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Civic sets stage for academy

Sister Mary Amnesia (Patricia Brady), the Reverend Mother (Jean Hardie), and Sister Mary Hubert (Kathie Doyle-Lipe) bake with the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) during a 2003 production of “Nunsense.”  (File)
Sister Mary Amnesia (Patricia Brady), the Reverend Mother (Jean Hardie), and Sister Mary Hubert (Kathie Doyle-Lipe) bake with the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) during a 2003 production of “Nunsense.” (File)

The Spokane Civic Theatre’s Summer Academy takes on fairy-tale conventions in its summer musical, “The Four Princes,” running Thursday through Aug. 20.

“The Four Princes” is written and directed by the Civic’s Jean Hardie. The show re-imagines what would happen if modern problems beset fairy tale characters.

Thus, the seven dwarfs are forced to whistle while they are applying for work. A witch binges on junk food. You get the idea.

The Summer Academy is the Civic’s summer camp for students. Performances are on the theater’s Main Stage, 1020 N. Howard St., at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and again Aug. 19 and 20.

Tickets are $14, available by calling (509) 325-2507.

The ‘Nunsense’ cast

Speaking of Jean Hardie, she’s one of the Civic’s all-time greats, and her legend dates to her memorable performance 20 years ago as the Mother Superior in “Nunsense.”

Well, the cast list has been announced for the Civic’s new “Nunsense,” which opens in February. Hardie will don the feather boa one more time as the Mother Superior.

The rest of the cast looks like a reunion of memorable “Nunsense” players: Kathie Doyle-Lipe as Sister Mary Hubert, Abbey Crawford as Sister Robert Anne, Patricia Brady as Sister Mary Amnesia, and Jillian Wylie as Sister Mary Leo.

Other casting news

Meanwhile, several other Civic casts have been announced:

• “The Buddy Holly Story,” opening Sept. 24, will feature Brian Gunn as Buddy Holly, Jhon Goodwin as the Big Bopper and Paul Villabrille as Ritchie Valens.

• “West Side Story In Concert,” Oct. 29 and 30, will feature Andrea Dawson as Maria and Michael J. Muzatko as Tony.

Shakespeare in Heron …

Shakespeare will be in the air – the open air – at the annual Montana Shakespeare in the Parks performance in Heron, Mont., on Aug. 21, 6 p.m. (mountain time).

This year’s production will be “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” one of Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedies.

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is a professional touring company that has been touring Montana’s small towns for 18 years. Heron is right over the Idaho-Montana state line on the Clark Fork River.

In past summers, crowds of 400 to 800 have shown up in Heron for the show. It will take place at the Heron ballfield, and it’s free.

… and the Bard in the Palouse

Meanwhile, there’s still time to catch another outdoor Shakespeare production: The Palouse Highland Players’ production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at East City Park, Third and Monroe in Moscow, today at 6:30 p.m.

The Palouse Highland Players consists of actors from junior high to college age. This is the final performance of a four-night run at the park.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and $30 for families.

‘Northwoods Unleashed’

Up north, the Northwoods Performing Arts troupe from Newport has two benefit concerts planned, “Northwoods Unleashed,” on Friday and Saturday, with dinner at 6 p.m. and show at 7:30.

These are benefit shows for the family of Alicia Bendickson, a former Northwoods Performing Arts cast member. She died of cancer at age 29.

Both shows will be at the Circle Moon Theatre, on Highway 211 just off U.S. 2. Call (208) 448-1294 for tickets.

Avenue West winners

Here are the winners of the Avenue West Gallery’s inaugural juried exhibition:

Best of Show: Sharon Hockinson, photographer.

Best Painting: Susan Rohrback.

Best Photograph: Kerrigan Swan-Garcia.

Honorable mentions: Randy Waln, Debbie Hughbanks and Nancy Northwell.

The juror for the exhibition, which attracted entries from several states, was Karen Kaiser, assistant curator for education at Gonzaga University’s Jundt Art Museum.

The gallery is at 122 S. Monroe St.

Drum legend at Shadle

Ed Shaughnessy, the longtime drummer for Doc Severinsen and the “Tonight Show” band, will be a featured guest with Spokane’s Bob Curnow Big Band at the Shadle Park High School grand re-opening celebration, Aug. 27, 7 p.m. at the remodeled Shadle Auditorium.

Shaughnessy has also played with Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie and, during a memorable 1969 “Tonight Show” performance, Jimi Hendrix.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for Shadle students and those under 18, on sale Aug. 16 at the school office and the Spokane Public Schools Administration office, 200 N. Bernard St.

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