Off the Press

August 7, 2012

Kathleen Merrill
Press managing editor

It started with a photo, years ago, a sepia-toned 8-by-10 that someone sent in about their 50th anniversary. I don’t remember the couple’s name anymore, but I remember their faces beaming as they looked into a camera and smiled.

They sent some information with the photo and asked if we could run a small announcement. I instead asked a reporter to write a story.

How do people stay married that long? What’s their secret? Are they happy? And what have their lives together been like?

Those were things I wanted to know.

Since then, I can’t count how many stories we’ve done about couples who have been married 40, 50, 60 and even 70 years. It amazes me, in an age where the reported average is one divorce for every two marriages, that some couples manage to stay together, and do it happily, for longer than many people have even been alive.

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Say ‘I do’ to Village Theatre’s ‘It Shoulda Been You’

March 20, 2012

John Patrick Lowrie (George Howard), Leslie Law (Judy Steinberg), Jayne Muirhead (Georgette Howard) and John Dewar (Murray Steinberg) star as the parents of the bride and groom in ‘It Shoulda Been You.’ By Jay Koh/Village Theatre

Ours is a matchmaker-mad culture.

“The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” canoodle and cavort across the pop culture landscape. Cable TV is garter-deep in dating games and wedding stories.

The musical “It Shoulda Been You” — the raucous wedding-crasher comedy onstage at Village Theatre — is more akin to the MTV chestnut “Next” than “Bridezillas” and other guilty pleasures in the WE TV lineup.

“Next” — for the uninitiated, or audiences spared from circa 2005 reality TV — sent a contestant on a series of a blind dates, and he or she could end the outing abruptly by declaring, “Next!”

“It Shoulda Been You” is not so cruel, but after a jilted ex-boyfriend crashes the nuptials, hopes for a simple coast down the aisle dissipate faster than Champagne bubbles.

Though, truth be told, nothing is simple about the impending union between Rebecca Steinberg and Brian Howard, in large part due to the lovebirds’ overbearing mothers. Rebecca’s spinster-in-training sister Jenny is assigned to referee.

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Off The Press

June 15, 2010

Reality TV an easier dating experience than reality

So, why do you want to find love on “The Bachelor?”

That question, or some form of it, was asked to each of 200 women sitting before casting directors June 13.

ABC’s well-known franchise rolled into the greater Seattle-area, to find throngs of single women and yes, even a few men, that showed up for their chance to find love on the national television show.

Chantelle Lusebrink Press reporter

The dating scene leaves a lot to be desired, trust me. So, it’s not surprising two locals have landed on the national show.

First, there was Bevin Powers, then 28, who landed on 2007’s “The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman.”

And most recently, Issaquah resident and businessman John Crivello, 32, made an appearance. In case, you aren’t engulfed in reality TV, he’s the guy who had enough gusto to actually propose to this season’s bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky, 25, during the first show May 24.

I headed to the casting call with several girlfriends to see what exactly was going on. More directly, why would people risk public heartbreak — not to mention a complete invasion of privacy since you’re asked questions like “Have you ever had a restraining order issued against you?” and filmed 24/7 — to make whatever reality of love happen?

So, why do you want to find love on “The Bachelor?”

What followed as an answer from one of the women who attended the event was entirely unexpected. Simply stated in her written application, “Reality hasn’t worked for me.”

With the advent of telephone chat lines, speed dating, blind dating, Internet dating sites, tweeting and social networking, plus all the traditional ways of meeting someone, one would think there are plenty of ways to find love in reality. But judging by the lineup, which began at about 7:30 a.m., those realities hadn’t worked for many people.

As one would imagine, the archetypical stereotypes were represented: The wannabe “child star” who came to the casting armed with professional headshots and a helicopter mom to boss around; the misunderstood artist-type, who chain-smoked in line and wore a choker resembling a dog collar; the divorcee, who hadn’t watched the show enough to know it’s rare that anyone older than 35 is selected; the quiet professional that never made time for love, but has a doctorate of some sort; and then there was the showstopper, gold lamé stilettos, a flashy, fuchsia dress and a coif that would put Dolly Parton’s to shame.

More surprising, however, was how “normal” many of the hopeful bachelors and bachelorettes appeared: young professionals, generally photogenic, well-groomed and from observation, generally intelligent and ambitious.

So, at the end of the day, what does this long-shot chance of getting cast give to these contestants actually looking for love, not fame? Read more

Issaquah businessman comes up empty handed on ABC’s ‘The Bachelorette’

June 8, 2010

NEW — 4:53 p.m. June 8, 2010

Issaquah businessman John Crivello, 32, made a splash on the sixth season opener of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” by proposing, but he couldn’t keep the romance alive.

Crivello, a hotel business developer, came up empty handed during Monday night’s coveted rose ceremony. If bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky, 25, had given him a rose, he would have continued with the show and his quest to win her heart.

It was the show’s third episode of the season. The next shows feature remaining bachelors and Fedotowsky traveling the world to win her affection. The season finale will air Aug. 2.

While Crivello is out of the running, it doesn’t mean you have to be.

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Issaquah resident and eligible bachelor makes mark on ‘The Bachelorette’

May 25, 2010

NEW — 4:35 p.m. May 25, 2010

Forget about first date jitters. Issaquah resident John Crivello, 32, was the first to drop to one knee and propose during the sixth season premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” on Monday night.

The lucky girl? Ali Fedotowsky, 25, who is looking for her own love after being on the previous season of “The Bachelor.”

Crivello grew up in Mukilteo and is in hotel business development, according to a bio posted on the show’s website. The bio says his favorite holiday is Christmas, and the three items he’d bring to a desert island are a surfboard, water desalination kit and a hunting knife.

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