July 3, 2011 in Features

Spotlight: Judds were a hit, seats were amiss at Northern Quest

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Singer Neko Case will perform Thursday at the Bing Crosby Theater.
(Full-size photo)

According to most reports, The Judds performed a great inaugural show at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino’s new outdoor venue last weekend.

On the other hand, the seats didn’t perform so well.

We had several reports here at Spotlight saying that rows of seats came loose from their moorings and were tilted so far forward they were hard to sit in.

“We noticed our seats starting to lean forward to a point where they became very uncomfortable and not safe,” reported Robert Shepherd from Lewiston.

The stadium-style seats were bolted to the ground, but the plastic “event-deck” surface and the ground below it were apparently not firm enough to hold the bolts.

Some people had to move to folding chairs brought in from the casino – others just stood. Others walked out, including one Spotlight correspondent who called it “an ugly mishap.”

It got to the point where the casino offered free tickets to the Beach Boys concert on Aug. 6 for inconvenienced customers. A number of people took them up on that offer.

Anna Haugen, communication coordinator at Northern Quest, said they are taking “immediate action” to replace the seats and that the situation will be “all corrected by the next time.”

The next show: the Steve Miller Band on July 14. Tickets are $62 to $100, through the Northern Quest box office (509-481-6700) or TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).

Civic ordeal and awards

The Spokane Civic Theatre’s show, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” brought home two awards from last weekend’s AACT/FEST 2011 national community theater awards in Rochester, N.Y.:

Lacey Bohnet won best supporting actress.

Nancy Vancil won best musical accompaniment.

The Civic also earned three nominations:

David Baker, for best lighting design.

Mark Pleasant, for best actor.

• The entire cast, for best ensemble.

By the way, the overall winner at this competition was “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” Ohlook Performing Arts Center, Grapevine, Texas.

This was a good haul for the Civic, considering the ordeal the cast and crew went through before they arrived in Rochester.

Their flight was grounded by storms in Chicago and they had to spend two nights there, including one night at the airport. All in all, it took them three days to get to Rochester. They had to have their performance date moved back a day.

All I can say is, it can’t be easy to perform at your creative best after sleeping on a cot at O’Hare International Airport.

Rock your lobsters

The B-52s, of “Rock Lobster” fame, have been booked into the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox on Sept. 12, 8 p.m.

Tickets are $75, $49.50 and $39.50, on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through TicketsWest outlets.  

The ’80s would not have been the same without “Love Shack” and “Private Idaho.”

The B-52s last visited Spokane in 2008, at the Northern Quest.

A true Jewell at Arbor Crest

Eilen Jewell has been booked into Arbor Crest Wine Cellars for an outdoor show on Aug. 4.

This singer-songwriter (the first name is pronounced EE-len) has a great voice and has some haunting, memorable songs.

Tickets are only $10, at Arbor Crest tasting rooms and TicketsWest outlets.

She’s originally from Idaho, born in Boise, and apparently has some Panhandle connections. The name of her second album is “Boundary County” –  which has a certain Bonners Ferry ring to it.

But Jewell, who burst onto the folk scene in Boston and has developed a wide following, is definitely a national act. She was featured on National Public Radio’s World Cafe on Tuesday.

Neko Case at the Bing

Just a reminder that the great Neko Case, the singer-songwriter claimed by both Washington and British Columbia, will be playing the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., on Thursday.

You might also know her from her side project, the New Pornographers.

Her sense of humor can be discerned by this autobiographical passage from her website: “My parents very much wanted me to become a crack-whore, but I gravely disappointed them by graduating from college.”

Tickets are $31, through TicketsWest.

John Travolta, plus Munchkins

John Travolta showed up at intermission at a performance of the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz” to talk to all of the Munchkins in the cast.

Travolta was in town to attend the show because two of his sisters, Ellen and Margaret Travolta, played the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch, respectively.

He apparently gave the kids who played the Munchkins an inspiring talk about following their dreams.

“A special day indeed for the 27 local children,” noted the theater’s Laura Little.

Carillon at the Cathedral

Guest carilloneur Wesley Arai, from the University of California-Berkeley, will perform the annual July Fourth Carillon Concert, Monday at 9 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E. 12th Ave.

Arai also played the concert last year and said that the St. John’s Cathedral carillon is “one of the absolute finest I’ve had the privilege to play.”

He’ll do patriotic selections, American folk tunes and some original pieces.

This free concert is a wonderful Fourth tradition. Just gather on the grounds beneath the cathedral tower, listen to the concert and then stay to watch the downtown fireworks.

Pend Oreille one-acts

The Pend Oreille Playhouse Community Theatre, 240 N. Union Ave. in Newport, Wash., will be the place to see original one-act plays by up-and-coming playwrights from around the country next weekend.

The Pend Oreille Players Association presents its Second Annual One Act Play Festival on Saturday and July 10.

They received 35 scripts from 29 playwrights from places such as Colorado, California, Michigan and the Northwest and narrowed it down to six plays.

They’ll show three plays each night. The audience can vote for their favorites. Cost: $10 per night or $15 for both nights, at the door.

The Six Auditorium

Here’s a fitting tribute: The performing space at the Cutter Theatre in Metaline Falls, Wash., has been dedicated as the Eva Gayle Six Performance Auditorium.

Six, of Ione, was the driving force behind the acquisition and renovation of the 1912 building. The board cited her “dogged pursuit of excellence” over the years.

Roy Book Binder

Roy Book Binder, a bluesman who learned his trade directly from blues legends such as Pink Anderson and Rev. Gary Davis, will play the Panida’s Little Theater in Sandpoint, tonight at 8. He plays fingerstyle blues guitar.

Josh Hedlund opens. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Soiree on the Edge

Just a reminder about the Spokane Symphony’s “Soiree on the Edge,” Saturday, 6 p.m. at the Arbor Crest Winery, 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road.

This should be a beautiful combination of music ( Ravel, etc.), setting (the beautiful winery grounds) and beverages (available from the winery).

Tickets are $20, through TicketsWest or (509) 624-1200.

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