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January 27, 2012 at 9:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Social, "The Folk Inspired Cello," Big Mini Golf Classic and more ...

Normandie Wilson will be at Le Voyeur in Olympia tonight. PHOTO: Facebook

FRIDAY, JAN. 27, 2012 >>>

1. If you picked up your copy of the Weekly Volcano this week you already know all about Camp 6, Tacoma's newest movement to support local style, business and arts. Tonight meet the folks behind Camp 6, along with whoever else happens to stop by, at Anthem Coffee & Tea during what Camp 6 is calling the Tacoma Social. The good times start at 8 p.m. Moving forward, Camp 6 will hold a Tacoma Social event on the last Friday of each month.

2. It's no lie when the University of Puget Sound website touts David Requiro as a prize-winning cellist. Requiro is also an artist in residence at UPS, who tonight will bust out The Folk Inspired Cello along with violinist Maria Sampen and pianist Tanya Stambuk as part of the Jacobsen Series of concerts. Find more info here.

3. While smacking the ball through the windmill and past the sand trap might not seem like it has anything at all to do with helping bring the fine arts to the stage in Olympia, quite the opposite is true. The proof: This week sees the return of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts' Big Mini Golf Classic, which invites patrons of all ages to play a mini-golf course that winds throughout the building. Tonight a 21+ mini-golf party will see foursomes playing through various snack bars and "watering holes," while also enjoying a chipping contest on the main stage.

4. Normandie Wilson takes to the tiny stage at Le Voyeur in Olympia tonight. It's free, but donations are appreciated.

5. Get swanky with the Lance Buller Trio tonight at Maxwell's Restaurant and Lounge. The memories start being made at 7 p.m., and continue all night long, baby.

LINK: The Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

January 26, 2012 at 1:25pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: Big Mini Golf Classic, Tacoma Urban Orchestra, The Righteous Mothers & Shack, Oly Rollers Bout 1, South Sound Wedding Show & more ... (plus the boring lives of our writers)

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Partly sunny, hi 46, lo 30

Saturday: Cloudy, hi 46, lo 39

Sunday: Rain, hi 48, lo 41

>>> JAN. 26-28: NEAL BRENNAN

One thing you've got to credit comedians for is their work ethic. No, seriously, hear us out on this one. While it's true that plenty of well-known comedians over the years have made the job synonymous with debauchery, partying, reckless excess, chain smoking and basic, unabashed indulgence of all kinds, the fact is most serious comedians work their asses off - touring from town to town (often to unglamorous locales like Tacoma), and getting up on stage night after night. Comedian Neal Brennan - who most folks at this point associate with the bullet on his resume that says "co-creator of Chappelle's Show" - returns to Tacoma and the Tacoma Comedy Club this week. Basically six months after his last stop in Tacoma, Brennan is obviously a hard worker. He's also hella funny. We know because we YouTubed a bunch of his s*** prior to his July swing through T-Town. And we wouldn't use a word like "hella" if we weren't serious.

  • Tacoma Comedy Club, Thursday 8 p.m., Friday - Saturday 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., $15 adv, $20 door, 933 Market St., Tacoma, 253.282.7203

>>> JAN. 27-28: BIG MINI GOLF CLASSIC

Nothing quite supports the arts like mini golf. Or putt-putt golf. Or whatever you call it. Yes, it's true. While smacking the ball through the windmill and past the sand trap might not seem like it has anything at all to do with helping bring the fine arts to the stage in Olympia, quite the opposite is true. The proof: This week sees the return of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts' Big Mini Golf Classic, which invites patrons of all ages a chance to play a mini-golf course that winds throughout the building. Friday a 21+ mini-golf party invites foursomes to play through various snack bars and "watering holes," while also enjoying a chipping contest on the main stage. Saturday, the whole family is invited to enjoy a day of putt-putt, face painting and hot dogs. As mentioned, it's all presented by the Washington Center.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Friday 6-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., 512 Washington St., SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585

>>> JAN. 27-29: LATE NIGHT CATECHISM:‘TIL DEATH DO US PART

I'm not Catholic, but my dad was. Or at least he grew up Catholic. From what I understand it involved a lot of guilt. And nuns. At any rate, one year, back in the day, he and my mom went to see some version of Late Night Catechism in Tacoma - likely at the Broadway Center, though I can't be certain of that. It sounded racy at the time, but I was, like, 12.  He seemed to enjoy it. As did my mom - who wasn't even close to Catholic. But that's only kind of important. What does this have to do with anything? Not much, other than Late Night Catechism: "Til Death Do Us Part will be at the Broadway Center this weekend and next, delivering the latest installment in the "sinfully funny series." This time Sister tackles relationships - with plenty of audience participation, naturally. - Matt Driscoll

  • Theatre on the Square, Jan. 20-21 & 27-28 7:30 p.m., 3 p.m. Jan. 28-29, $39, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890

>>> ALL WEEKEND: TACOMA HOME & GARDEN SHOW

Surely you have a few home improvements you've been meaning to make. Maybe, for instance, a gigantic, icy tree limb recent crashed through your mudroom. Need some inspiration to get the job started? This week the annual Tacoma Home & Garden Show returns to the Tacoma Dome, running Wednesday through Sunday and bringing more garden demonstrations, bathroom renovation tips, vinyl siding samples, shag carpet displays, mulching systems and kitchen cabinet seminars than you'll find just about anywhere. This marks the 29th year of the Tacoma Home & Garden Show.

  • Tacoma Dome, Wednesday - Thursday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., $10 adults, $8 Seniors, 16 and under free, $16 two-day pass, 2727 East D Street  Tacoma, otshows.com/ths

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 27: THE FOLK INSPIRED CELLO

While we totally had to Google him, it's no lie when the University of Puget Sound website touts David Requiro as a prize-winning cellist. Requiro is also an artist in residence at UPS, who Friday will bust out The Folk Inspired Cello along with violinist Maria Sampen and pianist Tanya Stambuk as part of the Jacobsen Series of concerts. According to pre-event hype, "Long before the cello was a member of symphony orchestras, its voice was often heard with that of the fiddle, in folk music played from Scotland to Hungary. That tradition ended about 150 years ago. Yet some modern classical composers, whose work is inspired by folk music, have called upon the cello again to create the uniquely wistful and blithe tones of folk melodies." Requiro and his presentation of The Folk Inspired Cello fit this mold. "What makes this program so special are the distinctive musical languages of the composers we chose," says Requiro of the show on the UPS website. Hear for yourself.

  • University of Puget Sound Schneebeck Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m., $12.50 general public, $8.50 for seniors (55+), students, military, and UPS faculty and staff, free for current UPS students, 1500 North Warner St.  Tacoma, 253.879.3419

>>> JAN. 27-28: THE RIGHTEOUS MOTHERS & SHACK

As part of a benefit for Olympia's PFLAG - a very worthy organization that describes itself as, "the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons" - Steve Schalchlin and the Righteous Mothers will take to the stage this weekend at Traditions Café. With shows on Friday and Saturday night, the show is going by the billing of "Peace with Justice Concert." Schalchlin is known as the composer, lyricists and performer of off-Broadway shows like New World Waking: A Musical Insurrection for Peace. The Righteous Mothers are known for humorous little feminist folk ditties like "Old Fat Naked Women for Peace," "Lesbian Honeymoon Holiday" and "60,000 Naked Hoosiers." There's no way this show won't be great.

  • Traditions Café, 8 p.m. both nights, $25 suggested donation, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia, 360.705.2819

>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 28: TACOMA URBAN ORCHESTRA

Saturday, the currently trending Tacoma Urban Orchestra will lay down 14 - XIV Underground, a dance opera by Benjamin Smith-Chenovick, at The Library at Sanford and Son Antiques. Event hype promises the premiere of Acts IV and V from the Tacoma Urban Orchestra's winter show of 2012, plus Colin Reynolds of I Low singing tenor, the dance and choreography of Karin Stevens and Katrina Ellison and the costume design of Lisa Fruichantie. Expect quintessential Tacoma at its most awesome.

>>> ALL WEEKEND: WASHINGTON SPORTSMEN'S SHOW

It's a busy week for O'Laughlin Trade Shows - the juggernaut behind this week's Tacoma Home & Garden Show at the Tacoma Dome, AND the 25th annual Washington Sportsmen's Show and Sport Fishing Boat Show at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. Wednesday through Sunday, the Washington Sportsmen's Show will offer the best in dudes wearing flannel and exaggerated fishing stories. But, best of all, check out what's billed as the "one-of-a-kind" indoor "Steelhead River." It's hard to go wrong with an indoor river. According to hype, other attractions include over 150 hours of how-to seminars, camp cooking demos and a free trout pond for the kids. Wait!?! Two indoor bodies of water? Just pinch us now.

  • Puyallup Fair & Events Center, noon - 8 p.m. Wednesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday, $12 adults, $5 for ages 6 - 16, free for 5 and younger, 110 Ninth Ave. SW, Puyallup, thesportshows.com/wss

>>> ALL WEEKEND: THE SEAFARER

Olympia's Harlequin Production's celebrates the opening of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer Thursday, a production running through Feb. 18 at Harleequin's home, The State Theater. According to hype, McPherson " has a stunning ability to remind us that logic and reason are but weak weapons against the myth and magic that permeate our lives," and The Seafarer, "is an incredibly beautiful and rewarding story of redemption that may put people off initially, because who wants to watch a bunch of alcoholic losers celebrating Christmas?" We do! We do!

  • Harlequin Productions - The State Theater, through Feb. 18,Thursday - Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., "Pay What You Can" Wednesday, Feb. 1 8 p.m., "Ladies Night" Friday, Feb. 3 7 p.m., $31, 202 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia, harlequinproductions.org

>>> SUNDAY, JAN. 29: SOUTH SOUND WEDDING SHOW

 A large percentage of people get married at some point during their lives. Some people, like Newt Gingrich for instance, do it several times. Hopefully soon it will be legal for gay folks to marry too. The fact is, weddings are a big part of our existence. All the more reason to check out the fifth annual South Sound Wedding Show Sunday at Centraila's Great Wolf Lodge. Expect everything from wedding gown and tuxedo models to dancing demonstrations. Pro Tip: If you're South Sound Wedding Show date ditches you for one of the Great Wolf water slides, he's probably not the one.

>>> SUNDAY, JAN. 29: OLY ROLLERS BOUT 1

The legendary Oly Rollers - former WFTDA National Champions -- open the 2012 season Sunday at Skateland in Olympia with double-header action that promises to be as exciting as it is captivating. Billed as "two full hours of women's flat track roller derby fun," the double-headers kicks off with when the Oly Rollers' Bella Donnas squad takes on Centralia's Rainy City Roller Dolls, and continues with the Oly Rollers' Dropkick Donnas battling the Sicktown Rollergirls of Corvallis, Ore. There's no way this isn't an epic throwdown.

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Photographer

Hitting the Tacoma Urban Orchestra performance and then chilling with my ukulele and German Shepherd

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
I will be doing homework all weekend. Oh, the thrilling life of a college student.

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CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
This is a big theater weekend in Oly, so I'm seeing Hair at Capital Playhouse and The Seafarer at Harlequin. Also, it'll be good to have lights and cable TV again.

JOE IZENMAN Theater Critic
This weekend we're playing catchup for last week's cold and, well, cold. Seeing Play It Again, Sam at Lakewood Playhouse on Friday, taking a make-up dance lesson at Studio 6, and seeing some movies (The Artist and/or Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). And then Sunday is of course the most exciting football game of the season: the Pro Bowl. (Guess which one of these things is a lie. Hint: the Pro Bowl blows.)

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
After last week's openings of California Suite at Tacoma Little Theatre and Xanadu at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, I decided this weekend needed another theatrical outing. Instead of reviewing a play for the Volcano, I will be attending a professional development workshop at The Broadway Center. I will take part in an improv workshop and then watch Late Nite Catechism: 'Til Death Do Us Part (well, providing the little son and husband can stay out of trouble). Other than that I may try and FINALLY finish making my sushi skirt. Seriously, how hard is it to pin and hem a skirt???

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic
I'll be at the Steve Schalchlin and The Righteous Mothers concert, both nights, Friday and Sat.

.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

January 26, 2012 at 9:26am

VOLCANO MUSIC: Ben Union, Blak Mic, Trees Without Leaves and more ...

Ben Union

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COVERAGE IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

The Weekly Volcano never sleeps. It's true ... or very close to true. We average only a few hours of shut-eye a night, be it because it's hard to sleep when you're so busy sobbin(Michael Swan), or simply because there's just so much to do.

Included in all this doing? As always, another shining installment of the Weekly Volcano music section.

We wouldn't lie. You better believe we managed to pump out another stellar Weekly Volcano music section - your every Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage.

Here's a look at the sonic goodness coming at you in print and online in this week's Volcano ...

FEATURE: BEN UNION

For the past few years-and working off an unusually strong starting point-Ben Union has been working to hone his sound to a fine point. After emerging on the scene with a potent live show and an even more precise debut LP, The Light, Union and his band - drummer Jared Mira, bassist Seth Mira, guitarist Talon Carpenter and percussionist "Shazam" -- have been working hard to take that certain special sound and reduce it to its most effective essence. ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney

HIP-HOP: BLAK MIC & MORE

Remember a few months ago when I said Blak Mic was too good not to release an album for our listening enjoyment? Well, he was either listening or my wishes were granted purely by coincidence, because in December Blak Mic released a free 13-track album at blakmic.bandcamp.com. Blak Mic has also released 14 singles on his Bandcamp page (also for free) during the past two months. That's another album's worth of material. Noo and Mic Blaque supply notable guest verses on Blak Mic's new material. Listening to the new record, Blak Mic's beats have an extra ounce of street and grit mixed in with the smooth sounds that make his jazzy, funky treats - making his work stick out a bit more than the work of the rest of the producers around here. ... -- Josh Rizeberg

WE RECOMMEND: TREES WITHOUT LEAVES

The lead vocals of Stewie Crockett are howlingly absurd, hugely animated odes to those manic preachers that used to be spotted in stale, smoky nightclubs and barrooms lined with peanut shells. It's all a delirious mixture that lands somewhere in the area of doting homage and full-throated hysteria. - Rev. AM

PLUS: BETTER LIVING THROUGH MUSIC - Glass Elevator, Hey Girl, Jeremy Jay

PLUS: CONCERT ALERT

PLUS: LIVE LOCAL MUSIC LISTINGS

PLUS: CRAZY NONSENSE LIKE THIS

January 26, 2012 at 9:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Robert Manning, Dukesbay 2012 Play Reading Series kicks off, the Black Swans, Neal Brennan and more ...

He's Neal Brennan, bitch!

THURSDAY, JAN. 26, 2012 >>>

1. Tacoma Community College's Artist & Lecture series continues Thursday with Robert Manning, PhD - billed in pre-event hype as a research professor and founding director of the Center for Consumer Financial Services, and "a specialist in the deregulation of household debt, consumer finance, economic development, immigration and globalization." Manning will be in Tacoma at TCC to talk about all of this, and likely his book, Credit Card Nation: America's Dangerous Addiction to Credit. Best of all: it's free and open to the public. Considering how much you put on the Discover Card during the holidays, free events are a good thing.

2. Dukesbay Productions presents its first monthly staged reading as part of the 2012 Play Reading Series. The series is made up of the work of Puget Sound-area playwrights, with tonight's focusing on the work of Roger Iverson. The action goes down at Trinity Presbyterian Church Fellowship hall and it's free.

3. The Black Swans, in Olympia tonight for a show at the Guest House, is not the type of band that lifts you up with bouncy, hopeful energy. The Black Swans don't dabble in sunshine pop or carefree smiles without caveats. What the Black Swans do deal in - led by the singer Jerry Decicca - is lonesome and morose reality, achieving a package weighted with emotion and sparse comfort. It's hipster country with a healthy splash of despair, and that's something today's tastemakers have been able to get behind. Pitchfork gave the Black Swans' latest record, Don't Blame the Stars, a solid 7.5, while Paste weighed in on the LP with an 8.4. But beyond any of these contemporary accolades, what makes the Black Swans worth your attention is the band's diligence in crating songs that often border on the morose, while managing to avoid coming off like yet another act tugging at heartstrings simply for career gain.

4. Think you were bummed when Dave Chappelle decided he didn't want to do his hilarious-ass TV show anymore? Think you cried for days? Think you wondered what to do with your "I'm Rick James, bitch!" coffee mug? Think how comedian, writer and Chappelle's Show co-creator Neal Brennan felt. You can reminisce together tonight at the Tacoma Comedy Club when Brennan brings his stand-up act to town. Or you could just laugh at Brennan's jokes. Either way. Brennan will be at the Tacoma Comedy Club all weekend.

5. Get down with country dance lessons tonight at Big Whisky Saloon in downtown Tacoma. Basic lessons kick off at 7:30 p.m., with intermediate and advanced lessons at 8:15 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

January 25, 2012 at 9:18am

5 Things To Do Today: One Act Theater Fest, Narek Arutyunian, Tacoma Home & Garden Show and more...

Johnny A

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 25, 2012 >>>

1. So you like your theater but have trouble with your attention span? Boy, do we have just the theater festival for you! The Pacific Lutheran University chapter of Alpha Psi Omega - described as a national theater honor society (even though it sounds like that frat your cousin with the Ed Hardy wardrobe joined) - presents its annual One Act Theater Festival, today through Jan. 28, at PLU's Eastvold Theater. This year's One-Act Festival bears the title "Loss ... and Found," and spotlights three one-act plays - two of them written by PLU students. According to promotion, expect Recklessness by Eugene O'Neill and directed by Frank Roberts, Otter Pops by Alex Eddy and directed by Corissa DeVerse, and Poor Little Doggy by Myia Johnson and directed by T.R. Robinson.

2. Admittedly, we have a hard time hearing the word "clarinet" and not thinking about junior high band class. And those aren't exactly the type of memories that make us want to head to the concert hall on a Wednesday night. But 19-year-old Narek Arutyunian, coming to Olympia's Washington Center for the Performing Arts tonight, is worth the gamble. One element of what the Washington Center website touts as, "its 16th consecutive year of presenting three of the world's finest young concert musicians in association with Young Concert Artists, Inc," Arutynunian has been widely celebrated for things like his "virtuosity," "warmth" and "charisma." Seeing as we've never had the word "virtuosity" associated with anything we've done in life, it's hard to argue with Arutyunian's street cred ... even if he does play the clarinet. Then there's the fact that, according to the Young Concert Artist Inc. website, Arutyunian has already done things like take home First Prize in the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and receive the Leona Green Memorial Award. Dude's legit.

3. Today marks the kick-off of the always-spectacular Tacoma Home & Garden Show - now in its 29th year. The Home & Garden Show runs through the weekend in the Tacoma Dome, but beat the crowds and get your fill of vinyl siding demonstrations today!

4. Holy cow! Not only does the Tacoma Home & Garden Show start today, so does the Washington Sportsmen's Show & Sport Fishing Boat Show - running the entire weekend at the Puyallup Fair and Events Center. Find more info here.

5. Musically in T-Town, guitar player extraordinaire Johnny A will plug in at Jazzbones for an all-ages show starting at 7:30 p.m. Word on the street is local guitar hero Jerry Miller will join him on stage.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

January 24, 2012 at 9:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Tuesday Film Series at The Grand, Anything Anastasia at The Red Room, Irish Sessions at O'Blarney's and more ...

Anything Anastasia

TUESDAY, JAN. 24. 2012 >>>

1. The Tuesday Film Series at The Grand Cinema continues today with Revenge of the Electric Car. Director Chris Paine's film investigates the intentional destruction of thousands of electric cars in 2006 by the same company that made them, and how the electric car has returned "with a vengeance" since. Show times are 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

2. Anything Anastasia will rock The Red Room in Tacoma tonight. Sharing a bill with My Iron Lung and Myself Aside, the show is all ages and kicks off at 7 p.m.

3. Speaking of all-ages music, the Kareem Kandi Band will play Uncle Thurm's Finger Licking Ribs & Chicken tonight at 8 p.m. Even better - there's no cover.

4. There are abundant trivia choices throughout Tacoma today. Test your brain at any of the following water holes tonight: The Mix, The Hub, Farrelli's or The Swiss. And for a full look at bar trivia nights throughout the South Sound, check out our calendar of events.

5. Down south, it's open mic night at Tugboat Annie's in Olympia, and at O'Blarney's Tuesday means a chance to get in on an "Irish Sessions" - which means live traditional Irish music starting at 7:30 pm.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

January 23, 2012 at 9:24am

5 Things To Do Today: Environmental Seminar series, "The Great Infection of the Sea" with Capt. Charles Moore, Capes & Cowls Book Club and more ...

Great Pacific Garbage Patch / Photo credit: greatpacificgarbagepatch.info

MONDAY, JAN. 23, 2012 >>>

1. It has all the makings of a very green day in Tacoma. At 12:30 p.m. at the University of Washington Tacoma, join Regan Dunn from the UW Seattle's Biology Department as part of the UWT's Environmental Seminar series. Dunn will discuss "Tracking the Evolution of South American Biota of the Middle-Cenozoic of Patagonia, Argentina." Seminars go down in room 309 of the Science building.

2. Capt. Charles Moore's presentation, "The Great Infection of the Sea," has nothing to do with that time Lindsey Lohan gave the entire Strait of Gibraltar Chlamydia (like you read about in US Weekly). Rather, Moore's presentation is actually of paramount importance, with the scientist and activist discussing his book, Plastic Ocean, which, according to pre-event hype, "describes the alarming presence of plastics in our oceans."  Capt. Moore will be at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma today, speaking in the Murray Boardroom in Wheelock Student Center at 5:30 p.m.  The good captain will talk about what he reportedly calls the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" in the Pacific Ocean. Information on the U.P.S. website indicates the area is "roughly two million square miles in size," and "is estimated to hold an estimated three million tons of plastic debris." Should be some uplifting chats.

3.. Holy nerd alert, Batman! It's the fourth Monday of the month - which means the super hero-centric Capes & Cowls Book Club - billed as a "... book club adapted to mutants, aliens, technogeeks and puny humans who like to read superhero comics" - holds its monthly meeting at King's Books. January's super hero-y selection is The Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne.

4. Greta Jane Quartet begins its Monday night run at the 4th Avenue Tavern in downtown Olympia tonight. Catch the local favorites from 9 - 11 p.m.

5. Mondays mean all-ages trivia at the Mandolin Café in Tacoma, hosted by Jeff Ross. The quizzical fun starts at 6 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

January 19, 2012 at 2:00pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: National Geographic Live, Varsity Grill Ice Block Party, "Late Night Catechism," DYDD Opening Bout, Vagabond Opera, Audrey Hepburn Film Focus and more ...

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Rain slush nightmare, hi 45, lo 43

Saturday: Rain, hi 43, lo 37

Sunday: Rain, hi 43, lo 37

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 20: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE - ANNIE GRIFFITHS

Most parents these days know the joy of balancing family and a career. It's become a survival necessity, whether we like it or not. What does this have to do with photographing white-bearded wildebeest on the Serengeti? You would think very little, until stumbling upon the work and career of National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths - who will be in Olympia Friday for another presentation of National Geographic Live at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. As the Washington Center website notes, "As perhaps the only photographer in history to pack her camera gear in Pampers, Griffiths has blazed a trail for other photographers, and other working parents. With warmth and humor, [her presentation Friday] explores the realities of juggling family and career as she travels the world for National Geographic."

  • Carwein Auditorium, noon, free, Keystone Building, Room 102, University of Washington Tacoma, 1900 Commerce St., Tacoma, 253.627.2175

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 20: VARSITY GRILL ICE BLOCK PARTY

Every year Varsity Grill in Tacoma hosts its Ice Block Party. It's on the patio. Get it!?! No, but seriously, you'll want to take note because this annual event offers beer lovers and/or straight-up alcoholics the chance at beer in all degrees of wintery awesomeness: the $20 fee gets you 9 winter beer tastings from some of the region's top winter brews. Plus there'll be prizes and giveaways. Plus beer experts and brewers will be all up in the house. Plus Rock-Bot live-band karaoke will be there to rock your face off and shit after it's all over. It's a no-brainer. And yes, wussy, tents and outdoor heaters will be provided.

  • Varsity Grill, 5:30-9 p.m., $20, Rock-Bot Live Band Karaoke 8 p.m. to close, 1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.627.1229

>>> JAN. 20-21 & 27-29: LATE NIGHT CATECHISM:‘TIL DEATH DO US PART

I'm not Catholic, but my dad was. Or at least he grew up Catholic. From what I understand it involved a lot of guilt. And nuns. At any rate, one year, back in the day, he and my mom went to see some version of Late Night Catechism in Tacoma - likely at the Broadway Center, though I can't be certain of that. It sounded racy at the time, but I was, like, 12.  He seemed to enjoy it. As did my mom - who wasn't even close to Catholic. But that's only kind of important. What does this have to do with anything? Not much, other than Late Night Catechism: "Til Death Do Us Part will be at the Broadway Center this weekend and next, delivering the latest installment in the "sinfully funny series." This time Sister tackles relationships - with plenty of audience participation, naturally. - Matt Driscoll

  • Theatre on the Square, Jan. 20-21 & 27-28 7:30 p.m., 3 p.m. Jan. 28-29, $39, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890

>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 21: DOCKYARD DERBY DAMES OPENING BOUT

Like an old friend returning from a lengthy retreat (read: court-ordered stay in rehab) the Dockyard Derby Dames cruise back into town this weekend, opening the club's sixth season in typical knockdown, drag-out fashion at Pierce College in Lakewood. Billed as "a night of rivalries, rematches and retribution," the season-opening bout pits the Hellbound Homewreckers and the Femme Fianna in what promises to be a heated competition full of women fully capable of kicking your ass, followed by the Marauding Mollys taking on the Trampires, which, well, you know the deal. The doors open at 5 p.m. with the first bout starting at 6 p.m. The Dockyard Derby Dames pride themselves on a family-friendly experience (that includes a beer garden for family members old enough to drink). Tickets are a few bucks cheaper via Brown Paper Tickets than at the door, so keep that in mind.

  • Pierce College Health Ed. Center, 5 p.m. doors, 6 p.m. first bout, $12 adv, $15 door, children 5 and younger free; ages 6-12 years old $10, 9401 Farwest Dr SW
    Lakewood

>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 21: VAGABOND OPERA

Unschooled in the "neo-cabaret" musical genre? Don't fret - just check out Portland's Vagabond Opera - returning to Olympia this Saturday for a performance at the Olympia Ballroom that promises to be mesmerizing. Even more exciting: the show will act as a celebration of the Vagabond Opera's just-released fourth full-length record, as well as the release of local favorites Erev Rav's latest CD - with that band also on the bill. Truly offering music of the world, the six-piece Vagabond Opera reportedly dabbles in sounds spanning the globe - from European cabaret, to Balkan belly dance, to Old World Yiddish theater and beyond. There's a reason this mesmerizing troupe has shared stages with the Decemberists, Pink Martini and Al Franken and the Oregon Symphony. It's because they're awesome.

>>> SUNDAY, JAN. 22: AUDREY HEPBURN FILM FOCUS: MY FAIR LADY

The Broadway Center in Tacoma concludes its three-part Audrey Hepburn film-focus with Sunday's screening of the classic My Fair Lady, in which, as film lovers and old people will recall, Hepburn portrays Eliza Doolittle. The Broadway Center's Hepburn film focus series kicked off in 2011 with a screening of Roman Holiday on Oct. 23, and continued Nov. 13 with Breakfast at Tiffany's. Sunday's 3 p.m. screening of the George Cukor-directed My Fair Lady will wrap up the fun. But don't be too sad: the $12 admission scores you free popcorn as well.

  • Theatre on the Square, 3 p.m., $12, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer

I am going to be uking out with Jake Shimabakuo tomorrow and then hit Xanadu at Tacoma Musical Playhouse on Sunday.

MATT DRISCOLL Editor
I'll be dealing with the tree that just fell on our mudroom on Friday, laying low on Saturday, and Sunday celebrating an end-of-season party with one of the three fantasy football leagues I was in this year. I'm sure you're filled with envy.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Friday Jake Shimabukuro at the Rialto Theater, Saturday gym and homework, Sunday church and mission farewell.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
I will either be huddled at home with my wife and my Nook or passed out in a dead tauntaun somewhere.

RON SWARNERN Publisher
After hitting the grand opening shindig at Anthem Coffee, it will most likely be family movie night. Then, instead of making my family uncomfortbale with my stories of the '70s, I'll hang with similar ilk at the Big Wheel Stunt Show Saturday night at Hell's Kitchen. Sunday, I will finally attempt to put the kid's toys together during the playoff games.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

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

LINK: Live music and DJs 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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