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January 22, 2012 at 8:39am

5 Things To Do Today: "My Fair Lady," Junkyard Jane, "Northwest Biennial," Mojo Overload ...

"My Fair Lady" is considered to be one of the best musicals ever written.

SUNDAY, JAN. 22, 2012 >>>

1. The Broadway Center in Tacoma concludes its three-part Audrey Hepburn film-focus with a 3 p.m. screening of the classic My Fair Lady, in which, as film lovers and old people will recall, Hepburn portrays Eliza Doolittle. The film will be screened at the Theatre on the Square.

2. In honor of Tacoma Art Museum's 75th Anniversary and to commemorate the milestone of two decades of biennial exhibitions, The 10th Northwest Biennial will examine the vital questions of who we are as residents of the Pacific Northwest, what we look like, and what are our aspirations for our communities. The Biennial exhibit opened last night and can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Music Director Harvey Felder and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra present the classic Peter and the Wolf, narrated by David Fischer, at 2 p.m. inside the Rialto Theater. The concert, which is aimed at children 4-9, will include a musical instrument petting zoo, courtesy of Ted Brown Music.

4. The Blues Vespers inside the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in North Tacoma will feature long-time blues band Junkyard Jane beginning at 5 p.m.

5. Mojo Overload will fill The Spar in Old Town Tacoma with blues, rock and R&B beginning at 7 p.m.

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January 21, 2012 at 8:29am

5 Things To Do Today: "Astro Boy," James Keeffe III, free theater workshop, Vagabond Opera ...

See "Astro Boy" for free!

SATURDAY, JAN. 21, 2012 >>>

1. At 10 a.m. The Grand Cinema will host a free screening of Astro Boy, a CGI-animated origin story for the legendary cartoon hero of the same name, who first appeared in Osamu Tezuka's 1951 futuro-Pinocchio manga comic. Westernized and sterilized, the still nipple-less, rocket-thrusting robo-kid now wears pants, flies without his classic theme song and name drops Asimov's law of robotics and Kant.

2. James Keeffe III will sign copies of his award-winning book, Two Gold Coins and a Prayer - The Epic Journey of a World War II Bomber Pilot, Evader and POW, which includes tales of his father's time in hiding in occupied Holland, from 1-3 p.m. at the Tacoma Costco.

3. Cindy Arnold from Live Paint will conduct free theater workshops Saturday afternoons from 1-3 p.m. in the Spaceworks Tacoma spot at 1314 Martin Luther King Jr. Way on the Hilltop, which Toy Boat Theatre once inhabited. The sessions are free and open to anyone who wants to read a script, perform an original piece, practice an audition monologue, or do improv and get friendly feedback.

4. If the names Ratched, McMurphy, or Bromden mean something to you, then get ready for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at Paradise Theatre in Gig Harbor. And, if those names are unfamiliar, then it's definitely time you experienced the play, which is based on the Ken Kesey novel. While many people are likely familiar with the Academy Award-winning 1975 film (starring Jack Nicholson), less have probably experienced the play adaptation, which is not only a bit different, but arguably more poignant. It hit sthe stage at 7:30 p.m.

5. Offering music of the world, Vagabond Opera dabbles in sounds spanning the globe - from European cabaret, to Balkan belly dance, to Old World Yiddish theater and beyond. The six-piece troupe of out Portland will perform at 8 p.m. with Erev Rav inside the Olympia Ballroom.

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January 20, 2012 at 6:58am

5 Things To Do Today: "Late Night Catechism," Tripod Slide show, Trevor Ras, "Almost, Maine" ...

Maripat Donovan will try to save your soul tonight. Publicity photo

FRIDAY, JAN. 20, 2012 >>>

1. At 7:30 p.m. inside the Theatre on the Square, the magic of theater and a little suspended disbelief can take you to Catholic school. In Late Night Catechism: "Til Death Do Us Part, the character known as Sister goes from being a kindly instructor who rewards the audience for correct answers (prizes include glow-in-the-dark rosaries and laminated saint cards) to being more of a disciplinarian. Weekly Volcano editor Matt Driscoll chimes in on this show here.

2. Update: This has been canceled due to the weather. Tacoma's Anthem Coffee & Tea will officially celebrate its grand opening today with an all-day celebration that includes musical contributions from Puyallup's own Roman Holiday along with drink specials, a champagne toast, and the warm-and-fuzzy feeling that comes with supporting hyper-local goodness.The festivities begin at 3 p.m. with Roman Holiday rockin' at 9 p.m.

3. UPDATE: This event has been canceled. Lynn Di Nino's Tripod Slide Shows are worth falling on your ass to see. Selected photographers slide through their talents, explaining techniques and circumstances to viewers. At 7 p.m. inside Madera Architectural Elements (stone's throw from The Melting Pot) showroom, Francesca Siena, Diane Hansen and Candy Anderson take you on a journey to Peru, Ethiopa and the Galapagos Islands, respectively. It's fun.

4. Weekly Volcano theater critic Christian Carvajal loved and despised Almost, Maine at Olympia Little Theatre, which will be staged at 7:55 p.m. To read Christian Carvajal's full review, click here.

5. Seattle Songwriter Trevor Ras will bring some Blue Sky (his first solo album in five years) to Olympia's Spar Café beginning at 8 p.m. If you dig James Taylor and Crosby, Stills & Nash, you'll dig this show.

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January 19, 2012 at 6:59am

5 Things To Do Today: Comedy in the Box, "Self Portraits," OlyBlues, "Dawn of 2012" and more ...

Comedian Matt Davis is part of the Comedy in the Box show tonight at the Washington Center.

THURSDAY, JAN. 19, 2012>>>

1. UPDATE: This show has been canceled. If Paul Westerberg was a comedian, he would probably sound a lot like Matt Davis. Issuing a comedic stance equal parts brazen honesty and smarmy sarcasm, Davis's brand of comedy has earned the comic high awards, big audiences and television appearances. Believing nothing is 'off-limits' his material ranges from the taboo and unspoken to the simple facets and truths of everyday life all spun together by an off track train of thought at full steam ahead. Catch Davis with Alex Knoll and Rich Shultis at 7:30 p.m. for the Comedy in the Box show inside the Washington Center. Warning: If you are wearing retro clothing, Davis will make fun of you.

2. There are a lot of artist-made postcards in the Wish You Were Here postcard exhibit at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. today. More than 75 local and regional artists submitted more than 250 works. The postcards include paintings, prints, photography, drawing, ceramics, sculpture and mixed media. Read Weekly Volcano visual arts critic Alec Clayton's review of the show here.

3. Tonight during Third Thursday Artslip the Brick House Gallery will host Self Portraits: Past to Present, a show of 18 artists exhibiting self portraits in variou sstyles - from classically literal to wildly conceptual. See how they see themselves from 5-9 p.m.

4. UPDATE: Tonight's recpetion has been postponed for a week. Debuting today with a special opening reception from 6-9 p.m., Dawn of 2012 at Fulcrum Gallery is a collection of Tacoma artists ready to break out - on the cusp and ready for someone to brightly shine a light on their work. That's exactly what Fulcrum, and proprietor Oliver Dorris, plans to do. Featuring the work of Julian Pena, Kelsi Finney, Gabriel Brown, Kirsten Marie Pisto, Meghan Mitchell and Branden Urban, Fulcrum says to expect of the show, "a spectrum of graphic forms, surrealistic imagery and repurposed material."

5. Swing dancing's Africanist cousin, blues dancing, hits the Olympia Eagles Ballroom in the form of OlyBlues every Thursday at 9 p.m. Blues dancing derives from the so-called "Black vernacular" of Southern dance styles and includes such moves as the Lindy and the irresistibly named "Funky Butt." Worst-case scenario: you have two left feet but get to listen to Nina Simone.

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January 18, 2012 at 6:54am

5 Things To Do Today: Alcohol, Hysterics, Vince Brown, tacos, sledding ...

Sing karaoke with Rev. Colin tonight at Puget Sound Pizza.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18, 2012 >>>

1. The stinkin' snow won't keep STINK Cheese & Meat down. The downtown Tacoma uber deli will offer $3 beers and wines all day to go along with its pesto mac-n-cheese with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes or grilled cheese sandwich with Beecher's bacon and caramelized onions. STINK will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2. At 6 p.m., about the time the congressional staff gossip really begins to flow around the bar inside Swing Wine Bar, which can be found just down the street from the Capitol Campus, guitarist Vince Brown will change the conversation with his swing jazz.

3. Hardcore Olympia punk band Hysterics join Dogjaw, Grudge Thought and Shoppers for a 6:30 p.m. all-ages show at Le Voyeur in downtown Olympia.

4. Many things go well with beer: Pretzels. Football. Your mother-in-law away on an extended cruise. You know what else goes great with beer? Tacos and tunes. Every Wednesday night Tacoma's Lucky Silver Tavern has $1 tacos and $1 plates of tater tots, not to mention a full docket of karaoke songs. Chugging beer, pounding beef tacos and belting out some Fleetwood Mac - now that's a Wednesday night.

5. When the snow falls in downtown Tacoma, the bands stumble out of the practice pads, karaoke singers pop out of Puget Sound Pizza and The Mix and those 12 condo residents open the big doors - then all gather at the top of the street to slide down the hills like maniacs. Someone always gest hurt. Someone always throws a snowball at Rev. Colin. Someone always yells "cops." Good times.

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January 17, 2012 at 7:14am

5 Things To Do Today: "Never Eighteen" launch party, Eric Etheridge, "The Swell Season," Jeff Angell and Kyong Kim, and more ...

Jeff Angell and Kyong Kim perform tonight at Doyle's Public House. Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

TUESDAY, JAN. 17, 2012 >>>

Weekly Volcano recommends you call ahead as Snowmageddon is wreaking havoc on our little neck of the woods.

1. Singer Jeff Angell and guitarist Kyong Kim anchored a tight quartet that fused rock, seedy lyrics and grease to form a fresh sound unlike anything you've ever heard. The band was named Post Stardom Depression. It was headed toward the big time. Along the way the wheel fell off causing the band to crash and burn. Fans will be happy to hear Angell and Kim will perform tonight for old time's sake during Doyle's St. Practice Day party at 8 p.m. No cover makes it even harder to believe - but it's all true.

2. New York writer, editor and journalist Eric Etheridge, who grew up in the South during the Civil Rights era, will discuss his 2008 book Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Freedom Riders at 11:30 a.m. in the Student Center at Tacoma Community College. The book includes mug shots of the 328 black and white Freedom Riders who were arrested in Jackson, Miss. and charged with breach of peace for trying to desegregate transportation terminals in the city.

3. The musical drama Once ended with the guy and the girl going their separate ways. As much as this went against the grain of romantic expectations - and this rough-hewn indie was deeply romantic - that ending was perfect. The Swell Season arrives as a sequel of sorts. Shot in lush black and white, the documentary follows Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the stars of Once, on a two-year tour after the pair won the 2008 Oscar for best song: the lovely, heartbreaking "Falling Slowly." The Swell Season screens at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

4. Tacoma-native Megan Bostic's book, Never Eighteen, hits bookstores nationwide today. Never Eighteen tells the story of 17-year-old Austin Parker, who lives in Tacoma and is dying of leukemia. The book falls into the young adult genre, but Austin is a wise and believable character who appeals to older readers as well. His heartbreaking situation resonates with anyone who has lost a loved one to a chronic illness or cancer. A launch party and book signing will be held at 7 p.m. inside the Wheelock Library in Tacoma. To read Kristin Kendle's full feature on Bostic, click here.

5. Tuesdays seem to be the hottest night for the overeducated South Sound masses to prove their intellectual worth. And where do such brainiacs head? Glad you asked. The GEEKS head to Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub. The Tacoma watering hole is the site of John Dicker's Geeks Who Drink pub quiz night at 8 p.m. The quiz consists of eight rounds of eight questions and is played in teams of up to six people. Questions are read aloud by the quizmaster; teams write their answers on provided sheets and turn them in at the end of each round. The team with the most points after eight rounds is the winner.

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January 16, 2012 at 7:27am

5 Things To Do Today: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Greta Jane Quartet, Monday Showcase, Big Eyes ...

Listen to Big Eyes's garage rock while sipping tea tonight at Tahoma Tea and Co. in downtown Tacoma.

MONDAY, JAN. 16, 2012 >>>

1. Morning, all! For those of you who are off and wondering what to do with yourselves, We have the rundown on some of today's local MLK Day events, which includes the big celebration at the Tacoma Dome. Let us know what you're getting up to today down in the comments.

2. Meet the adorable new southern sea otter, Libby, and the rest of the crew at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium from from9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

3. Something about the driving guitars and the rough female vocals make Big Eyes something more than just a run of the mill, good garage rock act. Elements of the Breeders and even the Ramones run through the music of Big Eyes, but the band somehow manages to sound quintessentially like itself. Catch the band with Si Si Si, Up All Night and the Wild Ones at 7 p.m. inside Tahoma Tea and Co., where The Den @ urbanXchnage use to sit.

4. Before the Greta Jane Quartet begins its Monday jazz nights next week at The 4th Avenue Tavern it will help The Brotherhood Lounge in downtown Olympia celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's life at 8 p.m.

POSTPONED! 5. Magoo's Annex's Micro Mondays with DJ Melodica has become a habit for many, specifically those who enjoy punk, post punk, New Wave, early electronica and garage tunes while waiting for that one damn pool table. Tonight at 8:30 p.m. the "Micro" is shelved for something Melodica calls "Showcase Monday." DJ Darren Selector will be in the house, as well as the band Battersea and a TV theme trivia contest with prizes.

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January 15, 2012 at 8:57am

5 Things To Do Today: Service Industry Night, Super Rock Trivia, Sexy Sunday and more ...

Rich Wetzel and the Groovin' Higher Orchestra.

SUNDAY, JAN. 15, 2012 >>>

1. You know what I like? Movies. You know what I like even more? Classic movies, preferably from the '80s (my formative years, aka a prehistoric era which ended years before our average reader was conceived). You know what I like even more than that? Classic movies and drinking! Brace yourself for the grueling week ahead by taking in a flick, a cold beer, and all the free popcorn you can stuff down your gullet at the Brotherhood Lounge's Sunday Movie Night. You'll be treated to such dubious cultural milestones as RoboCop and They Live, all on the Brotherhood's nine-foot-screen with surprisingly intense sound. Then hang around after the movie to jam along with DJ James and discuss the finer nuances of Roddy Piper's performance till it's officially Monday.

2. The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam comes to a destructive conclusion today at the Tacoma Dome - meaning you've only got one more chance to see Grave Digger and the rest of the touring monster trucks in Tacoma until next year.

2. Rich Wetzel's Groovin' Higher Orchestra will chain up and fill Stonegate Pizza with big band music tonight.

3.Get in on the "Super Rock Trivia Night" and a bit of karaoke at Westgate Bar and Grill in Tacoma.

4. It's Service Industry Night at Rock the Dock Pub & Grill - meaning Lena with Songbird Karaoke will be in the house along with drink specials, games, contests and giveaways.

5. It's another Sexy Sunday in Puyallup (really, every day is sexy in Puyallup), with DJ El Guapo breaking out the hip-hop and R&B at O'Henry's Sports Bar.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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January 14, 2012 at 9:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Children's Museum opening, Elvis Birthday Bash, "I've Got a Little Twist" and more ...

Robert Washington will be in Olympia tonight for the Elvis Birthday Bash.

SATURDAY, JAN. 14, 2012 >>>

1. The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam continues at the Tacoma Dome today and all weekend - your best bet for seeing old beaten down cars rolled over by Grave Digger. Actually, it's the only place you're going to see old beaten down cars rolled over by Grave Digger.

2. Need further proof Tacoma is a bustling metropolitan with entertainment choices that run the gamut? Consider, for a moment, that the same weekend that promises monster truck action at the T-Dome also offers up the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players and the company's romping take on some of musical theater's classics. Billed as, "... where The Mikado meets The Music Man; where the HMS Pinafore sets sail for Brigadoon; and where The Pirates of Penzance take shore leave On the Town," I've Got a Little Twist also brings to town some of Broadway's most heralded vocal talent. If you're down with musical theater, I've Got a Little Twist should be just your ticket.

3. In Olympia, the King's birthday has become synonymous with one man: Robert Washington - one of the world's top Elvis impersonators ... and a guy who happens to be black. To some this is controversial. To Washington, it's simply his calling. "I don't really think about it. I'm not going to let my color prevent me from being the best," Washington told the Weekly Volcano in 2004. Tonight in Olympia, Washington will be back in Oly at the Capitol Theater for the 12th annual "Elvis Birthday Bash." A screening of the film Almost Elvis, in which Washington is featured, will kick off at 7:30 p.m., with Washington taking the stage following the movie. 

4. Comedian Gabriel Iglesias isn't fat ... he's fluffy. Or so goes the joke. In truth, Iglesias is probably a little bit of both. Tonight, the well-known laugh-maker will bring his comic styling to the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, offering fans of high-energy ranting a chance to catch Iglesias' magic in person - not just on late night Comedy Central reruns. According to promotion for the show, Iglesias' "high-octane show is a hilarious mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring all his personal issues to life." Plus, there'll be fat jokes.

5. The Children's Museum of Tacoma will celebrate its grand re-opening today at the museum's new location, 1501 Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma. Hype for the evening's swanky Grand Opening Gala promises, "an evening of art, entertainment, and playful surprises." But even before that, during the day today, experience the fun and entertainment provided by the museum's new digs during public play and exploration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those interested in such things will surely enjoy the opening ceremony and remarks scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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January 13, 2012 at 9:38am

5 Things To Do Today: "The Big Lebowski," Vile Red Falcons CD release, Monster Jam and more ...

Mosquito Hawk will perform at the Eastside Club Tavern in Oly tonight.

FRIDAY, JAN. 13, 2012 >>>

1. What's better than sitting back in Olympia's iconic Capitol Theater at the stroke of midnight and vegging out to the Cohen Bros' cult-classic The Big Lebowski? Try beer and wine in the mezzanine, yo! Enjoy all of the above tonight. The Big Lebowski will also screen at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, though beer and wine will not be offered on this date. Each screening will drive home just how much that rug tied the room together.

2. Celebrate the release of the new Conrad Uno-produced Vile Red Falcons Record, Under Your Skin, tonight at The New Frontier Lounge. As the Volcano's Rev. Adam McKinney noted in this week's paper, on the album, "Vile Red Falcons keep up a steady pace of simple, straightforward grunge that carves out a groove for itself, while simultaneously finding little moments that surprise." See it all live tonight in the Dome District.

3. Who doesn't like to sit in attendance while junkyard cars get smashed and toppled by massive, petrol-chugging monster trucks? No one we care to associate with. That's like suggesting there are people out there who don't like nacho cheese or Michele Bachmann. Likely story. Luckily this weekend - starting tonight at 8 p.m. - the Feld Motor Sports presented Advance Auto Parts "Monster Jam" will make its annual stop at the Tacoma Dome. Expect classics like Grave Digger, El Toro Loco and Bounty Hunter, and younger monster trucks like Destroyer and Double Trouble.

4. Aaron Daniel and his "One Man Banned" will play The Royal Lounge in Olympia tonight. Daniel recently told the Weekly Volcano he's worked an electric guitar into his show, and that those in attendance can expect new material tonight as he prepares for a nationwide tour in April.

5. If you're looking for all-ages action, Cowardice, Four Minute Mile, Rookie Town, Vincible and Undefined play The Red Room in Tacoma tonight. The show starts at 6:30 p.m., and will cost you $5 with formal wear or $8 without.

EXTRA CREDIT: Mosquito Hawk, Iron Goat, Resident Kings and Dirty Birds will rock the piss out of the Eastside Club Tavern in Olympia tonight.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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