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July 2, 2014 at 7:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Summer Dance Party, zine workshop, bubbly tasting, Strangely Alright ...

DJ Fir$t Lady spins at The Brotherhood Lounge's Summer Dance Party tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, JULY 2 2014 >>>

1. You can't profess to love hip-hop without having, at the least, a passing appreciation for the foundation. You don't get Outkast or Dr. Dre without EPMD. There's no Jay Z without Rakim. The Geto Boys helped open up the South. Afrika Bambaataa, The Rock Steady Crew, Grandmaster flash, Kurtis Blow, Fab 5 Freddy, Public Enemy ... it's not just nostalgia; it's a history lesson you can't miss when DJ Fir$t Lady spins your favorite old school hip-hop, plus other eclectic and funky dance tunes Wednesday beginning at The Brotherhood Lounge's Summer Dance Party. Fir$t Lady will do all the heavy lifting for you so all that's left to be done is to fetch that headband out of the dryer and go freak out. Bonus: Twenty-five percent of the night's sales go to Planned Parenthood. It kicks off at 9 p.m.

2. Remember before the Internet when the only way to discover the local underground punk rock scene, slow food, yurt-builders, Kierkegaard or Shannon Doherty was to read bits of typed paper from someone pulling an all-nighter at Kinko's? Today, it's called Tumblr. Yet oddly enough, old school zines are experiencing a renaissance. How do people who've never existed in a world without the web create these handmade textures to express their unfettered opinions? In celebration of International Zine Month in July, the Lakewood Library will host several zine workshops throughout the month, the first one coming together from 6-8 p.m. Express your opinion between two staples! 

3. There will be an Elvis sighting tonight in Steilacoom when Danny Vernon's Illusions Of Elvis enters Pioneer Park at 6:30 p.m. The show is free. 

4. Here's a reason to toast: Scientists say drinking three glasses of Champagne per week helps stave off brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. So head to Abby's on Broadway Bistro and Wine Bar from 5-7:30 p.m. for a bubbles tasting. Fill your brain with Veuve Ambal Blanc de Blanc Brut, Veuve Ambal Brut Rose, Veuve Ambal Cremant de Bourgogne Brut and Veuve Ambal Rose Cremant de Bourgogne Brut.

5. It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means Maurice the Fish Records will take over Jazzbones tonight. The monthly all-ages event showcases some of the best the Pacific Northwest talent, including established musicians as well as young up-and-comers. At 8 p.m., Brooke Lizotte, Strangely Alright and Torre take the stage.

LINK: Wednesday, July 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 26, 2014 at 9:48am

Olympia Double Shot: New Olyphant and TUSH! burlesque summer show

TUSH! burlesque troupe is ready for the summer. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Olympia seems to swell in the summer: kids come home from college, out-of-towners pay a visit and the normal rainy day recluses that inhabit the town seem to flourish come the long days and hot nights.

It's not surprising that we can't pack all the excitement Olympia has to offer into our print paper, but thank Publisher Pappi Swarner for the Walkie Talkie Blog, where we can spew as much as we want.

This week is especially full, and I want to direct attention to two Oly happenings.

First, Olyphant Art Supply & Framing is hot in the middle of its indiegogo campaign to assist in the transition to Olyphant Art & Media, located in a sweet new spot next to the 5th Ave Sandwich Shop and the upcoming Captain Little toy store (formerly Wind Up Here).

And, just so you know, the totally affordable $15 contribution gets you an adorable elephant tote bag, plus there is a 65-percent off clearance sale going on at the 117 Washington St. location until June 28.

The soft opening is at the new location, 119 Fifth Ave., from July 15 to 31. 

Anyway, here are the deets, according to Olyphant hype:

Fundraising via Indiegogo.com will serve to help with the costs of moving, downtime and website development while introducing new Olyphant artwork with the sale of t-shirts printed by DNT STP Printing--an Olympia based silkscreen operation. Original, custom-framed psychedelic posters from the 1960's and giclee prints of original artwork by local artist and part-owner Nick Baldridge will also be available.

Olyphant Art & Media will specialize in paints, brushes, pens, markers, inks, journals and obscure art & culture magazines. Framing will no longer be available. In addition, Olyphant is currently developing a website that will afford Olympians the option to buy art supplies online while still shopping locally. Prices will be competitive; customers will have the option of in-store pick up, shipping or local delivery, and the inventory will offer merchandise not available in the brick and mortar store. Nonprofits and educators will be able to create an account with special pricing. Website is estimated to be live by Oct. 1.

The idea is to combine the convenience, prices and the expansive inventory of an e-commerce store with a brick and mortar establishment downtown--providing a variety of basic supplies as well as reference materials (i.e. magazines, books), artwork, stationery and locally printed T-shirts.

And speaking of Olympia seeming to swell, here's the second thing I'd like to share with you - the TUSH! performance, Slip into Summer, where burlesque and boylesque meet for a night to remember.

From the mouths of babes, aka TUSH! hype:

Warm breezes tickle your fancy as you Slip into Summer with TUSH! Burlesque! It's hot outside AND inside this June 28 at the Olympia Ballroom.

Why not make it a romantic date ... slip into something fancy and have a lovely dinner at the Urban Onion, then come upstairs for a spectacular evening of Burlesque and Boylesque entertainment. Songs and comedy round out the night but leave you wanting more. Come early and dine before the 7 p.m. show, or come to the 10 p.m. show and unwind with a fabulous cocktail. (20 percent off food at the Urban Onion with your show ticket.)

TUSH! will delight and excite you in this summer soiree, and are pleased to present Paris Original, Seattle Boylesque Sensation and "Poetry in Motion." Also joining our cast is Miss. B. Haven, a local chanteuse who brings vintage charm and beauty along with some incredible pipes!

Tickets available now, $15 in advance at brownpapertickets or at the Urban Onion, $20 night of show at the door (cash only).

SLIP INTO SUMMER WITH TUSH!, 7 and 10 p.m., Saturday, June 28, Urban Onion, 116 Legion Way SE, Olympia, $20, $15 advance, tushburlesque.com

Filed under: Olympia, Theater, Arts,

June 25, 2014 at 8:08am

5 Things To Do Today: Jim Beam dinner, beer events, Bill Colby, wine dinner ...

Chef Tom Pantley will pair dishes with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25 2014 >>>

1. Do you remember all those career-placement tests you had to take in high school? The endless guidance-counselor appointments taking up your free periods? In all that time, did anyone ever happen to mention the possibility of becoming a professional whiskey taster? At 6:30 p.m., Jim Beam Distillery is sending one to Toscanos Café and Wine Bar in Puyallup. Toscanos will host a summer whiskey dinner pairing Chef Tom Pantley's creations with cocktail and whiskey samples from Jim Beam, such as Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey, Jim Beam Signature Craft Whiskey and 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey. Reserve your spot at 253.864-8600.

2. The Red Hot will move into its new space today ... if they get a 30-day Temporary Occupancy permit signed this morning and the inspector to sign off. As we have watched the progress on Facebook, the popular Tacoma tavern has moved its hot dog and craft beer operation next door into a space three times larger on the corner of North Junett Street and Sixth Avenue, formerly occupied by The Wedding Bell. Along with the additional space, the new location will offer more beer - about 25 handles, up from 15 - and a slightly revised menu. Fingers crossed!

3. Cycling through themes inspired by nature, Bill Colby has been creating art for six decades. His work is displayed at schools, museums, galleries and businesses, including the Library of Congress, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Henry Gallery at the University of Washington. At noon, Colby opens "Water and Rocks: A Journey: Prints and Paintings 1956-2014" at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College. "The joy of nature is within all of us and in my art work," said Colby in his artist's statement. "'Water and Rocks' has been an evolving theme from 1956 to the present."

4. OK, back to drinking, Puyallup River Brewing and its Ale House (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup) hugs it out with visiting Narrows Brewing Co. over beers, giveaways and raffle prizes from 6-9 p.m. A Pucker Party will go down at Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma) featuring special sour beer draft releases 5-7 p.m. Expect Oude Bruins, Berliner Weissebiers, Krieks, Sour Blondes from Petrus, Lost Abbey, Jolly Pumpkin, Cascade and many others.

5. OK, let's keep it rollin' ... The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosts Dusted Valley Wine at 6 p.m. for a four-course, six wine dinner. Expect roasted red pepper bisque, certified Angus beef ball tip sirloin, raspberry chocolate lava cake and more. Tickets are available at the bar for $40.

LINK: Wednesday, June 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 24, 2014 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Alan Partridge, new visitor center, wolf lectures, Elvis ...

Any Yanks concerned that the Brits outclass us may find relief in "Alan Partridge."

TUESDAY, JUNE 24 2014 >>>

1. Before Larry David and Ricky Gervais cornered the market on cringe-inducing comedy, there was Alan Partridge. For those unfamiliar with Partridge, he is a fictional pedantic media whore portrayed by English comedian Steve Coogan, who started out as a sports reporter before graduating to a TV host. Partridge has had many ups and downs in his life. National television broadcaster. Responsible for killing a guest on live TV. Local radio broadcaster. A nervous breakdown in Dundee. The Grand Cinema screens the self-titled film portraying the events of the greatest low-to-high-ebb spectrum in Partridge's life to date - specifically how he tries to salvage his public career while negotiating a potentially violent turn of events at North Norfolk Digital Radio. See Coogan's awesome comic timing at 2:30 and 6:45 p.m.

2. The Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau is opening up a brand-spanking new visitor center and is at the ready to celebrate. From 10 a.m. to noon, the general public is cordially invited to the grand opening and unveiling of the new Tacoma Visitor Information Center at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center in downtown Tacoma. Admission is free and all are welcome. Games, prizes, personalities and a mayoral welcome are the orders of the day. 

3. Pastels have a bad rep, often deserved, but not always. The name is associated with soft and pretty colors, and pastel as a media has long been thought of as a media of sweet grandmothers who take it up as a hobby - despite the example of Edgar Degas, who revolutionized pastel art with layered and heavily textured works as far back as 1880. That influence is still very evident in the NW Pastel Society's 28th Annual International Open Exhibition from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at American Art Company.

4. Known as a premiere wolf facility in the United States, Wolf Haven is also one of the most unusual, both in its work for restoration and protection of wolves and because formerly captive wolves are not allowed to breed out of the fear of contributing to captive populations. Wolf Haven educators, Skie Bender and Cindy Irwin, will be at the Tumwater Timberland Library today to present two programs: a workshop on the wolf's role in nature and a discussion of the current status of wolves in Washington. "The Wolf Café," a workshop designed for children and families, will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Participants will learn about the wolf's diet and how the animal is adapted for its role as a key predator. The Wolves of Washington, which is geared to adults, will be from 6 to 7 p.m. The presentation covers the history of wolves in the state, what happened to them, where our wolves are coming from today, current numbers, legal status, and conflicts.

5. Usually when you go to the casino you just lose money - but tonight could be different. Danny Vernon's Illusions of Elvis will be at the Red Wind Casino. Travel out to Yelm and have a great time with the King's likeness, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

LINK: Tuesday, June 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 20, 2014 at 7:37am

5 Things To Do Today: Cinematic music, selfies exhibit, Hotel Murano party, Egg Plant ...

Will naked women dance during the first James Bond theme song tonight?

FRIDAY, JUNE 20 2014 >>>

1. The Grand Cinema and Tacoma Symphony Orchestra celebrate the union of film and music by teaming up to present An Evening of Cinematic Music. Narrated by Northwest Public Radio's Steve Reeder, the event features TSO's string nonet (a fancy way of saying "nine musicians") and "some of Tacoma's most popular singer-songwriters" performing selections from various iconic songs from throughout film history, such as "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, a medley of James Bond theme songs, Breakfast at Tiffany's "Moon River" and "I Just Called To Say I Love You" from Lady In Red. All proceeds will benefit The Grand and TSO. The music kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in the Urban Grace. We can only hope they'll cover "Lethal Weapon" by Honeymoon Suite.

2. The selfie craze has hit The Gallery at the Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts. Well, kinda. "Faces from the Crowd"will be on exhibit today only from 2-6 p.m. Inspired by the longstanding tradition of portraiture and the much more recent social media "selfie" craze, but with a filter focusing on positive self-image and personal empowerment. The show highlights the faces that converge on campus, and participate by creating a selfie of their own or by posting a positive comment next to someone else's picture. Think social media in person.

3. Hotel Murano kicks off summer with a golf themed party from 4-7 p.m. Locals are invited to "Swing Into Summer" with a miniature golf course in the hotel plus test new summer drinks. Expect raffle prizes.

4. The last-minute firings, hirings, and general histrionics behind Gone With the Wind are legendary among film buffs. It's this last angle that's the primary concern of Tacoma Little Theatre's Moonlight and Magnolias, a comedic romp about the monumental difficulties of making Margaret Mitchell's humongous best-seller into a decent film. Read Christian Carvajal's review of Moonlight and Magnolias in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 7:30 p.m.

5. Luke Short, the mind behind Egg Plant, is too laid back of a person to really make much of a thing about his Tacoma homecoming. It's been four years since I've written about Egg Plant, as the band had made its home in Portland shortly before then. While Short had made Tacoma his home, he went south to complete his music project. Also, in 2010, I interviewed The Thermals. Both bands are performing in Tacoma this weekend, four years since last we contacted, but Egg Plant's show carries with it a connection that The Thermals does not, regardless of their merit as a band. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Egg Plant in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Boy and Bean, People Under the Sun and Tyson Griffin at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, June 20 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 19, 2014 at 7:16am

5 Things To Do Today: In The Spirit, Art Bus, Spamalot, Sarah Colonna ...

What's old is new again.

THURSDAY, JUNE 19 2014 >>>

1. Spaceworks Tacoma hosts an art walk from 5-9 p.m. in the downtown Tacoma Post Office Building. The event celebrates the creative activation of the location with a "happy hour" (with music by DJ Mr. Melanin) followed by a multi-media art exhibition by Jeremy Gregory, Geoff Weeg and Kris Crews; an exhibition memorializing the Luzon Building; installations by Jennifer Chushcoff and Erin Dengerink; open artist studio tours; a short film; and a performance by DASH.

2. The In the Spirit exhibit returns to the Washington State History Museum, opening today at 10 a.m. There will be 27 pieces of various mediums on display, each representing the unique perspective and heritage of a Northwest native artist.

3. If you're a visual arts fan, you owe it to yourself to go off the beaten path and ride the Tacoma Art Bus from 6-9 p.m. Yes, you'll see some kickass art. Yes, you'll chow down on Puget Sound Pizza. The opportunity that brings us back every month is the fellow Art Bus riders. You'll lean that man is a trapeze performer. That woman makes the best empanadas in the state. That man lives in your former house and turned your bedroom into a grow house. That woman invented an LED yoga mat with an "intelligent" surface and comes with, of course, its own app. The bus shoves off from in front of the Tacoma Art Museum at 6 p.m. and visits Embellish Multispace Salon, Downtown Post Office, Tacoma Fablab, The Social Bar and Grill, The Swiss and others. Get in on the party here.

4. Lakewood Playhouse never seems to disappoint and their most recent production is no exception. People who don't like Monty Python humor, also known as fuddy duddies, might want to skip it but for everyone else, Spamalot (books and lyrics by Eric Idle) will have them laughing, whistling and singing even after the show. Director John Munn's brilliant cast and crew could not have done a better job on opening night of the closing show of their 75th season. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Spamalot in the Music & Culture section., then catch a pay-what-you-can performance tonight at 8 p.m.

5. Comedian Sarah Colonna takes a break from cracking jokes as a panelist and writer for Chelsea Lately to do some standup tonight through Saturday at the Tacoma Comedy Club. The yucks begin at 8 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, June 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 18, 2014 at 11:19am

Drinking beer and throwing meatballs at Washington Center's season preview shindig

The Washington Center unveiled its 2014-15 season in a party atmosphere June 17.

Last night was the big reveal for the upcoming 2014/15 season for the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia. Normally, Publisher Pappi Swarner attends such shindigs, but this year I pulled up my big girl panties and represented the Weekly Volcano.

And by representing, I mean drinking one too many IPAs on tap, dropping a meatball from Budd Bay Café catering and openly weeping at the beautiful cello performance by Lian Eytinge, recipient of the first annual Washington Center Scholarship for Arts. Sometimes PMS and fancy shindigs don't always go together. ...

Anyhoo, new Executive Director Jill Barnes was a great hostess; she interjected chuckles at just the right time, and roused the audience for the sneak peek at all the awesomeness for the upcoming Washington Center season.

Through my tear-stained notes, I quote her as saying, "We created a combo ensuring a variety of performances. There is truly something for everyone."

And that is indeed the truth.

There will be national touring musicals, such as Memphis, a story about a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer ready for her big break, and Decades, celebrating the music and history of the '50s, '60s and '70s.

The upcoming Washington Center season will include holiday fun such as An Irish Christmas, which explores mythology and tradition through music, dance and storytelling, and the classic White Christmas sing-a-long.

And there is even The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, featuring 15 cats and 10 dogs, all rescued from animal shelters!

Re-occurring performances such as the always-popular Capitol Steps, poking fun at current political affairs, and the Silent Movie, Jazz and Black Box comedy series are also in the queue.  

With so much fun in store, it is impossible to list all of the amazing performance this season, so please visit www.washingtonperformingarts.org for more information.

WASHINGTON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360.753.8585

Filed under: Arts, Olympia, Theater,

June 18, 2014 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Barbecue lecture, Walk Tacoma, brewers bonanza, Twang Junkies ...

This is our go-to photo for depicting barbecue.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18 2014 >>>

1. We red-blooded Americans like our meat smoked, cooked long and slow until it's tender enough to be cut with a sharp glance. Travel with us to the town of Steilacoom to hear Pat Maddock, championship pitmaster with Pacific Northwest BBQ Association and Kansas City Barbecue Society, share secrets of competition barbecue we can use behind our office building. Maddock covers barbecue types, smoke woods, rubs, sauces, cookers and meats, and demonstrates the way competition chefs prepare winning pork ribs at 6 p.m. We salute you, Pat Maddock!

2. The Museum of Glass has invited visiting artist Donald Lipski to hang out in the Hot Shop for the week. Lipski is a sculptor known for his poetic combining and altering of existing things and for his enigmatic installation works. Things fire up at 10 a.m.

3. From 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., why not get up off your booty and commune with Tacoma on foot? Downtown On the Go hosts another Walk Tacoma events. Tonight, it walks in the name of public art. Participants will join Pacific Avenue Streetscape artist Elizabeth Connor for a 1.5 mile walking route in downtown Tacoma starting at Fireman's Park. After the walk, participants are invited to attend a social event with food and drinks at The Forum. There is no need to pre-register for the event, simply meet in the park.

4. The Four Beer Horsemen ride into the area tonight.Fort George Brewery unloads its beers at the ParkWay Tavern beginning at 5 p.m.Boundary Bay Brewing Company makes its way to the Puyallup River Alehouse for a 6-9 p.m. party of beers, giveaways, raffle prizes and dollar tacos. Double Mountain Brewery swings through The Swiss Restaurant & Pub for a 6-9 p.m. brewer's night and raffle. Deschutes Brewing Co. bursts through the Pint Defiance doors for a 5-7 p.m. hoopla.

5. The country genre nowadays often seems to favor superstar pop-artists, and one can also admit that it has lost a lot of original flavor and a great amount of heart and soul. The Twang Junkies are loaded with original flavor and soul. The Tacoma band moseys up to the bar with Cash, Haggard, Hank and Earle on one side and Jagger, Lennon, Bowie and Gibb on the other, then taking the Jazzbones stage at 8:30 p.m. with their own blend of alt-country: a Southern twang bass with a hint of indie rock.

LINK: Wednesday, June 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 7, 2014 at 8:55am

5 Things To Do Today: Deep Creep, Maritime Gig Festival, INK THIS!, Natural Spectacle ...

Brian Yeager, Derek Fudesco, Jeff Alvarez and Andrea Zollo present good vibes tonight at The New Frontier Lounge. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY, JUNE 7 2014 >>>

1. Deep Creep is a band that unites at the populated intersection of the Murder City Devils, Pretty Girls Make Graves, the Cave Singers and Cute Lepers. Deep Creep favor the stompy rock of the '70s, while also branching out into unique areas of their own devising.  Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Deep Creep in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Young Evils and Show & Tell at 8 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

2. Nothing says good times like family fun and a whole crapload of pirate references. By the look of things, that's exactly what's in store for those headed to the 2014 Maritime Gig Festival in Gig Harbor. Expect wholesome treats such as a 8 a.m. Kiwanis pancake feed, 9 a.m. fun run, a "Yo Ho Harbor Grande Parade," Steve Stefanowicz and other musicians, and what's billed as the "Round Rock Contest." We have no idea what a "Round Rock Contest" is, but it sounds AWESOME! The festival stretches all weekend in downtown Gig Harbor, along Harborview Drive, between Pioneer and Rosedale, and along the waterfront near Jerisich Dock and Skansie Brother's Park.

3. Frank Janzen makes prints using smoke, Dionne Haroutounian combines print media and collage in ways that are almost indefinable, and Janet Marcavage creates sparkling optical prints using traditional media. These are but a few of the new and exciting works by Northwest printmakers to be seen in the new exhibition "Ink This! - Print Arts in the Northwest" at Tacoma Art Museum. Read Alec Clayton full preview of "INK THIS" in the Music & Culture section, then check out the show, which opens today at 10 a.m.

4. Like your furniture to be eco-friendly, stylish, and full of character? Moss + Mineral - the downtown Tacoma design store with a mid-century modern vibe - present clean-lined, eco-inspired furnishings and other works as part of "Natural Spectacle: Art + Eco-Furnishings," a group show opening from 1-6 p.m. According to pre-show hype, "Carlos Taylor-Swanson, head of the famed Madera woodworking studio, breaks out with a new vision of green furnishings; while birdloft designers Jeff Libby and Adrienne Wicks innovate with new, streamlined architectural designs. Holly Senn pays nature homage with her fascinating wasp nest forms sculpted from the pages of discarded books." Also include in the show are works by photographer Harriet McNamara and ceramics artist Claudia Riedener.

5. Logan, 16, took his life in December 2013. The tragedy of his death was, as you can imagine, devastating for his family and friends. Logan's mother, Amy, created the Logan Foundation, to promote active involvement in the lives of youth in the community and to raise awareness and provide connection to prevent the epidemic tide of teen suicide. A benefit concert for the foundation will kick off at 7 p.m. in the Rock N Roll Lodge in Tacoma. Hip-hop artists Stupid Juice Crew, Pooji Tran, Q Dot, A King and others will bring it for a $5 cover. Worthy on so many levels.

LINK: Saturday, June 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 6, 2014 at 7:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Pinball show, wine tasting, "Men are from Mars," Smart DJs ...

The Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show will feature the work of nearly 3,000 collectors. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JUNE 6 2014 >>>

1. No matter how advanced video games get, there's still something special about smacking a metal ball around a ringing, blinking maze of machinery. Celebrate the bliss of pinball with collectors, enthusiasts and exhibitors alike at this weekend's Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show at the Tacoma Convention Center.

2. University Place based Dance Theatre Northwest, a 501-c-3 non-profit arts and community outreach organization, stages a free performance featuring excerpts from the classics Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Paquita and contemporary ballet, Broadway, jazz and musical theatre pieces at 1:15 p.m. in Lakeview Hope Academy in Lakewood.

3. Morso wine bar in Gig Harbor hosts Talbott vineyards from 5-7 p.m. for tastes of 2011 Sara Case Chardonnay, 2012 Diamond T Pinot Noir, 2012 Kali Hart Pinot Noir, 2012 Logan Chardonnay and 2012 Logan Pinot Noir.

4. Peter Story - who has appeared in primetime shows on three major networks - will take the Theatre on the Square stage during the one-man stage show Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and bring the two sexes together over a night of entertainment - especially since males and females operate in such different ways. The 7:30 p.m. show is based on the best-selling book by John Gray. The relationship guide, released more than 20 years ago, was translated into more than 40 languages and has sold more than 60 million copies.

5. Just as turntablism - the art of playing records - has made an instrument out of a medium, the movement's DJs have made the transition from enablers to performers. Tonight's "Smart People" event, organized by Tacoma's Mr. Melanin, seeks to put a little stress on that assumption by presenting DJs in an improvised setting, touching on R&B and electronica, bringing in indie rock, boogie-woogie and disco. Dancing is awesome, but you'll catch yourself gazing at the turntable skills. It's OK. It really begins at 9:55 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, June 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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