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Strike a pose

Stage

Strike a pose

Calendar Girls, the opener for Tacoma Little Theatre's 101st season, is powered purely by charm and the winsome performances of its actors. This is effervescent entertainment, imbued with a good amount of pluck and heart, and oddly enough, the only time it slows down is when conflict is introduced. The 2003

Autumn entertainment

Stage

Autumn entertainment

As the leaves start to change and a bitter bite begins to permeate the air, there are lots of folks in the South Sound who are bidding a tearful goodbye to summer and dreading the approach of fall and winter. It's during these months that people have a tendency to

Best of Theater: 2018-2019

Stage

Best of Theater: 2018-2019

Weekly Volcano theater critics choose the best plays in Tacoma and Olympia of the 2018-2019 season. Note: we did not see many of the same shows. If we had seen all of the same ones our choices might be different. Rev. Adam McKinney 5. The Foreigner was a tonally wild show, stuffed

Three Easy Pieces

Music

Three Easy Pieces

Welcome to Three Easy Pieces, where I examine a pocket of pop culture, from its birth to today. This month, I'm doing something a little different. Last year, I ran down a selection of movies that take place during heat waves, to help us all prepare for the onslaught of

The madness of theater

Stage

The madness of theater

Though its setting is established as a cozy lake house getaway, much of The Seagull feels as though it takes place in a nightmarish purgatory where writers and actors -- suffused with every choking bit of egotism, depression, insanity, megalomania, and grinding fraud complexes -- are forced to endure one

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

Welcome to Three Easy Pieces, where I guide you through a narrow subsection of pop culture, for reasons known only to me. This time, I have Endgame on my mind. Yes, Avengers: Endgame recently crawled past Avatar's $2.78 billion to become the highest grossing film of all time. But the

The season to come

Stage

The season to come

Looking at a list of theatrical productions coming up this season, it's truly awe-inspiring to see the sheer number of shows happening in the South Sound over the course of the year -- seriously, dozens of shows, from an increasing amount of theatre companies, covering nearly every style and demographic

Best of Tacoma 2019: Hi-Voltage Records

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Best of Tacoma 2019: Hi-Voltage Records

A stroll through a record store can be a therapeutic experience: shuffling through the bins, soaking in evocative album art, feeling the weight of the vinyl as you pick up a record to examine, all while hearing some great music being spun by the passionate employees. At the end of

Best of Tacoma 2019: Rev. Colin at Broken Spoke

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Best of Tacoma 2019: Rev. Colin at Broken Spoke

When it comes to novel, communal activities to engage in at a bar, karaoke sure gets a disproportionate amount of attention; while it's true that karaoke's a grand old time, these days I'd happily pass over a night of karaoke in favor of some lively bar trivia. Spawned in the

How can you resist it?

Stage

How can you resist it?

Every now and again, it's fun to remember that ABBA -- the Swedish pop band responsible for some of the biggest hits in the history of pop music -- was once offered one billion dollars to reunite for a tour, and they turned it down. This offer was made in

Three Easy Pieces

Music

Three Easy Pieces

Time for another Three Easy Pieces, where I examine a witheringly small strand of pop culture, from its inception to today. This time: love songs by punks. While the song in question may or not be of the punk rock persuasion, these are tracks by artists that had spent so

As true today

Stage

As true today

Fiction has long been dominated by stories of charlatans -- charismatic or otherwise -- who blow into people's lives and attempt to fleece them of anything that isn't tied down. It's a trope that's persisted as well as it has for very clear reasons, the main of which being that

They can do it!

Stage

They can do it!

Mel Brooks' The Producers -- both the original film and its subsequent stage adaptation -- is something of an anomaly in mainstream entertainment; while future comedians would more flagrantly, almost giddily push the edge in search of provocations, The Producers maintains a pristine balance between pointed satire and almost cartoonish

Three Easy Pieces

South Sound Cinema

Three Easy Pieces

Here at Three Easy Pieces, I walk you through a pocket of pop culture, from its early days, to its present. This time: cinematic swan songs. I'm talking about the final projects of actors or directors. Good or bad, there's something magnetic about seeing the last film that these artists

Take it off!

Stage

Take it off!

The Full Monty seemed like it was destined to be adapted to a Broadway musical: a bunch of blue-collar blokes, despite having no dancing experience or marquee idol looks, decide to stage a one-night-only nude revue. The film -- which rode on a wave of similarly charismatic British crossover comedies

Three Easy Pieces

Music

Three Easy Pieces

Is it time, once again, for Three Easy Pieces? You bet it is. And what is Three Easy Pieces? Well, it's the column where I dissect a segment of pop culture, from its inception, to how it looks today. In the month of May, I'm thinking about movie soundtracks that

Welcome to the family

Stage

Welcome to the family

The South Sound theater community is populated with a cavalcade of intensely passionate participants -- both onstage and behind the scenes. It's an unending source of joy to see so many familiar names pop up as actors or crew members for all the plays that we get to enjoy from

Those overcast blues

Music

Those overcast blues

It's wild to step back and consider that the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival has been alive and kicking in Tacoma for 12 years. This Saturday will mark the event's entry into the dozen-timers' club, and that milestone once again shines a light on how infrequently blues music gets mentioned

Top five

Music

Top five

April marks my 10th anniversary writing for the Weekly Volcano. In that time, the vast majority of my coverage has centered around music in the South Sound, and it's been a real roller coaster ride to see how the scene has shifted and developed. Fallow periods come and go, but

Three Easy Pieces

Music

Three Easy Pieces

Another edition of Three Easy Pieces, another time for me to tell you about a corner of pop culture, from how it started, to how it looks today. This month: comedy podcasts. Podcasts have only existed for about 15 years, but in that time, have not only grown in popularity,

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