January 16, 2011 in Features

Spotlight: Oelrich story to be featured in HBO film

By The Spokesman-Review

The upcoming HBO film “When Strangers Click” will include the story of one young Spokane man whose name figured in the news here in 2005: Ryan Oelrich.

Oelrich became entangled in the story that resulted in Mayor Jim West’s eventual recall.

He “met” West in an Internet chat room – although Oelrich didn’t know it was West, who was using a screen alias.

Only later, after West appointed Oelrich to the city’s Human Rights Commission, did the mayor admit that he was the man who was making Internet advances.

“When Strangers Click” is a documentary about how the Internet has transformed the way people look for love and friendship. It features a number of stories about people who have searched for love, with varying degrees of success, online.

Oelrich will share the “lessons learned” from his experience.

“I hope individuals, particularly young people, will learn from my adventures and misadventures online and take precautions, but also know that if used correctly, the Internet can be a wonderful means of communicating and connecting,” said Oelrich, in an HBO press release.

Look for “When Strangers Click” to premiere Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day.

Interplayers season

Interplayers Professional Theatre has announced its 2011-’12 season.

Among the happy surprises: The return of former artistic director Michael Weaver in a new “Tuna”-flavored show.

Here’s what’s coming up:

• “The Boys Next Door,” by Tom Griffin, Sept. 15-Oct. 1 – The funny and touching story of a group of four mentally challenged men in a group home. Troy Nickerson will direct.

• “The Receptionist,” by Adam Bock, Oct. 20-Nov. 5 – A dramedy about a business office that is not what it seems.

• “The Sisters of Swing: The Story of the Andrews Sisters,” Nov. 23-Dec. 10 – A musical about the hit-making trio.

• “Tuna Does Vegas,” Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2012 – Weaver and Bill Marlowe reprise their beloved “Greater Tuna” characters in this Vegas-themed redneck sequel. Patrick Treadway directs.

• “Mauritius,” by Theresa Rebeck, Feb. 23-March 10, 2012 – The story of two sisters who find a rare and valuable stamp collection – with unforeseen results.

• “An Infinite Ache,” by David Schulner, March 29-April 14, 2012 – A couple go out on a first date and their future comes rushing at them.

• “Taking Steps,” by Alan Ayckbourn, May 3-19, 2012 – This is part of what the theater calls its “Interplayers Classics” slot, in which a play from the theater’s past is revived. This is a farce from Britain’s master of comedy, first produced in 1994.

One note of caution: The rights to some titles haven’t been wrapped up yet.

Call Interplayers at (509) 455-PLAY for season subscription details.

‘Miracle’s’ workers

In other Interplayers news, Patty Duke also announced her choices for the two key roles in “The Miracle Worker,” May 5-21.

Annie Sullivan will be played by Sarah Denison, a talented young actress and recent Eastern Washington University grad. Helen Keller will be played by Sophia Caruso, 9.

Duke, who won an Emmy and an Oscar for those two roles, will direct the play for Interplayers.

Young jazz giants

The Spokane Jazz Orchestra has announced the winners of its “Young Giants of Jazz” competition: Ben Vogel, bass, Ferris High School; Caleb Brown, alto sax, Riverside High School; and Michael Conklin, tenor sax, Oakesdale High School.

They will get a chance to play in the SJO’s March 12 concert, “Smoldering Swing.”

Sax ‘Sketches’

Area jazz saxophonist Todd DelGiudice will hold a release party on Tuesday at 9 p.m. for his new CD, “Pencil Sketches.”

DelGiudice is an assistant professor of clarinet and saxophone at Eastern Washington University and is a member of both the Spokane Symphony and the Bob Curnow Big Band.

The party will be at the Swamp Tavern, 1904 W. Fifth Ave. The Todd DelGiudice Quartet will be performing live.

There’s no cover charge, but you’d better be at least 21.

‘Remember Me’

A “rock dance opera” – from two well-regarded Manhattan troupes, Parsons Dance and the East Village Opera Company – has been booked into the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on May 14, 8 p.m.

“Remember Me” combines the dancers from the Parsons troupe with the band and vocalist of the East Village troupe. The choreography is by David Parsons, one of the top figures in modern dance.

It sounds like it should have excellent production values: costumes by Austin Scarlett (“Project Runway”) and lighting by Tony-winner Howell Binkley.

Tickets range from $17 to $37, through the Fox box office, (509) 624-1200, or TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).

Pitching for CYT

The Christian Youth Theater Spokane is bringing in Jeremy Affeldt, pitcher for the world champion San Francisco Giants, for a fundraiser Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at the Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St.

Affeldt, a Spokane product, will speak on the theme of “The Character of a Champion.”

Tickets, which include the program and dessert, are $35 ($75 with a VIP reception), available by calling (509) 487-6540.

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