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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Bada Bing Comedy Series at the Bing. A review by Rob Harder of KOOL 107.1 FM

Last Friday night The Bing Crosby Theatre in Downtown Spokane was filled with the sound of laughter as hundred's of Spokane chuckle seekers turned out for the first, of hopefully many, comedy presentations by the Bada Bing Organizers, Too Far North Productions.

My KOOL 107.1 FM morning partner, Mark Holman, and I opened up the show by introducing the M.C. for the evening, local comedian Ken Martin. Ken has performed at Comedy Clubs around the Northwest and has appeared in numerous TV commercials. Ken got the audience primed for the evening with an amusing routine that would set the tone for the evening, and then introduced the first comedian, Spokane's own Ed Clark.

I've known Ed for years but didn't realize he has been honing his comedy skills at open mic nights at the Comedy Underground inside Bluz at the Bend. This was Ed's comedy debut in front of a very large crowd of about 300, many whom came specifically to support Ed. I'm happy to say Ed did not disappoint! When I saw Ed backstage before the show I could tell he was a bit nervous, but he looked extremely calm and comfortable when he stepped out on the stage. His compilation of local references, funny stories and one liner's had the crowd laughing loudly for his entire performance. I'm sure we will all see Ed on the comedy stage again as you could tell he thoroughly enjoyed the night's experience, as did the audience.

Next up was Joe Vespaziani, a stand up comedian who has appeared throughout the U.S., Canada, and cruise ships around the world. Joe is a polished performer with a smart conversational style that had the crowd in stitches as he told a series of funny stories about his life, his family, and everyday life. Joe was a past winner of the Seattle stand up competition and the Spokane audience found out why he is often a headliner at comedy clubs around the Northwest.

The night's headliner however was Kermett Apio, a native of Hawaii who now lives in Seattle where he began his comedy career in 1989. Kermett was the winner of the 2009 Great American Comedy Festival and recently opened for Brian Regan at the INB performing arts center. Even thought he wasn't the headliner for the Regan show, he certainly deserves to be. His unique style of comedy had some audience members faces and stomachs hurting from laughing so hard, mine included.

All in all, it was a fabulous opening for the Bada Bing Comedy series and I can't wait to see the next one! Stay tuned for the next Bada Bing Comedy show coming in May.

Spokane Symphony to perform heroic music by Verdi and Strauss

The Spokane Symphony, under the baton of Music Director Eckart Preu, will perform works by two composers known for their ability to tell a gripping story through music, Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Straus this Saturday, March 16 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 17 at 3 pm at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. The repertoire includes selections from Verdi's timeless opera Aida. This will be followed by two dramatic works by Strauss: 'Dance of the Seven Veils' from Salome and the epic Ein Heldenleben-'A Hero's Life.' Preu will give a pre-concert talk one hour prior to each performance.

Tickets are available at Ticketswest, at www.ticketswest.com or 800-325-SEAT, the Box Office at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox or by phone at 509-624-1200.


Leo Kottke at the Bing Sunday




Grammy-nominated acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke will return to Spokane to perform at the Bing Crosby Theater on Sunday evening, March 17. This 7:30pm show, which is presented by UpWest Arts, marks his first show in Spokane in several years.

Kottke, now 66 years young, has recorded over 30 albums that showcase his barnstorming fretwork and quirky songwriting. He is truly a master of the guitar whose playing has influenced generations of musicians and listeners, and he still tours the country relentlessly, playing his 6 and 12-stringed guitars for appreciative audiences ranging from New England to Southern California, from Brisbane to Berlin.

Ticketswest has your seats at www.ticketswest.com or 800-325-SEAT.


Master Class Big Band Orchestra and Abbey Crawford




The Master Class big band orchestra presents a 'Supper Club Showcase' with special guest Abbey Crawford and her USO Revue, Friday March 22 at The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln. Dinner from 6-8, Floor Show at 7, Dancing from 8-10. For reservations call 509-327-8000 or go to lincolncenterspokane.com.


Motorcycle show and sale this weekend

The 10th Annual Inland Northwest Motorcycle Show and Sale is March 15-17 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center with acres of free parking. All 4 buildings packed full of gleaming motorcycles and accessories. See Northwest Classics Vintage Bikes, play Toyota's 'Pot of Gold' scratch card contest, and watch the Extreme Trial Riders from Lincoln NE as they triumph over obstacle courses up to 30 feet in the air.

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 kids 6-12, 5 and under, free. Cash only at the door. For more information go to spokanemotorcycleshow.com.


Tom Hanson at Pacific Flyway Gallery

The Pacific Flyway Gallery, 409 S. Dishman Mica Road in Spokane Valley presents artist Tom Hanson this Friday, March 15 from 5-7pm demonstrating his painting techniques. His show is titled 'March means Fishing'. Tom will be demonstrating his techniques with acrylics on canvas. His works feature extreme textures. He will share how impasto applications help make his dramatic textures create dimensional effects. His Abstract Fly Collection and river scenes will be featured.

Cash Mob Saturday, March 23 for Mark's Guitar and 4000 Holes

The After Mob party is at Bon Bon on Garland. Attention musicians and local music supporters! Two of our beloved Spokane music icons, Mark's Guitar and 4000 Holes record store, are experiencing financial difficulties and are in danger of closing. You can make a difference. Bring $20 bucks (or more) and your friends. Stop into one or both of these businesses any time before, during and after 'Mob time' and experience a cash mob up close and personal.

4000 Hole's record store has been a staple at 1610 N. Monroe for as long most of us can remember. 4000 holes is struggling to stay open, facing a slumping economy and a local shift in large 'box store' buying. This beloved record store is the perfect candidate for a cash mob.

Mark's Guitar at 918 Garland is another music lover's staple in Spokane that has been hit hard by winter's slow economy. Mark's was not only nominated for a cash mob, but its fans came out in droves to share stories of how this business has helped them grow and thrive as musicians. It's time to give back and show them what a boost of local buying love can do.

Just spend $20 or more, and use your receipt to join the after-mob party. Roller girls, Guitarists, artists and local Master's of vinyl spin are conspiring behind the scenes to create a block wide cash mob event that is sure to garner some attention for these struggling and much loved locations. The after-mob party is at Bon Bon on Garland and will have drink specials for anyone coming in with a receipt from Mark's & 4000-holes.


Giddy'Up - It's Time for the S.K. Ball!

Registration is now open for the best barn dance of the year. Saturday, May 18th, 6 pm to midnight at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. It's the S.K. Ball benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities. You will not want to miss this one-of-a-kind charity event featuring:
- A gourmet Western-inspired dinner
- Mechanical bull rides and a cow milking contest
- Hippity--Hop races
- Photo booth
- Live music by The Rub and dancing (including line dancing lessons!)
- Specialty muddled drinks, wine, and all the beer you can fit into a red solo cup
- Dress Code: Wear your Western gear - prizes will be awarded to the best cowboy and cowgirl.

Tickets are $75 each. For tickets and more information go to rmhcspokane.org.


He'll leave his heart in Spokane




International music legend Tony Bennett comes to Spokane to perform at Northern Quest Thursday, June 13, at 7:30. Tickets go on sale March 22 at 8:30 am. Go to northernquest.com for more information.

USA Boxing National Championships




Don't miss the 2013 USA Boxing National Championships. Preliminary rounds will take place at The HUB Sports Center, Spokane Valley, April 1-4. Semi-Finals and Finals will be held at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, April 5 & 6.

Ticket prices range from $5 to $40 and early bird all-session passes are also available for $100 until March 22,. Tickets can be purchased online at northernquest.com/boxing or calling the Northern Quest Box Office at 1-877-871-6772.

On Golden Pond opens at the Civic March 22




The uplifting classic play, 'On Golden Pond' is at the Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre at the Civic March 22 - April 14. Norman and Ethel Thayer return to their summer lake home in Maine for Norman's 80th birthday party. Life on Golden Pond is not the same when teenager Billy Ray, Jr. stays with the Thayers for what will become a remarkable and unforgettable experience. Popular KXLY TV weathercaster Kris Crocker plays Chelsea Thayer-Wayne, the role that Jane Fonda played in the movie.

Go to www.spokanecivictheatre.com for more information.

Hospice of Spokane's Taste of Life March 29

Please join Hospice of Spokane for their 8th Annual Taste of Life, which supports Hospice care in the Spokane community. The event will take place Friday, March 29 from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Spokane Club.

Taste of Life features locally-produced beers, wines and spirits and gourmet food prepared by Chef Urs Moser and the culinary team of the Spokane Club.

Tickets are $75 and are fully tax-deductible. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Jackson at 509-532-6731 or visit hospiceofspokane.org.

It's all Beethoven March 24




Three string quartets by Ludwig van Beethoven - including one for which he wasn't paid until 25 years after his death - comprise the program for the Spokane String Quartet at 3 pm Sunday, March 24, at the Bing Crosby Theater.

All seats are general admission. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Ticket prices include a $2 theater preservation fee. Tickets are available at www.spokanestringquartet.org, 800-325-SEAT or at the door.

The Spokane String Quartet consists of Mateusz Wolski and Amanda Howard-Phillips, violins; Jeannette Wee-Yang, viola; and Helen Byrne, cello.

Inlander's Best of the Inland Northwest coming out next week

The vote is in, and it's been counted. The 20th year of the Inlander's 'Best of the Inland Northwest' will be in next weeks paper, March 21. Be sure to pick up a copy to see all the best of our region.

Spokane Dream Center presents 'Behold Jesus'

See the largest Easter drama production in the Inland Northwest for free on Saturday, March 30th at the INB Performing Arts Center. There will be two performances, a matinee at 1 pm and evening performance at 6:30 pm. In its 16th year, the drama portrays the life and teachings of Jesus through words of Scripture.

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