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Pop-Up Cabaret Takes Over Downtown Seattle Storefront For Three Days

Marcie Sillman

Tonight is First Thursday. It's a chance to check out new shows at Seattle art galleries. Admission is free to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), where they're planning a special Cinco de Mayo parade. A few blocks north of SAM, an artists' collective is hosting a three–day cabaret called Barnstorm. KUOW's Marcie Sillman reports.


Merriam Webster defines the word "barnstorm" as "to travel around the countryside performing theatrical works or giving speeches in barns." The group of artists behind Seattle's Barnstorm won't be travelling. Instead, they've organized a three–night–only pop–up cabaret in downtown Seattle. Collaborators Lara Kaminski and Josh Windsor came up with the idea about year ago, when they met in a Seattle University graduate program. Windsor says when they decided to put on the cabaret, it took awhile to find their empty storefront on Third Avenue, not far from Macy's downtown store.

Windsor: "We saw the space, thought it was ideal, and spent the next three months, I think, in negotiations on what we needed to do to get into the space."

That included everything from getting temporary permits from the city to installing a stage, lights and a full bar. The Barnstorm Cabaret will feature an array of art, from one woman's five–year–long daily post–it note journal to a performance billed as the rock operatic coming–of–age story of a plastic kazoo. Lara Kaminski says the group hopes to recreate Barnstorm in another location later this year, but first they want to see how this weekend goes.

Kaminiski: "We're definitely going to do a postmortem and talk about what we felt were the successes and where we could learn, and if we wanted to continue to work together or if we were just so sick of each other we were done [laughs]."

The Barnstorm Cabaret opens its doors at six tonight through Saturday evening. I'm Marcie Sillman, KUOW News.

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