Julia Sweeney, the Gonzaga Prep graduate and former “Saturday Night Live” star, will lend her comedic talents to a cause close to her heart – the Fox Theater restoration.
Sweeney will present a benefit performance of her one-woman play, “In the Family Way,” at the Fox on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. The play recounts her journey to China to adopt a child, Mulan, who is now 6. It also deals with Sweeney’s attempts to launch herself into the world of dating as a new mom.
“In the Family Way” debuted off-Broadway in New York in 2003.
Sweeney also will do a question-answer session in which she will recount her own memories of the Fox. She once worked at the Fox concession stand and she remembers it as the place where she first fell in love with movies. She later went on to appear in such films as “Pulp Fiction.”
Sweeney continues to write and perform in L.A. She is currently a writer for the smash ABC-TV show “Desperate Housewives.”
About 600 general admission tickets, at $45 each, are available for Sweeney’s performance through TicketsWest outlets (325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com). A limited number of reserved seats, at $75 each (including a backstage reception), also are available.
The 10 p.m. news boom
One of the more puzzling issues in Spokane TV long has been: Why don’t more people flock to the 10 p.m. newscasts like they do in other markets?
Since first introduced in the early ‘90s, many of Spokane’s 10 p.m. newscasts have landed with a thud.
Until recently. Spokane’s 10 p.m. news audience has finally taken off.
The July Nielsen ratings show that about 27,000 households in the Spokane market watched a news broadcast at 10 p.m., compared to 15,000 in July 2004.
This boom is bilateral – it benefits both of the stations with a 10 p.m. broadcast. The leader, KSKN-22’s news show (produced by KREM-2), is up this year by 4,000 households. The close second, KAYU-28 (produced by KHQ-6), is up by 8,000 households.
“It just took a long time to communicate that there were two quality newscasts at 10 p.m.,” said Jon Rand, general manager of KAYU.
At least four different 10 p.m. newscasts failed in the ‘90s, victims of a fatal lack of resources and ratings.
“It has risen to a whole new level now,” said Rand.
ESPN Radio moves up the dial
The long-awaited move of the local ESPN Radio affiliate to a new, more powerful position on the dial – KXLX-AM, 700 ESPN “The Ticket” – took place at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Sports fans now can hear all of the old programming from KXLI-AM (630 The Score) – notably Dan Patrick in the mornings and the local “Dennis Patchin Show” in the afternoons – at 700 on the AM dial.
The new station has a much broader reach than the old 630 signal.
“The signal is 20 times stronger,” said Bud Nameck of the KXLY Broadcast Group, which owns KXLX. “It should have five times the coverage.”
KXLX will broadcast at 10,000 watts during the day and 1,000 watts at night, compared to 530 watts daytime and 53 watts nighttime for the old station.
The KXLY Radio Group acquired this new station more than a year ago but could not make the switch until it sold KXLI, since it already owned the maximum allowable number of local stations.
The sale of KXLI to local radio broadcaster Tom Read became final on Thursday, just before the format switch.
In addition to ESPN programming and local sports talk, The Ticket also will carry Seattle Supersonics basketball.
‘Beautiful music’ on KXLI-AM
Meanwhile, the new format at KXLI-AM (“The Fabulous 630”) is worth a listen. It’s called “Beautiful and Familiar Music,” aimed at listeners over 45.
However, owner Tom Read said this is no typical “nostalgia” station. He said the station developed its own unique format, using music from the archives of the Northwest Pioneer Broadcasters.
“While some of the music has been released on CD, some of it has not, but was preserved on reel-to-reel tape, which we have recorded in real time to computer hard disk,” said Read.
However, the music is anything but obscure. Read said “if a person over 45 does not find a song familiar, we did not include it.”
The station will keep the KXLI call letters, at least for the time being, even though it is no longer affiliated with KXLY.
Early MAC warning
Get ready for one of the biggest history exhibits ever at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
“The Mapmaker’s Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau” opens Oct. 8 and continues for nearly a year, until Sept. 3, 2006.
It will feature the maps and journals of fur trader and explorer Thompson, the first man to map our region beginning in 1807. The exhibit will include items from the Smithsonian Institution and many other sources.
It all will begin with “Rendezvous at the MAC,” a gala dinner and preview on Oct. 7. Call 456-3931 for information.
A Wylie benefit for the Fox
Wylie and the Wild West, featuring Yahoo! yodeler Wylie Gustafson, has been booked into The Met on Oct. 29, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Fox Theater restoration. Tickets are $22 through TicketsWest outlets.
ARt hurricane benefit
The Actor’s Repertory Theatre (ARt) of Spokane will hold a benefit performance of its current show, “The Golden Age,” on Friday at 8 p.m. with proceeds going to the local chapter of the American Red Cross to aid in hurricane relief.
Artistic director Michael Weaver said “the community has been so good to us that we felt it was important to give back.”
Call 838-4013 to reserve tickets for the show.