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Spotlight: Nelly-led Blizzard hits Spokane


Pop-rapper Nelly is coming to Spokane on March 10 – and he’s bringing Big Reeno, Sick Puppies and 30H!3 with him.

The Blizzard Music Tour 5.0 will play the Star Theatre at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. One more act is still to be announced.

Tickets are $35 and $45 and go on sale Friday through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

But wait – you can actually get tickets for $25 a day early, on Thursday. That’s a pre-sale, available by joining the “backstage” e-mail list through or by “liking” the Arena’s Facebook page.

David Gray at INB

On a mellower note, British singer-songwriter David Gray will bring his Lost and Found Tour to the INB Performing Arts Center on March 5.

This will be an intimate show, with Gray and his band replicating the “feeling of a music session rather than a full-blown rock show.” Gray is also asking fans to help choose the set list by sending requests to

Tickets are $29, $35 and $45, through TicketsWest.

Rush to the Gorge

Rush, the Canadian rock trio, has booked its Time Machine Tour into the Gorge Amphitheatre on July 2.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart will – among other things – perform their “Moving Pictures” album live in its entirety.

Tickets will be $52 to $117, available Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster (, 800-745-3000).

‘Spring Awakening’

I caught the national touring production of “Spring Awakening” on Wednesday at the INB Performing Arts Center, and I can see why it swept the Tonys.

It’s a powerful, imaginative and wildly creative reworking of the standard musical form. The characters live in the stiff, formal world of 1890’s Germany. But when the music starts up, they become pogo-jumping, scissor-kicking rock stars.

It’s a romantic tragedy, in the vein of “Rent,” another musical which appeals to a young demographic. Yet I liked this more, mainly because I vastly preferred Duncan Sheik’s folk-tinged, indie-rock songs.

And yes, I could also see why “Spring Awakening” has been controversial, with its revealing sex scenes and its big showstopping number with a title I can’t even print. Some people marched out at intermission, but far more gave it a standing ovation.

Spelling success?

The Spokane Civic Theatre’s upcoming musical, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” doesn’t open until Friday. But the buzz is apparently strong, judging from two clues.

First, two extra performances have already been added to the regular run, which goes through Feb. 20. Both will be Saturday matinee shows, Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 at 2 p.m.

Second, the Civic has selected “Spelling Bee” to be its entry in the Kaleidoscope 2011 State Theatre Festival. In fact, the two extra performances will be fundraisers for competition expenses.

Call (509) 325-2507 for tickets to these, or any other, performances. The price: $23.

“Spelling Bee” will be staged in the small Firth Chew Studio Theatre space downstairs.

Bing’s family tree

Here’s an event which will combine Bing Crosby and … genealogy?

Yes, it’s called “Road to Spokane: Bing Crosby’s Family History” and it will take place March 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Gonzaga University’s Wolff Auditorium, in the Jepson Center.

Crosby family members and volunteer genealogists will team up with staff members of the Washington State Library, Washington State Archives and Digital Archives to “shine a spotlight on Crosby family history and offer workshops that teach people how to research their own family history.”

It’s free, but space is limited and registration is required. Call (360) 902-4171 or go to www.Heritage

Valentine’s options

A couple of Valentine’s Day-related events are on the calendar:

Valentine Cabaret Cruise with Mark Cotter – The local cabaret singer will provide the romantic tunes for a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene aboard the Mish-An-Nock on Feb. 12, 7 to 9 p.m. Reserve your tickets, $50, by calling the Coeur d’Alene Resort at (208) 765-4000, ext. 21.

A Valentine’s Dinner Theatre – The Lion’s Share, the Victorian home/events center at 1627 N. Atlantic St., is staging an original romantic comedy titled “Frame Up,” along with romantic songs, on Feb. 11, 12 and 13 at 6 p.m. The price is $35 for dinner and show, reserved by calling (509) 327-1113.

CdA Blues Festival, redux

The Coeur d’Alene Blues Festival will return April 1-3 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

The main events will be a boat cruise with live music on April 1, featuring the Fat Tones and Laffin’ Bones, and a four-band music festival in the Resort Ballroom on April 2, featuring Big Mumbo, Too Slim and the Taildraggers, The Tommy Castro Band and the Ty Curtis Band.

Tickets go on sale Friday through TicketsWest.

‘Spokane’s Top Model’

An event billed as the “largest fashion show Spokane has ever seen” is on the way to the Knitting Factory Concert House on April 16.

It’s a competition featuring 40 models, staged by Red Eye Promotions, the company behind “Spokane’s Got Talent.”

The models will be selected through auditions Feb. 5. Be aware that there’s a $25 application fee.

Go to for registration info and other details.