North by Northwest has just signed a contract to film a sitcom pilot in Spokane titled “Thunderballs” for the cable TV channel Spike.
It’s about three 30-something guys on a beer league bowling team. As North by Northwest’s Rich Cowan points out, “Spokane should be a good city for that.”
The pilot will be filmed in May. If it gets picked up by Spike, the entire series will be filmed here.
Will it have stars? Casting is still under discussion, but Cowan predicts there will be some “recognizable” names. The series will probably use some local actors and extras as well.
North by Northwest has filmed dozens of movies in Spokane, but this will be the local production company’s first major foray into television.
A Cannes beach party
Meanwhile, a red-carpet world premiere is scheduled for North by Northwest’s “The River Sorrow” at the Cannes International Film Festival on May 16.
Stars Christian Slater and Ving Rhames will be in attendance (but not Ray Liotta, apparently). In addition, the producers will host a fancy party in a tent on the Cannes beach following the premiere.
It all adds up to a bigger-than-usual launch for this thriller, filmed last fall in Spokane.
An Arnie honor
One of our true regional jazz giants – pianist Arnie Carruthers – will get the recognition he deserves later this month at the Spokane Falls Community College Jazz Festival.
The festival will be a tribute to Carruthers, who was an institution at the Davenport Hotel, the Olympic Hotel in Seattle and the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles for many years.
When a stroke robbed him of the use of his left hand in 1974, he turned himself into a one-handed piano institution.
The Spokane Jazz Orchestra and SFCC Jazz Festival All-Stars will perform.
The festival will be March 19, 7 p.m. at the SFCC Music/Performing Arts Building No. 15, 3410 Fort George Wright Drive. Tickets are $15 ($10 for SFCC students and staff), through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com).
Drink a beer and save the MAC
Here’s a great way to support the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) and get a deal on a beer, a brunch or a latte.
A bunch of Browne’s Addition restaurants and shops have initiated MAC Madness, in which you get a discount for writing a letter to your local legislator urging support for the museum, which is facing the possibility of closure due to state funding cuts.
The following places are partnering with the Save the MAC organization to encourage a letter-writing campaign this month:
• The Elk, 1931 W. Pacific Ave.: $1 off drinks throughout the week when you write a letter. Also, informal letter-writing parties on Sundays from 8 to 10 p.m.
• Italia Trattoria, 144 S. Cannon St.: Saturday and Sunday brunch, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., write a letter while you dine and they will treat you to an Italian doughnut with your purchase of an entree.
• The Avenue, 2001 W. Pacific Ave.: All day Wednesdays, $1 off drinks with a letter; MAC Special is any two-topping medium pizza for $10 (regularly $14) with a letter.
• Tully’s, 2001 W. Pacific Ave.: Seven days a week, receive 10 percent off any barista beverage that is accompanied by a letter (Browne’s Addition location only).
Letter templates, by the way, will be provided.
Classic Bing movies
The Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., has set its spring film series lineup (all screenings at 7 p.m.):
• Thursday, “High Noon,” the 1952 Gary Cooper Western.
• March 30, “Wizard of Oz,” the 1939 Dorothy-centric adventure.
• April 5, “Rear Window,” the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
• April 12, “It Happened One Night,” the 1934 Clark Gable-Claudette Colbert screwball comedy.
• May 3, Bing Crosby’s birthday celebration, 6 p.m. for cake and punch, 7 p.m. for a classic Bing movie (to be announced).
No tickets are required, but a $5 donation will benefit the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater. Doors open one hour before showtime.
Another Nelson added
The Reflectacles have been added to the Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real show at the Bing Crosby Theater on March 25.
The Reflectacles are fronted by Micah Nelson, one of Willie Nelson’s sons. That makes two on this bill, since Lukas is another Willie progeny.
The group describes itself as a “sonic lovechild conceived during a musical orgy involving the Band, Tom Waits, Wilco, the Kinks and Dylan.” The name comes from the cardboard glasses they hand out at their shows that turn light into rainbows.
Tickets are $18, through TicketsWest.