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Spotlight: Symphony adds Tao to guest list

The Spokane Symphony has adjusted its concert schedule in early May after a hand injury sidelined one of the planned guest artists.

Gil Garburg, of the renowned piano duo Silver-Garburg, suffered the injury, forcing the duo to cancel its May 10-12 performances of the five piano concertos by Ludwig van Beethoven.

So instead, the symphony will bring in piano virtuoso Conrad Tao, who will perform all five concertos over two nights at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. He’ll play the first, second and fourth concertos on May 11 and the third and fifth on May 12. The concert on May 10 has been canceled.

Tao, who is 18, has been playing with major orchestras around the world for three years. Just last month, he performed all five of the Beethoven concertos with Symphony of the Americas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

“Typically, when an artist is stricken with illness or injury, there are able and skilled musicians ready to step in and share their talents with a grateful audience,” symphony music director Eckart Preu said in a news release. “What is rare is when an artist as gifted and in demand as Tao is able to come in and save the day in such a spectacular fashion.”

Those who hold tickets for the May 10 concert may exchange them for another concert. For details, call the box office at (509) 624-1200 or visit

Speaking of the symphony

Albert Bergeret will lead the Spokane Symphony, the Symphony Chorale and the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players in a SuperPops rendition of “The Pirates of Penzance” on Saturday at the Fox.

Bergeret is the artistic director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Players, which is a leading professional Gilbert and Sullivan repertory troupe.

Curtain will rise at 8 p.m. at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave. Tickets are $25 to $56, available through the Fox box office, by calling (509) 624-1200, online at or through any TicketsWest outlet.

Bright future for Interplayers?

Lost, perhaps, among the past week’s news of Interplayers Theater’s precarious financial situation is the fact that artistic director Reed McColm has put together a strong season for 2013-14.

Most notable, perhaps, is the plan for “Our Town” in December. The classic 1938 Thornton Wilder play has become the bailiwick of high school and college theater departments because, with more than 30 parts, it can be too expensive for professional companies to mount. McColm, with permission from the Wilder estate, is adapting the play for six actors. And, he told supporters on Monday, if the Wilder estate likes what he does with the play, they’ll keep it and allow other companies to stage it.

The season kicks off in September with Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” If things work out, McColm said, the plan will be to begin the following two seasons with the rest of Simon’s trilogy, “Biloxi Blues” and “Broadway Bound.”

In late February 2014, Patrick Treadway will star in “Barrymore,” a one-man show about legendary stage and screen actor John Barrymore. McColm promises a “tour de force.”

Of course, all this is moot if Interplayers cannot raise $150,000 by May 31. Without significant capital, the professional theater will close.

For information on the fundraising campaign, the schedule, season subscriptions or the theater in general, call the box office at (509) 455-7529.

Swing, swing, swing

Next weekend marks the return of the Spokane Vintage Swing Festival and Lindy Exchange.

The three-day festival will include music and dancing. The separate Lindy Exchange, in which Lindy Hop dancers from around the region are invited to converge on the area for a weekend of dancing, will be held in conjunction with the vintage swing event.

Festivities kick off Friday with a performance by the Heather Villa Blues Trio at Center Pointe, 1408 N. Washington St. Tickets are $20. On Saturday, Glenn Crytzer’s Band will perform at Chateau Rive at the Flour Mill, 621 W. Mallon. Tickets are $20. Both shows begin at 9 p.m. and will be preceded at 8 p.m. by free dance lessons. On April 21, Variety Pack will perform at Riverfront Park, from 2 to 5 p.m. That show is free.

For more information on the festival or to learn more about the Lilac Lindy Exchange, visit spknvintageswingfest.

First Night forever

Sure, New Year’s Eve is more than six months away. Still, it’s never too early to start planning.

Artist applications are now available for First Night Spokane. The event features opportunities for glassworkers, dancers, actors, painter, sculptors, mimes, jugglers and others. This year’s theme is “Once Upon a Night – Art Comes Alive.”

For information and an application form, visit Applications are due June 30.