splitting hairs.

“Seriously?” I asked Sarah Rudinoffand Gretta Harley.

They both laughed, for mine was a line straight from the script of “These Streets,” a rock ’n’ roll theater piece about the women of Seattle’s grunge period that Rudinoff, Harley and Elizabeth Kenny have been writing for two years.

“These Streets” will open at the ACT Theatre on Feb. 22 and feature music from 66 Saints, Hammerbox, 7 Year Bitch, The Gits, Kristen Barry, Bell and more. All the bands signed over their music rights for free, just thankful the show was being done.

“It’s a story that really wants to be told,” Rudinoff said. “The women had such passion about their experiences that went back 20 years, and no one had asked them about them before.”

A fundraiser for the project was held last Friday at the ultracool Interlaken Park home of Seattle club queen Linda Derschang(Linda’s Tavern, The Bait Shop). Walking through the room was seeing Seattle music history.

There was Rachel Flotardof Visqueen and Cobirds Unite; photographer Charles Peterson; Ben London, former executive director of Grammys Northwest and guitarist for Alcohol Funnycar; Chris Friel of Goodness and the Chris Friel Orchestra, fronted by his brother, Rick Friel; Candice Pedersen, one of the founders of K Records and her husband, Built to Spill drummer Scott Plouf; and Michael Musburger, the drummer for the Posies. (Kim Virant of Lazy Susan planned the party but couldn’t attend because she was performing that night.)

The artists have raised $65,000 to launch the show, “which is amazing,” Rudinoff said. But they still need $25,000 to make it a go. (To donate, go to acttheatre.org and put “These Streets” in the notes section of the donation page.)

They’ve reached out to the management companies of some of the Seattle bands that made it big, in the hopes that they might back their old friends.

“The girls were there, too, after all,” Harley said.

Cooking up a career

The downside of Seattle being a foodie paradise? The culinary talent is “fickle,” someone told me. “It’s a revolving door.”

So there’s great hope that a new partnership between the Art Institute of Seattle’s culinary school and the W Hotel Seattle will keep cooks put.

The hotel will train and nurture new talent, and the students will get a chance to learn — and tap into scholarship money through events put on by the W, where they do the cooking.

Ninety percent of Art Institute students are on some type of financial aid, said President Elden Monday. The program could keep them from dropping out for financial reasons.

With 424 rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space and several hundred events a year, the W offers endless possibilities for the culinary students, said general manager Tom Limberg, who started his hotel career parking cars at a hotel near LAX. (“Never thought I’d be a lifer,” he said.)

“It’s great for us, and it’s great for them,” Limberg said.

The program is already well under way, with Chef Steven Ariel of the W’s TRACE restaurant scheduled to cook with students at the Art Institute’s Portfolio restaurant in February, August and October; and the students headed to TRACE in August, June, September and December.

Here’s hoping they include culinary student Alex Thomas, 22, who is excited at the chance to someday work at the W.

“I want to cook, I want to work on a line, I want to own my own restaurant,” Thomas said. “The whole nine.”

Special guest of the night was Tiffany Derry, a graduate of the Art Institute of Houston, former contestant on “Top Chef” and the co-owner and executive chef at Private Social in Houston, where she sells a lot of duck-fat fried chicken. (But does she ship it?)

“That they can be able to be in a fine-dining restaurant as part of school is amazing,” said Derry. “And scholarships, too? I’m still paying off my student loans.”

Sushi-ing and sipping: JJ McKay, Windermere Real Estate’s A.Carol McDaniel in her signature standout red specs, Karla Murray of Starwood Hotels, and Tom Norwalk, president of Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, who reported a “record year” for hotel occupancy.

“We’re on a roll,” he said.

Keep cooking, kids. Sounds like there’s plenty of work for you.

Best kind of fire sale

That sound you’re hearing is the line forming outside the Madrona studio of glassybaby, which is holding its popular Seconds Sale at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“Thousands and thousands” of slightly imperfect glassybabys will be on sale for $28 each, said company spokeswoman Valerie Waltz. (They normally sell for $44.)

The company behind these stout little votives has always had a huge heart, and this event is no different; 5 percent of Saturday’s sales will go to help support early detection screenings for ovarian cancer; and another 5 percent will support scholarships for oncology nurses through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Friday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com.

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About Nicole Brodeur's Names in Bold

On Tuesdays, I tell you about my travels through some of the week's social and philanthropic events — not just the ones for the swells, but those for work-a-day folks who care about making this region move and improve.
nbrodeur@seattletimes.com | 206-464-2334

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