It’s time to start planning the live music portion of your Labor Day weekend.
Here are my top suggestions:
• Charlie Musselwhite, the blues harmonica legend, Pig Out in the Park, Riverfront Park’s Clocktower Stage, Thursday at 8:30 p.m.
• Leon Russell, the white-bearded boogie-woogie piano master, Pig Out, Clocktower Stage, Friday at 9:15 p.m.
• MarchFourth Marching Band, the “mobile big-band spectacular” which is, by all accounts, a huge amount of fun, Pig Out, Clocktower Stage, Sept. 4 at 9:15 p.m.
• The Spokane Symphony’s concerts in the park, Saturday at 6 p.m. at Pavillion Park at Liberty Lake, and Sept. 5, 6 p.m. at Comstock Park on Spokane’s South Hill.
All of the above share one enticing quality: They’re all free, free, free.
Look for more on the Pig Out and the symphony concerts in Thursday’s Today section.
Here are two recently booked shows:
• The Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The popular holiday musical spectacle, Spokane Arena, Nov. 25, 4 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 to $59.50, on sale Sept. 16 through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT or www.ticketswest.com).
• Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre – An animal act from Vegas featuring cats, dogs and clowns, Nov. 9, 7 p.m., Bing Crosby Theater. Tickets are $17 for kids 12 and under, $27 for adults, through TicketsWest.
Dogs and cats performing tricks together? You bet I’m going. Check out the trailer at www.comedypet.com.
Patty’s acting gigs
Patty Duke, Coeur d’Alene’s Oscar- and Emmy-winner, was able to squeeze in a couple of acting jobs between her stints as director of “The Miracle Worker” at Interplayers Professional Theatre.
She flew off to Hawaii to film an episode of “Hawaii Five-O.” And she also filmed a recurring role in the Lifetime TV series “The Protector,” as the main character’s bipolar mother.
“Typecasting!” said Duke, who went public with her own bipolar diagnosis in the 1980s.
By the way, if you want to hear her stories of her life with “The Miracle Worker” – she appeared in the Broadway, movie and TV versions – Duke will participate in talk-back sessions after the 2 p.m. matinees of “The Miracle Worker” today and Saturday.
In addition to those matinees, the revival continues with 7:30 p.m. evening shows, Tuesday through Saturday. Call (509) 455-PLAY for tickets or go to TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT or www.ticketswest.com).
Interplayers is at 174 S. Howard St.
Interplayers has tweaked the dates for its new season, so here’s the new schedule:
• “The Boys Next Door,” Sept. 22-Oct. 8
• “The Receptionist,” Oct. 27-Nov. 12
• “Sisters of Swing, The Story of The Andrews Sisters,” Dec, 1-16
• “Tuna Does Vegas,” Jan. 19-Feb. 4
• “Mauritius,” Feb, 23-March 10
• “An Infinite Ache,” March 29-April 14
• “Taking Steps,” May 3-20.
Call the box office number above for season tickets.
‘Much Ado’ about quality
I caught the Spokane Shakespeare Company’s free production of “Much Ado About Nothing” on the lawn at Gonzaga Prep last weekend and I was astonished at how good it was.
This cast – mostly college-age or just a little beyond – brought this comedy to life.
The credit for this must go to director Kevin Connell, who was endlessly inventive in helping his actors “suit the action to the word and the word to the action.”
The run is over for the summer. Here’s hoping they’ll be back next year.
‘Leonardo’ home stretch
“ Leonardo da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius” ends Sept. 5 at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC), 2316 W. First Ave.
Demand has been building as the end approaches, so you might want to get advance tickets through TicketsWest.
After “Leonardo” heads off to its next stop in Iowa, the MAC will have reduced hours as it prepares for three new exhibits to open Oct. 15.
So from Sept. 6 through Oct. 14, the museum will be open only from Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with no exhibits available. However, the Café MAC, the Museum Store and the Campbell House will be open.
The Spokane drum-off
Attention, local drummers: Guitar Center Spokane is holding the store preliminaries of the chain’s national Drum-Off Competition on Sept. 13, 20 and 27, with the store finals on Oct. 4.
You must sign up at the store, 5628 N. Division St. You’ll be given a time and date for your in-store session.
If you make it through the prelims, the regionals and the national finals, you’ll get all kinds of prizes, including a recording session, a custom drum kit and $25,000 in cash.
Lukens at Large.com
Rick Lukens, the former KXLY-4 sports anchor and reporter, has launched his own local sports website, Lukens at Large.com, to tell in-depth stories.
Lukens, in an introductory video on the site, says he will “cover sports the way it deserves to be covered, with all of the drama, the emotion, the inspiration, the humor – everything that goes into a good sports story.”
The official launch is Monday. Check it out at www.lukensatlarge.com.
Here’s some good news: Fifteen-year-old organist-pianist Meredith Oatman-Thompson, of Orofino, Idaho, raised enough money with her fundraising concert at St. John’s Cathedral last week to pay for tuition and books for her entire sophomore year at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.