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Archives: Jan. 2012


Sister’s a sharp-tongued treat in “Late Nite Catechism,” on through next weekend at Tacoma’s Theatre on the Square

It didn’t take Sister more than five minutes to straighten up all the slackers in the audience – I mean, class – at Theatre on the Square last night. Even before she made her stern, habit-swishing entrance she’d scolded my seat-mates for turning up late, confiscated the gum from the man in front of me and swapped a couple of cell phones between users too impolite (or savvy) to switch them off. As the one-woman comedy wonder of the long-running “Late Nite Catechism,” Sister (Nonie Newton-Breen) was in fine form – and so was the audience.

Mostly middle-aged and up, these folk had come prepared with smart answers and all the right “Yes, Sister!” choruses to participate, house-lights up, in the touring comedy about Catholicism and all its quirks. And although it often felt weirdly fake, like a TV studio audience with no cameras, it certainly made the show sparkle – because this is one comedy that involves everybody.

Newton-Breen, an 11-year-veteran of the show and raised Irish-Catholic herself, swung out her snappy comebacks as skillfully as a threatening ruler. Read more »


Tacoma Symphony family concert moves to Rialto because of street work

Thanks to the street construction all along South 9th Street in downtown Tacoma, the Tacoma Symphony has moved its first annual Family concert this Sunday afternoon from Urban Grace Church one block eastwards down the hill to the Rialto. Here’s what I’ve already posted on it.

“Apparently you can’t get in the door (of the church),” said TSO executive director Andy Buelow, who added that the organization was expecting a big audience of young children to the orchestra’s first family concert. The program includes perennial child favorite “Peter and the Wolf,” which tells a Russian story through different

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Critic’s Picks: Piano fest at University of Puget Sound, Click Flick at the Grand, Brass Unlimited at St. Mark’s Lutheran and new art at Fulcrum Gallery, Tacoma

Brass Unlimited. Courtesy photo.

Brass and Organ Unlimited

This Sunday sees Brass Unlimited’s 14th annual “Sounds of Brass Concert” atSt. Mark’s Lutheran Church, featuring the church’s new digital organ in music by Gabrieli, Saint-Saens, Mozart and Holst, with brass and percussion ensembles directed by Dr. John Falskow. 3 p.m. Jan. 22. Free. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 6730 No. 17th St., Tacoma. 253-752-4966,www.smlutheran.orgwww.brassunlimited.org

Eight hands, two pianos at UPS

Three of Tacoma’s best concert pianists and a guest artist will combine at the University of Puget Sound tonight to play orchestral works as you’ve (probably) never heard them before: Ravel’s “La Valse” played with four hands on two pianos and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture played with eight hands on two pianos, plus more. Artists include Duane Hulbert, Tanya Stambuk, Keith Ward and Central Washington University’s John Pickett, who’ll also play Liszt’s monumental Sonata in b minor for solo piano. The program opens the university’s 21st annual piano festival. 7:30 p.m. tonight. $12.50/$8.50/free for UPS students. Schneebeck Hall, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Union Ave., Tacoma. 253-879-3419, ups.universitytickets.com

Grand Click Flick: “Astroboy”

This month’s free Click Family Flick at the Grand is the 2009 “Astroboy,” based on the classic Japanese animé series about a young robot with incredible powers. Doors open 9:30 a.m., screening 10 a.m. Jan. 21. Free to first 100 people. The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma. 253-593-4474, www.grandcinema.com

New artists at Fulcrum

With a New Year come new artists, at least at Fulcrum Gallery, where the newly-opened “Dawn of 2012” features six emerging Tacoma artists. Julian Pena, Kelsi Finney, Gabriel Brown, Kirsten Marie Piso, Meghan Mitchell and Branden Urban present a variety of forms, imagery and materials, including repurposed. Noon-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday through March 10. Free. Fulcrum Gallery, 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma. 253-250-0520, www.fulcrumtacoma.com Read more »


Blues Vespers this Sunday at Immanuel Presbyterian Church Tacoma features Junkyard Jane and stories from their recent Habitat Build in Guatemala

This month’s Blues Vespers at Tacoma’s Immanuel Presbyterian is a week later than normal – because the pastor and lead vocalist have just returned from an International Habitat Build in Guatemala. Featured band for Vespers this month is perennial favorites Junkyard Jane, and vocalist Leanne Trevalyan will have lots of stories to tell alongside Pastor Dave Brown and others from their recent Habitat trip.

Joining Trevalyan at the free monthly music-and-poetry blues event will be Junkyard Jane guitar regular Billy Stoops, drummer Trev Cutler, bassist Lissa Ramagglia and saxophonist Scotty Harris. Their newest CD, “F-Bombs and Love Letters,”

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Tonight’s Salish Sea Festival concert at Christ Episcopal Church, Tacoma rescheduled due to weather

Tonight’s scheduled concert at Christ Episcopal Church Tacoma has been rescheduled to Jan. 30, due to possible inclement weather tonight. The concert features music of the court of Louis XIV, played by the Salish Sea Festival trio of early music specialists John Lenti, Jeffrey Cohan and Joanna Blendulf.

For more information see www.ccptacoma.org or www.concertspirituel.org


First family concert by the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra includes “Peter and the Wolf” at the Rialto this Sunday

Families rejoice: The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra is offering its first annual Family Concert this Sunday, with classical music beloved to many. The program at the Rialto Theater features Prokofiev’s classic musical tale “Peter and the Wolf,” narrated by David Fischer, as well as Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia no. 2 in D major.

It’s an ideal concert for kids in many ways. Not only is it child-friendly in length (about 50 minutes) and at a pleasant time of day, it’s incredibly cheap and highlights two pieces that’ll hook young audience members from the start.

“Peter and the Wolf” was written, in fact,

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Tacoma Public Library workshop for teens to tell their stories through words, music

Teens will get instruction from top Tacoma artists and writers over the next few months, thanks to the Tacoma Public Library and its main branch StoryLab, a recent grant-funded room at the branch which is open and free to all youth and supplies computers, cameras, recording devices and multimedia software for exploration.

“Hip Hop with Q-Dot” is a four-week Thursday night workshop in hip hop, taught by Quincy Henry (Q-Dot), one of the South Sound’s most prominent artists in funk, rap and hip hop. A Grammy nomination finalist, Henry has toured and performed with Kanye West, Bone Thugs

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Critic’s picks: Cavalia in Redmond, Gilbert and Sullivan at Pantages, Tacoma Community College gallery and John Miller at Museum of Glass

Cavalia brings the magic of horses

In Cavalia, opening this week at Marymoor Park, the equine power and beauty of horses meets the agility and grace of human circus performers. Jan. 18-Feb. 5. $17.50-$179.50. Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway NE, Redmond. 866-999-8111, www.cavalia.net

Gilbert and Sullivan at the Pantages

The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players present “I’ve Got a Little Twist,” a medley of the famous 19th-century musical writers’ best hits (“The Mikado,” “HMS Pinafore”) mashed with more modern faves like “The Music Man.” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14. $26/$36/$46/$59. Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-591-5894,

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