Michael Weaver and Patrick Treadway are headed back to Tuna, Texas.
Interplayers Professional Resident Theater is opening “Greater Tuna” on Thursday to replace “Ruthless! The Musical,” which was canceled after cast member David Gigler died during a rehearsal last month. “Tuna” will run through July 21.
The play stars Treadway and Weaver, the actors who brought “Tuna Does Vegas” to the Interplayers stage earlier this year. Treadway is directing the show, with assistance from Interplayers Artistic Director Reed McColm.
“Greater Tuna” is the first of four plays about Tuna, “the third-smallest town in Texas.” Weaver and Treadway have been involved in multiple local incarnations of the shows, which require each actor to play 11 different roles.
McColm said that after Gigler’s death, Interplayers wanted to do a comedy in his honor. And for expediency’s sake, it had to be something that cast and crew already knew.
“It really was a miracle we were able to get Michael back in town,” McColm said.
McColm said that to do the show, Weaver gave up his break before hitting the road as the rabbi with the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof.” That role will keep him from returning to Spokane in the fall. He was scheduled to direct “Always … Patsy Cline.” Instead Ken Urso will be directing.
Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and continuing July 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18 and 21. Matinees will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, 14, 15 and 21.
Three of the shows benefit local charities. On Thursday, Interplayers will donate 20 percent of ticket sales to the Inland Northwest Honor Flight, which sends World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials.
On Friday, the Boys & Girls Club will have a First Friday art exhibit in the theater’s Gellhorn Gallery. Bring a new children’s book or art supplies to the theater for $4 off an adult ticket.
Second Harvest will collect canned goods at the theater July 12. Donors will receive $2 off a $10 purchase at the lobby concession bar.
The Spokane Jazz Orchestra will be part of the Fourth of July festivities at Riverfront Park on Wednesday.
The band will play at 8 p.m. on the main stage in the Lilac Bowl following a 7:30 p.m. welcoming ceremony that includes a KC-135 flyover, the national anthem and a recognition of service men and women on the main stage in Lilac Bowl.
Vocalist Nicole Lewis will join the band, singing songs from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, like “Heat Wave” by Linda Ronstadt and “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves.
If you want to start celebrating at Riverfront Park earlier in the day, activities start at 11 a.m. There will be a children’s meadow, arts and crafts, food and entertainment from First Night Spokane in the Clocktower Meadow. Also, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Riverfront Park day passes are reduced to $8.
If you’d rather head out of town for the Fourth, check out the 25th annual Methow Arts Festival.
This year’s festival – “The Legend of the Superhero” – will celebrate the heroic role art plays in our lives, organizers say. It’s also meant to honor the heroes in our communities, including teachers, firefighters, ranchers, medical providers and police.
The festivities are from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Twisp River Park, 325 N. Lincoln St. in Twisp, about two blocks east of Highway 20. There will be artist demonstrations, dancers, aerial artists, music, a pie-eating contest, art booths and baby goats.
Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children 6 and older, free for children 5 and younger. Call Methow Arts at (509) 997-4004 for information.
New world songs
Spokane Civic Theatre will hold auditions for “Songs for a New World – In Concert.” The show is a fundraiser for the Civic Theatre.
The musical performance directed by Yvonne A.K. Johnson will feature classical, jazz, gospel and pop songs. Johnson will be casting six to eight adult woman and six to eight adult men for the show. Auditions will be at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Civic’s Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre, 1020 N. Howard St.
Shows will be Oct. 26-27 at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are on sale for $30, available at the theater box office, (509) 325-2507, or through TicketsWest outlets.
Jason Robert Brown, the composer of “Songs for a New World,” will be at the Oct. 27 show. There will be a talkback following the performance. For more information about auditions, visit www.spokanecivictheatre.com/audition.