From courtroom to stage

And you thought lawyers only made motions in court!

Now you can see attorneys singing and swinging during the third annual Seattle Law Firm Battle of the Bands, known as Lawyerpalooza. The event is on Thursday, May 5, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Premier Club, 1700 First Ave. S. Admission is $20 in advance, $30 at the door. The bands compete in 20-minute sets for the Golden Palooza Award.

Six bands are scheduled to appear, among them ``Ruby's Basement,'' a group that includes Island lawyer Robynne Thaxton Parkinson. Until recently, her husband Steve played piano and sang with the band.

``We placed second in the competition last year,'' said Thaxton Parkinson. ``This year we have three kids, so he takes care of them while I go off to band practice once a week.''

A Texas native, Thaxton Parkinson moved to the Island with her husband in 1992. He had lived on the Island before and graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1980.

``We met taking the Washington State Bar exam,'' she said.

Thaxton Parkinson specializes in construction, labor and employment law. Her husband practices environmental law. A former partner at his law firm, Doug Roach, put together the band.

``We do a lot of standard rock `n' roll tunes,'' said Thaxton Parkinson. ``We do Blondie, Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt, the stuff from the era we grew up in.''

Parkinson is involved in the event because she believes in what it's supporting. Proceeds benefit selected Seattle elementary schools fourth- and fifth-grade music programs.

Thaxton Parkinson bristles at the idea that it's unusual for lawyers to be musicians.

``Most lawyers like to get up in front of people anyway,'' she said. ``Just because you're a lawyer doesn't mean you don't have other talents. Lawyers are people, too!''

More information is available at, or contact Mike Nesteroff, a lawyer at Lane, Powell Professional Corporation in Seattle, at 223-6242.

Hydroplane Heaven

``Madison,'' a movie about an independent hydroplane driver from Madison, Ind., opened in theaters across Seattle last week.

Island resident Ken Muscatel, a forensic psychologist and hydroplane racer, was contacted by the movie's scriptwriter in 1992 about getting hydroplane boats for a feature film. As the former president of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, Muscatel was able to keep the moviemakers aware of the boats availability. In 1999, the film started production.

The Hydroplane Museum provided five boats for the film, and two came from private owners on the East Coast. Muscatel said that several local hydroplane drivers drove their boats as stunt pilots for the action sequences in Madison, Ind. Muscatel drove the boats Notre Dame and Hawaii Kai during filming.

The movie stars James Caviezal, best known for his portrayal of Jesus in ``The Passion of the Christ.'' Muscatel said he was glad to meet and talk to the actor on the set.

``He's from this area, and he's a really nice guy,'' Muscatel said.

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