5 Things To do Today: Spring Fair, "Madame Butterfly," Tacoma Cult Movie Club, Los Devitos and more ...

By Volcano Staff on April 13, 2014

SUNDAY, APRIL 13 2014 >>>

1. Today is the last day to catch the Washington State Spring Fair. While shorter than its late summer edition, is crammed with more attractions than ever. For urbanites who need convincing, here's a handy checklist: Slamfest Demolition Derby, All Alaskan Racing Pigs at Fountain Plaza, Brad's World Reptile Show, Fair Farm, DockDogs, Mindworks! interactive hands-on games, Face painting, Tot Spot, Rainier Rush, Extreme Scream, and more whirling rides, Scones, onion burgers, caramel apples and more. Go ahead: Leave your laptop behind, shimmy into that old pair of Wranglers, pull on those dusty cowboy boots, slap on a 10-gallon hat and prepare to spend yourself a day at this year's wingding.

2. Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly, when performed well, fulfills all of the promise of what opera can be. It is a perfect story of innocent love and betrayal. Cio-Cio-San - Butterfly's Japanese name - is one of the best-developed and most sympathetic characters in the operatic repertoire.  And the music that envelops this touching tale is rich with melody and orchestration. Opera lovers look forward to seeing it time and time again, and many a novice has come to love opera through Butterfly.  Experience Tacoma Opera's version at 2 p.m. in the Pantages Theater.

3. The Tacoma Cult Movie Club celebrates its fifth anniversary with a marathon viewing session featuring releases from Seattle's Something Weird Video - in honor of Mike Vraney, SWV's founder, who passed away Jan. 2 of this year. Beginning at 4 p.m. in the Acme Tavern, expect a potluck (bring food!), raffle prizes and, of course, wacky films. According to host Rev. Colin, the party will last "until they either kick us out or attendance drops off." Either way, TCMC will be staying up way past their usual bedtime.

4. The gang at Harlequin Productions reveals their plans for shows this coming year. And of course it's a party ... with a name ... ECLECTICA! The party will feature live entertainment, cash prize drawings, a wine toss, delicious food and drinks, and of course, the unveiling of Harlequin's 2015 lineup of shows. Harlequin will also be auctioning off items such as ocean-side getaways, dinner/hotel/show packages and a ringside seat at a private performance. Harlequin's improv comedy troupe Something Wicked will be in the house. The $35 event runs 5-8 p.m. in their Historic State Theater.

5. Los Devitos are a surfy garage rock band. They're great. Something about the laid-back vocals (reminiscent of fellow garage rockers the Growlers) and clean guitar lines, mixed with gently woozy psychedelia, is instantly evocative of mumbling heat-struck nonsense on a beach as the sun mercifully sets. This is music that's less for dancing and more for that moment near the end of the party when everyone slumps down into couches, keeping one foot on the ground to slow the spins. Catch the band with No Body and Trout Stream at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

BONUS: Tacoma Community College's Diversity Film Festival kicks off today.

LINK: Sunday, April 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area