"The Simpsons," the Fox adult cartoon series made by Portland native Matt Groening, turns 30 this year. The first Fox episode aired Dec. 17, 1989.
And the Tacoma Art Museum has a new exhibit, open through Oct. 27, honoring the world of Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa and the town of Springfield, perhaps the biggest "Simpsons" exhibit so far.
It's not Portland, which inspired some of the show, but it's only a short drive up Interstate 5. "Bart at TAM: Animating America's Favorite Family" has opened at Tacoma Art Museum. It features original drawings and animation cels from the collection of Bill Heeter; it's an unauthorized exhibit, meaning only that it's not meant to trump Fox's copyright. Fox sells materials to authorized dealers who then sell them to collectors. Groening and the Fox folks know all about it, TAM's Margaret Bullock said.
There are 150 pieces, including original cels, drawings, scripts and other collectibles. They are from both the "The Tracey Ullman Show," which introduced the Simpsons in a series of shorts, and the Fox series.
Bullock hopes Portlanders visit the exhibit at Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma, Washington (exit 133 off I-5). Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays.
"People are really enjoying it. Hopefully it attracts a good crowd," she said.
Phyllis Yes, a retired Lewis & Clark art instructor, saw her first play staged last spring at CoHo Theatre. It's called "Good Morning, Miss America," and it's about Yes caring for aging parents from afar and all the family drama that goes with it. (The Tribune wrote about Yes and the play.)
Now, a domino effect has landed the play in an Off-Broadway theater in New York in October.
Last year, Yes met with a member of the Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) staff, Katie O'Regan, about setting up a scholarship for needy art students; the college sits about 100 miles from Yes' childhood home in Austin, Minnesota. Turns out O'Regan is an actress, director and producer with about 60 credits, and she looked at Yes' script "and she loved it," Yes said.
O'Regan set up a run of "Good Morning, Miss America" in Decorah, but a conflict at her college left O'Regan without a job. So, she suggested to Yes that they stage the play Off-Broadway, and O'Regan set up a run at Theater 80 St. Marks, Oct. 2-12. O'Regan plays the lead role of Yes.
"She's got everybody hired," Yes said. "It was meant to be. Quite a miracle." They want to take it on a national tour.
Yes, 78, said she received some financial support from her friend Gert Boyle, former president of Columbia Sportswear, who loved the show at CoHo. "She gave us a generous amount to tack down the (New York) theater," Yes said. "She said, 'Just make me a special producer.'"
There has been a reading at a Maryland theater, arranged through a friend from her Peace Corps days, and there'll be a reading at her hometown theater in late August.
"It's taken off on a life of its own," Yes said. "It's a blast."
If you walk by the 200 Market Building, 200 S.W Market St., on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2-3, you might see people rappelling down the side of the building. Yes, rappelling.
It's the fourth annual Rappel for Her, a fundraiser for Girls Inc., and the VIPs climb down the 17-story Market Building on Friday and then public individuals make the descent from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. It's for anyone who raises a fundraising goal of at least $1,000 for Girls Inc., which empowers young women; it's in partnership with Over the Edge USA.
"I was the first person to go down last year in Vancouver (at Hilton)," said Kara McFall, a Girls Inc. volunteer. "I was petrified, but once I did it, it wasn't scary, it was a blast. I was bouncing like Spider-Man down the building."
She and dozens of others will now take on the Market Building.