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Spotlight: Third-party ‘Wicked’ tickets can be costly

Sun., Feb. 27, 2011

Tickets to the Spokane engagement of “Wicked” go on sale Saturday, and the people at WestCoast Entertainment want to warn buyers about the perils of third-party tickets.

Ticket agencies and brokers will probably snap up a number of tickets right away. So when people search for tickets online, they will often be shunted to those third-party sites.

The problem: These brokers often sell the tickets way above face value, even for events that are not sold out.

A number of people were burned by this during the run of the Spokane Symphony’s “Nutcracker” in December. Some bought tickets that were twice as expensive as they should have been – for not very good seats.

Others bought tickets that were completely bogus. The symphony was able to get those people into the ballet anyway, but only because it wasn’t sold out.

So WestCoast Entertainment wants to remind ticket buyers that the only legitimate sources for tickets are TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, and WestCoast’s

“Wicked” tickets will first go on sale Saturday from 7 to 10 a.m. in person only at the INB Performing Arts Center box office, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. At 10 a.m., tickets will also go on sale online and by phone through TicketsWest.

At that point, beware of any other site, even one that has made itself look like a site for the INB or the show itself. Stick with TicketsWest.

“Wicked” will run from May 18-29.

50 Hour Slam

A new instant-film competition has been announced in Spokane: The 50 Hour Slam.

It’s a bit like the popular 48 Hour Film Festival but … well, you’ll have two extra hours to complete your three- to six-minute film.

Actually, there are plenty of other differences. This contest will have a TV component – the entries will air on CMTV (Community Minded TV, channel 14 on Comcast) for a month.

It will also have a considerable Web component, with entries available for viewing in a four-month long “viral” contest, with online voting.

Also, CMTV will host a workshop a few weeks prior to the events, covering the technical aspects of filmmaking.

The organizers include FAVES (Film and Video Enthusiasts of Spokane), Purple Crayon Pictures, CMTV, The Magic Lantern Theatre, CORPX and Isabella’s Restaurant.

Juan A. Mas, known for his extensive work on many North by Northwest productions, is one of the event’s guiding forces.

Here are the key dates:

• Tuesday, 7 p.m. at the Magic Lantern, 25 W. Main Ave. – A general meeting outlining the rules. Not mandatory, but highly recommended.

• April 1, 7 p.m. at the Magic Lantern – Kickoff event in which the festival criteria are announced and the competition begins.

• April 3, 9 p.m., in the Magic Lantern lobby – End of the 50 hours.

• May 1, various times, Magic Lantern – Movie screenings and awards party.

For more complete info, go to

Julia Sweeney Day

Mayor Mary Verner has declared March 11 as Julia Sweeney Day in Spokane.

Why? Because that’s the day Sweeney will be at the Bing Crosby Theater performing her “Jill & Julia Show” with Jill Sobule.

The proclamation mentions the Spokane native’s “poignant, comedic and entertaining takes on everyday life” and her support of local causes, including the Inland Northwest Cancer Society, The Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, Spokane Public Radio and KSPS-7.

Sweeney is a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member.

Tickets to the show are $27, through TicketsWest.

Bad news on Good Charlotte

The Good Charlotte concert March 23 at the Knitting Factory Concert House in Spokane has been canceled.

The official reason: “an unforeseen scheduling conflict.” Yeah, well they didn’t cancel their March 22 show in Seattle or their March 25 show in San Francisco.

Good Charlotte is instead scheduled for a March 23 concert in Wichita, Kan. The band had to scrap most of its performance in Wichita in December because of lead singer Joel Madden’s bronchitis, and promised then to return for a full show.

Spokane tickets bought through Ticketfly online or by phone will be refunded automatically.

Good news on Old 97’s

The Old 97’s, one of the top bands in the alt-country movement, have been booked into the Bing Crosby Theater on May 31.

They’re known for their hit “Murder (or a Heart Attack)” in 1999. They have just released a new album, “The Grand Theater, Volume One.”

They’ll be fresh off their appearance at the Sasquatch Festival at The Gorge the weekend before – just like Bright Eyes, which is playing the Knitting Factory the same night.

Tickets are $23 in advance, on sale Monday at 10 a.m. through TicketsWest.

From the White House to the Fox

Acclaimed pianist Awadagin Pratt will appear as guest soloist with the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra in a concert Monday at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

Pratt has performed on such television programs as the “Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Sesame Street,” and at the White House for President Obama in 2009. He also twice appeared at the White House for President Clinton.

In Spokane, he will be featured in Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor.

He won the Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1992, and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 1995, he was named one of Ebony magazine’s “50 Leaders of Tomorrow.”

Monday’s program also includes Glinka’s Overture to “Russlan and Ludmilla,” Wagner’s Prelude to “Die Meistersinger” and Smetana’s Three Dances from “The Bartered Bride.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at The Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, through the Fox box office (509-624-1200) or TicketsWest outlets.

Get your ‘Chaconne’ on

Allegro, Baroque and Beyond has an intriguing show lined up on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater: “The Art and Ecstasy of the Chaconne,” with the acclaimed Sinfonia New York.

Seven performers will play period instruments. They will accompany a soprano and two Baroque ballet dancers.

You’ll think you’re back in the 17th century. A chaconne is a particular type of Baroque composition.

Tickets are $32, $29 and $25, through TicketsWest.

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