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Object of Affection: Sophia Caruso’s Sound of Music

(Photo by Deena Caruso)

 

   Tonight is Sophia Anne Caruso’s big night. As part of the cast of NBC’s landmark televised live production of “The Sound of Music,” starring Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer and Audra McDonald, she’ll be a part of something that hasn’t been done by any network in half a century. 

 

   But the 12-year-old veteran performer’s favorite collection—a stack of Broadway musical scores—shows she’s been preparing for years.  She’s learned them all—”Annie,” “Mary Poppins,” “Les Miserables,” “Hairspray” and more— and sings them for both the pure pleasure of it and for the constant auditions that are a big part of any actor’s life. 

 

    As it happens, one of her favorite shows is “The Sound of Music.”

 

    “I saw the movie when I was five or 6 and I loved it,” Sophia says. “So my mother got the Broadway score for me and I learned it. I sang it constantly.”  

 

    Tonight she will perform those familiar songs again, this time for millions of viewers.

 

    Sophia Caruso has worked steadily since moving with her mother from Spokane to New York City 18 months ago, and will play Brigitta von Trapp in tonight’s live production. She says it’s the role she would have chosen.

    

   “I love Brigitta,” she says. “She’s a lot like me. We both like to read.”

 

    Her mother, Spokane business owner, Deena Caruso, is the score keeper. 

  

    “I always have some of them with me,” Deena Caruso says. “You never know when you’ll need one.” 

  

    Tonight, when the show is over, she’ll pull out Sophia’s copy of “The Sound of Music.”  “I’m going to have it signed by everyone in the cast,” Sophia says.

    

   When asked if she thinks she’ll keep the stack of musical scores, Sophia Caruso doesn’t hesitate.

  

    “Oh, of course, I’ll have them forever. They are my treasures,” she says. “They’re signed and marked in my kiddie handwriting. Years from now I’ll look at them and I’ll always remember how much I loved to sing those songs.”

 

Watch “The Sound of Music” tonight at 8 p.m. on KHQ-TV

 

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap’s audio essays can be heard each week on Spokane Public Radio. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” which is available at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane.

 

Vacant house burns

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Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to a report of smoke and flames seen coming from a home at 8815 E. Broadway at 7 a.m. today. It was quickly upgraded to a working fire. The flames caused extensive damage to the home, according to Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.

Neighbors told firefighters that the house had been vacant for about a month but the owner had been inside doing repairs recently, Clifford said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and a a dollar estimate for damages is not yet available. Broadway Ave. was shut down while firefighters worked. Photos courtesy the Spokane Valley Fire Department.

Film, Stage Maestro Hamlisch, 68, RIP

Marvin Hamlisch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who imbued his movie and Broadway scores with pizazz and panache and often found his songs in the upper reaches of the pop charts, died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 68 and lived in New York. He collapsed on Monday after a brief illness, a family friend said. For a few years starting in 1973, Mr. Hamlisch spent practically as much time accepting awards for his compositions as he did writing them. He is one of a handful of artists to win every major creative prize, some of them numerous times, including an Oscar for “The Way We Were” (1973, shared with the lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman), a Grammy as best new artist (1974), and a Tony and a Pulitzer for “A Chorus Line” (1975, shared with the lyricist Edward Kleban, the director Michael Bennett and the book writers James Kirkwood Jr. and Nicholas Dante). His omnipresence on awards and talk shows made him one of the last in a line of celebrity composers that included Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach and Stephen Sondheim/New York Times. More here. (2011 AP file photo of Hamlisch & Barbra Streisand)

Question: How did the work of composer Marvin Hamlisch impact you?

Victims in double fatal accident identified

The man and woman killed in a traffic accident at East Broadway Avenue and North Locust Road in Spokane Valley on Valentine’s Day have been identified as Justin J. Stevens, 35, and Alisha K. Germany, 29.

The two were heading west on Broadway at high speed when their car left the road and hit a small tree and a telephone pole before hitting a large tree head-on. Neither was wearing a seat belt and alcohol was believed to be involved, according to a police news release. The two were declared dead at the scene.

Stevens was a level 3 registered sex offender with a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for first-degree rape, failure to register as a sex offender, obstructing an officer, first-degree criminal trespass and possession of a controlled substance. He was required to register as a sex offender after being convicted of raping a 78-year-old woman at knifepoint in 1995.

Germany had convictions for fourth-degree domestic violence assault and failure to cooperate with police.

Two dead in Spokane Valley accident

A man and a woman killed in a traffic accident last night at Broadway and Locust in Spokane Valley have not yet been identified. Police believe speed and alcohol were involved in the crash, which sent a red Corvette head on into a large tree. Witnesses reportedly told police the car was going about 60 or 70 miles per hour in the 35 mph zone. Click here for more details.

Hoping for an Accessory Afterlife

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)



   If you were to ask me if I believe in heaven as a place where I’ll join all the people I’ve known and lost, and with whom I can spend eternity laughing and eating potato salad at one idyllic family reunion, I’d stall for time and finally fall back on that old relationship standard, “It’s complicated.”
But if you were to ask me to believe heaven is a place where I can be reunited with all the little things I’ve lost here on earth, especially the gold and silver that has slipped through my fingers, I’d have myself sent away like King Tut, laid out in style and surrounded by approximately half the jewelry I’ve ever owned. The hope would be I could finally find the missing half.

   My personal history is full of stories of the ones that got away. Starting with my school ring which I slipped off my finger and dropped into my purse. This would have been fine if I hadn’t put my purse on the top of my car and driven off. The purse, and the ring, were never seen again.

   Then there was that pair of tiny diamond earrings I lost in college. I remember taking them out before I went to sleep and pinning them to a piece of college rule (naturally)  notepaper. I also remember thinking I should get up and put them in my jewelry box. Unfortunately, the next time I went to put them on, I couldn’t remember where exactly I put that particular piece of paper. My roommate probably wadded it around her gum and tossed it. Or, it might have been me…

   As I grew up and began to travel, the trail of lost jewelry just got longer. There was that little gold chain that broke and slipped off somewhere on Broadway in New York City. And the bracelet I left behind in Memphis. And the silver hoop that went missing in Budapest. And the pearl earring that disappeared in Tuscany. And while it wasn’t a piece of jewelry, I’m still grieving for the cashmere scarf - five feet of comfort and warmth that cost more than I’d made that week-  the wind picked up and carried away while I was waiting for a bus in Reykjavik, Iceland. Really. The wind is fierce in Reykjavik, Iceland.

   I’m a sceptic when it comes to pearly gates and streets of gold, but I would become a willing believer in the idea of an accessory afterlife. Until, of course, I misplaced my halo. It would be all downhill from there.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

Road work still going on

I realized there is still a lot of road work going on even though it's nearly October when I stumbled across a closed lane on Sprague Ave. at McDonald Road this morning. A check of this week's traffic update from the city of Spokane Valley shows a lot going on.

Work on Broadway is happening this week between Pines Road and University Road. There will be traffic lane and sidewalk closures during the week, so be prepared for delays if you drive this route. The intersection of 11th and Herald road will be closed until 5:30 p.m. today for storm water work. Detours will be in place and the intersection should reopen tomorrow. Evergreen Road between 16h and 24th will be completely closed Thursday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers are asked to use McDonald Road instead. And of course crews are still hard at work on the I-90 widening project east of Sullivan.

Remember to watch for work crews and keep your speed down when going through work zones.

Van on fire on Broadway

Spokane Valley Fire Department crews are responding to a cargo van on fire on Broadway just east of Fancher. The van is reportedly partially full of insulation. Expect traffic problems in the area.

Road closures ahead

Greenacres residents will notice today that the intersection of Mission and Flora is now closed for the installation of a new roundabout. The closure is part of the project to extend Indiana Avenue east to that intersection. Detours are available along Boone, Arc and Baldwin. The detour route has been changed from earlier plans because recent heavy rains have slowed the repaving of several streets torn up for sewer installation. The detour routes are in residential areas, so people are urged to drive slowly and carefully.

The sidewalk work on Broadway from Moore to Flora is also continuing this week, so expect narrowed lanes and delays during the day through Friday.

More traffic issues

The City of Spokane Valley has announced other temporary traffic shutdowns for this week. Today the eastbound curb lane on Broadway at Dyer road will be closed until 5 p.m., as will the southbound lane of Dyer just south of Broadway. The closures should only last for today.

The eastbound curb lane of Sharp Ave. between Evergreen and Bannon will be closed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day this week. The work should be completed on Friday.

This is the time of year when roads start getting dug up for small and large projects alike, so such short-term closures will become more frequent. Make sure to keep your speed down and stay well clear of the workers.

Traffic issues

There are a few small projects happening on Spokane Valley streets this week that will create occasional traffic problems. The southbound curb lane on Argonne Road will be closed just north of Knox Avenue on Wednesday, so expect congestion as people try to merge into one lane. Sidewalk repair work will be happening on Broadway between Moore and Flora through Friday. Expect narrowed lanes and some delays.

Then, of course, there are the multiple street closures in Greenacres for sewer installation work. The project to extend Indiana Avenue to the intersection of Mission and Flora is also ongoing.

Saturday’s highlights

Horizon Middle School eighth-grader Lucas Fitzsimmons, left, gets help separating leftover food waste and soiled paper from garbage, as part of the Central Valley School District’s cafeteria composting program. Assisting him, from right, are eighth-grade leadership students Colby Potts, Emma Kennedy and Scott McKinley. SR photo/J. Bart Rayniak

Here we are on another lovely Monday morning. Well, it will be lovely after the morning coffee kicks in. So now is the perfect time to take a look at what was published in Saturday's Valley Voice. The kids at Horizon Middle School stepped up to launch a new composting program that will be used by the entire Central Valley district by the end of the school year. Reporter Lisa Leinberger has the story and we also have a catchy rap tune performed by students to go with it. Just beware - you might find yourself singing it later.

Lisa also has information on the four finalists for the Freeman superintendent position. They are: Cheney High School principal Thomas Gresch, Liberty School District superintendent Bill Motsenbocker, Coeur d'Alene High School Principal Randy Russell and Mead School District executive director of human services Kelly Shea.

I've also got a look at what additions the Spokane Valley City Council is considering to go along with the Broadway Avenue Safety Project, including resurfacing part of Broadway and improving drainage in an area that floods during storms. The council also discussed the comprehensive plan amendment that would eliminate the Sprague/Appleway Revitalization Plan. It became clear during their discussion that only councilman Bill Gothmann favors keeping SARP.

Belching and Breaking Wind…How Beautiful

The very green (and very sarcastic) Scottish ogre has now found his place: center stage.

Sunday was the night for ‘Shrek the Musical’, the official debut of the ’screen-to-stage musical’ based on the 2001 animated film and children’s book by William Steig.

Played by Brian d’Arcy James and Sutton Foster, Shrek the ogre and Fiona the princess test their relationship to eventually discover a romantic chemistry that, The NY Times reports, is deeper than their “shared affinity for breaking wind and belching really loudly.”

This show can walk the walk, but can it talk the talk? (Or in this musical’s case, sing the song?)

” ‘Shrek’, for the record, is not bad,” continues The New York Times. The movie utilizes it’s iconic characters and wide age range of humor to hook it’s fans.  When compared to other Disney-inspired musicals, such as “Tarzan” and “Little Mermaid”, this ogre-tastic fractured fairy tale is worth your time.