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home : arts & entertainment

The accidental scene-stealer

Photo by Sebastian Moraga
At left, Saxton Sykes, one of the lead actors of “Guys and Dolls” the Damon Runyon musical that played early this month at Cashmere Middle School.
Pardon the pun, but Saxton Sykes has rebounded from a back injury that derailed his football and wrestling careers, rather nicely-nicely.

The Cashmere senior returned to acting after six years away with a head-turning performance as Nicely-Nicely Johnson in "Guys and Dolls" earlier this month.

On closing night, Sykes earned the loudest ovation of the night, which is impressive when one considers Sykes hadn't acted since "You Ain't Nothin' But A Werewolf," back in sixth grade.

In between came a wrestling career, a football career and two fractures on the same vertebrae that led him to seek other interests.

He broke his back in October of 2013, and didn't find out until February of 2014.

"I didn't know it was broken," he said. "It hurt really bad but the doctors couldn't find anything on an x-ray until finally I found a doctor who would give me an MRI and who told me it was broken."

With months of rehab ahead of him, he sought other things to do. Susan Gubsch, the head of the drama program at Cashmere High School told him he should consider acting. Classmates of his who had acted with him in "Werewolf" also joined in the lobbying.

"I guess they just remembered that I was decent" at singing, Sykes joked.

He didn't audition for the play in the autumn of 2014 because he had rehab to complete and tough classes to pass.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 More...

North Carolina's bluegrass band 'Nu-Blu' performs in Cashmere
Straight from Siler City, North Carolina, Cashmere Community Concerts, rolls out a great big Pacific Northwest welcome to Nu-Blu, Saturday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Nu-Blu brings its lively and entertaining version of Americana-bluegrass to audiences across the nation year-round. While acknowledging the traditional sounds that have defined bluegrass, Nu-Blu is innovative and daring enough to bring a fresh sparkle to contemporary acoustic music that lands them squarely in the forefront of bands blazing the trail in acoustic entertainment. Influences range from the sounds of original bluegrass pioneers like Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin and Lester Flatt to modern contemporary sounds such as Alison Krauss and Union Station.

Band members are Carolyn Routh, on bass and vocals; Levi Austin on banjo and vocals; Austin Koerner, on mandolin; and Daniel Routh, on guitar and vocals. Carolyn's soprano vocal approach carries a phrasing and emotional elegance that shows a clear originality. Daniel and Levi provide inventive singing and harmonies to fill out the vocal sound, while all four members demonstrate instrumental prowess. Nu-Blu is finding itself more and more at home on the radio charts, most recently with the evocative "Jesus and Jones." Be sure to mark your calendars and join Cashmere Community Concerts for a stellar show!

Thursday, February 19, 2015 More...
Musical's cast visits elementary school
The song was flawless, the scene was moving. The two actors approached each other and kissed.

The reaction from the audience was swift: Not aww, not applause, much less awed silence.

Nope. Instead, giggles, frowns, hands to the face and a few "ewws."

That's what happens when you're high-schoolers acting in front of fourth-graders.

Actors from Cashmere High School Drama's musical "Guys and Dolls" visited Vale Elementary last week and performed for the students several numbers form their latest show.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 More...
True North performs at Cashmere Community Concert's 14th anniversary
Cashmere Community Concerts is pleased to welcome to our stage once again, the superb, True North, Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. Hailing from Oregon's beautiful Willamette valley, Americana-bluegrass quartet True North combines traditional bluegrass instrumentation with fat harmonies and folk-edged songwriting for a distinctive sound that is fresh, warm and memorable. True North's tight and careful arrangements can be alternately big and wild, or tender and deliberate.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 More...

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