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Regis right at home in Bing’s hometown

Sun., March 29, 2009

Regis Philbin pulled off a hat trick on “Live with Regis and Kelly” on Monday.

During a long on-air chat about his appearance at the Northern Quest Casino on March 21, he managed to:

• Mispronounce “Gonzaga.”

• Refer to the Northern Quest as the “Mountain Quest.”

• Forget the name of the actual city he had visited. Someone from off-camera had to call out the word, “Spokane.”

We’re willing to give Regis a break, however, and not just because he’s 77. He was quite gracious about our city, even if he couldn’t quite place the name.

He called Gonzaga University “a lovely school” and showed off pictures of himself standing next to Bing Crosby’s statue and wearing Bing’s hat. He called Crosby “a hero of mine.”

Gonzaga’s Stephanie Plowman, who organized Regis’ tour of the Crosbyana collection, said that he turned out to be a “big advocate of Bing and Gonzaga.”

She said that when Regis walked into the Gonzaga University Alumni House, Bing’s boyhood home, he called out, “Bing, I’m home!”

New Quest offerings

Speaking of Northern Quest Casino, it has expanded into an all-purpose entertainment conglomerate. So I thought I’d do a brief tour of some of the casino’s recent food-beverage-nightlife additions (not the gambling parts – Spotlight doesn’t do gambling) and give you a brief description of what’s out there.

Three of the new spots are clustered together in the new building on the casino’s south side. The sports bar, Q, is a sleek sports temple of chrome and brushed aluminum. It has high ceilings and giant windows, but dwarfing everything is the 30-foot-wide big-screen TV covering the entire wall.

ESPN’s Jim Rome has never loomed so large.

The glassed-in studio for KHQ-6’s SWX channel (all sports and weather) dominates the opposite side of the room. Workers were still finishing up the studio last week, but once it opens you can sit in Q with a beer and watch live TV being made.

Directly across the hall is the Liquid Lounge, a smaller but more elegant bar, dominated by a number of shimmering waterfalls: glass curtains with water cascading down.

Up a set of escalators is the new Legends of Fire, a burnished wood-and-leather cigar bar.

Meanwhile, in the older part of the casino (where the old Legends of Fire once was), is the high-end Impulse nightclub, catering to the high-end dance club crowd. Don’t show up in sports jerseys, tank tops or baggy or torn jeans – a dress code is in effect.

Clearly, the casino is reaching far beyond the penny slots crowd. It’s looking more and more like Spokane’s Little Vegas.

‘Divas of Daytime TV’

What a concept: Singin’ and dancin’ soap opera stars.

Three stars of ABC daytime dramas are on their way to Northern Quest on April 4, 8:30 p.m., in a show titled “Divas of Daytime TV.”

They are:

Bobbie Eakes, aka Krystal Carey on “All My Children.” She sings smooth jazz.

Kassie DePaiva, aka Blair Daimler Cramer on “One Life to Live.” She sings country.

Kathy Brier, aka Marcie Walsh McBain on “One Life to Live.” She sings show tunes.

Tickets are $45 through the Northern Quest box office (509-340-6700) or TicketsWest outlets (509-325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).

Local ‘Millionaire’ winners

We told you last week that Brandee Gaff of Moses Lake and her fiancé, James Wolfe, would appear on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Now we can report that they won $16,000 on the show on Wednesday. That should help pay for their wedding.

A local ‘Wheel’

Meanwhile, Washington State University pre-pharmacy major Kate McCormack will be a contestant on Tuesday’s episode of “Wheel of Fortune.”

She auditioned for the show at a Wheelmobile event in Spokane. The show airs on KHQ-6 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Celtic virtuosos

Champion Celtic fiddler Deby Benton Grosjean and guitarist William Coulter will appear at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague, on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students, through TicketsWest.

Grosjean “melds the precision of classical technique and the freedom of traditional Celtic music,” according to the folks at Celtic Music Spokane, who are presenting this concert.

Not your typical theater

Here are reminders about two out-of-the-ordinary college theater events:

• “Urinetown” – The satirical musical comedy, in a collaboration between Whitworth and Gonzaga universities, through April 5 at Gonzaga’s Magnuson Theater. Call (509) 313-6553.

• “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” – A Gonzaga Reader’s Theater Project encore late-night reading of this satirical script by Stephen Guirgis (“The Sopranos”) in which famous characters debate whether to revoke Judas’ damnation. April 9, 10 p.m., in the Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium. Free.

Concert alerts

Two new Spokane Arena shows just announced:

Keith Urban, the country music star, Sept. 14. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. through TicketsWest.

The Royal Lipizzaner Stallions, three shows, June 13 and 14. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. through TicketsWest.

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at jimk@spokesman.com.

 

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