January 15, 2012 in Features

Inland Northwest ready to become comedy central

By The Spokesman-Review

(Full-size photo)

Here in the Inland Northwest, we are a hardy folk. Still, we could use a dose of laughter to help get us through the gray, freezing chill that is winter and early spring.

It seems the people booking comedy tours in the area have taken notice. There’s an explosion of nationally known comedians coming to Spokane and the surrounding area.

Rob Schneider, formerly of “Saturday Night Live” and currently starring in the new CBS sitcom “Rob,” will bring his standup act to the CUB Ballroom at Washington State University on Jan. 29.

Lisa Lampanelli, the foul-mouthed queen of myriad Comedy Central roasts, is at the INB Performing Arts Center on Feb. 3.

George Lopez, former star of an eponymous sitcom and late-night TV show, is at the INB on Feb. 17.

Adam Carolla, former sidekick to Dr. Drew Pinsky (“Loveline”) and Jimmy Kimmel (“The Man Show”), will bring his act to the Knitting Factory on March 10.

Jeff Dunham and his puppets will take up residence at the Spokane Arena on March 25.

• And Carlos Mencia, former host of Comedy Central’s “Mind of Mencia,” lands at Northern Quest on March 30.

Looks like our collective funny bone will get a good workout in the next three months. Enjoy.

Concert season shaping up

We’ve seen a smattering of well-established rock performers schedule dates in Spokane in recent weeks. The All-American Rejects are at A Club on Jan. 23. The Knitting Factory has shows by O.A.R. (Jan. 31), Mat Kearney (Feb. 15), Los Lonely Boys (Feb. 16), Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Feb. 17) and The Fray (Feb. 25).

Added to the list is a June 24 concert at the Spokane Arena by mega-selling rock band Nickelback, supported by Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days. Nickelback is touring in support of its most recent record, “Here and Now,” which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard Top 200 when it was released in November.

Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Jan. 21 through Ticketmaster.com or livenation.com.

Speaking of The Fray

Local fans of the Grammy-nominated, Denver-based rock quartet know that the band’s Spokane shows tend to be family affairs. Co-founding Fray guitarist Joe King has strong family ties to Spokane. His dad was born and raised here, and he has a large extended family in the area.

During the band’s 2006 show at the INB, King’s grandmother, Betty King, joined the band onstage to play tambourine during a performance of the breakout single “Over My Head (Cable Car).” “Grandma Betty” passed away in 2009.

The band’s new record, “Scars and Stories,” comes out Feb. 7.

In case you want to know

The lineup for Sasquatch, the music festival held at the Gorge Amphitheatre over Memorial Day weekend, will be announced on Feb. 2.

On a loftier note

The Spokane Youth Symphony on Jan. 22 will present “Far, Far Away,” featuring the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The symphony will perform Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter,” Sinfonia Concertante and the overture to “The Magic Flute.”

Conducting will be the symphony’s artistic director Julián Gómez Giraldo. Guest musicians include vocalists Steven Mortier and Gregory Holtz, and Spokane Symphony violinist Rachel Dorfman and principal violist Nick Carper. The guest conductor will be Chris Grant.

The concert will be at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox beginning at 4 p.m. Tickets are $16 and available through the Fox box office, www.martinwoldsontheater.com/events.

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