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\"Hairspray!\" SOTA Selects and more

Arts and cultural picks of the week

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Art night

You couldn’t find any clean clothes this morning. Out of Crest. Out of V8 juice. Shoelace broke. And, of course, you were late. How did this happen? How did life end up lacking ... so ... much ... luster? Where is your exuberance? Sigh.

You should go see SOTA Selects. You probably could find another shoelace faster than you could figure out what that means.  That’s why I’m here … to … help … you … Buster. 

From the producers of the Tacoma School of the Arts fund raiser ARTRAGEOUS comes the story of … I mean comes the visual and performing arts presentation SOTA Selects, a night of artsy students showing off what they learned this year, plus the 10-piece Bill Ramsay/Milt Kleeb jazz group.

Youth equals energy and you need a shot of it Buster. — Suzy Stump

[Pantages Theater, Friday, May 25, 7 p.m., free, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.571.7907]


Big ‘dos in Olympia 

“Hairspray” is about Tracy Turnblad, a rotund little teenager in 1962 Baltimore who dreams of dancing on local television in “The Corny Collins Show.” Despite the jeers of more slender contestants, she puffs up her bouffant hairdo, struts into the studio and manages to do just that. She also wins the love of teen heartthrob and Elvis wannabe Link Larkin. In support of her theory that the teen dance world should be integrated and every day should be “Negro day,” Tracy bridges the gap between the bubblegum ‘50s and the awakening ‘60s and assimilates the show with the help of wise, humorous, indefatigable — and indefatigably rhyming — Motormouth Maybelle.  This national touring musical is knowing and ironic, but it also has a heart of the sweetest, purest marshmallow. It’s consistently on the side of the underdog and the outsider. There’s a cartoonlike brightness to the production, and most of the performers are first-rate. Best of all are the songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. — Michael Swan

[Washington Center, May 26 3 and 8 p.m., $23.50-$65, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, 360.753.8586]


One ringy dingy

Likely one of the funniest shows in the South Sound this weekend will be a little number out in Puyallup where the resident troupe at the Liberty Theater will be staging a throwback to a different era.  Puyallup Actors Theater Group is restaging the 1960s show “Laugh-In.”

For those folks of a younger generation, unaware of the glories that were the “Laugh-In” shows, the stand-up, sketch comedy show had no barriers. It was “Saturday Night Live” with a message. It dealt with race, the environment, politics and sex with jokes and biting humor.

Chef Adam Stewart will create sumptuous buffets for the performances. — Steve Dunkelberger

[The Liberty Theater, May 25-26 6 p.m., May 26-27 12:30 p.m., $25-$35, 116 W. Main, Puyallup, 253.864. 8116]


Pyle of Skynyrd

I have a secret.  Artimus Pyle, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famous drummer, and his band will be in Tacoma May 31 for the firefighters’ annual oldies benefit concert.

OK, it’s not really secret, but just a poorly advertised show. 

Wait, Pyle has a secret.  He survived the 1977 plane crash that killed fellow Skynyrd bandmates. Pyle crawled out of the plane, ran nearly a mile with broken ribs, then freaked when farmer Johnny Mote either a) fired a warning shot into the air or b) shot Pyle in the shoulder. Pyle claimed in a February 2007 appearance on Howard Stern’s Sirius radio program that Mote had shot him.  Mote says otherwise. 

Secretly, I don’t have any secrets to reveal here. — SS

[Tacoma Dome, Thursday, May 31, 7:30 p.m., $25-$30, 2525 E. D St., Tacoma, 877.581.4665]


Bless their hearts

I don’t blame you, really. I wouldn’t want to wear the same dirty left sock every soccer game I played or have to carry around a pocket Buddha just to rub its belly every time I felt I needed a little extra good fortune either. It’s OK, don’t panic. You can get your karma elsewhere. 

Cascade Christian Tacoma Elementary will perform Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.”  Apparently, these little guys have put their hearts into the show.  Imagine the karma points you could gather clapping and cheering at this show.  Finding your lucky four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day is almost a year away. This play should hold you over till then. — SS

[Puyallup Church of the Nazarene, Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, 7 p.m., 1026 Seventh Ave. S.W., Puyallup, 253.473.0950]

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