Two special events will raise funds for WICA

"Benefit events for WICA* The Shifty Sailors, in concert on Saturday, June 17, 7:30 p.m., at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Tickets, * Late Nite Catechism, on stage Monday, June 19, 7 p.m. Tickets, $45/$35/$20. Call for tickets at 221-8268. Email or visit All proceeds benefit Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. The Whidbey Island Center for the Arts has set two benefit events to raise money for the Langley theater: The Shifty Sailors and The Blue Marble present a concert of sea chanteys, acoustic music and good fun on Saturday, June 17; and on June 19, Sister comes to town with the Seattle hit show, Late Nite Catechism. The Shifty Sailors, a popular a capella singing group from the island, started in 1993 when eight friends got together to sing seafaring songs for what they believed would be a one shot deal: to help the Island County Historical Society promote their newly published book, Sails, Steamships and Sea Captains. But according to the group director Vern Olsen, the evening was so successful, more singers joined in. Seven years later, the Shifty Sailors have more than 50 songs in their repertoire, two CDs (the latest to be released this July), wear nifty nautical garb and are oh, so polished.Members of the group are all from Whidbey Island and form an eclectic band in their professions and avocations: a lawyer, three doctors, three teachers, a counselor, two bus drivers, a retired navy man, a contractor, an acupuncturist and a retired town planner. In addition to Olson, the Sailors include Gordy Adams, Doug Allderdice, Jim Amis, Denny Armstrong, Ken Bishop, Kermit Chamberlin, Clarke Harvy, Rio Kiper, Karl Olsen, Ted Ravetz, Charlie Stromberg, Wylie Vracin, Bob Wagner, Ed Walker, and John White. The Shifty Sailors have performed on and off the Island for benefits, school events, in concert with other groups, in many of the North Puget Sound festivals and in Seattle at The Best of the Northwest and the Northwest Folklife Festival. Joining in the evening's festivities on Saturday will be a recently formed trio, the Blue Marble, with Island residents and singer-songwriters Paul Houser (vocals), Susan Morris (vocals and guitar) and Tom Walker (vocals and guitar). The three musicians feature an original, acoustic mix rich in three-part harmonies and memorable songs. The second of the WICA benefits this month is the Seattle production of Late Nite Catechism, coming to South Whidbey on Monday, June 19. The play will be staged in the 600-seat theater at South Whidbey High School. This internationally acclaimed off-Broadway (and church-approved) play takes audiences back to school and, for some, stirs memories of catechism classes and the nuns who taught them. Described as a comic crash course in Catholic culture, Late Nite is an interactive, one-woman comedy in which Aubrey Manning portrays Sister, a middle-aged nun teaching catechism to her class of adult Catholics. She explains such elusive notions as the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, the Holy Trinity and the Theory of Evolution. The students are encouraged to participate by answering questions from Sister, with rewards for her pets (there's a special ticket price for the Teacher's Pet section) and firm yet gentle correction for those who haven't paid attention. So remember, don't be late, keep both feet on the floor, get rid of that gum, keep your hands to yourself and enjoy the show."

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