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Spotlight: Travolta sisters return to Coeur d’Alene Resort for holiday show

Christmas returns the weekend of Thanksgiving for fans of the Travolta sisters.

Ellen Travolta and her sister, Margaret, again will team up for an evening of family, stories and song when “ ’Tis the Season for Family” opens at the Coeur d’Alene Resort the day after Thanksgiving.

The show, which also will feature Ellen Travolta’s husband, Jack Bannon, along with Katie Strohmaier and Scott Steed, will run at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays from Nov. 25 to Dec. 18.

Travolta has staged a Christmas show at the resort for the past four years. Two years ago, she and her sister did a family-related holiday show, sharing stories of growing up in a large Irish-Italian family in New Jersey.

Ellen Travolta, the firstborn of the acting Travolta siblings, has starred on stage, in films and in television, with appearances on shows such as “All in the Family,” “Happy Days,” “Joanie Loves Chachi,” “Welcome Back, Kotter,” and a regular role on “Charles in Charge,” among many others. Bannon, best known for his work on “Lou Grant,” acted in dozens of TV shows, including “Knott’s Landing,” “Santa Barbara,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Daniel Boone” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Margaret Travolta has appeared in films such as “High Fidelity,” “Traffic,” “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Catch Me If You Can,” as well the television shows “NYPD Blue,” “The Drew Carey Show,” and “ER.”

Strohmaier, a returning performer at the holiday show, was raised in Lewiston and is now based in Seattle. She has sung with the Seattle Symphony, and appeared on stage with 5th Avenue, Village Theatre, Showtunes, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Centerstage and Mount Baker Theatre.

The show is being directed by Troy Nickerson. Tickets are on sale now for $27.50 through the resort. Room packages are available. Call (866) 835-3025 to purchase by phone, or visit

Prepare to Bach

Connoisseur Concerts is putting the finishing touches on plans for the 2017 Northwest Bach Festival, set for Feb. 21-March 5, 2017, and tickets are now on sale.

The festival will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave., with the Festival Classics Concert, “An Evening in Vienna,” with pianist Piers Lane performing music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss.

On Feb. 24, the Classics series continues at Barrister with “Inspired by Picasso,” featuring the Northwest premiere of “The Three Dances” by Elena Kats-Chernin, performed by an ensemble that includes festival artistic director Zuill Bailey (cello), Tana Bachman Bland (violin), Eugene Jablonsky (double bass), Patricia Bartell (accordion), Christopher Parkin (soprano saxophone), Marty Zyskowski (percussion) and Lane on piano. The concert also will feauture a performance of Chopin’s Polonaise Brillante in C major, Op. 3, and Beethoven’s Sonata in A major, Op. 69, for cello and piano by Bailey and Lane.

The festival will take a road trip to Walla Walla on Feb. 26 for a performance of Bach works by Bailey and harpsichordist Kraig Scott.

On Feb. 28 at Barrister, harpsichordist John Bodinger will join Bailey for three Bach sonatas. On March 4, the mood gets a bit jazzy as soprano Danielle Talamantes, from the Metropolitan Opera, sings works by Debussy, de Falla, Duke Ellington and others.

The Classics series wraps up March 5 at St. John’s Cathedral with the festival orchestra, conducted by Piotr Gajewski, performing works by Mozart, Bach and Elgar. Bailey and Talamantes are the featured soloists.

The festival also will feature Twilight concerts at various locations, the popular Flash-Bach free public performances during the noon hour at various locations, two free Bach’s Lunch concerts at River Park Square’s Kress Gallery (noon Feb. 23 and March 2) and other special events. For more information, visit Tickets are available online at

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