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Spotlight: Steves to share benefits of travel at GU lecture

Travel guru Rick Steves lectures at Gonzaga on Wednesday. (Associated Press)
Travel guru Rick Steves lectures at Gonzaga on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

The well-known (and unabashedly outspoken) PBS travel expert Rick Steves is on the way back to Gonzaga University for a lecture at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Steves’ lecture title is provocative in itself: “Travel as a Political Act, Part II: Going From Casual Tourist to Global Citizen.”

Steves has long been an advocate of travel as a broadening experience. He’ll talk about how travel can teach people lessons about tolerance and cultural diversity, and how it teaches us what it means to be both an American and “citizen of the world.”

He’ll sign copies of his book, “Travel as a Political Act.” He has appeared at GU before and always attracts big crowds.

His talk will be held at GU’s Cataldo Hall, Globe Room. Tickets are $15 if ordered in advance through or $20 at the door.

Music at Patsy Clark’s

Allegro, Baroque & Beyond’s popular “Music in Historic Homes” series continues Tuesday and Wednesday at what may be the most famous historic mansion in town: the Patsy Clark Mansion, 2208 W. Second Ave.

This is a wonderful chance to see this great Kirtland Cutter-designed sandstone home – and hear some seasonal and classical music in an intimate setting.

The concert will feature soprano Tamara Schupman, pianist Yi-chun Chen and oboist David Dutton. They will perform music from around the world, appropriate to the Christmas season. And as a treat, percussionist Martin Zyskowski will perform a Spanish composition on the King George marimba – a rare 1934 marimba created for the jubilee of King George V in London. Concert attendees will learn the story behind how this beautiful instrument made it to Spokane.

Concerts will be performed Tuesday and Wednesday at 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, available in advance by calling (509) 455-6865 or at

Full-power is with them

The new full-power signal at 88.1 FM for KYRS-FM (Thin Air Community Radio) has proven to be even stronger than advertised.

“It’s amazing,” said station manager Lupito Flores, “Almost frightening.”

This low-power 100-watt public radio station converted to a full-power 6,800 signal on Nov. 5 – but nobody knew exactly how far the new signal would reach until the new transmitter switched on.

The people at the station discovered the new signal covers all of greater Spokane and beyond. People have picked it up as far away as Ritzville, Sandpoint, Spangle and north of Kettle Falls.

The station retains its 50-watt Spokane translator operating at 92.3 FM. That means Spokane listeners should experiment by tuning into both 88.1 and 92.3, to see which signal comes in better in any particular spot. Chances are, 88.1 will be better in most cases.

Flores is reminding supporters that the station still needs to raise $15,000 to cover the final costs.

SPR Open House

Meanwhile, Spokane’s bigger and more venerable public radio operation – Spokane Public Radio – is holding its annual open house on Tuesday, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. with refreshments and studio tours. It’s also advertised as a “job, intern and volunteer info fair.” Then, from 6 to 7 p.m., the station will hold its on-air advisory board meeting.

It all happens at 2319 N. Monroe.

Spokane Public Radio operates KPBX-FM (91.1), KSFC-FM (91.9) and KPBZ (90.3).

Blake Shelton on the way

Blake Shelton, country superstar, has been booked for a show at the Spokane Arena on March 8.

Shelton’s website lists Justin Moore and Dia Frampton as opening acts.

Shelton’s just about as hot as a country singer can be, having won the CMA Award last month for Best Male Vocalist and having recently scored three Grammy nominations, including Best Country Song and Best Country Album.

Tickets were not on sale as of Friday. Keep an eye out.

This looks like a great winter/spring for country fans, with Brad Paisley at the Arena on Feb. 9 and Shelton following less than a month later.

The Crosby Concert Series

Speaking of concerts, an impressive list of shows is lined up for what is now being called the 2012 Crosby Concert Series at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

David Lindley, virtuoso multi-instrumentalist, Jan. 4.

Jake Shimabukuro, ukulele master, Jan. 17.

Martin Sexton, singer-songwriter, Jan. 29.

Ruthie Foster & Paul Thorn/Soul Salvation, soul and much more, Feb. 3.

Wylie and the Wild West, the yodel master crooning “cowboy love songs,” Feb. 10.

The Portland Cello Project, cellos gone wild, Feb. 16.

Andy McKee, fingerstyle guitarist, Feb. 17.

Charlie Hunter, guitar virtuoso, Feb. 26.

Jim Brickman, “An Evening of Romance,” Feb. 29.

Hot Buttered Rum and Cornmeal, progressive bluegrass, March 9.

Tickets for these shows are available through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT or

Good ‘Jukebox’-office

The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s “GI Holiday Jukebox,” now running at the Coeur d’Alene Resort, is selling out some of its performances, I’m told.

So if you want to see this World War II-style revue, you’d better not procrastinate. It runs through Dec. 23. Call (208) 769-7780 for tickets and info.

A special ‘Christmas Carol’

The Spokane Civic Theatre, 1020 N. Howard, will do a special student production called “Charles Dickens Presents: A Christmas Carol” (not the same as its current full-fledged “A Christmas Carol”) as a fundraiser for the theater’s Academy program for youth.

It will be held tonight, 7 p.m., with a silent auction and appetizers beginning at 6 p.m. Proceeds will help out the Academy’s scholarship fund.

Tickets are $15, available at the door.

Those Herdman kids

There’s still plenty of time to take the family to “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” the well-loved holiday show about the Herdman kids, “the worst kids in the history of the world.”

The Spokane Children’s Theatre’s production continues today, 1 and 4 p.m., Saturday 1 and 4 p.m., and Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. at Spokane Falls Community College’s Spartan Theatre.

Get your advance tickets through TicketsWest outlets or go to www.spokanechildrens

The Bing-fest

Don’t forget about the annual Bing Crosby Holiday Film Festival on Saturday at the Bing Crosby Theater, featuring:

• Noon, “White Christmas.”

• 2:30 p.m., “Holiday Inn.”

• 4:30 p.m., “Going My Way.”

• 7 p.m., songs and stories from Crosby’s nephew, Howard Crosby.

• 7:30 p.m., a reprise of “White Christmas.”

It’s all free, but a $5 donation is requested to support the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater.