May 9, 1995 in Features

Birthday Worth Smiling About

By The Spokesman-Review

Bloomsday wasn’t the only game in town this weekend.

Late Friday afternoon, there was a 50th birthday party for Yosemite Sam at the Douglas Gallery.

Danna Douglas, who runs the downtown art gallery along with husband Dennis, cut the cartoon-adorned cake. The first piece featured a nice sized portion of Tweety bird’s face (quite tasty). The gallery’s resident dogs, Muffin and Honey Bear, looked on.

And even though Sam - you know, the hot-tempered little guy with zero tolerance for Bugs Bunny - is a Warner Brothers character, the party served as a kick-off for an exhibition of Disney animation art.

The show features 60 framed, hand-painted Disney scenes from various stages of the animation process. The pieces come from a long list of Disney hits, from “Dumbo” to “Beauty and the Beast.”

The scenes are instantly recognizable. But if you don’t really understand the art of animation, there’s a temptation to keep saying, “What exactly is it I’m looking at?”

That’s OK. Dennis and Danna don’t mind questions.

The exhibit runs through May 21.

Saturday afternoon at The Met, students from the Tessa Williams School of Classical Ballet took the stage before a nearly packed house.

“All the children have worked very hard, so give them a nice clap, please,” Williams told the audience a few minutes before the performance.

Not to worry. Parents and grandparents aren’t anybody’s idea of a tough crowd.

Lots had cameras. And more than a few onlookers held flowers to be presented to the young ballerinas after their artistic triumphs.

But as the recital progressed, one preschool girl in the audience had a problem. She knew her big sister was up there somewhere, only she couldn’t find her. “Where is she?” she asked several thousand times.

Her mother’s answers - “You just missed her” and “She’s not on right now” - did not satisfy. Not one bit.

She wanted to see Sissy and she wanted to see her that instant.

Then, finally, she got her wish. A dance featuring about a dozen young girls dressed up like fairy princesses started. And during a standing-still moment, the little girl’s sister happened to be at the front. The mother leaned next to the tiny child in the audience and pointed. “See?”

“Yeahhhhhh,” said the little girl.

It was hard to tell, looking at the back of her head. But it sounded like a smile.


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