The soon-to-be- released “Norman” is a Spokane rarity – a locally filmed movie getting outstanding reviews and major film festival awards.
“Norman” is a coming-of-age story about a high school loner who pretends to be dying – although his father is actually the one with cancer. Some plot twists turn his world “upside down and then ultimately right side up.”
“Norman” will debut on screens Oct. 21 in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and, yes, right here at the AMC River Park Square.
It took a long time for the movie itself to come of age. It was filmed in June 2008 in Spokane by North by Northwest. It was directed by Jonathan Segal and stars Dan Byrd (“Cougar Town,” “Easy A”), Emily VanCamp (“Everwood,” “Brothers & Sisters”), Richard Jenkins (“Eat Pray Love”) and Adam Goldberg (“Entourage”). It features a soundtrack by Andrew Bird.
The Hollywood Reporter said this, “‘Norman’ has some big things going for it, not least of which is the stupendous central performance, one of the most intelligent and deeply felt big-screen portrayals of a troubled teen in the last several years.”
Variety called it “poignant and understated.” It has picked up awards at the San Diego Film Festival, the Rhode Island Film International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival.
It has now been chosen for the AMC Independent series, which brings indy films to AMC screens. You’ll see the roaring Spokane Falls and you’ll see some familiar local talent in this film too, including Bobbi Kotula, Jerry Sciarrio and Kevin Partridge.
Some like it Bing
The fall film series at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave., has been set:
• Tuesday, “Some Like It Hot,” the great 1959 Billy Wilder classic with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
• Oct. 11, “Giant,” the 1956 James Dean-Elizabeth Taylor epic.
• Oct. 25, “Charade,” the ultimate ‘60s caper thriller, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
• Oct. 29, the Halloween Show featuring “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (the 1949 version narrated by Bing Crosby), “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy” and the 1978 Jamie Lee Curtis screamfest, ”Halloween.”
All shows are at 7 p.m. except the Halloween Show, which starts at 6 p.m.
This beautifully restored 1915 movie house is a great place to see these classic films. The series is also a great bargain. It’s free.
However, a $5 donation is suggested, with proceeds going to the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater, which has been instrumental in supporting this great old theater.
A Streep scion
Henry Wolfe, an LA singer-songwriter, has been added as the opening act for April Smith & The Great Picture Show at the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint on Oct. 6 and at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane on Oct. 7.
Wolfe has a well-received album of originals, “Linda Vista,” out right now, and he has been making a splash in LA.
He also happens to be the son of Meryl Streep, which he ruefully admits can be a little ”overshadowing.”
Tickets for both shows are on sale through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT or www.ticketswest.com).
Comedy ‘trio’ deal
WestCoast Entertainment has three comic extravaganzas coming to town, and they’re offering deals if you order tickets to more than one.
Order two and save 10 percent on your ticket order. Order all three and get 20 percent off.
The shows are all at the INB Performing Arts Center:
• “Defending the Caveman,” the one-man comedy show about the war between the sexes, Oct. 8, 8 p.m.
• “ Monty Python’s Spamalot,” the fractured King Arthur musical, Nov. 11, 8 p.m.
• “The Blues Brothers Revue,” Nov. 13. 6:30 p.m.
To order, visit www.TicketsWest.com. Then enter the promo code, WCECOMEDY. The deadline is Oct. 7 at midnight.
New MJ seats released
New seats have been released for “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” at the Spokane Arena on Nov. 12, 8 p.m. and Nov. 13, 4 p.m.
These are apparently tickets that have been held back up until now. This is a Cirque du Soleil tribute to Jackson and his “creative world.”
Tickets are $50, $80, $125, $175 and $250 through TicketsWest outlets.
The Oct. 6 lecture at Gonzaga University by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Muta Maathai has been canceled because of travel complications from Kenya.
Refunds will be made automatically for tickets purchased by phone or online, or, if purchased in person, refunds can be obtained at the point of purchase. An announcement will follow if the event can be rescheduled.
Bluegrass in the Cathedral
Here’s the stateliest possible setting for some down-home music: the Bluegrass in the Cathedral concert on Friday, 7 p.m. at St. John’s Cathedral, 127 E. 12th Ave.
Molly and Tenbrooks and The Panhandle Polecats will play. This is a fundraiser for Catholic Charities of Spokane, and it will also include a beer-wine social beginning at 5:30 p.m. The concert is $10 each, which doesn’t include the no-host beer and wine. There will also be a raffle.
For tickets, call St. John’s at (509) 838-4277, Catholic Charities at (509) 358-4264 or through TicketsWest outlets.
And just to head off any confusion, it’s a fundraiser for Catholic Charities, but it’s at the Episcopal cathedral. St. John’s is one of the concert’s sponsors.
A Project Joy ride
Project Joy Senior Entertainers needs you.
Project Joy is the program of 50-and-older entertainers supported through Spokane Parks and Recreation.
Entertainers (both individuals and groups) perform at retirement homes, care centers and other community centers around Spokane.
The problem: They have more requests for appearances than they can fill.
So if you’re 50 and older and have a talent in music, dance or dramatics, get in touch with Project Joy by calling (509) 535-0584 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They’d love to hear from you.
Playwright Lojo Simon’s new play, “Adoration of Dora,” about Dora Maar, photographer and mistress to Pablo Picasso, will have its world premiere at the Hartung Theatre at the University of Idaho in Moscow on Thursday and continues through Oct. 9.
Simon is a writer and journalist who is in the Master of Fine Arts program at UI. She said her play will bring up many issues about art, creativity and compromise. Call (208) 885-7212 for details and tickets.
Northwest Opera Works
Spokane’s new community opera ensemble, Northwest Opera Works (NOW), has scheduled a program of opera and theater music titled “Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast,” on Oct. 7, 8 p.m. at the chapel of the Sisters of the Holy Names, 2911 Ft. George Wright Drive, and Oct. 8, 2 p.m. at McNalley Hall at the Holy Names Music Center, 3010 W. Custer Drive.
A $10 donation at the door is suggested. Call (509) 327-3598 for more info.
Jim Boyd on KYRS
Jim Boyd, the well-known musician and Colville tribal leader, has launched a new show, “Surrounded by Tribes” on KYRS-FM (89.9 and 92.3, Thin Air Community Radio), broadcast every Monday at 11 a.m.
He covers native/tribal culture, language, tradition, history, music, arts, and current native events.
Jim Olson, architect
If you have any interest in architecture, especially architecture as an art form, you’ll want to make plans to head down to Washington State University’s Museum of Art for the exhibit, “ Jim Olson: Architecture for Art,” Sept. 30 to Dec. 10.
Olson is a renowned Washington architect and the founder of Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects. The exhibit will be a retrospective of his work, and will include models, large-scale photo displays, notebooks and ephemera. He’s responsible for a number of public projects, including the Lightcatcher building for the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham and the St. Mark’s Cathedral renovations in Seattle.
There will also be an opening reception on Thursday, 6 p.m. in the Museum of Art Gallery, and a lecture by Olson at 7 p.m. at the CUB Auditorium.