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Best of Broadway announces lineup

(Posted Tuesday) West Coast Entertainment’s Best of Broadway 2015-26 will kick off with the 20th anniversary of “Riverdance,” feature a return engagement of “The Book of Mormon,” and include the classic “42nd Street.”

“Riverdance” will return to the INB Performing Arts Center from Oct. 22-25. And before you can say, “You’ll shoot your eye out,” the musical version of “A Christmas Story” will hit town Dec. 3-6.

“The Book of Mormon,” which opened the 2014-15 season, will return in 2016 for run from Jan. 26-31. Then from March 24-27, the venerable Broadway musical “42nd Street” lands, followed May 3-8 with the hits show “Disney’s Newsies.”

Season tickets are available now, with a renewal deadline of May 31.

West Coast Entertainment also is bringing 10 additional special engagements. They are: “All Hands on Deck” (Sept. 13), “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” (Oct. 2), “Shaping Sound: Dance Reimagined” (Oct. 30), Hal Holbrook in “Mark Twain Tonight!” (Nov. 14), the R&B/fusion group Snarky Puppy (Nov. 20), “A Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” (Nov. 22),  “Mythbusters: Jamie and Adam Unleashed” (Dec. 11), the New Shanghai Circus (Feb. 7), the Illusionists (Feb. 13-14) and the musical “Beauty and the Beast” (April 5-6).

Finally, the National Geographic Live series also will return with Kevin Hand’s “The Search for Life Beyond Earth” (Nov. 3), Steve Winter’s “On the Trail of Big Cats” (Feb. 9), “Where the Wild Things Live” with Vincent J. Musi (March 8), and Cedar Wright’s “Sufferfest” (April 19, 2016).

Carolyn Lamberson

(Posted Tuesday) Since its inception in 1998, Get Lit – Spokane’s annual literary festival, founded and annually hosted primarily by Eastern Washington University – has attracted an amazing array of talent. From Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to Salman Rushdie, Jane Smiley to Richard Russo. Too many, really, to comfortably list here.

But the celebration, which is what Get Lit truly is, has never been about individual writers. It’s been about the discipline of writing itself, an art that is practiced by everyone from best-selling authors such as Vonnegut, acclaimed Northwest writers such as Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter to students in area schools learning the difference between a comma and a semicolon.

That celebration will continue when the 17th-annual version of Get Lit begins on Monday, with three different sessions. While the 2015 festival doesn’t feature the literary firepower of years past, attendees will have the opportunity to meet, greet and listen to such writers as Alexie, Walter and a number of other notable local and visiting writers.  For a full schedule, visit getlitfestival.org/festival/ schedule/.

A personal note: In 2004, before Vonnegut’s Get Lit performance at what is now the Bing Crosby Theater (then the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center), I met with the then-81-year-old writer backstage. As a Spokesman-Review staff writer, I had interviewed Vonnegut by phone the week before. And I jumped at the chance to meet him in person.

We met in a small room off the theater’s balcony level. A small group of students stood nearby as Vonnegut pulled a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes from his suit coat pocket. “Ya think I can smoke here?” he asked. Feeling friskily familiar – I mean, really, was this Kurt Vonnegut asking me if he could smoke? – I said, “Hey, you’re Kurt Vonnegut! You can smoke wherever you want.”

And so he lit up. I snapped a photo. And I got a memory of a lifetime.

Dan Webster

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

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