Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

April 21, 2014 at 12:30pm

Nerd Alert! - Horror movies, species parade, magicians, SLURP, Agent Coulson's Sassypants Airline and more ...

Husband and wife illusionists Kevin and Cindy Spencer turn to both theater and magic to apparently walk through walls, levitate, vanish and reappear.

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Feeling stupid and contagious, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.


As you may have gathered by now, I'm not that impressed by most horror movies. Over the years, I've seen enough Shatner-masked axe murderers and cats jumping out at me to last a dozen lifetimes. Yet I'm a bit intrigued by the setup for The Quiet Ones, in which a team of unethical psychologists try to induce telekinetic responses from a teenaged girl by scaring the Schlitz out of her. That's an interesting spin on Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, don't you think? Early critical responses are mixed for Hammer Films' latest effort; but it stars Jared Harris (Lane on Mad Men, may he rest in peace), and everyone seems to agree he's on point at least. I mean, it's got to be scarier than A Haunted House 2, right?


Hey, it's Olympia Arts Walk weekend! Among tonight's highlights are a Nirvana tribute concert featuring five local bands and a world of teen spirit. Yes, it really has been two decades since Kurt Cobain's untimely passing (on April 5, 1994). Memoria, my friends. Memoria.

NIRVANA TRIBUTE CONCERT, 9 p.m., Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, $5, 360.951.8728

If a heart-shaped box isn't your cup of tea, Vince Brown will be strumming away (with jazz vocalist LaVon Hardison) at Swing Wine Bar starting at 6:30 p.m., and WET Science Center will be open till 8. You could also drop by the Midnight Sun, where my wife Amanda Stevens will costar in an 8 p.m. revival of Chamber Music, a nuthouse dramedy directed by Pug Bujeaud of Theater Artists Olympia. Downtown will be crazy in general, so I recommend taking the bus. Plus it's eco-friendly!

If you've ever wanted to get levitated, drowned in a milk jug, or penetrated by Spikes of Doom, now's your chance. Married illusionists Kevin and Cindy Spencer were named "Magicians of the Year" by the International Magicians Society in 2009, and yes, they do call people up out of the audience to get ensorcelled within an inch of their lives. Kevin has a habit (swiped from Harry Houdini) of walking through brick walls, so catch his act now before he does himself any permanent craniofacial damage.

SPENCERS THEATRE OF ILLUSION, 7:30 p.m., Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $72-$82, 253.591.5894


The 20th Procession of the Species proceeds at 4:30 p.m. in downtown Olympia, so make like Neil deGrasse Tyson and celebrate the awesome power of natural selection! - in this case, by yelling pleasantries at people in octopus costumes.


Local restaurateurs, vintners, and microbrewers bring their A games to the South Sound's premiere oyster chow-down, SLURP (Shellfish Lovers Ultimate Rejuvenation Party). It's a community auction and mollusk feed that benefits habitat restoration and community outreach programs. Duly adored for its Grand Oyster Bar, this is paradise for the bivalve-curious. Chris Schwarz, corporate executive chef for Tom Douglas Restaurants, will be leading all the shucking and jiving. VIPs who shell out (sorry) a thousand bucks get a private chef and oyster server. Hey, did you know Olympia oysters start their reproductive season as males, turn themselves female partway through, then might even become male again just for squirts and giggles? It's true! Boy, talk about a life form that's easy to shop for.

SLURP, 4:30 p.m., Fish Tale Brewery Warehouse, 515 Jefferson St. SE, Olympia, $60, 360.754.2744

How sad is it that ratings for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are dropping like a vibranium hang glider just as the show finally decides to get good? If you're looking for a reentry point, episode 16 ("End of the Beginning") worked for me. The show ties into Marvelverse movie continuity, so the chaos in Captain America: The Winter Soldier's third act pays off big time aboard Agent Coulson's Sassypants Airline.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may Agent(ish) Skye get shot all the way to death next time. Sorry, Bennet. I'm just not a fan. No T.A.H.I.T.I. for you.

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