Features

Night Ranger, Boston set to rock Arena

Lewis Black hits Spokane in November. (Associated Press)
Lewis Black hits Spokane in November. (Associated Press)

It took a bit longer this year than in years past, but Sasquatch at the Gorge Amphitheatre has sold out. And the solar-powered Musicfest created last year by KYRS has a new name. Marmotfest – catchy, isn’t it? – will set up shop on Glover Field in Peaceful Valley on July 12. The station’s manager, Lupito Flores, promises a lot of great local talent and a big headliner. We’ll find out the lineup on May 2. Stay tuned … .

Meanwhile, the Spokane Arena announced it is bringing old-school arena rockers Boston to town in September. Joining them will be Night Ranger, the 1980s rock band behind the hits “Sister Christian,” “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America.” Unlike Boston, which is down to one original member – singer/guitarist Tom Scholz – Night Ranger is touring with its core membership intact: drummer/ vocalist Kelly Keagy, bass/vocalist Jack Blades and guitarist Brad Gillis. They’ll have a new record out in June, as well.

Some of you out there might remember Night Ranger’s first big gig in Spokane, a September 1984 show at the Opera House that sold out in 2  1/2 hours. Tickets for this year’s show are on sale Friday.

Speaking of the Opera House, comedian Lewis Black will bring his “The Rant is Due” tour to what is now known as INB Performing Arts Center in November. It’s a late add to the 2014-15 Best of Broadway season from West Coast Entertainment. Tickets are being offered first to BoB season ticket holders. They go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. May 2 through TicketsWest. Prices are set at $39.50 to $65.

And finally, we have an on-sale date for the Sept. 18 Blake Shelton concert at the Arena. Tickets will be available at 10 a.m. April 25 through LiveNation.com, TicketsWest.com and all TicketsWest outlets. Prices will be $29.75 and $54.75.

Carolyn Lamberson

Original animation

(Posted Wednesday) Most U.S.-made animated features seem to work from the same basic plot basis: Some trouble happens, some character discovers an inner power he/she didn’t suspect existed, a crisis/villain is overcome (or a quest accomplished) and lessons are learned all around. Happy ending.

Foreign-made animated efforts are different. Sure, they often involve challenges – even quests, if you will – and characters are forced at times to overcome daunting odds. But often they don’t. And anyway, they almost always have a different feel. Think of the work of Hayao Miyazaki, particularly his 1988 film “His Neighbor Totoro” or his 2001 Oscar-winning effort “Spirited Away.” In Europe, consider Jean-Francois Laguionie’s 2011 Oscar-nominated film “Le Tableau” (or “The Painting”).

Now we have “Ernest & Celestine,” a co-production of France, Belgium and Luxembourg that is based on a series of children’s books written by the late Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent.

When adapting Vincent’s stories into a feature film, the filmmaking trio of Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner had to come up with a story that would both service the characters and fill in a feature-length running time. So screenwriter Daniel Pennac came up with this solution: He sets Vincent’s characters in a world split between bears, who live above ground, and mice, who live below. Each society believes it is superior to the other, and this prejudice – plus others – keeps them separated.

“Ernest & Celestine,” which opens at the Magic Lantern, is a kid’s film, so you know a happy ending is forthcoming. But along the way, the filmmakers stress messages of tolerance, acceptance, loyalty and the power of love.

Dan Webster



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