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Spotlight

Archive for July 2011

Duke’s ‘Miracle’ will return

“The Miracle Worker,” directed by Patty Duke – a springtime hit for Interplayers Professional Theatre – is coming back next month for a 12-performance encore.

The story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan will return from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4.

Tickets are $24 and should become available soon through TicketsWest outlets. Keep an eye out for further details.

Sarah Denison will return in her award-winning role as Annie Sullivan. However, audiences will be seeing a new Helen Keller: Caroline Slater, 9.

Duke was quoted in a press release as saying, “Thank you, Spokane, for keeping ‘The Miracle’ going.”

Rebecca Cook will be “associate director” of this revival.

Best of Broadway’s single ticket on-sale date

On-sale dates for single tickets to the upcoming Best of Broadway shows and various add-on events have now been set by WestCoast Entertainment.

These will be the first dates you can buy tickets to these shows without buying a full subscription or group package. Here are the dates, all effective at 10 a.m.:

  • Aug. 12 – “Defending the Caveman,”  “Spamalot,”  “Blues Brothers,” “Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra” and the “New Shanghai Circus.”
  • Aug. 26 – “Come Fly Away,”  “Young Frankenstein” and “In The Heights.”
  • Sept. 16 – “Beauty & The Beast.”
  • Nov. 4 – “Mary Poppins.”

On those dates, tickets will be available through TicketsWest outlets.

For more information about the Best of Broadway shows, check out the Best of Broadway site. .

Symphony celebrates ‘Best of Spokane’

The Spokane Symphony will play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony and Vivaldi's “Summer” from “Four Seasons” for some of Spokanes “best” causes on Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.

We say “best” because the symphony is billing this as its first-ever “Best of Spokane Concert,” and it is both a tribute and a fundraiser for these Spokane institutions: Bloomsday, First Night, Hoopfest, the Lilac Festival, MusicFest Northwest, Spokane International Film Festival, and Unity in the Community.

Here's the lowdown on the concert itself: It will cost $20, now on sale at (509) 624-1200 or TicketsWest outlets.

Now, about that “Best of” idea. Those organizations will not only be honored at the concert, but they will get a cut of the proceeds. Concertgoers are encouraged to wear t-shirts and hats representing any of those organizations.

Eckart Preu will conduct, and the concert will also include a patriotic sing-along. This event replaces the BestFest, which the symphony has held the last two summers.

The second part of the symphony’s “Best of Spokane” event – officially titled  “Say Wow! Celebrating the Best of Spokane” – will consist of the Community Open House and Showcase on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

It will be a lot like the open house the symphony hosted when The Fox re-opened in November 2007. This event is free, and includes performances by local groups, tours of the theater and hands-on children’s activities.

Here’s the performance schedule:

9 a.m.: Blessing and Drum Circle.

10:30 a.m.: Floating Crowbar, traditional Irish music.

Noon: Master Class Jazz Orchestra, Big Band Swing.

1:30 p.m.: Spokane Civic Theatre’s Musical Showcase, previewing its season.

3 p.m.: Big Red Barn – Rhythm and bluegrass.

Please note that this free day on Aug, 20 does not include a performance by the Spokane Symphony. The symphony is sponsoring it, but not performing. The symphony's appearance is only at the Aug. 18 event.

Kristofferson, Haggard together in Spokane

We just got word of a new concert, with tickets going on sale Friday:

KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & MERLE HAGGARD
Sun, September 25th, 2011 7:30 PM

INB Performing Arts Center
334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99201 (509 279-7000)

All Ages. Tickets Range From: $35, $45, $55, $65 in advance,
all seats are $5.00 higher day of show!

Tickets on sale July 29, but you can get access to a pre-sale by clicking on www.ticketswest.com

  

A Kathy Griffin date switch

Comedian Kathy Griffin's appearance at the INB Performing Arts Center has been switched from Aug. 20 to Aug. 28. All tickets dated Aug. 20 will be honored on the later date.

No word on the reason for the switch, except she now has no tour dates between July 23 and Aug. 26.

Go to TicketsWest for tickets details.

See some Pollock, Warhol, Johns at WSU

The Washington State Museum of Art has won a $10,000 grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation for an upcoming exhibition and book project titled, “Works on Paper: American Art 1945-1975.”

It will run at the museum from October through December and will include works by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra and Andy Warhol, to name just a few of the 52 artists.

In other words, it's a chance to see works by many of the biggest artists of the era.

A full color book, produced by the museum, will accompany the exhibit.

Maria Muldaur coming to Spirit Lake

Maria Muldaur, of “Midnight at the Oasis” fame, has been booked into Spirit Lake’s Red, Wine & Bluz Fest on Aug. 20 at 9 p.m.

Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band be the closing act in the newly reinvigorated blues festival, which has been moved this year to Spirit Lake’s City Park. The festival runs Aug. 19 and 20, noon to 11 p.m. each day.

Other bands include the Red Hot Blues Sisters, the Smokehouse Blues Band, Gary Yeoman and Voodoo Church and Big Daddy and the Blue Notes.

It’s a family event; they will also host an arts and crafts fair and a kid’s fair. Kids 12 and under are free.

Tickets are $31 for both days or $21 for one day, available in advance at www.spiritlakebluzfest.com.

The nation’s top Highland dancers are here

The best Highland dancers in the US are in Spokane for the 2011 U.S. Inter-Regional Highland Dance Championships.

Yes, you can watch them, both at  paid admission events Friday and Saturda at the INB Performing Arts Center and free events on Sunday.

Here's the info from the press release:

Admission for the public is 10 dollars. The Event kicks off  Friday July 22 (10-4pm) at the INB with a dance called  sailor’s Horn Pipe.  It mimics sailors actions, how to raise the flag on the ship, etc.

Saturday is the U.S. Nationals …. INB 9-4… held only one a year with top 100 dancers. International competitors there as well.
  

The judges are from Scotland and other places.
  

Sunday 9-4… free dance open to the public – Lilac Bowl in Riverfront Park.  Another competition for the Lilac Bowl Championship.

A ‘Deadliest Catch’ ticket deal

On Friday only, you can pick up two tickets for $40 to “Deadliest Catch Live: A Night with Capt. Sig and the Hillstrand Brothers,” on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the INB Performing Arts Center.

They're calling it the “Catch of the Day.” These are tickets in the orchestra (lower) level, which are normally $40 each. So it's essentially a two-for-one deal.

This deal is available through TicketsWest outlets, but don't even try to get it until Friday.

MAC gets new executive director

Forrest B. Rodgers has been appointed the new executive director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC).

Rodgers was most recently the director of the Central Washington University Foundation in Ellensburg.

From 2001 to 2007, he was the president and CEO of the privately funded High Desert Museum in Bend, Ore., which reversed a decline in paid attendance.

He will take over on Aug. 1 from Ron Rector, who is retiring.

It is, of course, too early to tell what Rodgers will mean to the MAC. Yet I can say that the MAC could do worse than emulate the High Desert Museum, one of the Northwest's best and most entertaining regional museums.

Big buzz for ‘Badassdom’

The Joe Lynch  movie, “Knights of Badassdom,” filmed in Spokane last summer, is getting some priceless national publicity.

Entertainment Weekly gave this indie-comedy-fantasy a full page treatment in its “First Look” section in its July 22 issue, with photos of stars Summer Glau, Ryan Kwanten, Steven Zahn and Peter Dinklage.

EW said the cast is “sure to get the fanboy seal of approval.” Here's the link to the EW piece and photos.

Lynch, on the film's website, called it “another moment of serendipity for this crazy flick.” 

The movie's trailer will be unveiled at Comic-Con this week. The movie still doesn't have a release date, but with this kind of buzz, we can expect some new urgency.

A mad ‘rush’ for $25 k.d. lang tickets

You can pick up a $25 ticket to the k.d. lang concert, but you have to pounce right away.

This afternoon, 100 balcony seats went on sale for $25 in a kind of early 'rush' ticket deal. These tickets are available through all TicketsWest outlets or through the Fox box office at 509-624-1200 until they're gone.

Normally, tickets are $49 and $69, so this is a bargain.

 k.d. lang and her new band, the Siss Boom Bang, are playing Monday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. .

A really big band at the Northern Quest

A really big band has been booked into the Northern Quest Resort and Casino's outdoor venue: The Spokane Symphony, Aug. 20, 7 p.m.

They're calling this a “Sizzling Summer Concert With the Spokane Symphony” and it will feature Eckart Preu conducting the symphony in a show that ranges from the “Superman” theme to John Phillip Souza. It will be a spectrum of light classics and popular music.

Tickets are now on sale, $20 and $25, through TicketsWest.  

She’s playing Bill Clinton’s mama

Spokane opera singer Jessica Bowers is receiving national attention for her role in a New York folk opera titled, “Billy Blythe,” which is about, of all things, the adolescence of Bill Clinton.

Bowers plays Clinton’s mother, Virginia.

This Metropolis Opera Project production is based on Clinton’s 2004 memoir, “My Life” and had a two-day developmental reading in June at the Medicine Show Theatre in New York.

Bowers was featured prominently in a July 4 article in the New Yorker magazine about the show’s rehearsals. In the story, the composer mentioned that Clinton seemed to be attracted to women who reminded him of his mother.

“It’s funny you would say that,” the New Yorker quoted Bowers as saying. “Someone once told me I look like Monica Lewinsky.”

Here's a link to the New Yorker piece.

Bowers is a Spokane native and graduate of Whitworth University and the New England Conservatory. She has appeared with the Spokane Opera.

She is continuing Spokane’s surprising record of supplying New York with opera singers — Patrice Munsel and Thomas Hampson, to name the two most prominent.

A talk with Capt. Sig of ‘Deadliest Catch’

I just got off the phone with Sig Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern of “Deadliest Catch” fame.

He's coming to the INB Performing Arts Center for a stage show called “Deadliest Catch: An Evening with Capt. Sig and the Hillstrand Bros.” on July 24 at the INB Performing Arts Center.

I'll write a full story based on the interview for the July 22 paper. But I thought I'd give you a few highlights:

  • He says the stage show is often more like a comedy show than anything else, with the captains having a lot of fun with audience questions. There will even be survival-suit race, with audience volunteers.
  • They've done this show in at least 35 other cities, to big crowds.
  • Capt. Sig has a new credit to his name: He's the voice of the boat Crabby in “Cars 2”.
  • Capt. Sig also has a line of fish sticks, a brand of beer, a video game and a (soon) a restaurant in his name.
  • He's from Ballard (my favorite Seattle neighborhood),

Tickets range from $20 to $75 through Ticketswest.

Getcher free Springsteen, right now

I logged onto the Spokane Public Library's new free music download service, Freegal, yesterday — and it lived up to expectations.

It contains 500,000 songs from the Sony music archives. City library card holders can download — and keep — three songs per week.

It will take me months to thoroughly browse the offerings, but it contains just about the entire Bruce Springsteen catalog, the entire Simon and Garfunkel catalog and lots of the Frank Sinatra catalog.

And those are just the S's.

A quick rule of thumb: Artists on a Sony label or any of its affiliates (including the mighty Columbia Records label), will probably be there.

To access it, you must have a Spokane Public Library card and the PIN number that you already use to log onto the library's website. If you don't have a PIN number, you'll have to go to any branch and get one.

Classical music fans might be particularly pleased. The site contains lots of outstanding classical selections. But you might have to download them movement by movement.

See the original post below for more details.

A second Brandi Carlile concert option

Brandi Carlile has been booked into the Knitting Factory on Oct. 6 — which will be just two months after her appearance at the Festival at Sandpoint.

So, choose your preference: The lakeshore under the stars? Or the downtown Spokane nightclub? Or both?  There are probably a number of Brandi Carlile fanatics who will choose both.

At the Knitting Factory, she'll be appearing with Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. Tickets for that show will be $26,  on sale Friday, 10 a.m. through Ticketfly.

The Festival at Sandpoint appearance will be Aug. 5, and tickets are $36.95 now on sale through TicketsWest.

Neko Case is a Baby Bar fan

Neko Case apparently hung out at the Baby Bar, the tiny gem at 827 W. First, after her Thursday concert, because here's what she just tweeted:

“The Baby Bar in Spokane, WA. Best bar in USA. No question.”

An outdoor ‘Much Ado’ at G-Prep

Free Shakespeare will return to the lawn on the Gonzaga Prep campus, with “Much Ado About Nothing,” Aug. 5-21. This follows a successful “Taming of the Shrew” in 2009.

Director and creative force Kevin Connell (also known as the G-Prep principal) said this year's production will be a little different: Three more performances have been added and most shows will be in early evening (6 p.m.) instead of in the afternoon. Seating is on the grass, so blankets and lawn chairs are a good idea.

Here's the complete info, from Connell's press release:

The Spokane Shakespeare Company will present Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies, on the first three weekends of August outdoors on the campus of Gonzaga Preparatory School.  Much Ado tells the story of the “merry war” between Shakespeare’s wittiest lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, as they employ every verbal weapon at their command to resist the irresistible attraction that everyone but themselves can see pulling them together.  The production will be staged in the days after WWII as men return home from battle and women refuse to surrender the independence their war-time responsibilities have won them.  The cast features actors from EWU, GU, and SFCC along with several popular local theater veterans and is directed by Kevin Connell, S.J. of GU’s Theatre Arts Program and the principal of Gonzaga Prep.  Performances will take place Friday through Sunday, August 5-7, 12-14, and 19-21.  Friday and Saturday shows will begin at 6 p.m. and Sunday shows at 3 p.m.  The performance runs 90 minutes and is suitable for all ages.  Seating is on the grass and patrons are encouraged to bring their own food and refreshments.  Admission is by donation and reservations will not be taken. For more information call 509-994-2788 or consult Spokane Shakespeare Company on Facebook.

UPROAR Festival: Bands with ‘Seven’ in name

The Spokane Arena has just announced that the 2011 Rockstar Energy Drink UPROAR Festival has been booked into the Arena on Oct. 2.

This lineup includes two bands with “Seven” in their names: Avenged Sevenfold and Sevendust.

The complete lineup:  Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Seether, Bullet For My Valentine and Escape the Fate on the main stage, while Sevendust, Black Tide, Art of Dying and The Black Cloud Collective will play the Best Buy Music Gear Stage.

Tickets will be $25, $35, and $45 and $65 and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through TicketsWest outlets.

Lynyrd Skynyrd ticket date switch

TicketsWest has now changed the Lynyrd Skynyrd on-sale date to Tuesday at 10 a.m.

This show, as we noted in previous posts, is Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino's outdoors venue. It's the final show in the summer series. 

A new Spokane String Quartet member

Violinist Amanda Howard-Phillips has joined the Spokane String Quartet for its new season, replacing Tracy Dunlop, who has moved to Michigan.

Howard-Phillips is on the Gonzaga University faculty and is current the principal second violin for the Spokane Symphony.

The quartet’s new season consists of these five concerts:

  • Sept. 25, Bing Crosby Theater – Hayden, Britten and Beethoven.
  • Nov. 13, Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox – Shostakovich, Haydn and Sibelius.
  • Feb. 19, The Fox – Mozart and Brahms.
  • March 11, The Fox – with guest artists, mezzo-soprano Joanne Bouma and pianist Linda Siverts, and music by Brahms and Ravel.
  • April 29, Bing Crosby Theater – with guest artist pianist Kendall Feeney, and music by Frank, de Falla, Schoenfield and Shostakovich.

The rest of the quartet consists of Mateusz Wolski, Jeannette Wee-Yang and Helen Byrne.

Season tickets are now available through www.spokanestringquartet.org. Single tickets will go on sale in September.

Skynyrd tickets on sale Saturday

We've finally received confirmation on the Lynryd Skynyrd on-sale date: Saturday at 10 a.m. through TicketsWest outlets.

Ticket prices will range from $55 to $100.

The show, as we noted in a previous post, is Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino's outdoors venue. It's the final show in the summer series. 

Musical culture clash downtown: Neko Case vs. Ted Nugent

Two opposing musical forces play right next door to each other on Sprague Avenue tonight: Neko Case at the Bing Crosby Theater and Ted Nugent at the Knitting Factory.

Could there be two shows with a more disparate fan base? Maybe Ted Nugent vs. the Symphony …

A Leonardo learning experience

Line I overheard on the bus last week: “That Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the MAC isn't even real! They want us to pay to see a bunch of fake stuff!”

OK, where should I begin?

First, get real. Did you truly expect the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) to have an original da Vinci painting? There are only about 16 da Vinci paintings in existence and unless your museum has the word “Louvre” in it's name, your chances of getting one is just about nil.

Second, most of the exhibit consists of large, wooden models of mechanical devices made from drawings in da Vinci's notebooks. You can call those “fakes,” I suppose, except there there is no such thing as an “original” of these devices. Da Vinci never made any.

Third, “fake” or not, you'll learn a heck of a lot about da Vinci, one of the most remarkable minds of all time. And isn't that the point?

Fourth, decades ago, I once saw the “Mona Lisa” on loan to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. Yeah, it was the real thing, all right, but the crowds were so enormous (500,000 in 27 days)  and the security was so tight I got about a one-second glimpse of it. We were whisked past it on moving walkway. The one I saw at the MAC was a fake — a digital reproduction — but I sure got a better look at the old girl.

Half-price deal for Spokane Symphony

The Spokane Symphony announced a surprise subscription deal: Half-price subscriptions for new subscribers.

Or even former subscribers, as long as they were not subscribers for the 2010-11 season.

This offer, which expires on Labor Day, means that new subscribers can get the entire 10-concert Classics season for $110 to $160 per seat.

Yeah, that's a ridiculous bargain.

It also works for the SuperPops and Casual Classics series. Here's the info from the symphony's own release:

The introductory price for the 10-concert Classics season package now range from $110 to $160. Classics concert are performed on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  The introductory price for the six-concert SuperPops package now range from $148.50 to $99. SuperPops concerts are on Saturday night.  The three-concert Casual Classics package ranges from $27 to $42. Casual Classics concerts are performed on Friday night.

Why is the symphony doing this? “To reach new season ticket holders and bring past past season ticket holders,” said the press release.

 

To get this deal call the symphony box office at (509) 624-1200. For more details on the season, go to the symphony website.

 

Free music, courtesy of Spokane Public Library

Beginning soon, the Spokane Public Library will offer you a legal way to download music for free.

It's called Freegal, and in mid-July the library will be offering the entire Sony music catalog, which includes a half-million tracks, including songs by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Adele, Britney Spears, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Bartok and Beethoven, along with thousands of others.

Library card holders can download three songs a week for free. And, unlike the old-fashioned method of checking out albums from the library, you never have to return them. They are yours to keep.

The library pays for the Freegal service, but it's a good deal for the library, since it's a lot more cost effective than shelving and maintaining that many CDS (and trying to keep them from getting stolen).

Go to the Spokane Public Library website to access this service. The library has not been any more specific than “mid-July” for the launch, which means we can start looking for it in the next two weeks, at least.

Lynyrd Skynyrd added to Northern Quest outdoor lineup

Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band that helped make Southern rock a big-selling genre, has been booked into the Northern Quest Resort and Casino's outdoor venue, on Sept. 18, 4 p.m.

This announcement just came through. Tickets are not yet on sale and prices have not yet been announced. I'll post the ticket info as soon as I get it.

This will be the eighth — and final — concert in the Northern Concert's inaugural outdoor summer season. 

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