Carolyn Lamberson joined The Spokesman-Review in 2008. Formerly the Assistant Managing Editor/Features, she is the Senior Editor for Special Projects. In addition to her work as lead editor for Sunday's front page, Lamberson will be coordinating special sections and other long-term projects. She also will serve as the newsroom's grantwriter, with an eye toward bringing in new sources of funding to maintain and strengthen The Spokesman-Review's local journalism.
Kim Barnes, the University of Idaho English professor who has just published her third novel, will be in Spokane this week to read from her new book. “In the Kingdom of Men” tells the story of Gin Mitchell McPhee, a poor Oklahoma girl who marries the local basketball star and heads off to a new life in an oil company compound in Saudi Arabia. When a young Bedouin women is found dead, Gin’s life begins to unravel.
Fifteen years ago, Jess Walter and his wife traveled to Italy to visit her family. While there, the idea for a novel was born. That novel, “Beautiful Ruins,” will hit bookstores on Tuesday. It spans two continents and five decades, two central characters and a half dozen supporting players.
There’s big news for the Spotlight column, and then there is Big News. I think this falls into the latter category. Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre has announced a special show, for one night only, that will mark the return to the stage of Dennis Franz.
Dolly Levi is back in Coeur d’Alene, and Ellen Travolta couldn’t be more thrilled. For Travolta, once again assuming the role of the beloved heroine of “Hello, Dolly!” for Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre is like visiting with an old friend.
There’s still no word when the recently postponed Van Halen tour will resume and make its way to Spokane. In the meantime, however, Northern Quest Casino is offering up a stand-in for the rock legends. The Ultimate Van Halen Tribute Band will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday to kick off the casino’s outdoor concert season, opening for longtime local favorite Too Slim and the Taildraggers.
It’s a June of Johnsons at Auntie’s Bookstore. Father and son Larry and Nathan Johnson will sign copies of their book, “Montana Waterfalls: A Guide for Sighters, Hikers and Waterfall Enthusiasts,” from 1-3 p.m. on June 9 on the store’s main floor. Meanwhile, upstairs in the mezzanine, mother and daughter Cinda Johnson and Linea Johnson will present their memoir, “Perfect Chaos: A Daughter’s Journey to Survive Bipolar, a Mother’s Struggle to Save Her,” at 2 p.m.
Huey Lewis and the News and Styx are among the rock acts heading to the Spokane County Interstate Fair this summer. Kicking off the fair’s Grandstand entertainment this year is Wylie and the Wild West ($5-$7) on Sept. 10. Country singer Jake Owen ($5-$15) will perform on Sept. 11.
Coming up at Auntie’s in the coming days: a slew of appearances by notable authors with local ties. Kate McLachlan will read from her paperback “Hearts, Dead and Alive” at 7 p.m. Friday. The next morning, Amber Copelin will read from her children’s book “Will You Love Me When…” at 11 a.m.
Connoisseur Concerts’ Mozart on a Summer’s Eve performance in Manito Park is shaping up to be a must-see. The concerts, at 7 p.m. July 17 and 18, will feature three professional sopranos who graduated from Whitworth University: Heather Steckler Parker, Colleen Bryant Palmer and Heather Peterson.
Lindi Ortega gets classified as straight-up country. Sure, she wears cowboy boots – red cowboy boots – and has a voice like Dolly Parton. But in her mind, what she does is a little bit of this – old-school outlaw country and rockabilly – and a little bit of that – roots and folk.
The events calendar for this summer is filling up quickly. Over at Northern Quest Casino, they’ve added another show to its entertainment lineup. Legendary rock group Crosby, Stills and Nash will perform in the casino’s Pend Oreille Pavilion on Sept. 15. Tickets go on sale May 15 through the casino box office, (509) 481-6700, or online at www.northernquest.com.
Thursday would have been Bing Crosby’s 109th birthday. To celebrate, the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater will hold a birthday gathering and show Crosby’s 1951 film “Here Comes the Groom.” The film, directed by Frank Capra (“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “It’s a Wonderful Life”), stars Crosby as a newspaper reporter who must win back his former fiancée or lose custody of the two orphans he has adopted.
You can’t do that in the library. Wait. Maybe you can. Come to the Spokane Public Library, 906 W. Main Ave., on April 28 and you can drink a beer from River City Brewing, listen to live music by 6-Foot Swing, eat some pizza from David’s.
Fans of great country songwriting should mark their calendars for Memorial Day weekend. That’s when a host of best-selling songwriters will gather at the Coeur d’Alene Resort for a weekend of stories and music. The Coeur d’Alene Songwriters Festival will feature Even Stevens (“I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt), Grammy winner Paul Overstreet (“Some Beach” by Blake Shelton), Emmy winner Hugh Prestwood (“The Song Remembers When” by Trisha Yearwood), Kostas (“Ain’t That Lonely Yet” by Dwight Yoakam), Leslie Satcher (“Politically Uncorrect” by Merle Haggard and Gretchen Wilson) and Mike Loudermilk (“Midnight in the Desert” by Crystal Gayle).
Marjorie Agosin, author, activist, Chilean exile and professor at Wellesley College, will speak at Gonzaga University on Tuesday. Her talk, at 7 p.m. in the Globe Room of Cataldo Hall, is called “Acts of Resistance: Women and Social Justice in Pinochet’s Chile.”
The highlight of Monday’s Best of Broadway 2012-’13 season announcement event had to be seeing in person some of the actors from “Jersey Boys.” “Jersey Boys,” which tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is the much-lauded, much-beloved musical sensation coming to town for a three-week run in October. Flying in for the announcement at the INB Performing Arts Center were Colin Trahan, who understudies seven roles in the touring production, Alayna Gallo, one of three actresses sharing more than 50 female roles in the play – she has 17 costume changes – and John Michael Dias, who plays Valli.
Now, we know what will follow “Jersey Boys.” West Coast Entertainment on Monday announced the rest its lineup for the 2012-13 Best of Broadway series. A three week-run in October for the Tony-winning smash “Jersey Boys” was announced earlier this year. “Rock of Ages,” a 2009 Tony nominee built around ’80s rock songs by the likes of Journey, Night Ranger and Pat Benatar, will come to the INB Performing Arts Center Feb. 7-10.
As you may have heard by now, Jess Walter has a new book coming out in June. If you really can’t wait that long, the National Book Award finalist has a new tidbit available to whet your appetite. “Don’t Eat Cat” is a work of short fiction. Best part? It’ll set ya back a whopping 99 cents and is formatted for your e-reader of choice: iPad, Nook or Kindle. And if you’re not married to an e-reading device, you can get it through Indie Bound as a Google eBook.
The upcoming Spokane Symphony concert will feature an appearance by a percussionist who will perform his own marimba concerto. Nebojsa Zivkovic, a native of Serbia now based in Germany, will perform his Marimba Concerto No. 2 in concerts Saturday and next Sunday. To check out Zivkovic and hear some of his dozens of compositions, visit his website, www.zivkovic.de.
The final edition of this year’s Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series will feature one of Gonzaga’s own. GU professor Shann Ferch, who writes under the name Shann Ray, will read from “American Masculine,” his collection of short stories. This free, public talk will be in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Good news for all you procrastinators. You’ll have even more time to see the “Seeing Impressionism: Europe, America and the Northwest” exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. The popular exhibit had already been extended once, and was set to end Saturday. Now, the museum will keep the exhibit another seven weeks, through May 19.
It contains 11 million cubic yards of concrete – enough to pave a road from New York City to Seattle to Los Angeles and back to the Big Apple. It powered burgeoning cities of Portland and Seattle, and helped fuel America’s success in World War II. It decimated one the world’s greatest salmon fisheries and irreparably damaged an ancient tribal culture. It’s the Grand Coulee Dam, and it’s the subject of the latest documentary in the PBS series “The American Experience.”