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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spotlight: Local foundation has big plans for Bing collection

A Spokane foundation has purchased one of the three largest Bing Crosby photo/memorabilia collections in the world – about 5,000 pieces – with an idea toward a future museum in downtown Spokane.

Jerry Dicker of the Jerry and Patty Dicker Foundation said the collection was amassed by Ron Bosley, a British fan and archivist for the International Club Crosby.

When William Stimson of the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater found out the collection was available, he alerted Dicker, who decided to purchase it so that it wouldn’t be dispersed. The purpose of the Dicker Foundation is to support the arts in Spokane.

The collection includes mostly photos, along with scrapbooks and other memorabilia. Dicker said it could become the nucleus of a Crosby museum, as envisioned by the Advocates for the Bing Crosby Theater.

He said they hope to work with Gonzaga University and other entities to someday create a Crosby presence downtown.

Dicker, who owns the Hotel Ruby downtown, said he spent “less than $10,000” for the collection. His office is just now sorting through the boxes.

King of the Blues

B.B. King, the King of the Blues himself, will make a return appearance to the INB Performing Arts Center on March 2.

He played the same hall in 2005 and 1997 (it was called the Spokane Opera House in those days). I was there for the 1997 concert and it was tremendously entertaining: a big-band jazz blast, a revival meeting and a down-home jam session all rolled into one.

King is not just a great bluesman, he’s also a great showman.

Tickets will be $29, $39, $59 and $99, on sale Nov. 5, 10 a.m., through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

Civic ticket news

Here’s a good problem for the Spokane Civic Theatre to have: The theater has had to cut off its “Combo Season Ticket” sales because it has sold too many.

The “Combo” includes both the Main Stage season and the Studio Theatre season. They can’t sell any more because they have reached the limit for the small Studio space.

So now, season tickets are available only for the larger Main Stage, and even those are available in limited amounts.

In other Civic good news, “The Buddy Holly Story,” which closes on Oct. 24, is already the theater’s highest-grossing show ever, surpassing last year’s record holder, “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Not many tickets are left, so if you want to go, call the box office soon at (509) 325-2507.

Summer Theatre in winter

Here are some Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre updates:

• Tickets are on sale for the winter show, “Plaid Tidings,” the holiday version of “Forever Plaid,” on Dec. 17, 18 and 19.

• 2011 season tickets are still available at the 2010 price – but only until Nov. 2. After that, prices go up.

The 2011 season includes “The Wizard of Oz,” “A Little Night Music,” “The Sound of Music” and a fourth show to be announced.

Call (208) 769-7780 or go to for tickets.

The Bard, with Bulldogs

Here’s a reminder to fans of both Shakespeare and Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball: “Romeo and Juliet,” featuring players Steven Gray and Kelly Olynyk, opens Friday and continues through Oct. 31 at Gonzaga University’s Magnuson Theatre.

Gray plays Tybalt and Olynyk plays Abraham, and both get to show off their sword-fighting skills.

By the way, those are hardly the play’s most important roles. Taylor Pedrosa plays Romeo and Mary Davies plays Juliet.

Some performances are already sold out; call the box office at (509) 313-6553 or go to

St. Olaf Orchestra

One of the top college orchestras in the country, the St. Olaf Orchestra from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., will play Ferris High School’s Brueggemeier Hall on Thursday, 7 p.m.

The touring orchestra will perform Samuel Barber’s “Second Essay,” Mozart’s Overture from “The Magic Flute” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major.

Tickets are $10 for adults and seniors, available at or at the door. Students are admitted free.

A Schumann birthday

Here’s a concert from a college closer to home: “The Promise of Living: Music of Youth, Brotherhood and Destiny,” featuring the Gonzaga University Choir and Chamber Singers, Friday, 7:30 p.m. at St. Aloysius Church, on the Gonzaga campus at 330 E. Boone Ave.

They’ll perform Schumann’s “Spanisches Liederspiel,” in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday.

Timothy Westerhaus is the conductor. It’s free and open to the public.

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