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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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CV grad LaBute earns Tony Award nomination

The Spokane Valley earned a Tony Award nomination this week.

Well, sort of. Neil LaBute, a 1979 Central Valley High School graduate, received a Best Play nomination for his current Broadway play, “reasons to be pretty” (yes, without capital letters).

LaBute is famous, some might say notorious, for his provocative plays and movies. He has been nominated for awards ranging from the Cannes Golden Palm to the Sundance Filmmakers Trophy to the Golden Raspberry.

This, however, is his first Tony nomination. The ceremony will be televised on June 7. Let’s all root for the ’Bute.

‘Give ’em Hell’ trailer

The new trailer for “Give ’em Hell Malone,” the Spokane-filmed thriller starring Thomas Jane and Ving Rhames, is available on the Web, just in time for the Cannes Film Festival marketing blitz.

It has a fast-paced, gun-toting, tough-guy theme and a distinctive film-noir feel. The movie, directed by Russell Mulcahy (“Highlander”), is about a hard-bitten detective named Malone who stumbles across a valuable secret.

The trailer features some recognizable Spokane settings, plenty of blood and even a flash of nudity. No, I’m not going to give you the link, but if you search under the movie’s title, I’m sure you can find it on your own.

‘A Thousand Years’ on DVD

Sign on to your Netflix queue. The Spokane-filmed “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” directed by Wayne Wang, comes out on DVD on May 26.

This is the story of a Chinese-American in Spokane who reconnects with her estranged father from China. It had a brief but well-received theatrical release last year.

Woodstock redux

If you somehow missed the chance to get mud in your long hair at Woodstock in 1969, here’s your chance for a do-over.

A two-day concert called “Heroes of Woodstock” is coming to the Blues Ranch, outside of Winthrop, Wash., on Aug. 21 and 22.

This mini-Woodstock will feature Jefferson Starship (playing Jefferson Airplane music), Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Country Joe McDonald and Jimi Hendrix impersonator Randy Hansen.

Tickets are $89 in advance, including camping, available by calling (800) 422-3048. For more info, go to

Opera Coeur d’Alene

Opera Plus has changed its name to the more geographically precise Opera Coeur d’Alene, and is getting ready to present its first-ever spring opera performance, titled “Opera Close Up.”

It features seven singers performing well-known selections from a number of operas, including “Carmen,” “La Boheme,” “Cosi Fan Tutte,” “Don Giovanni” and “The Barber of Seville.”

That will all take place in two performances, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and May 17 at 2:30 p.m., at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center at the Old Church, 405 Williams St., Post Falls.

Tickets are $35. You must have reservations, available by calling (208) 676-8313.

Spokane Children’s Theatre updates

We have a pair of items to report from one of the region’s well-loved theatrical institutions, the Spokane Children’s Theatre:

• The theater has revised its 2009-2010 season. The rights to “A Year With Frog and Toad” have been pulled because of a national tour, so SCT will replace it with “Hans Christian Andersen’s The Nightingale,” which will be performed in Japanese Kabuki-theater style.

• Meanwhile, the SCT opens its final show of this season, “Heidi,” starring Kayla Jennings and Dennis Craig, May 16-31 at the Lair Auditorium at Spokane Community College, 1810 N. Greene St. This is a musical version of the beloved show about hope and renewal in the Alps.

Tickets are available through TicketsWest outlets (509-325-SEAT, 800-325-SEAT, Go to for more info.

Interplayers Annual Gala

Interplayers, Spokane’s longtime professional theater, will have its Annual Gala fundraiser on May 19, 5-7:30 p.m. at the theater, 174 S. Howard St.

Tickets are $25 and here’s what you get: a stage show including several numbers from “Cowgirls,” some vocal numbers by Tamara Schupman, piano music by Margie May Ott, music by Ruby Devine and Steve Schneider, and a one-act play by Thornton Wilder, “The Happy Journey from Camden to Trenton,” directed by Reed McColm. All that and catered appetizers, too.

Call (509) 455-PLAY or TicketsWest outlets for tickets.

The Saffire farewell

Saffire, Virginia’s self-proclaimed Uppity Blues Women, are doing their farewell tour with stops at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, June 9, 7:30 p.m. and at the Panida Theater in Sandpoint, June 10, 7:30 p.m.

They’ve been a popular bluesy draw nationwide since 1990. These events are sponsored by Spokane Public Radio and tickets are on sale through TicketsWest.

May Arkwright Hutton – live?

Speaking of uppity women, May Arkwright Hutton, one of the great women of Washington and Idaho history, will appear at the 6th Street Theater in Wallace on May 16 at 7 p.m. and May 17 at 2 p.m.

Actually, it’s Vicki Allman doing her tribute to Hutton, as a fundraiser for the theater. Call (208) 752-8871 for reservations.

Hutton was a saloon cook turned mining millionaire turned suffragette.

Hodges sculpture

A new sculpture by Jim Hodges, a Spokane native who now lives and works in New York City, has been installed on the lawn outside Washington State University Spokane’s Nursing Building on the Riverpoint Campus.

It’s titled “alive lively living for Ramona Hodges” and is dedicated to the artist’s late mother. It consists of three stainless steel panels, each more than 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Each panel features irregular edges, polished surfaces and various cut-outs.

You might want to check out this newest addition to the State Art Collection next time you’re on the Riverpoint campus. It was dedicated on Thursday.

A Liberty Lake theater

Liberty Lake Community Theatre staged its first play in April (“Hood of Sherwood”). Now this up-and-coming community theater has announced plans for its second show, a comedy titled “Shrunken Heads” by Meir Ribalow.

Look for it in mid-July. For more information, go to

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at
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