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Archive for November 2011

Seeking: Ric Gendron’s lost paintings

Curator Ben Mitchell is putting together an ambitious traveling retrospective exhibit of the works of Spokane artist Ric Gendron. Click here for a previous column detailing how this exhibit died during the MAC's financial crisis and was then miraculously revived.

Yet neither Mitchell nor Gendron can track down four powerful and uncommonly important paintings that, by any measure, should be included in the exhibit. These are part of Gendron's dark “Indian Boarding School Series,” which were a prominent part of a 2002 exhibit at Whitworth University. They were later displayed for sale at the Tinman Gallery in Spokane.

There were five paintings in the series. Gendron knows what happened to only one of them, “Inside Looking Out.” He was frustrated that it didn't sell, and he needed a new canvas, so he painted over it.

The other four? Nobody, including Gendron, has a record of where they ended up. Mitchell suspects they are hanging in homes somewhere.

I'm posting photos of the four paintings here. If anyone out there owns them and knows where they might be found, they should contact Ben Mitchell at bennett.d.mitchell@gmail.com.

These are particularly important pieces because of the Indian boarding school theme. Gendron is an enrolled member of Colville and Umatilla tribes. His mother was sent  from her home on the Colville Reservation to Indian boarding schools in DeSmet, Idaho and Chemawa, Ore.

The depth of emotion he brought to this subject is evident.

Hills alive with ‘Sound of Music Sing-a-Long’

Looking for something fun to do with the family during Christmas week? Dress 'em up in lederhosen and start rehearsing “My Favorite Things.”

The “Sound of Music Sing-a-Long” has been booked into the INB Performing Arts Center, Dec. 30, 7 p.m. This is the 1965 movie classic, shown complete with subtitles and audience participation.

Lots of audience participation. Think of it as a kind of clean-cut, well-scrubbed version of “Rocky Horror.” The audience helps sing all the songs, and also acts out  in other ways. Every audience member receives a “Bag of Musical Moments,” full of props to utilize at key moments in the film.

There's also a costume contest for the most clever and outrageous outfits.

The sing-a-long began in Manhattan in 2000 and then went on to a big Hollywood Bowl event in 2001. It has since swept the country. Tickets are $20, $25 and $30 and will go on sale Nov. 18 through all Ticketswest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).

Cheyenne Jackson goes all ‘Mad Men’

Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson, product of Newport and Spokane, will get in touch with his inner Rat-Packer for a concert with the New York Pops on Thursday.

He's headlining a show called “Cheyenne Jackson's Cocktail Hour: Music of the 'Mad Men' Era.

Read all about it in this Playbill interview.

A feathered escape artist flees the Comedy Pet Theater

High drama, involving green feathers, took place at intermission on the street outside of the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater performance last week at the Bing Crosby Theater.

Michael Smith, who manages the Bing, said his first inkling came when he looked out the window of the lobby and saw an alarming sight.

“I saw the people from the show running down the street with a ladder,” said Smith.

Turns out, the show's big green parrot had flown the coop during intermission, swooped through the stage door, and winged its way across Lincoln Street. It was perched on the ledge of a fourth floor window at the Davenport Hotel.

The show's parrot wranglers set the ladder up on the sidewalk and tried to lure the parrot down. The parrot was stubborn and refused to budge.

The ladder and general hubbub attracted the attention of the Davenport's security people. They brought the frantic Popovich people into the hotel and took them up to the fourth floor room. They opened the window and talked the parrot off the ledge and into the room.

Those of us in the audience had no idea what was going on — although I wondered why intermission went on so long.

The show resumed, with the usual retinue of 12 cats, 10 dogs, three geese — and one adventuresome parrot.

‘Michael Jackson IMMORTAL’ cancels second Spokane show

The second show (Nov. 13) of “Michael Jackson: The IMMORTAL' at the Spokane Arena has been canceled because of unforeseen travel and logistical problems, according to Cirque du Soleil.

The Nov. 12 show will proceed as scheduled.

The official reason for the cancellation was given as follows: “Cirque du Soleil has cited that the time it takes to move the production into a facility, and the time it takes to move out of a facility, has conflicted with travel time between cities on the tour. These unforeseen issues are due in-part to the overall size of the production.”

Or maybe slow ticket sales? That's always a possibility whenever a show is canceled.  Ticketholders for the Nov. 13 show will be contacted by TicketsWest and offered an opportunity to exchange their tickets for the Nov. 12 show. That implies that there were plenty of seats still left.

However, the show does need to get all set up in Eugene for a Nov. 15 show. And I found that a second show in Detroit was canceled a few weeks ago for the same logistical reasons.

By the way, Nov. 13 ticketholders can get a full refund if they prefer.

Orlean, Whitehead, Lowry booked for Get Lit!

Some big literary names have been booked into Eastern Washington University's Get Lit! Festival April 11-15:

  • Susan Orlean, author of “The Orchid Thief” and the just-released “Rin Tin Tin: Life and Legend,” the biography of the famous movie dog. The latter is poised to be one of the bestselling books of the season.
  • Colson Whitehead, author of “Sag Harbor,” “The Intuitionist” and the new “Zone One,” an ironic take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel. 
  • Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate.
  • Rick Bass, author of “The Wild Marsh” and many other meditative books about the West and its natural history.
  • Lois Lowry, the Newberry Award-winning young adult author.
  • Steve Almond, author of “Candyfreak” and “God Bless America: Stories.”
  • Jess Walter, Spokane novelist and National Book Award finalist.

This impressive lineup makes the Festival Pass look like an excellent option at $45. You can get them via Ticketswest outlets beginning Nov. 4. Individual tickets won't go on sale until Jan. 2.  

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