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The dancing fingers of Jake Shimabukuro

Music

The dancing fingers of Jake Shimabukuro

I think we each have that friend who "discovers" Facebook memes that made the rounds two years ago. We think, "How can he just now be seeing this? Has he really never heard ‘The Bed Intruder Song?' Does he still think Rick rolling is funny?" Last month I was that

Friday, March 13: New Kingston

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Friday, March 13: New Kingston

Irie, braa! Sadly, most Americans' understanding of (and appreciation for) reggae begins and ends with Bob Marley. But the genre is doing just fine these days, thank you, and not just in Jamaica. The father-and-sons quartet New Kingston are of rasta heritage, but the Pantons are second-generation Americans who drop

Saturday, March 7: South Sound Sustainability Expo

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Saturday, March 7: South Sound Sustainability Expo

Recycling is a way of life in western Washington, but do you wonder if you're truly making a difference? A few cans and bottles here and there can't make that big a dent, can it? It's easy to get cynical about such things. Upon closer inspection, it turns out snipping

Friday, March 6: Smokey Robinson

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Friday, March 6: Smokey Robinson

It may be impossible to overstate William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr.'s contribution to pop music. For once, the term "living legend" sells the guy short. No less an artist than Bob Dylan listed Robinson among his favorite poets. It's not merely that his hits represent a significant chunk of the American

Skin vs. Desire: South Sound college theater smackdown!

Arts

Skin vs. Desire: South Sound college theater smackdown!

Let's be honest, if I told you two very skilled college theater departments were staging productions of classic American plays this weekend, you wouldn't get too excited about that, would you? Instead, prompted by a suggestion from Volcano editor Ron Swarner, let's pretend these productions are duking it out mano-a-mano,

Through March 1: "Angels In America, Part 2: Perestroika"

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Through March 1: "Angels In America, Part 2: Perestroika"

I spent last week in the skin of a monster. I'm playing Roy Cohn, the very real attorney who guided the knife point of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare, then adamantly denied his own homosexuality even as he was dying of AIDS. He's a character in Tony

Friday, Feb. 27: International Guitar Night

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Friday, Feb. 27: International Guitar Night

If you think the height of guitar music is a stoner's curbside rendition of "Wish You Were," then prepare to have your mind blown. (Seriously - why does every guitarist learn "Wish You Were Here" fresh out of the gate? What's wrong with a little "Bourrée in

Saturday, Feb. 28: Rocky Sandoval

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Saturday, Feb. 28: Rocky Sandoval

Tacoma's homegrown crooner Rocky Sandoval is the definition of an artist on the verge of stardom. After graduating from the Musicians Institute in L.A., he was featured on MTV's Score, then made top 15 on Making the Band. His greatest national exposure to date has probably been season 1 of

International Guitar Night finds the sweet spot

Music

International Guitar Night finds the sweet spot

If you think the height of guitar music is a stoner's curbside rendition of "Wish You Were," then prepare to have your mind blown. (Seriously - why does every guitarist learn "Wish You Were Here" fresh out of the gate? What's wrong with a little "Bourrée in E Minor?") The

Saturday, Feb. 21: Ultra Violent Rays

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Saturday, Feb. 21: Ultra Violent Rays

I don't normally do this, but I'm at a loss to describe Ultra Violent Rays' trippy electronic sound, so instead I'll let the band give it a go: "Imagine Philip K. Dick howling at a pale and dangerous moon while Siouxsie Sioux does a rain dance around him, but instead

Sunday, Feb. 22: 87th Annual Academy Awards parties

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Sunday, Feb. 22: 87th Annual Academy Awards parties

Thanks to The Grand Cinema in Tacoma and Olympia Film Society in Olympia, you can not only stroll the red carpet in your Sunday finest, you might also win one of several fabulous prizes. Show up to Theatre on the Square in a movie costume (Death to

Saturday, Feb. 14: "TUSH! Loves Olympia"

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Saturday, Feb. 14: "TUSH! Loves Olympia"

Early in my Volcano career, and in the history of Olympia's TUSH! Burlesque, I wrote a promotional article about the troupe in lieu of a review. Simply put, I bungled the job. I've learned much over the last few years - perhaps TUSH! has as well -

Olympia loves TUSH! Burlesque

Arts

Olympia loves TUSH! Burlesque

Early in my Volcano career, and in the history of Olympia's TUSH! Burlesque, I wrote a promotional article about the troupe in lieu of a review. Simply put, I bungled the job. I've learned much over the last few years - perhaps TUSH! has as well - and I apologize

Friday, Feb. 13: "The Age of Love"

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Friday, Feb. 13: "The Age of Love"

A new documentary, The Age of Love, focuses on a speed-dating event for daters aged 70 to 90. (Love Connection host Chuck Woolery, by the way, now qualifies at age 73.) It's already earned raves at film festivals and the AARP National Expo in Boston. Now it's coming

Friday, Feb. 13: Air Supply

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Friday, Feb. 13: Air Supply

In 1983, I was a high school sophomore who spent many a weekend traveling to Oklahoma colleges for interscholastic speech tournaments. I was usually in vans full of neurotic drama geek girls, the only kind of girls to whom I knew how to talk. And if there is one song

Friday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 8: "H.M.S. Pinafore"

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Friday, Feb. 6 and Sunday, Feb. 8: "H.M.S. Pinafore"

Tacoma Opera's production of Pinafore boasts vocals by Boston Lyric Opera soloist Michael Drumheller, Seattle Opera Guild's Ksenia Popova and returnees from The Barber of Seville.  Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on H.M.S. Pinafore in the Music & Culture section. H.M.S. PINAFORE, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6 and 2 p.m. Sunday,

Approaching "H.M.S. Pinafore" at Tacoma Opera

Arts

Approaching "H.M.S. Pinafore" at Tacoma Opera

There was a period in my life when I knew, but didn't know I knew, H.M.S. Pinafore. Not that I could distinguish Gilbert & Sullivan, the composers of that masterpiece, from Lerner & Loewe, but I recognized some of their songs. Just as Bugs Bunny had introduced me to the

Friday, Feb. 6: Band of Lovers

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Friday, Feb. 6: Band of Lovers

Few songs are sweeter than "Tennessee," the acoustic tune by upstate New Yorkers Band of Lovers. Their debut single comes correct with homespun violin, upbeat lyrics, even trilled ooh-oo-oohs and la-di-dahs. Friends for 10 years, Sabina Beachdell and Dave Strumfeld united their troubadour talents in 2013 to craft a five-song

Theater Review: Cirque du Soleil's latest Cabinet of Curiosities

Stage

Theater Review: Cirque du Soleil's latest Cabinet of Curiosities

A quick search of my computer reveals the word delightful appears in 10 of my theater reviews prior to this one. I've overused it, I suppose. It's an affected, even poncey word, but I need it again to describe Cirque du Soleil's traveling tent show, Kurios. Here's why: I was

Through May 17: "Living In The Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington

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Through May 17: "Living In The Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington

On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m., where were you? Memories of the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption informs our knowledge of clear and present danger in the shadows of our dragons next door. That fact is made unnervingly clear by a new exhibit in Tacoma's Washington State History Museum. Kudos

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