THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>
Friday: Rain showers, hi 48, lo 39
Saturday: More showers, hi 46, lo 34
Sunday: Chance of even more showers, hi 43, lo 34
>>> FRIDAY, MARCH 16: PLAYING FOR CHANGE BAND
By now you may have heard the remarkable tale of Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Johnson's Playing For Change Band, set to hit Olympia and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts this Friday. Originally birthed as part of a PBS documentary Playing For Change: Peace Through Music, according to hype "Johnson traveled the world recording street performers of different faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities and blended their contributions into a single unified, moving performance." In 2009 at SXSW a group of musicians from the film came together for a live performance as the Playing For Change Band, offering an "exhilarating mix of blues, gospel, reggae and Afropop," in addition to the straight-up neatness factor of seeing such a collection of varied street musicians jell. All of this will be on display Friday in Olympia.
- Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $11-$42, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585
>>> FRIDAY, MARCH 16: PIERCE COUNTY MATCHUP
Studies show that if you get a bunch of fat people together and inspire them to compete at losing weight it makes for great entertainment and often great success. Such is the rationale behind the Pierce County Matchup, a county-wide weight loss competition kicking off Friday and running through June 8. Teams of five will compete for $18,000 in cash and prizes, not to mention the right to wear smaller pants. According to promotion, the winning team will be the one that loses the greatest percentage of weight during the three-month contest. Contestants start by getting their weight verified at one of several Pierce County locations, including local YMCAs. Details are available online at healthywage.com/Pierce.
>>> MARCH 16-17: NUCLEAR COWBOYZ
So, the guys in sales were trying to describe it to us the other day - telling us all about the Nuclear Cowboyz FMX tribes, the Soldiers of Havoc and the Metal Mulisha, who return to the Tacoma Dome this weekend for an action-packed show set in the war-torn city of Los Angeles during the year 2150. Or something. From what we're told, the motorcycle tale unfolds as the two tribes' survival is threatened and besieged by an evil force, The Tempest, and her "electrifying" Cyborg Army. Again, this is the dudes in sales talking. On top of all this, we're told, the Nuclear Cowgirlz are catapulted into the heart pounding fury and frenzied excitement, whose allegiance to their tribes only intensifies the Tempest's rage to destroy the Nuclear Cowboyz. Naturally, the Soldiers of Havoc and the Metal Mulisha's battle is fought through fearless freestyle gravity defying stunts, combined with outrageous pyrotechnic and laser displays synchronized to heavy metal, rock alternative and electronic dubstep music. Got it? As for the cast of characters, we're told the Nuclear Cowboyz 2012 has assembled a great cast of freestyle motocross, trials and quad riders, including recent X Games 17 medalists Ronnie Faisst, Adam Jones, Mike Mason and Winter X Games medalist Caleb Moore.
- Tacoma Dome, main event 7:30 p.m. each night, $15-$125, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, 253.272.3663
>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 17: HIDE/SEEK OPENING
The internationally-acclaimed exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture caused a ruckus when it debuted at The Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery in 2010. David Wojnarowicz's unfinished film, A Fire in My Belly, was removed from the exhibition, sparking a national controversy, demonstrations and renewed discussions about censorship and artists' rights. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) called the exhibition "an outrageous use of taxpayer money," and a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner told The Hill newspaper "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January." Tacoma Art Museum will proudly include A Fire in My Belly along with photographs and paintings by a slew of famous American artists with an eye toward issues of gender and sexual identity over nearly 150 years of American art. Yes, this is the queer show. And despite outrage by a few people such as Cantor and Boehner, it has been a stupendous success with audiences across the country. Read Alec Clayton's full feature on Hide/Seek in the Arts section at weeklyvolcano.com.
- Tacoma Art Museum, through June 10, Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Third Thursdays 5-8 p.m., adult $10, student/ military/senior (65+) $8, family $25 (2 adults and up to 4 children under 18), 5 and younger free, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, tacomaartmuseum.org
>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 17: HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BEARD?
Calvin Johnson is an Olympia legend - a throaty mouthpiece for one of the most musically and artistically relevant and independent little towns in the history of the world. Seattle's Chris Estey is a much-loved music journalist known for his work with Three Imaginary Girls along with just about every other Seattle-based alt-media outlet that's worth two shits. The new film, Have You Ever Had a Beard? brings Johnson and Estey together. Hype calls the film, "a study in contrasts," that shines a light on "the lyric-heavy songwriting of Calvin Johnson vs. the ebullient music journalism of Chris Estey." When the film screens Saturday at the Capitol Theater, the film's directors, Kathy Wolf and Pat Thomas, will be on hand for a post-performance Q&A along with Johnson, who will also take the stage with his band, the Hive Dwellers.
- Capitol Theater, 9 p.m. screening, all-ages, $5.50 - $8.50, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.754.6670
>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 17: ANNUAL WOMEN'S LEAGUE FLEA MARKET
The Women's League of University of Puget Sound Flea Market will be awesome. Expect more than 50 booths of antiques, not to mention: collectible dolls, oversized calculators, his and hers chocolate mummies, little plastic models of 747 airplanes, a griffin's toe, three rectangular-block-shaped wooden Santa Clauses, bouncing ice cubes, a copy of Rubber World magazine, four condiment trays, lots of walnuts - and more. For information regarding this event please contact Grace Mills, 253.752.4789.
- UPS Memorial Fieldhouse, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $2, North 11th Avenue and Union Street, Tacoma, 253.752.4789
>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 17: TCHAIKOVSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO
The Northwest Sinfonietta bills itself as, "an orchestra to be reckoned with," not to mention an orchestra of, "passion, vision, thrill, and creation." Anyone who has seen the Northwest Sinfonietta in action would have trouble arguing with these statements, as the musical body routinely wows audiences in Tacoma, Puyallup and Seattle. Saturday the Northwest Sinfonietta will be joined by violinist Marié Rossano for Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, referred to as a great violinist's rite of passage on the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts' website.
- Rialto Theater, 7:30 p.m., $19-$49, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890
>>> SUNDAY, MARCH 18: TITO PUENTE JR.
Sure, we're kind of bitter that our parents didn't have any amazing talents to pass along to us. The genetic ability to down an entire box of pink wine in one sitting may prove beneficial in some settings, but we would have much rather had a parent with jaw-dropping musical skills to follow on the coattails of. Sunday, Mambo musician Tito Puente Jr., following in his father's footsteps and drawing from his musical catalogue, will hit Tacoma and the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. According to hype, Puente, "brings the sounds of Latin jazz bursting with energetic rhythms and contagious melodies for a new generation." In addition to the music, Puente and KCTS 9 educator Antonio Gomez will take part in a pre-event lecture.
- Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, 3 p.m. pre-show lecture, 4 p.m. performance, $34-$46, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890
>>> SUNDAY, MARCH 18: TITLOW TRAILS MUD RUN
Has it been a while since you got muddy? Like, really muddy? Or, if that sounds scary, just kind-of, sort-of muddy? Either way Metro Parks Tacoma has you covered Sunday with the annual Titlow Trails Mud Run, inviting participants of all ages to slog through the puddles and trails near Titlow Park. According to hype, the "course is muddy, and full of obstacles to crawl under, jump over, or get your attention!" However, the Metro Parks website also goes on to say, "The quantity of mud depends on the weather and the amount of slop that mother nature creates. We aren't planning on making any mud ourselves. At no time will participants be required to crawl through mud. (Unless you really want to, please feel free to do so.)" So that's good to know. Best of all: the $15 entry fee includes free running socks! There is no day-of-race registration, so anyone interested in participating is encouraged to sign up online at metroparkstacoma.org/races.
>>> SUNDAY, MARCH 18 & 25: TALL TALES AND SILLY SONGS
Entertainer and storyteller extraordinaire Elizabeth Lord returns to the stage this weekend in support of the venue she's been such a huge part of over the years - the Midnight Sun. Designed as an interactive variety show geared toward young audiences featuring the wit of Lord and the musical contributions of local favorites Scuff & Al, "Tall Tales and Silly Songs" is part of the "Save The Sun" benefit series, with proceeds going to Prodigal Sun Productions, the managing non-profit organization for The Midnight Sun Performance Space.
- The Midnight Sun Performance Space, 2 & 4 p.m., $5 youth, $10 adult, all ages, 113 N. Columbia Street, Olympia
WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO
CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
We're seeing Enchanted April at Harlequin and Hello, Dolly! at Capital Playhouse. Then it's time for an Irish-themed "secret supper" with friends and, time permitting, the rest of Game of Thrones Season 1. Nerds!
NIC LEONARD Olympia Hip-Hop Writer
College baketball. That is all.
ALEC CLAYTON Arts Critic
My big plans are for a very busy Saturday. I'm going to the opening party for HIDE/SEEK at Tacoma Art Museum and to check out Lynn DiNino's new show at Flow, and Saturday night we're going to see Enchanted April at Harlequin Productions in Oly.
JENNI PRANGE BORAN Arts and Feature Writer
I get to spend Saturday driving Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dani Menkin around for Seattle's TheFilmSchool, and will sit in on his interview with Warren Etheredge at the SIFF film center. Sunday is catch-up day, writing and rewriting, then Irish nachos and dinner with friends at A Terrible Beauty in Renton.
NIKKI TALOTTA Music Writer
Going to eat corn beef and cabbage on Saturday and take the kiddos to see Tall Tales and Silly Songs at the Midnight Sun on Sunday. Other than that, maybe some reading and laundry. I will also be hoping for some damn sunshine.
JOSEPH IZENMAN Theater Critic
I don't know if I've made it properly clear recently that I am a huge nerd, but I'm volunteering at the state Knowledge Bowl (high school academic trivia competition) tournament on Saturday, and it'll bring back memories. Not as many as if it were still in Camas, as was the case the two years our team competed, but still. A multitude of good times were had on those trips, back in the day.
STEVE DUNKELBERGER Photographer
Lorax, and Lorax, and maybe take in Lorax.
LINK: Even more local events that we recommend
LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar