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November 13, 2011 at 8:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Pierced Arrows, Miniature Art Show, Washington state history, Comedy for a Cause and more ...

Pierced Arrows / Photo credit: Simone Muller

SUNDAY, NOV. 13, 2011 >>>

1. If you haven't heard of Pierced Arrows, you're in the dark. Born out of the ashes of seminal garage rock band Dead Moon, Pierced Arrows boasts Fred and Toody Cole - both of Dead Moon fame. Rounded out by drummer Kelly Halliburton, Pierced Arrows have been receiving positive comparisons to the famous band they succeeded, and winning smiles and applause from those who cursed the day Dead Moon broke up. The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia hosts the band at 9 p.m. Missing out would be foolish.

2. There's something wonderfully odd and mysterious about the mind of the miniaturist; it takes a certain kind of person to spend so much time around small things, to appreciate the exacting elegance of a tiny table or an itty-bitty bed. Whether it's a simple dollhouse or an extravagant diorama, creating a good miniature world is a matter of scale, a fastidious craft that requires patience, an artist's eye - and lots and lots of time. Gallery Three in Puyallup celebrates those dedicated folks with a wine reception for its Miniature Art Show from 12:30-2 p.m.

3. Dr. Lorraine McConaghy, author of New Land, North of the Columbia: Historic Documents that Tell the Story of Washington State from Territory to Today will discuss her book at 2 p.m. inside the Olympic Room at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch in downtown Tacoma. She's traversed the state and sifted through the files of three dozen archives to cull the 400-plus documents that bring to life Washington's last 150 years.

4. Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble launches its eighth season at 7 p.m. inside the Schneebeck Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Puget Sound.

5. More than a dozen local and national comedians will come together at 8 p.m. inside Jazzbones to make you laugh and raise money for Tacoma comedy veteran Debbie Wooten-Williams, who has recently had set some health setbacks. Hosted by Ralph Porter, tonight's   "Comedy for a Cause" lineup includes comics Jerry Percio, Travis Simmons, Susan Jones, Cari Tillery, Shawn Lawrence, Rodney Sherwood, Mike Wally Walter, Tony Daniel, Rico the Comedian and Mr. Mookie.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Get the Foodcaching foodie app

November 11, 2011 at 9:26am

5 Things To Do Today: Olympia Film Festival opens, "Masterworks," Murder Masquerade Party and more ...

Filmed during the Great Depression, "Gold Diggers of 1933" will be screened in a very non-depressing environment tonight.

FRIDAY, NOV. 11, 2011 >>>

1. With an ambitious 10-day lineup spanning the ages of cinema, the Olympia Film Festival literally is something for everyone - of any age. OFF kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres served by ladies of TUSH! Burlesque, the stage fantastic of Saul Tannenbaum and Mona Van Horne, sparkly dancers and the 1933 film, Gold Diggers of 1933. The Weekly Volcano previews OFF here.

2. We all know Elmo. Even if you don't have kids, will never have kids, in fact hate kids and everything about them, and have never even been a kid yourself, you know who Elmo is ... or at least you think you do. Elmo, of course, is the hug-giving, furry little red dude from Sesame Street - a staple of the last 25 years. In real life, however, Elmo is puppeteer Kevin Clash, who created the character we've come to know and love and has portrayed Elmo on TV since 1985. The award-winning documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey opens today at The Grand Cinema at 11:45 a.m., 1:40 and 6:20 p.m., allowing the old and young alike a chance to meet the man behind the puppet. 

3. Investigative journalist David Barsamian will discuss "Uprisings: From Kashmir to Egypt to Wall Street" at 7:30 p.m. inside the Washington State Labor Council office in downtown Olympia.

4. The fifth Jacobsen Series classical concert hits Schneebeck Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. with Masterworks for String Quartet. Under the masterful hands of violinist Maria Sampen, violinist Tim Christie, violist Joyce A. Ramée and cellist David Requiro, the audience will hear Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 5, Opus 18, Aaron Copland's Two Pieces for String Quartet and Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 1 in c minor, Opus 51.

5. The Angels of Mayhem present the Murder Masquerade Ball featuring with Sad Face, The Hardcount, Cityfaire, Angels Of Mayhem Burlesque, DJ Traxx, DJ Berry and Magician Cary Durgin hits Stonegate Pizza at 9 p.m. The party benefits the independent short horror film, The Resolution.

PLUS: The ICONIC performance and new Warren Miller flick in our Weekend Hustle

PLUS: Veterans Day events

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

November 9, 2011 at 12:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Violinist Joshua Bell, ecosystem chat, Rory Sparks, KRS-One ...

Violinist Joshua Bell

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9, 2011 >>>

1. At age 4 Joshua Bell tossed his bobba across the room and snatched a violin. At age 14 Bell dropped the slingshot and joined Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra on stage. In 1999 while you checking out your Prince outfit in the mirror, Bell was bathed in roses from his performance in the Academy Award-winning Red Violin. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. while you're sitting in the Pantages Theater, Bell will blow you away with sonatas by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Isaye and Franck. 

2. Professional thinkers-about-the-future Rowan Schmidt and Zac Christin from Earth Economics are next in line to unleash their brains as part of the Individuality and Sustainability seminar series, sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at UW Tacoma. From 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 117 of the Joy Building, will push the boundaries of watershed economics for the 21st century, specifically the value of ecosystem services with a case study in the Puyallup River Watershed. Get ready to learn something you couldn't even imagine was possible five days ago.

3. There's talk of a print arts center opening in Tacoma. Is it possible? Rory Sparks from Portland's Em Space Book Arts Center might have a clue. Listen to her him at 7 p.m. inside The Nurture Healing Center, where there are a free things in print.

4. Northern Pacific Coffee Co. next to Pacific Lutheran University hosts an all-ages open mic from 8-11 p.m.

5. One of the most influential hip-hop artists of the '80s, KRS-One will perform at Jazzbones's Wednesday Sessions with Dirt Nasty and The Breaklites at 8 9 p.m.

LINK: Freebies for the week

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Download the new Tacoma foodie app

November 8, 2011 at 9:55am

Art at Work Month: Tuesday, Nov. 8

A scene from the documentary "Green Fire."

November 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month. There is something for everyone to enjoy throughout the month: lectures, music, dance performances, readings, workshops, theater performances, visual art exhibits and more.

Here are today's highlights:

TUESDAY FILM SERIES: The Grand Cinema yanks a worth film from the archives and fill your popcorn bucket every Tuesday. Today, The Grand screens Green Fire, a documentary about the life and legacy of conservationist Aldo Leopold, who helped develop modern, scientifically-based wildlife management. Sink in a seat at 1:45 and 6:30 p.m. today.

REGENCY CONCERT SERIES: The Regency String Quartet performs at 8 p.m. inside Lagerquist Concert Hall on the Pacific Lutheran University campus. Admission is $3-$8.

VICTORY MUSIC OPEN MIC: Yea, like you're going to have an arts month and not include one of the longest running open mics in the state. Victory Music pulls out the microphones from 7-10 p.m. inside the Antique Sandwich Company.

PLUS: Classical Tuesdays concert and Cat Grey Tuesdays listed in our 5 Things To Do Today

LINK: Art at Work 2011 feature story

November 8, 2011 at 6:52am

5 Things To Do Today: "Twilight" Saga Tuesday, pumpkin carving, Pacific Crest Trail chat and more ...

"Do I go for the guy without the shirt or the guy with the lipstick?" asks Bella in "New Moon."

TUESDAY, NOV. 8, 2011 >>>

1. Looking forward to the day when the Twilight franchise is pushing up daisies? Then skip past this one. However, if you love the mopey bestselling saga of sparkly vampires, shirtless werewolves and a cloyingly vapid heroine who makes Carrie Bradshaw seem generous and self-aware, then you are probably knee deep in Twilight Saga Tuesdays at the Regal Lakewood Stadium 15. NCM Fathom and Summit Entertainment are in the midst of screening the first three Twilight flicks, every Tuesday, until Breaking Dawn breaks Nov. 18. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., New Moon is in the house. The event will begin with exclusive introductions from the cast members, interviews with the stars and clips from the many fan fests over the years. The Twilight Saga: New Moon will immediately follow the behind-the-scenes content. (We removed our shirts to write this blurb, because everything in New Moon seems better when it happens without shirts.)

2. The Tacoma Art Place opens its doors for Cat Grey's Tuesday "Die Jack Die" post-Halloween pumpkin carving workshop from 3-8 p.m. Bring your leftover candy and pumpkins.

3. Hell's Kitchen hosts Tumbledown, Love Songs From The Hated, Phasers On Kill and Looking For Lizards to rock its Tightwad Tuesday night, where tacos, beers and wells are $2 each.

4. Whether you are a through-hiker, a section hiker, a day hiker or an arm chair hiker, the Master of Environmental Studies program at The Evergreen State College invites you to share an evening of laughter, reflection and celebration of the Pacific Crest Trail from 7-8 p.m. at the LOTT Board Room.  The guest speaker is Rees Hughes, co-editor of a new two-volume anthology called Pacific Crest Trailside Reader: Adventure, History and Legend on the Long-Distance Trail. Hughes will provide a brief overview presentation on the Pacific Crest Trail followed by a reading of a selection of stories from the anthology. 

5. Classical Tuesdays in Old Town: The Manette Trio will perform Beethoven, Mozart, Kodaly and Dohnanyi as part of Classical Tuesdays inside the Slavonian Hall in Old Town Tacoma.

LINK: Best freebies this week

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

October 30, 2011 at 8:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Día de los Muertos, "Romeo and Juliet," "Haunted Theatre," "Dusk" and more ...

Check out the community altars during the Tacoma Art Museum's free Day of the Dead festival today.

SUNDAY, OCT. 30, 2011 >>>

1. Tacoma Art Museum has partnered with Centro Latino and Proyecto MoLÉ once again to celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) culminating with a free community festival Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Now in its seventh year, the free festival will feature music, live performances, food and several hands-on art-making activities.

2. Remember that ninth-grade production of Romeo and Juliet? Turned you off to Shakespeare forever, didn't it? Chaste kisses involving balconies and poorly coordinated swordplay - this is not what the Bard intended. See what Ballet Northwest can do for Shakespeare's most over-produced and under-thought-about play at 3 p.m. inside the Washington Center. It's drama with more spinning. But with a romance-themed silent auction at 2 p.m. OK. Good.

3. You know John Williams is the world's most famous film composer because you know who he is. We mean, name another film composer. You can't, which goes to show how insanely familiar this man's music is to so many people. At 3 and 6 p.m. the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association will perform the work of Williams and other movie theme composers when it tackles "A Night at the Movies Costume Concert" inside the Urban Grace Church. Yup, costume contests will be held at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. Expect a plethora of Storm Troopers, members of the Rebel Alliance, Boba Fett, a Jedi, Luke Skywalker and (Wait for it. Wait for it!) Darth Vader.

4. What would all this Halloween talk be without perhaps the most classic (and bloodiest) Halloween-y performance of them all? Head over to see Tacoma City Ballet performance of Haunted Theatre: Backstage Tour and Eerie Dances at 5 p.m. inside the Merlino Arts Center, then go grab a "bite." The dance company will be sure to make a great impression (or is it a great mark?) on you.

5. The Toy Boat Theater continues its series of open readings with Dusk by local playwright Nick Stokes at 7 p.m. The two-actor performance tells a suspenseful, musical, surreal story of a man and woman lost in the wilderness.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Happy hours!

October 16, 2011 at 5:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Silver Snakes, Bird Lovers' Brunch, Gig Harbor Film Festival, Dia de los Muertos and more ...

The Silver Snakes will rock The New Frontier Lounge tonight.

SUNDAY, OCT. 16, 2011 >>>

1. Southern California indie rockers Silver Snakes pull up to The New Frontier Lounge at 9 p.m. for a show with Hands of Toil and Kicking Spit. The Silver Snakes list bands Lack, Hum, Cave In and Recover as influential in its sound.

2. The 8th Annual Bird Lovers' Weekend continues at the Museum of Glass with today's activities opening big with the Bird Lovers' Brunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy a complimentary brunch and no-host bar and be among the first to purchase select Birds by Toikka specimens created in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop. Tero Välimaa will be present to sign these one-of-a-kind birds. Free for Museum of Glass members, regular admission for non-members. 

3. The Gig Harbor Film Festival ends today with a full schedule of films including Homecoming (10 a.m.), Christopher Woods' Gray Eagles (12:30 p.m.), Randy Sparks' A Glitch in the System (1:30 p.m.), True Vision (3:45 p.m.) and many more screening at the Galaxy Theatre Uptown.

4. The Tacoma Art Museum's Dia de los Muertos celebration officially kicks off this morning when artists Fulgencio Lazo and Jose Orantes, with help from a team of professionals and volunteers, create two large tapetes, or sand paintings, in the museum's lobby beginning at 10 a.m. Also, community members will be installing altars remembering loved ones and raising social awareness.

5. Face it. In this economy, you're not headed to Eastern Europe anytime soon. The Tacoma Concert Band knows this, and bless its heart, will bring a little bit of Prague and Budapest to you. At 2:30 p.m. inside the Pantages Theater the TCB will tour Europe, with Czech, Austrian, Hungarian, and American music, plus three soloists:  Jason Gilliam, euphonium; Sheryl Clark, saxophone; and Bill Dyer, trombone.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Catch a movie

October 15, 2011 at 8:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Bone Collector Alley Cat Race, poetry in a fort, multi-Rachmaninoff and more ...

The Bone Collector Alley Cat Race will careen through the streets of downtown Tacoma this afternoon.

SATURDAY, OCT. 15, 2011 >>>

1. You can stick your werewolves, stuff your zombies and ram your mummies where the sun don't shine. October is about one monster and one monster only - the clattering, grease-infested, brake-clutching, butt-busting, beady-eyed demon-beast of the increasingly pocked streets of Tacoma: The Bone Collector Alley Cat Race 2011. The Tacoma Mob Riders host this alley cat bicycle that combines strategy and skills, as well as time bonuses available at each checkpoint. Rides will launch from The Acme Tavern at 4 p.m. and careen through downtown Tacoma streets with bikes created by Terry Andrews for the male and females winners.

2. Tacoma Poet Laureate Josie Turner and poets who participated inher workshop in July will read their work at 2 p.m. inside the walls of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum at Point Defiance Park.

3. Video artist Joseph Taylor Golding will screening his film Tacoma A Tale of Two Cities at 7 p.m. inside The Acme Tavern. Watch the trailer below to grab a sense of what to expect.

4. Pianist Jeff Orr will "Rach" the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ at Mason Methodist Church when he performs Rachmaninoff's "Allegro Moderato in G Major" (Concerto No.2 for Piano and Orchestra) on piano as a pre-recorded organ accompaniment is played off his laptop through the church's sound system. It will be tricky, to say the least. The 7:30 p.m. program also includes J. S. Bach "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," Joseph Bonnet's "Titanic: In Memoriam," Jean Sibelius' "The Swan of Tuonela" (Transcribed for Organ) and Leo Sowerby's "Symphony in G Major." The concert is free with donations to the American Cancer Society accepted.

5. Get ready to Rock The Revolution with Per Capita, May Palmer, Rise Cosise, Krookid and KRS-One at 9 p.m. inside Uncle Sam's American Bar & Grill in Spanaway.

PLUS: Northwest Sinfonietta and Occupy Tacoma in our Weekend Hustle

PLUS: US Women's Soccer Team Defender Stephanie Cox appearance in our Freelaoders

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

October 11, 2011 at 7:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Brewer's Night, Young Professionals Network mixer, Classical Tuesdays and more ...

TUESDAY, OCT. 11, 2011 >>>

1. We have the Fourth of July, Mexico has Cinco de Mayo, and Ireland has St. Patrick's Day. When it came time for Germany to claim a holiday, they figured, why not just celebrate beer for a month? Touché, Germany. But since most of us can't make our way to Munich this year, bars and restaurants around the South Sound have been bringing Oktoberfest to us. Tonight, it's the Crown Bar's turn focusing all its beer energy on Tacoma's Burris Brewery. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., enjoy these local beers with currywurst and schnitzel sandwiches, raffle prizes and growlers to go. Prizes awarded for Lederhosen wearers!

2. This fall, Tacoma's favorite Victorian-style glass conservatory offers a botanical montage of madness, paralysis and death. The exhibit Wicked Plants: An Exhibit of the Deliciously Dark Side of the Plant Kingdom features deadly flora that would please a homicidal 19th-century botanist. The W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory exhibit is inspired by Amy Stewart's bestseller Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, a much-needed compendium of plants that rack up body counts. Go see it from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., if you dare.

3. Are you young? Are you professional? Yeah, neither are we, but that doesn't mean we can't tell you about a mixer hosted by the Young Professionals Network of Tacoma-Pierce County from 5:30-8 p.m. at The Hub Events Space. If you have a drive to succeed in business AND a passion for serving the community, this is your chance to meet your people.

4. In celebration of the new Chinese Reconciliation Park and Pavilion on the waterfront in Old Town Tacoma, the famous Classical Tuesdays series kicks off the season with the US China Music Ensemble. The night begins at 5:45 p.m. with a lion dance the Pavilion. Forty-five minutes later the dancers will escort the crowd to the Slavonian Hall where Warren Chang and the US China Music Ensemble will kick off the 7th season performing on traditional Chinese instruments including the pipa, erhu, dizi, and guzheng. 

5. The Washington Center hosts the National Geographic Live! speaker series featuring Kenny Broad discussing "Beyond the Invisible: Secrets of the Blue Holes" at 7:30 p.m.

PLUS: The Tacoma Science Café is tonight. Details in the Freeloaders.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

September 9, 2011 at 7:25am

5 Things To Do Today: Puyallup Fair, distinguished writers, "Bassoon and Beyond," Strut for a Mutt and more ...

Bite into the Puyallup Fair beginning today. photo credit: Patrick Hagerty

FRIDAY, SEPT. 9, 2011 >>>

1. As massive as the Puyallup Fair has become, P-Town's long-forgotten small-town identity still runs through it, part of the undeniable charm of the whole thing. But these days, part of the appeal of the Fair also lies in the modern-day, big-time entertainment options it provides. Over the course of its 17 days the Fair will welcome as part of its Concert Series acts like Larry the Cable Guy, the Flaming Lips, Chicago, Counting Crows, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Sammy Hagar and Trace Adkins. Grab a Krusty Pup and get down from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check out today's schedule here.

2. At 7 p.m. the Amocat Café in Tacoma will host a "Special Fond Farewell to Summer and Sarah" featuring musicians John Dolge, Jeremy Bush, Megan Walter, Matthew Jorgensen, Macy Ragasa Craig Carter and others. We have no idea who Sarah is, but EXCITING!

3. Distinguished writers, poets, playwrights, short story writers, and people who scribble on cocktail napkins will step up to the mic from 7-9 p.m. as part of the Distinguished Writer Series and Open Mic at King's Books. Ken Sikes, pastor of Manitou Park Presbyterian Church since 2003, will take lead.

4. The bassoon is the Steve Buscemi of the orchestra - far from glamorous, not a romantic lead, more of a character actor. But it's the workhorse bass of the wind choir and deserves props. Paul Rafanelli, bassoon professor at University of Puget Sound, knows this. In fact, the Prof reveals that in his 14 years at the college he has never played a full bassoon recital for campus audiences. Enough is enough. Rafanelli will open the 2011 Jacobsen Series with his tribute to the bassoon: "Bassoon and Beyond: A Wily Instrument is Featured for a Night" at 7:30 p.m. inside the Schneebeck Concert Hall. Also in the house will be Dan Williams, oboe; Jennifer Nelson, clarinet; Rodger Burnett, French horn; Keith Ward, piano; Tanya Stambuk, piano.

5. People can be miserable. Dogs, on the other hand, are always pretty awesome. There's just something about unconditional love and the ability to chase a tennis ball for hours on end that always wins us over. At 8 p.m., Tacoma's London Couture independent clothing store presents the second annual "Strut for a Mutt" fashion show, scheduled to go down in Opera Alley and featuring catering by AmeRAWcan Bistro, entertainment by the Imperial Sovereign Court of Tacoma and Shannel (of RuPaul's Drag Race TV show), and treats throughout from the Mix (read: wine and munchies). All proceeds of the Strut for a Mutt event go to Puyallup's Metro Animal Shelter. You should know cocktail hour begins at 7 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: New movies open today

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