THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>
Friday: Rain showers, hi 54, lo 41
Saturday: More rain, hi 48, lo 39
Sunday: Even more rain, hi 50, lo 37
>>> FEB. 10-12: ENRON
Nothing makes for better theater than tragedy. And satire. And maybe a splash of dark comedy. South Puget Sound Community College's presentation of ENRON, running Feb. 10-12 and 16-19 at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, should have all three. According to hype, British playwright Lucy Pebble's 2009 play "uses a mix of timeless themes, including classic tragedy and dark comedy, to explore the inner workings of one of the country's largest financial collapses from several new points of view." Who doesn't love watching a good financial collapse live on stage?
- Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, Feb. 10-12 and 16-19, all performances at 8 p.m. except Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 - both at noon, $13 for the general public and $7 for students, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia, 360.753.8586
THROUGH FEB. 19: THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH
The Phantom Tollbooth, a children's adventure novel by Norton Juster published in 1961, is loved to this day by children and adults alike. While it's easy to see why children connect to young Milo's tale, it also doesn't take much pondering to see why many adults still harbor a soft spot for the book. Luckily for all parties involved, Olympia Family Theater opened a three-week run of the stage version of The Phantom Tollbooth last week at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box. Read Christian Carvajal's Weekly Volcano review of The Phantom Tollbooth.
- Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box, Friday - Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m., "Thrifty Thursday," Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., $16 adults, $13 senior/military/student, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8586
FEB. 10-12: ARTS OLYMPIA SHOW & SALE
Now in its 21st year, the annual Arts Olympia Show and Sale this weekend at the Capital Museum Coach House promises, according to hype for the event, to be the best ever. And we're inclined to believe said hype. Why? Well, this year's event hype includes mention of Olympia's new mayor, Stephen Buxbaum, kicking off the festivities during a Friday-night opening reception (a definite plus), and - more importantly - Volcano arts writer and critic Alec Clayton delivering a lecture Saturday afternoon. And did we mention Sunday promises a poetry event featuring members of the Olympia Poetry Network? The three-day show comes under the header Perspectives 2012 and will include the work of nearly 40 local artists. This one's a no-brainer - which is probably why, year after year, the Arts Olympia Show and Sale keeps coming back for more.
- Capital Museum Coach House, Friday, Feb. 10 5-7 p.m. opening reception with Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, Saturday, Feb. 11 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Alec Clayton speaks at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. poetry event at 1 p.m., 211 W. 21st Ave., Olympia, artsolympia.org
FEB. 10-12: THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES AT EVERGREEN
Each year The Vagina Monologues is performed at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and each year the event is one of the year's most memorable collegiate stage shows. Performed by Greeners, presented by the school's Women's Resource Center, and this year directed by Sam Cori and Cari Pendergrass, The Vagina Monologues of 2012 at Evergreen should live up to tradition. According to Cori, this year an effort is being made to get more non-students to attend - so do your part this weekend.
- The Evergreen State College - Lecture Hall 1, 7-9 p.m., $7 student, $10 general, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, 360.867.6000
SATURDAY, FEB. 11: TAHOMA AUDUBON SOCIETY PARTY
Birding just doesn't get the props it deserves. For one, birding and bird watching are fun for geriatrics and non-geriatrics alike. Most folks assume it's only something the old can get into, but they're wrong. Second, birding vests with a bunch of crazy pockets are hella sexy. Just trust us on that one. Saturday, the Tahoma Audubon Society celebrates its 43rd year with its annual membership banquet and awards ceremony at the Tacoma Landmark Convention Center. According to hype, at the Tahoma Audubon Society Banquet, "Wildlife biologist and photographer Vasiliy Baranyuk will present "Snow Geese and other Wildlife of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve." And that's just the start of the awesomeness (which, yes, does include a live dessert auction and the 2012 board elections).
- Landmark Convention Center's Temple Theater Ballroom, 5:30 - 9 p.m., $50 per person, 47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, tahomaaudubon.org
SATURDAY, FEB. 11: CHIPTUNE DISKO
There is a certain segment of the population that is way too into eight-bit video games - specifically, the way those games sounded. These weirdoes have banded together to utilize those primitive sounds in the creation of new music. Their bands are chiptune bands; their members have seemingly uncovered brand new depths of obsession. Saturday, Dorky's Arcade will host several chiptune bands because, well, of course chiptune bands would play at Dorky's. Performers include Awesomecat, Shellshock, Firedrill and Ovenrake, and all the bands will be accompanied by vintage gear like Game Boys. How surreal will it be to dance to fake video game music while - all around you - real video games are lighting up, all abuzz and a-chirp? It'll be like a snake eating its tail. -- Rev. Adam McKinney
- Dorky's Arcade, with Firedrill, Ovenrake, Awesomecat, Shellshock, 9 p.m., $3, 754 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.4156
FEB. 11-12: BERLIN TO BROADWAY WITH KURT WEILL
The Tacoma Opera - and more specifically its "Young Artists" - will take you on a musical journey of space in time this weekend, delving into the works of renowned German-Jewish stage composer (and socialist) Kurt Weill. Weill - who was most active in the 1920s and '30s - is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, including The Threepenny Opera, which will be included in the Tacoma Opera's performances this weekend. Tacoma Opera will also take on selections from Weill's Lady in the Dark and Street Scene.
- Theatre on the Square, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $30, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890, broadwaycenter.org
FEB. 11-12: PASSIONATE PUCCINI
Like emotions? Like, REALLY like emotions? Then you just might go nuts for Giacomo Puccini. The bad news is Giacomo Puccini, championed and ridiculed for his overly-emotional flare, died in 1922. The good news is the Northwest Sinfonietta is bringing Puccini's three great works, Madama Butterfly, La boheme, and Tosca to stages in Puyallup and Tacoma this week just in time for Valentine's Day. Offered under the titling Passionate Puccini, the Northwest Sinfonietta, which self-describes itself as "(a)n orchestra of passion, vision, thrill, and creation - an orchestra that awakens the musical spirit in all of us, performing to sold-out crowds of youngsters, hipsters, and connoisseurs alike," says to expect a an "evening of love, passion, and intrigue" from of Passionate Puccini. The Northwest Sinfonietta also promises its "guest vocalists will fire your imagination with the beloved arias and duets from three of Puccini's most famous masterpieces." That's hot. And it includes the impressive soprano Shana Blake Hill. Catch Passionate Puccini in Tacoma at the Rialto Theater Saturday, Feb. 11 and in P-Town Sunday, Feb. 12 at Pioneer Park.
- Rialto Theater, Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., $19-$49, 310 S. Ninth, Tacoma, 253.591.5890, broadwaycenter.org
- Pioneer Park Pavilion, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., $30, 330 Meridian Ave., S, Puyallup, 253.383.5344
FEB. 11-12: FUN IN THE SNOW
Didn't quite get your fill of the white fluffy stuff during Snowmaggedon 2012? A glutton for punishment? Metro Parks Tacoma has you covered with two snow-related happenings going down this weekend. Saturday is one of four scheduled Metro Parks "Family Snow Days," which invite family groups of two or more to head up to Mt. Rainier for a day of sledding and fun in the snow. Of course, families must provide their own sleds and equipment, but the transportation and abundant chances for memory making are provided. Then, Sunday marks the Metro Parks Tacoma Adult Snowshoe Hike, which promises adventurers 21 years of age and older a chance to meet new friends while "learning the basics of cross-country skiing," on a groomed, level trail on Snoqualmie Pass. According to hype the trail is "just right for beginners," but you can be the judge of that.
- Family Snow Day, Saturday, Feb. 11, Pre-registration required by calling 253.594.7847, $20 for family of four, $4 per additional person, trips depart at 9 a.m. from various community centers and return at 4 p.m., find more info at metroparkstacoma.org/outdoor
- Adult Cross-Country Skiing, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, Pre-registration required by calling 253.594.7847, $60 for Tacoma residents, $65 non-residents, includes equipment and instruction, trip departs from Metro Parks Headquarters, 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma, metroparkstacoma.org/outdoors
FEB. 11-12: CELEBRATE WITH METROPOLITAN BALLET OF TACOMA
This weekend Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma celebrates 25 proud years with three limited performances at the MBT Studio. Looking back on a quarter century of ballet in T-Town, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma's presentation of choreography will include favorite dances like "Army, Navy, Airforce, Baby," "Female of the Species," "Shanti Mantra," "Broken Hearted Melody," "Mission," and "Monkey Puzzle." If you call Tacoma home, and your passionate about ballet, there's a good chance you've already been touched by the work of Metropolitan Ballet. Take an opportunity to pat the studio on the back this weekend.
- MBT Studio, Saturday, Feb. 11 2 and 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 2 p.m., $8 general admission - limited seating, 5435 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.5359
SUNDAY, FEB. 12: RICH WETZEL'S SUPER BOWL OF LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Big band leader Rich Wetzel, no stranger to snappy sports coats and even snappier jazz numbers, isn't afraid to make a big promise. So, when he proclaims Sunday's performance at Stonegate Pizza as "the Super Bowl of live entertainment," we shouldn't be surprised. Does this mean we should expect four-plus hours of pomp and Madonna at halftime? Probably not. But what we can expect is a damn entertaining show from Wetzel and his 15-piece jazz rock orchestra.
- Stonegate Pizza, 5-8 p.m. 5421 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.473.2255
WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO
CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
We're seeing what promises to be a quirky show about Enron at SPSCC. Also, we're in a secret supper group (not so secret now, I guess), so we're cooking a sexy feast in honor of St. Valentine and his chubby, cherubic aides de l'amour.
STEVE DUNKELBERGER Photographer
I quite literally have nothing planned by serving Communion at church on Sunday. Rock Star!
JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Another weekend with not much happening EXCEPT I get to go have tea with a friend (and my adorable toddler as a tag along). We'll go to church on Sunday and maybe watch a movie or two. I will probably try to talk my husband into cooking something fabulous.
ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic
Saturday I'll be the guest speaker at the Arts Olympia exhibition opening and Sunday I'll be attending PFLAG meeting.
NIKKI TALOTTA Music and Features Writer
This Friday I'm slingin drinks and taking care of the kids. You know - the usual. But Saturday is date night! Ricardo's steakhouse and Tush! Burlesque. Talk about primal delights! Sunday is writing and R&R.
JENNI PRANGE BORAN Arts and Features Writer
The usual: dancing with Camp 6 at New Frontier Friday night, and a vampire tour of Pioneer Square in Seattle on Saturday night. And laundry.
REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music and Features Writer
We're putting on two all-ages shows this weekend at the Space to help raise money for April's Squeak and Squawk festival. Friday Santee, Makeup Monsters and a whole slew of other great bands will get on stage, and Saturday Calvin Johnson's Hive Dwellers will be in town.
JOSH RIZEBERG Tacoma Hip-Hop Writer
Friday at 6 p.m. at D.A.S.H. Center I'll be teaching my spoken-word/poetry class. Saturday I'll be rocking at Jazzbones with Ra Scion, City Hall and The Breaklites!
NIC LEONARD Olympia Hip-Hop Writer
Gonna open up for Too $hort at The Royal on Saturday followed by getting drunk.
MOLLY GILMORE Olympia Arts and Features Writer
I'm spending all weekend dancing at a workshop with Michael Molin-Skelton, a teacher who is visiting from Los Angeles.
JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Friday Camp 6 Dance Party at The New Frontier with artist James Allan Tucker. Saturday gym then beachcombing in Gig Harbor. Sunday church and family time.
PAUL SCHRAG General Assignment Writer
Clown wrestling! I'm putting my money on Blocko.
LINK: Even more local events that we recommend
LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar