Friday, August 20, 2010

INW Radio

Swing your browser over to Inland Northwest Radio for recorded audio conversations about marketing, INW music, local writers, social networking, wineries, all things wedding-related, and so on.

Jerry Sciarrio is hosting a show called "Applause" in which he fritters away his time (and yours) by listening to local artsy-fartsy types blather on and on.

Half-hour chats have been recorded with Reed McColm of Interplayers, Janeane Jorgensen of KPBX, Patrick Treadway of His Own Little Universe, Jim Kershner of the Spokesman, Yvonne Johnson of the Civic, and Bobo of Blah-Blah.

And actually, I've learned things (for example, about Jim K's Colorado and Wyoming exploits). So ... happy listening.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Liza tells no lies

Liza Minnelli's reps have just informed Bobo that on Sept. 2, she will be able to give him 10 minutes for a phone interview.
I wrote back and said that unfortunately, I can only give her five.

But seriously, folks. I thought I might take the opportunity to crowd-source this opportunity. What would YOU ask Liza Minnelli?
(She'll appear at the INB Center on Oct. 15.)

When's the last time you actually ate a Snickers bar?
For your encore here, will you agree to change the chorus of your signature song from 'New York, New York" to "Spokane, Spokane"?
What was the best bit of vocal-coaching advice that Kay Thompson gave you?
What are you doing to improve your poll numbers among gay women and elderly men?

Your thoughts? If Liza's people are calling soon and you'll only be able to ask a half-dozen short, pointed questions, what exactly would you ask Sally Bowles / Judy's daughter / Liza with a Z?


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Theater marketing and theater trailers

To follow up on a discussion Bobo tagged back in June: Scot Covey has now completed his seven posts on how to innovate new forms of theater marketing. (Out of order in the sidebar, but all clickable.) They're worth a look.
Bobo's no marketing expert, but Covey has worked on political campaigns and for the (alas, defunct) Theater de la Jeune Lune in Minnesota — and he has some good ideas:
Theatergoers are not monolithic: Know what kind of theatergoers you're marketing to.
Strive for "fans" and not "patrons." Top-line your actors in your advertising -- not your venue or your directors. Use Facebook, but not exclusively.
Consider that most forms of entertainment today can be consumed at home, in your jammies, on the Internet. Not so live performance. The only real solution? High-quality theatrical trailers. Give people a reason to get excited about what your next big musical is going to look and sound like.
If the only way people can see your product involves their paying $20, you're missing out: Hold events at your place that involve free and easy access.


*South Pacific* mania

Bart Sher's production is "live" (actually, tape-delayed) from Lincoln Center TONIGHT at 7 pm on KSPS, with Kellie O'Hara and Paolo Szot. And a touring version arrives at the INB Center in October.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

*Death of a Small Town in the West*

Ben Olson's original new play — a satire about Sandpoint — showing on
Fridays-Saturdays, Aug. 20-21 and Aug. 27-28, at 7:30 pm
at the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint, Idaho
Tickets: $12; adult audiences.

In Olson's own words: 
In this "comedic satire, ... an infamous land raper moves into town and bribes the city council into letting him bulldoze the entire town and recreate Sandpoint from scratch, making it a full-blown kitschy resort town. This, as you may imagine, pisses off a gang of locals, who decide to plant bombs on all the three bridges surrounding Sandpoint and create an island community, not allowing anyone else in.
"There are musical numbers, singing land rapers, whiskey-fueled plans of sabotage, drunken city officials, villains with eye-patches, meaningless deaths and maybe, just maybe a little bit of social and political commentary that might live beyond these four nights."

Bobo is reminded of an exchange between Wesley and Emma in Sam Shepard's Curse of the Starving Class:
W:  I'm not staying here forever.
E:  Where are you going?
I don't know. Alaska, maybe.
Sure. Why not?
What's in Alaska?
The frontier.
Are you crazy? It's all frozen and full of rapers.
It's full of possibilities. It's undiscovered.
Who wants to discover a bunch of ice?

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Lake City's season preview

On Sunday, Aug. 22, at 7:30 pm — and for just $10 — you can witness preliminary versions of songs from upcoming musicals at Lake City Playhouse like Evita, A Taffeta Christmas and Urinetown, along with snippets from an intended children's show, Honk!, and from a planned in-concert presentation of Kander and Ebb's revue And the World Goes 'Round. It's a benefit, with proceeds going to Lake City's renovation project.
The theater is at 1320 E. Garden Ave. in Coeur d'Alene. Visit or call (208) 667-1323.


Friday, August 13, 2010

*Evita* cast list

The Lake City Playhouse season opens in just over a month with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita.

Thursdays-Sundays from Sept. 17 through Oct. 10; specifically ...
Sept. 17-19, 23-26, 30; Oct. 1-3 and 7-10

directed by Abbey Crawford, with musical direction by Carolyn Jess and choreography by Jennifer Shell; Jay Anders will be production manager

with Alyssa Day as Eva Duarte de Peron (1919-52), Todd Kehne as Che Guevara (the narrator; 1928-67), Danile McKeever as Agustin Magaldi (Eva's first lover), Katrina Heath as Peron's Mistress, and Kent Kimball as Juan Peron (1895-1974)

Ensemble: Liberty Harris, Anne Mitchell, Gianinna Damiano, Melissa Gren, Mary Wherley, Emily Nichols, Amy Schoedel, Ariel Cansino, Kate Johnson, R. Scott Clemons, Ross Mumford, Alex Winther, Dan Heggem, Steve Kane, Michael Perry, Josh Cooper

Children's Choir: Autumn Plucker, Mason Crawford-Heim, Sadie Russell, Julia Lovell, Amelia Crawford-Heim, Isaac Crawford-Heim and Janessa Riordan

It's been 34 years since the album, 31 years since the Rice/Webber musical premiered on Broadway, and 14 years since the Madonna/Antonio Banderas movie.
Best of Broadway Spokane produced the show at the Opera House in Feb. 2005.

Bobo has long thought that the range of musical styles in Evita — classical, salsa, rock, etc. — is justified and not a weakness. I always look forward to Magaldi's "Night of a Thousand Stars," and Peron playing musical chairs in "The Art of the Possible," and of course "Don't Cry...." One of the joys of re-watching some musicals involves rediscovering the good stuff that you missed the first couple of times you heard it.

Big musical, though, on a cramped stage — it'll be interesting to see how the first show under new artistic director George Green shapes up.

Tickets: $19; $17, military and students; $15, seniors; $9, kids. Call (208) 667-1323.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

*Buddy* cast list

Brian Gunn, Jhon Goodwin and Paul Villabrille will headline as (respectively) Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens in the Civic's production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Sept. 24-Oct. 24).

The rest of the cast list is here. Michael Hynes will play Hip Pockets Duncan; new Civic music director Jim Ryan will also appear onstage as one of the Hayriders and as Jack Daw, leader of the Songbirds.

Yvonne A.K. Johnson will direct, with Michael Saccomanno and Jim Ryan sharing the music-direction responsibilities. Choreography will be by Troy Nickerson and Jillian Wylie. Tia Woolley will produce and stage-manage.

A review of an April production in La Mirada, Calif., is here. Apparently the book's not much, but the songs are wowza! I don't know about you, but I plan to re-watch the Gary Busey film just as soon as my Netflix queue cooperates. 

[ photo: Jiles Perry "J.P." Richardson, aka the Big Bopper ]

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*The Four Princes* opens tonight

Thursdays-Fridays, Aug. 12-13 and Aug. 19-20, at 7 pm
at Spokane Civic Theatre, 1020 N. Howard St.

Fractured (or at least modernized) fairy tales, written and directed by Jean Hardie (winner of the Civic's LIfetime Achievement Award) and peformed by her students in the Civic's Summer Academy

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks

In its 38th season, MSIP is touring Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream all around Big Sky Country this summer.

Saturday, Aug. 21, marks their closest approach to The Inlander's distribution area — Heron, Montana, which is 40 miles southeast of Sandpoint, Idaho. That night at 6 pm Mountain Time (that's 5 pm Pacific), they'll pile out of vans, set up a stage and put on MND

Cross the river and the railroad tracks after turning off Hwy. 200, then follow the signs to the Community Center. It's free. Contact Debbie at

Joel Jahnke — MSIP's artistic director for the past 30 years — is aiming for a Midsummer atmosphere that's both fun "and a little nightmarish." His direction is influenced, he says, by the various Alice in Wonderland movies and by Avatar. After all, in Shakespeare's love-quadrangle, young lovers wake up abandoned in a dark and scary forest. And strange people have fallen in love with them. And some guy is running around with a donkey head on his shoulders. It's one weird, surrealistic — and eventually redemptive — night. 

MSIP will make stops in Libby, Kalispell, Missoula ... all over. Even Salmon, Idaho. (You get the idea.)

Trivia: MSIP's most famous alum is Bill Pullman (Sleepless in Seattle, 1993; Independence Day, 1997), who used to teach at Montana State. 


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

partial review of *Hairspray*

“Welcome to the ‘60s”: It may sound quaint, but Hairspray‘s anthem isn’t just a return to Beach Boys innocence. As shimmied and shouted in director Kirk Mouser’s Coeur d’Alene production, it’s a party-whoop celebration of freedom from prejudice and the sheer joy of living. The plus-size mother-daughter team, Edna and Tracy Turnblad (Roger Welch and Lindsey Hedberg) may have personified Dowdy and Dorky until now, but a revolution is underway, and the big girls, the black girls — and especially, the big black girls (like Deidra Grace’s Motormouth Maybelle) are going to get some respect and get it now.
The Dynamites (think: the Supremes) start harmonizing, some of those crazy kids from The Corny Collins Show start cavorting all over the stage, and soon Edna and Tracy are popping out of Mr. Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway in matching outfits: They’re here, they’re heavy, and they don’t give a hoot. “Welcome to the ‘60s,” like the show it encapsulates, is a joyous bitch-slap to the faces of snobs and bigots everywhere.
And that’s why people enjoy Hairspray so much: the unloved, unpopular, put-upon kid in all of us … she gets to stand up and sing! And dance! And make out in the backseat with that dreamy Link Larkin! Go, Mama, go-go-go!
With creative choreography, inventive direction, a tuneful score, plenty of energy and an anti-discrimination message, Hairspray (through Aug. 21) is clearly CdA Summer Theatre’s best production this season.

{This is the first half of the review that will appear in the 8/12/10 Inlander; photo by Young Kwak -- from left: Lindsey Hedberg as Tracy Turnblad, Keyonna Vene Wright as Little Inez, Deidra Grace as Motormouth Maybelle, and Gabe Lawson as Seaweed J. Stubbs}

Hairspray welcomes you to the ‘60s on Thursdays-Saturdays, Aug. 12-14 and Aug. 19-21, at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 2 pm at NIC’s Boswell Hall, 1000 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d’Alene. Tickets: $39; $35, seniors; $25, children. Visit or call (208) 769-7780.

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Interplayers auditions continue tonight

Bobo is ridiculously late here, but they continue at 7 pm tonight at 174 S. Howard St.
Also, Bobo has heard that a couple of roles may have opened up in the season opener, Reed McColm's Together Again for the Next Time.
Two 30-sec. monologues; callbacks are on Wed. at 7 pm.
Christopher Moll is directing The 39 Steps in October.
Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular needs an African-American female vocalist, 30s or younger.
Next year's shows, Opus and Privilege, need a variety of men, women and teens.
Bluegrass players are needed for Cotton Patch Gospel in April 2011.
Patty Duke will hold auditions in Sept. for The Miracle Worker, which runs next May.
No appointment necessary.


If you're in the mood for catty ...

Patti LuPone’s memoirs come out on Sept. 14, published by Crown.
In 1976, she appeared in the title role of Stephen Schwartz’s The Baker’s Wife, which flopped on Broadway and eventually died on the road.

A snip from the Publisher’s Weekly capsule preview of the book:
“LuPone is the ultimate backstage gossip, and she never pulls her punches: During the ill-fated Baker's Wife, she despised actor Chaim Topol ("an asshole") and had little enthusiasm for his replacement, Paul Sorvino ("like having Howdy Doody at Auschwitz").

And people say Bobo is a harsh critic …

[ photo: Lupone in that same show, 34 years ago; from ]

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Monday, August 09, 2010

*Hairspray* photos

Michael Tramontin as Link Larkin and Lindsey Hedberg as Tracy Turnblad in *Hairspray* (by Mark O'Donnell, Thomas Meehan, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), directed by Kirk Mouser at Coeur d'Alene Summer Theater, Aug. 7-21, 2010

Matthew Wade (center, with microphone) as Corny Collins, Michael Tramontin (left) as Link Larkin, Lindsey Hedberg as Tracy Turnblad (next to Wade) and some of the Corny Collins Dancers in *Hairspray* at NIC's Shuler Performing Arts Center in Boswell Hall

Deidra Grace as Motormouth Maybelle (left), with Gabe Lawson as Seaweed J. Stubbs and Kasey Nusbickel as Penny Pingleton, in Kirk Mouser's production of *Hairspray*

Lindsey Hedberg as Tracy Turnblad, surrounded by the Dynamites, emerges from Mr. Pinky's Hefty Hideaway

(through Aug. 21 at NIC in Coeur d'Alene)

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

CST's 2011 season: 3 of 4 shows announced

Bobo's been taking a summer siesta, and he' s known about this for a week, but ... Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre Executive Director Laura Little announced last night (on opening night for Hairspray -- more on that later) what's on tap for most of their summer next year:

The Sound of Music (not done at CST since '94; received second-highest number of votes in their playgoers' poll)

Sondheim's A Little Night Music (recently revived on Broadway with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, who were even more recently replaced by Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch; it's based on Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, which you must get on Netflix even if it is a '50s Swedish comedy in black and white, especially for the scenes when the actress engineers the confrontation of her two arrogant lovers and the failed-suicide-followed-by-pop-out-bed.

... and we'll off skip down the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz.