Spokane Arena
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The last thing you want to do is miss First Night.

First Night Spokane, the undisputed champion of New Year's Eve parties in the Inland Northwest, will take over downtown Spokane again on Friday, Dec. 31, while celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The event involves art and entertainment in almost 50 different spots in downtown Spokane. With most of the festivities starting at 7 p.m., the event includes everything from Irish dancers to African drummers, from a snowboard stunt jam to Kung Fu For Life. Local talent that will perform at First Night includes 6 Foot Swing, the Blue Door Theatre comedy team, and the Ignite Community Theatre troupe. Free carrousel rides and free ice skating, followed by a big fireworks display at midnight, sponsored by the Spokane Tribe of Indians, to usher in the year, will pack Riverfront Park for the event as well. Admission to all events is free with the purchase of a $12 First Night Spokane button. Buttons are available at Cenex Zip Trip stores, Sterling Savings Bank branches, Windermere Real Estate offices, River Park Square's concierge desk, Auntie's Book Store and River Park Square annex, Bergman Luggage, the Spokane Visitors Bureau, and Mountain West Bank in Spokane Valley, Coeur d'Alene, and Post Falls. For a full list of events and venues, go to www.firstnightspokane.org.

The Convention Center will be kidding around.

Voted Best Kids Event by Pacific Northwest Inlander readers for the past three years, the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital Kids Night Out gives little ones a way to bring in the New Year with a bevy of fun activities on Friday, Dec. 31, at the Spokane Convention Center. Starting at 3:30 p.m. and going through 7 p.m., the Center's lobby, ballrooms, and meeting areas will be turned into a haven for kids. Adventure Dynamics will be on hand with some of its climbing and adventure gear, and Peter Thomas will help kids create their very own dinosaurs. Watch puppeteers, dancers, magicians, and other performers, or participate in some of the crafts, including the making of origami hats, beaded necklaces, and lanyards. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with an adult who is wearing a $12 First Night Spokane button. For more information, go to www.firstnightspokane.org and look for Kids Night Out.

The Ninth might be your first choice for New Year's Eve.

The Spokane Symphony and Chorale will usher in the New Year in classic style with a performance of the always-popular Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. A traditional New Year's Eve performance around the world, the Ninth will wow Symphony fans at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31. The first year it was performed on New Year's Eve in Spokane, it sold out. Tickets to this year's event are $25 and $20, or $14 for children. Buy a First Night button and a ticket to the Ninth, and receive $2 off each. That package can be bought by calling the Symphony at 509-624-1200, in person at the Martin Woldson Theater box office, at 1001 W. Sprague, or through Tickets West at www.ticketswest.com or 800-325-SEAT.

It's going to be a jewel of an event.

The Lincoln Center is partnering with KZZU 92.9 FM, The Pacific Northwest Inlander, and KVC Jewelers for Bling! In the New Year, the big New Year's Eve party at the popular party venue, at 1206 N. Lincoln. The Lincoln Center recently installed a Las Vegas-style laser light system that it will show off at the big party while Box of Rocks rocks the crowd. Bling! Party goers will receive swag bags that include at least $100 in prizes, including more then $50,000 in gem stones. VIP attendees will receive a plated dinner, and others can buy a buffet-style prime rib dinner for an extra $15 at the door. Tickets are $50 each, or $100 each for VIPs. VIP tickets must be bought in advance at www.ticketswest.com or 800-325-SEAT. For more information, go to www.thelincolncenterspokane.com.

Don't shun Shen Yun.

Shen Yun Performing Arts brings the inspiring Chinese dance and music show to the INB Performing Arts Center for performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, and Wednesday, Jan. 5. Brilliantly costumed dancers with masterful choreography perform in synchronicity to thunderous drums in front of beautiful backdrops in this classic display by the New York-based troupe. Tickets range in price from $60 to $130 and are available at the Spokane Arena box office, at 720 W. Mallon, and through Tickets West at www.ticketswest.com or 800-325-SEAT.

Balloon Magic Comes Alive in Spokane!

Ryan Oelrich, a world famous Balloon Artist creates the longest balloon sculpture yet for First Night Spokane's New Year's Eve parade! This year's 40+foot sculpture will be lighted through hundreds of LED lights inside the balloons. Dinosaurs, dragons, rocket ships, castles, huge spiders, and a life size house are just a few of the amazing balloon creations he's brought to life in the past. Sometimes utilizing as many as 8,000 balloons, Ryan's award-winning work has been featured on television shows, in newspapers, and in magazines around the globe. The sculpture will feature a surprise special guest riding atop the animal. The balloon artwork is dedicated to the children served by Passage's Kidz Club, a family support program Ryan founded and leads. Construction will start Wednesday, Dec. 29 at the temporary Balloon Workshop set up at 3525 W. 2nd in Spokane and will continue until Friday morning when the sculpture will be transferred to the Spokane Convention Center for completion. The sculpture will be created in pieces and then assembled on site. After the parade the sculpture will be on display in the main atrium at River Park Square in downtown Spokane.


Alter your post-Christmas plans.

Alter Bridge, the band comprised of former Creed members and Spokane-area frontman Myles Kennedy, will rock The Knitting Factory Concert House, at 919 W. Sprague, with a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30. Formed in 2004, Alter Bridge hit gold with its first album and has released two albums since then. Kennedy, known for his small but pivotal role in the Mark Wahlberg movie "Rock Star," also is renowned for his collaborations with former Gun 'N' Roses guitarist Slash and his work with Led Zeppelin legends. The former Creed members, of course, reached the top of the charts repeatedly with that band in the early 2000s, making three albums and selling more than 30 million copies. Tickets to the Alter Bridge show are $26 and $28 and are available at sp.knittingfactory.com.

The High Five from thesomshow.com by Isamu Jordan

James Pants - Former Spokie turned international DJ hero James Pants is moving to Germany to get his groove on with the Red Bull Music Academy. But before he goes, he's playing one last Spokane gig at 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve at The A Club, 406 1/2 W. Sprague. Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the door, through The A Club; Irv's Bar, 415 W. Sprague Ave.; Unified Groove Merchants, 2607 N. Monroe St.; and Neato Burrito, 827 W. First Ave.; 21 and older only.

NYE at The Knit - At the stroke of midnight, the ball's dropping in the form of dozens of balloons, filled with $2,011 in cash and prizing. Plus, goldfinger turntablist DJ Kowax is on the ones and twos while radio personality Jackie Brown hosts the party, starting at 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve at The Knitting Factory Concert House, 919 W. Sprague Ave. Cost: $10, 21 and older only.

Skillet Jones - Spokane funk-reggae-soul-hip-hop band Skillet Jones brings the rhythmic vibrations to the dance floor 9 p.m. at Blue Spark, 15 S. Howard St. Cost: $6.

Soul Proprietor - For more bounce-to-the-ounce style jams drop in at the Funkifized bash with Soul Proprietor starting at 8:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve at Ichiban Sushi and Soul, 202 W. 3rd Ave. Cost: $39 per person, $75 per couple, includes all-you-can-eat sushi buffet with champagne at midnight.

Rev. Ogre - Dance in to 2011 with popular Top 40 hits played by The Rev. Ogre at 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve at The Grail, 4720 Seltice Way in Coeur d'Alene. Cost: free, 18 and older only.

For local music events, mp3s, artist profiles, multimedia and more, visit thesomshow.com.


You won't say "Bah Humbug!" when you see Civic 2011-12 lineup.

Off to a record-breaking start in its 2010-2011 season, the Spokane Civic Theatre has announced its lineup for a hit-filled 2011-2012 season. Riding on the success of "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Musical," the Civic will put on "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Revival" next summer, as well as the summer performance camp's production of another smash musical, "Footloose." On the main stage starting in the fall, the season will kick off with "Thoroughly Modern Millie," followed by in-concert fundraiser "Jane Eyre," 2008 Guthrie Theatre premiere "A Christmas Carol," country musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "The Count of Monte Cristo," the Mitch Albom comedy "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel," and ending in style with the timeless family favorite "Annie." On the studio stage, highlights include "The Turn of the Screw," and comedies "Catfish Moon," "Bingo!" and "Premiere!" Tickets for "Buddy" are on sale now, and season tickets will go on sale in March. For a complete list of dates and to see the remainder of the this year's lineup, go to www.spokanecivictheatre.com.

Lake City Playhouse will be Fiddler-ing around in 2011-12.

Lake City Playhouse has announced a 2011-2012 season lineup that will have theater fans shouting from the rooftops. Next year's season starts with the universally loved musical "Fiddler on the Roof." Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" comes next, followed by the farce "Sorry! Wrong Chimney," popular musical "Rent," "Epic Proportions," "Pete 'n' Keely," Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers," and ending with "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying." Season tickets are on sale now. For more information, go to www.lakecityplayhouse.com.

SPORTS CORNER
Congratulations, Eagles. Keep soaring!

Congratulations to the Eastern Washington University's Eagles for defeating the Villanova Wildcats and making it to the FCS national championship game in Frisco, Texas on Jan. 7! The Eagles will take on the University of Delaware Blue Hens with the national championship on the line. Go Eags!

NAME THAT FLICK.

"Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time."

Name the movie that line appeared in and win a $20 gift certificate to the Cathay Inn, at 3714 N. Division! Send your best guess and your phone number to info@entertainmentspokane.com. The winner will be selected at random from correct entries and will be announced in next week's e-newsletter. The deadline for entries is noon on Friday, Dec. 31.

Last Week's Winner: How the Kevin Dudley won big.

Last week's movie quote was, "Those Whos are hard to frazzle, Max. But, we did our worst, and that's all that matters." Dudley correctly guessed that it was from the 2000 Christmas comedy "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and won a $25 gift certificate to Old World Christmas.

Send your entertainment news to info@entertainmentspokane.com

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