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Classical music meets beer crowd

Sun., April 12, 2009

Here’s a new idea which combines two of Spotlight’s favorite things: classical music and beer.

The Spokane Symphony and Spokane Symphony Associates just announced a new early-summer fundraiser, the “Best Fest,” which includes two concerts and a beer garden.

Here’s the lineup:

“The Best of Mozart,” a lighthearted selection of Mozart’s most popular works, directed by Eckart Preu, May 29, 7 p.m., at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

“The Best of the Movie Music of John Williams,” a selection of Williams’ movie themes, June 5, 7 p.m. at The Fox.

The Maestro’s Brew Party, an outdoor beer garden with live music, in tents in the parking lot next to the Fox, June 5, 5 to 10:30 p.m. Features five beer samples including a special “maestro’s brew” from the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co.

Tickets are $15 for the brew party only, or $5 if you also purchase a ticket to the John Williams concert that night.

Tickets for the concerts are $20, $30 and $40 for just one concert, or $35, $55 and $75 for both. Tickets for all three events go on sale Monday through the symphony box office (509-624-1200) or TicketsWest outlets (509-325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT,

The Eckart brew

By the way, the “maestro’s brew” is being brewed to Preu’s specifications. He was at the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. on Thursday, sampling beer and helping the brewmeisters work out a formula for his foamy concoction.

Preu is German, after all. He knows his beer.

Amy Goodman now!

“Democracy Now!” host (and Spokesman-Review syndicated columnist) Amy Goodman is on her way to Spokane for a talk at Gonzaga University on April 20.

Goodman has earned a reputation as one of the leaders of the nation’s grassroots democracy movement with her daily radio show, which can be heard on KYRS-FM (Thin Air Community Radio, 92.3 and 89.9) at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

Her talk will be titled “Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times,” which also happens to be the title of her new book.

The talk is April 20, 7 p.m. at GU’s Martin Centre. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students with ID, at Auntie’s Bookstore, Boo Radley’s, Merlyn’s and TicketsWest outlets.

You can also get $100 tickets, which include a reception, an autographed book and a reserved seat. Get those by calling (509) 747-3012 or (509) 313-3567.

This is a fundraiser for Thin Air Community Radio.

A Jay & Kevin move?

Are Jay & Kevin, the popular morning DJ team, about to make a move from Cat Country (KDRK-FM, 93.7) to Coyote Country (KEZE-FM, 96.9)?

It’s too early to tell, but it’s certainly a possibility.

According to a recent superior court filing, the duo’s contract with Mapleton Communications, which owns KDRK, expired on March 31. So Jay and Kevin (real names: Mark Kennedy and Kevin James) negotiated a new contract with the KXLY Radio Group (QueenB Radio) for a move to KEZE, which switched to the Coyote Country format last Christmas.

However, Mapleton had the option of matching that contract offer and keeping Jay & Kevin, which they say they did.

Now the dispute is over whether Mapleton’s offer is truly a “matching” offer or not. Mapleton says it is; KXLY says it isn’t.

A Superior Court judge will resolve this issue, probably within the next month. Meanwhile, Jay & Kevin remain on Cat Country.

Kottke in Sandpoint

Guitar master Leo Kottke is on his way to the Panida Theater in Sandpoint on April 26, 7 p.m.

Kottke, the undisputed master of fingerpicking for more than three decades, recently released his 28th album.

Tickets are available through the Panida, (208) 263-9191, or TicketsWest outlets. Don’t wait too long; these Panida concerts are prone to sell out.

Dickens lives

Here’s your chance to see Charles Dickens, certified literary genius, live and on stage.

Or at least a close facsimile.

Actor Giles Davies will present his one-man show, “An Evening With Charles Dickens,” on April 24, 7:30 p.m. at the Showalter Hall Auditorium on the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney. He’s a former member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

It’s free and open to the public.

Operatic reality show

“The Audition,” a documentary about the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will screen at the Northtown 12 cinemas in Spokane next Sunday at noon.

It follows the 2007 audition contestants as they try to survive the harrowing competition.

This is of particular interest here because Spokane’s own Thomas Hampson appears in the film, along with Renee Fleming and Susan Graham.

Tickets are $15, available in advance by going to

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at


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