Stage Coach Theatre has entertained audiences for 29 consecutive seasons, shining a flashlight on the human spirit in a variety of genres, including thrillers, comedies, dramedies, and comedramlers. With the 2010–11 season in full bloom, theatergoers can pick its contemporary stage-fruits and slurp up its performance-juices. Darwin in Malibu, a comedy opening October 15, features a living Charles Darwin, 120 years after he died, engaging in a spirited debate with Thomas Huxley and the Bishop of Oxford about science, God, and lesser-known benefits of flossing. For a holiday family outing, A Christmas Twist (opening November 26) stirs the story of A Christmas Carol with a comedic straw, adding a dash of Oliver Twist and Little Orphan Annie. On April 22, Always…Patsy Cline will begin regaling theater-goers with 27 of her tunes, including memorable songs like "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," and "That Ain't My Medical Chart, Doctor Franklin."
Every night, Brew 52 throws open its doors and beckons revelers inside with generous specials, live music, and a menu of pub fare and pours. Its burgers are dressed with jalapenos, mushrooms, guacamole, various cheeses, and the house’s special beer-barbecue sauce. Burritos and tacos share the stage with fish and chips baskets, and the bar makes space for several wines, a few bottles of water that dream of holding alcohol, and more than 40 beers, including selections from Rogue, Mad River, and Red Hook. Throughout the week, Brew 52 transforms into a venue for poker tournaments, dance lessons, trivia nights, and songs dedicated to the karaoke machine.
With the goal of finding a vocal complement to the beauty of Lake Coeur d'Alene, a group of classical music lovers created a company they called Opera Plus in 2000. While the organization is now known as Opera Coeur d'Alene, it still treats eyes and ears to waterside Opera on the Lake performances. Those annual serenades to resident plesiosaurs are supplemented with classic operas by the likes of Verdi and Bizet, and youth-aimed works such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Toy Shop. Whether attendees are young or young-at-heart, Opera Coeur d'Alene believes that opera is an art for everyone, and their varied seasons ensure the inland Northwest doesn't miss out.
At the end of a day spent leading trail rides, wrangler Brad Yunek tunes up his guitar and serenades the moon and stars with the help of a fiddler and mandolin player. “I find great joy in song writing. I like to put words and notes together and make people think, smile, and cry," says Yunek. Steeped in the sounds of the strings, stables that house 40 horses, and views of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains beyond its fields, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is a bona fide callback to the American frontier of old.
The 1,100-acre working cattle ranch has passed through five generations; Grandpa Gil purchased the tract of land in 1940. Today, it remains true to its roots, bringing up cattle the old-fashioned way: a diet free of antibiotics, freedom to roam the pastures, and daily exercise on treadmills. At the center of the property is a log-cabin style lodge, hewn from local timber, where six guest rooms and a dining room function as a full-service bed and breakfast and guests enjoy hearty meals of pancakes and scrambled eggs. Outside the lodge, groups can enjoy the relative privacy of individual cabins, equipped with wood stoves for heat and kitchenettes for making rustic stews from fresh pine needles and roasted sap.
Although activities abound throughout the year, warmer temperatures facilitate such outdoor activities as clay-pigeon shooting, archery, and horseback trail rides (a $55 value). On the latter, ranch hands lead small groups of riders on two-hour excursions atop appaloosas as red-tailed hawks often circle overhead, hoping to catch juicy bits of gossip from the elk's exclusive tea parties.
From its bright patio that looks out onto Silver Lake, patrons enjoy fine dining at The Waterfront Grill at The Drink while gazing out over the water beneath a canopy on the floating docks. Within a casual atmosphere, guests dine on entrees with handmade sauces, hand-cut steaks, and happy hour specials. Inside, guests can lounge at the fully stocked sports bar.
Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.