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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

NPR’s Carl Kasell on the way

Carl KasellCarl Kasell, the veteran NPR newscaster and "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me" announcer and judge, is on the way to the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane on May 9, 7:30 p.m.

Kasell will regale the audience with stories about broadcasting — and even perform a few magic tricks. Yeah, he's also an amateur magician.

"An Evening with Carl Kasell" is sponsored by Spokane Public Radio. Tickets will be $27, on sale Feb. 25 through all TicketsWest outlets or by calling (800) 325-SEAT.

A Foo-Cab-Wilco-Lips Sasquatch

Here's who's on the way to the Sasquatch! Music Festival, May 27-30 at the Gorge Amphitheatre:

Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse , Wilco, The Flaming Lips (performing The Soft Bulletin & more), The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Iron & Wine, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Bassnectar, Robyn, Flogging Molly, Death From Above 1979, Pink Martini, Cold War Kids, Old 97’s, Ratatat, Wolf Parade, Chromeo and  Guided By Voices.

There are plenty more acts, which you can see by clicking "contininue reading" below.

Meanwhile, you can buy festival passes here.  

Is Sir Elton Spokane’s mystery concert?

Looks like Spokane's mystery concert (see earlier post) may be Elton John.

The official announcement won't be until Friday morning. But I have been hearing credible reports that Sir Elton is on the way back to the Spokane Arena.

Check in tomorrow morning to see if this turns out to be correct.

“Spelling Bee” sold out

This just in: The entire run of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at the Spokane Civic Theatre is already sold out.

That includes the two extra Saturday matinees that had already been added on to the regular run, which ends Feb. 20.

This is no big surprise, since (1) The show is in the small Studio Theatre space that seats less than 100 and (2) It's a hoot of a show that is getting great word of mouth.

The Civic may be wondering if it should have run upstairs on the much-larger-capacity Main Stage, yet the intimate setting is one of the reasons the show works so well.

You may be able to catch a cut-down version of the show in March. The Civic plans on making this show its competition show for the 2011 Kaleidoscope Festival — which will be hosted by Civic March 11-13.

‘Grizzly Adams’ creator dies

Charles E. Sellier Jr., 67, the producer and creator of "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" and dozens of other TV shows and films, died Monday at his home in North Idaho.

"Chuck" Sellier had a lengthy  TV-film resume including such popular films as "In Search of Noah's Ark," "Chariots of the Gods," "In Search of the Historic Jesus" and "The Bermuda Triangle." All of those are listed among the top 50-grossing independent films. Recently, he and his  locally based production company, Grizzly Adams Productions, had produced dozens of religious-oriented films and TV shows, including "Ancient Secrets of the Bible" for CBS and "Miraculous Messages" and "The Case for Christ's Resurrection."

He was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the children's show, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" in 1980. He was also the author of a number of books based on his films and TV specials.

The family requests that Sellier be remembered through donations to his passion, the ABC Foodbank, which serves Athol, Bayview and Careywood, Idaho.

“A River Sorrow” trailer

The people at Spokane’s film production company, North by Northwest, are particularly high on their new thriller “The River Sorrow.” It was filmed this fall in Spokane with Ray Liotta, Christian Slater, Ving Rhames and Gisele Fraga.

NXNW’s own Rich Cowan was the director.  It has already been picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions — which already catapults it beyond the average Spokane-filmd movie — and Cowan plans on taking it to the Cannes Film Festival this spring.

Now, the trailer for “The River Sorrow” is out and, yes, it certainly does make the movie look stylish, moody, chilling and decidely R-rated. It’s about a string of sexual murders with one common thread – all of the victims are former girlfriends of the detective played by Liotta.

You'll also catch glimpses of several Spokane locations, including Riverfront Park and the Agave Latin Bistro downtown.

See the trailer for yourself here and let us know what you think of "The River Sorrow."

A David Mamet coup in Spokane

Spokane’s Interplayers Professional Theatre has scored a significant coup: It will stage one of the first productions anywhere of David Mamet’s “Race” since it closed on Broadway in August.

This controversial play, about a white businessman accused of raping a black woman, will run March 31 through April 16, replacing the musical “Cotton Patch Gospel” on the Interplayers calendar. “Cotton Patch Gospel” will return on next season’s list.

The only other production opened Jan. 21 at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. The last time a Spokane theater landed such a new Broadway play would be – well, never, as far as I can recall.

How did Interplayers pull this off? Read on …

‘Opus’ review

As you may have noticed from the review in Sunday's print edition (Jan. 23) , I loved "Opus" at Interplayers. I thought it was a fascinating and well-acted look at the art of creating music.

Actually, I liked it even more than the print review indicated. A large section of the review was lopped off for space, including a discussion of the acting ensemble. They all deserve attention, so I am posting the full uncut review below, with apologies to the actors who were nowhere to be seen in the print review. Click on "continue reading" below to see the full review.

Herb: More Murder & Mayhem On TV

Herb Huseland: Watching football and other activities this week-end, I suffered through the promo trailers for the fall network programing. It appears that most if not all featured very violent content. My question is: Is this a reflection of our violent society? Or is it a cause? This question probably occured to me with the announcement of the death of the “Leave it to Beaver” star. Entertainment seems to be much more into destruction and mayhem than when I was young.

Question: Is entertainment more into destruction and mayhem today than during your formative years?

Dirty Martinis for Clean Water

If you like your martinis dirty and your water clean, The Center For Justice has something just for you. This Friday, come check out the third annual “Dirty Martinis for Clean Water.” Always a great time, you’ll meet the people who work hard at protecting our beloved Spokane River. Tickets are $50 and proceeds benefit the Center For Justice River Projects. It’s totally worth it, so come on down! Event details from CFJ:

Friday, September 25th: The Center for Justice hosts its third annual Dirty Martinis for Clean Water event at the Sapphire Room, 1003 E. Trent Avenue on the Riverwalk. See map. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and features Dry Fly Distilling martinis, and both live and silent auctions sponsored by Mosaic SalonSpa. Each ticket entitles the bearer to two martinis, appetizers and an ethereal out of body experience in which truth and justice envelop you, and those around you, and you can vividly envision what it will be like when Chinook salmon return to the Spokane Falls. Okay, we embellished that last part, a little, but it should be fun. Click here to buy tickets.”

Meet “No Impact Man” (and woman)

Don’t let the title of the upcoming documentary fool you because credit is due to his wife, Michelle Conlin. 

Grist writes she “had no blog, book deal, or film project to send her on this journey of sacrifice and self-denial. What she had was a husband. By fortune or misfortune, Conlin is married to Colin Beavan, the self-described No Impact Man. He cooked up the No Impact Man stunt as fodder for a book of the same name, out Sept. 1. He keeps a No Impact Man blog. And a film crew recorded his year for No Impact Man the movie, also released next month.”

Their year-long experiment in intense sustainability also has 2-year-old daughter Isabella in tow. Together, they produce zero waste, burn no fossil fuels, and partake in their own locavore challenge albeit within 250 miles of Greenwich Village. Eventually he appeared on the Colbert Report and the family was profiled in the New York Times with the cute headline “The Year Without Toilet Paper.” (Yes, they discard because of deforestation.) Now, Sony/Columbia bought the rights to their story and Will Smith (!) could reportedly star.

Tuesday Video— Planet Forward

Tomorrow night at 8pm, be sure to tune into “Planet Forward,” a viewer-driven special on PBS about our energy future. It all started HERE, on the Planet Forward Web site, which revolved around citizen and expert submissions; the show features the best of the online submissions which will then be discussed and debated by a diverse panel of experts, scientists, business leaders and policymakers.

Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington Bureau Chief who will host the program, explained his vision of this innovative special: “We created Planet Forward, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to take this huge issue facing us — how we move to a sustainable, 21st century approach to the energy we use – and explore it in a way that is open, inclusive, creative and smart. We wanted to combine the power of the internet and the reach of television to bring together citizens, experts and decision-makers in a place where imagination and ideas would prevail. Sure, serious business — but also spontaneous and fun and unexpected.”

All aboard the DTE express

April is shaping up to be our busiest time yet for DTE. In the spirit of Earth Day, you’ll find an unprecedented amount of local environmental coverage this month, so get ready. In case you’ve missed “DTE Watch!” a new feature on our main page, check it out. It’s full of site news and upcoming events. Right now, here’s what you would see:

“Look in The Spokesman-Review Saturday, April 4 for the April edition of Down to Earth Monthly! Readers will find a preview of many community Earth Day events through the region, and a closer look at Jace Bylenga, a longtime advocate for the planet and the coordinator of many of the people and businesses interested in helping out!”

“The second issue of Down to Earth NW publishes Saturday April 18 – the semi-annual glossy magazine hits homes, businesses, newsstands, coffee shops and many other locations. The spring issue gives readers a closer look about how area schools are helping older and younger students understand and appreciate the world around them.”

“Check the Down to Earth calendar April 19-26 or Spokane’s Earth Week for a guide to all the week long Earth events happening during our local Earth Week.”

“Come down to Riverfront Park and the site of Expo ‘74 Sunday April 26 for the Earth Day celebration. Along with all sorts of entertainment and education, you’ll be able to meet with many agencies and individuals. Stop by Down to Earth’s booth to learn more about what we’re doing.”

On the last event, Bart and I will be your tour guides for a day in the park, walking and talking visitors through a little Expo history, and connecting the environmental theme of yesteryear to the current momentum that we see locally today.

We might even install solar panels on the familiar train at Riverfront Park (and make a detour for O’Doherty’s). We feel this is good for Spokane.

Double the Slam…

Well - it looks like our homeland of Spokane has just got too much entertainment for a single weekly blogpost….say hello to: (drumroll please…) Double the Slam. I’ll post up some interesting shows/concerts/events/whatever looks pleasing to our advanced generation. Ha - enjoy!

Ain’t Misbehavin’: Thu - Sun. March 19-22
Sure to be the “electrifying” show of the month, Ain’t Misbehavin’ features 2003 Idol Winner Ruben Studdard and Frenchie Davis in this presentation of the Fats Waller Broadway Musical. Startin’ up at the INB Performing Arts Center. (Tickets on sale now)

Candlebox, Jet Black Stare, and Royal Bliss: Sat. March 21
Candlebox, this Seattle-based headliner is taking over the Knitting Factory with side-kick shows Jet Black Stare and Royal Bliss at 7 pm. (check out their tunes on MySpace…)

Ok…to mix it up a little bit, here’s two local art displays that sound pretty cool.

The Empyrean Coffeehouse features Josh Jalcoich and CJ Bruininks: Through Tue. March 31
Like Katie said in the previous ‘Slam’, the Empyrean is a great way to enjoy some good coffee, enjoy some good music, support the locals, and….wait…did I mention the coffee? - Cause that’s really a great selling point.  The Empyrean is now featuring artist Josh Jalcoich and CJ Bruininks. (this place has a super-cool website, check it out at empyreancoffee.com.)

The Bank Left Gallery features The Youth of Palouse: Through Tue. March 31
This is basically my area of the state’s version of the Empyrean, except with a more ‘tea-room and bistro’ feel.  In addition to featuring the ‘Regular Artists’, the Gallery now is now showing off the work of the young artists, grades 3rd through 12th, of the area with it’s first-ever kid’s show. (Their website can be found at bankleftgallery.com)


Missing out on fun? Start a club

Do you ever feel that you’ve budgeted all the fun out of your life? That you never see friends anymore?

If your answers are yes, you might like this idea: start a frugal club with friends. This suggestion comes via the blog Wise Bread, from writer Tisha Toler:

What is a frugal club? Well, there is no official answer to that question because my necessity as a mother just invented it. … A frugal club can be anything you want it to be, so long as you find ways to incorporate frugality and find ways to be entertained and save money. Gather some friends you know who are working towards a more frugal life and set a specific day and time that is convenient for everyone, making a commitment to attend more likely to happen.

The next Neil Young album



Neil Young’s upcoming release will be a concept album titled “Fork in the Road” about eco-friendly cars, or as The Guardian snidely put it “exploring three things—- dirty blues, direct lyrics, and his LincVolt electric car project.” Song titles include “Cough Up the Bucks”, “Fuel Line”, “Hit the Road”, and “Get Around”. Audiences are already labeling him crazy (the Guardian article was comically headlined “Neil Young fans upset that he is releasing a new album,”) but it will no doubt have music listeners looking for LincVolt.

The project is named after Young’s 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV which was converted to a plug-in hybrid and additionally runs on biodiesel. “By drawing on entrepreneurial companies’ advanced technology and good old American ingenuity, we intend to transform one of the largest and heaviest gas guzzling vehicles of our generation into a highly energy efficient vehicle, and demonstrate to the American public that we can re-power the American dream by demanding environmentally-friendly vehicles now”, said Young. At 19-feet long and two tons, his car used to get 10 miles per gallon, now it’s at 100. Also, he plans to film a documentary about the endeavor.

We’re excited about that and hope others have the capability of greening classic car engines. But for the music (and hilarious video consequently overshadowing any message)…well, in a too often repeated statement, Young does whatever he wants. For good or ill.

Down To Earth Go Green Quiz

The music kicks in. Our voices commence the game. And the crowd goes wild when you get it right. (No easy task.) It might even be a new career prospect for us. Look out Regis.

Of course, we’re referring to the awesome beta version of the Down To Earth Go Green Quiz, a local multiple choice test. The official game will follow soon with additional questions and more fun stuff. Test your knowledge here.