Celebrating their 65th season, the well-received Spokane Children's Theatre transports audiences of all ages to new heights of delight through the transformative power of live theater. Their rendering of Hansel & Gretel by I.E. Clark, which plays the spacious Spartan Theatre at Spokane Falls Community College, is set to display fantastical features including a singing cuckoo clock, a story-telling robin and crumb-hating wicked witch. Their new adaptation of Snow White & the Seven Dwarves, which plays at the Masonic Center, was penned by local author Ken Pickering with songs scored by John Dawson. Shows shun the stuffy silence of library puppet shows in favor of lively audience participation, encouraging enthusiastic attendees to vocally scale the fourth wall and aid the occasionally confused characters.
Now in its 64th year, the 70-piece Spokane Symphony performs for 150,000 sonata supporters in the Pacific Northwest each season, powerfully reciting the works of several treble-clef-crazed composers. Its Casual Classic series takes an informal and inventive look at some of the standards of the classical music canon, with the following three performances this season:
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a fortress with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Eclectically drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as 1930s singers and Queen, the peppy lyrics and buoyant melodies of April Smith and The Great Picture Show have courted televisions nationwide, appearing on the hit show Weeds and commercials for Chico's and the NFL. In the band's debut studio album, Songs for a Sinking Ship, singles such as “Terrible Things” and “Colors” tell sonic tales of universal emotions, from relationship fears to elation at finding a $5 bill on the street. With an array of instruments at the ready, the backing band bolsters frontwoman Smith’s smoky vocals with lugubrious accordion, twinkling keyboard, and exuberant plucks of ukulele.