While it's a bit far away for us Inland Northwest cat lovers to visit as often as we'd like, the nearest cat cafe to the Spokane area is opening tomorrow, Jan. 24. This weekend, Purringtons Cat Lounge in Portland becomes the first such business in the Rose City, and in all of the Pacific Northwest.
Following in the steps of its forerunners — Oakland's Cat Town Cafe and the recently-debuted Meow Parlour in New York City — Purringtons is "staffed" with adoptable cats. Through a partnership with the nearby Cat Adoption Team, the cafe serves as a satellite adoption center, bringing in new cats when those on site have been adopted. To prevent impulsive decisions, all cat adoptions must be done by appointment and never on the same day an adopter becomes smitten with a kitten.
As a cafe, Purringtons serves small food plates, pastries, coffee, tea, beer and wine from an adjacent and separately accessed space to the cat lounge. On the weekend, guests can also enjoy "Meowmosas" as they pet a soft, soft kitty.
The American cat cafe trend has been steadily building since last year when the first in the U.S., Cat Town, opened in October. It's looking like the next Northwest cat cafe may be Seattle Meowtropolitan. The latest update from its owners predicts a mid-2015 opening, though they're still searching for an appropriate location in the city.
Meanwhile, you can book reservations to visit Purringtons starting this Sunday, Jan. 25. To ensure masses of hysterical cat lovers aren't overwhelming its feline residents, the cat cafe business model seems to have adopted the unwritten rule of reservations-based visits.
For tomorrow's grand opening, the cafe's website explains that it won't accept reservations, instead allowing guests in for half-hour sessions on a first-come, first-served basis. For those who happen to be in Portland, expect to see a line of really excited cat lovers stretching down MLK Blvd.
For fellow cat lovers not able to visit Purringtons in the near future, here's a sneak peak from Willamette Week:
Only a couple months into its merger, and leaders at the Modern Theater — the new-ish name for the combined incarnation of what formerly was Interplayers Theatre and Lake City Playhouse — are busy planning for the future.
This past Saturday, the nonprofit theater group officially announced the lineup of shows it's staging at both its Spokane and Coeur d'Alene theaters. Season tickets for the 2015-16 season go on sale Sun, Feb. 1. Following is the production schedule; find descriptions of each performance on the Modern Theater's blog.
The Modern Theater Spokane:
Other Desert Cities (drama), Sept. 25-Oct. 11
Wild Parties (musical), Nov. 6-29
Lucky Me (comedy), Jan. 1-17, 2016
Last of the Boys (drama), Feb. 19-March 6, 2016
Next to Normal (musical, April 7, 17, 2016 — this show is to be a special co-production with the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre, and is performing at the Bing Crosby Theater.
The Ladies Foursome (comedy), May 13-29, 2016
Man of La Mancha (musical), July 8-30, 2016
The Modern Theater Coeur d'Alene:
Rock of Ages (musical), Sept. 11-Oct. 10 — we're assuming based on their site listing A Rock Show for the Ages, since the Modern can't really say til Feb. 1)
The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical, Nov. 27-Dec. 20
All My Sons (drama), Jan. 22-Feb. 7, 2016
Maybe Baby (comedy), March 4-20, 2016
A Bright New Boise (dark comedy), April 22-May 8, 2016 — a play by Moscow, Idaho-native Samuel D. Hunter.
Anything Goes (musical), June 3-26, 2016
Dogfight (musical), July 29-Aug. 14, 2016
Though opening night is officially this Friday, the public can catch a preview performance tonight, paying what they can afford at the box office.
Suggested entry is $5 per person, and seating availability in the 335-seat main stage theater is on a first come, first served basis, says the Civic's marketing coordinator Miranda Larson.
Doors tonight open at 6:30 pm, with seating starting at 7 before the curtain rises at 7:30 pm. Thursdays typically serve as a production's final dress rehearsal, with the previous night designated as "friends and family night" for the cast and crew members.
The idea to open up the Thursday night rehearsal came from the Civic's artistic director, Keith Dixon, whose former theater, Theatre Baton Rouge, offered a similar program.
"It helps with accessibility to the community theater because some people can't afford it," Larson says. "We're doing it for every production [going forward] to let people who otherwise wouldn't be able to come. We want the community to be a part of local theater."
Though the suggested entry is $5, Larson says those attending can pay more or less, depending on what they're comfortable giving.
For the Civic's next Studio Theatre production, Orphans, pay-what-you-can night is set for Thursday, Jan. 29, a week from today.
While the new preview night is open to the general public, the Civic has for some time been offering student rush tickets when a production on the main stage has at least 30 open seats, or there's at least 10 seats in the studio theater. Rush tickets are generally half of what regular student pricing is, but tickets at that rate are only sold 30 minutes before the performance, and only when the minimum number of seats are available. For Servants, rush night tickets are $9.
While the film has been available on other video-on-demand platforms for some time at a fee, Netflix subscribers can now watch the fantastical LARP-ing adventures of its all-star cast of characters — played by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Steve Zahn (Treme), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Danny Pudi (Community) and Summer Glau (Firefly) — as part of their subscription package.
Knights was shot in and around Spokane by the local production studio North by Northwest back in summer 2010, and before major, breakthrough roles for some of the aforementioned actors. Due to delays in production and distribution, the film wasn't publicly released until January 2014.
Speaking of other locally filmed sci-fi adventures, Z Nation is set to release on Netflix Instant this Friday, Jan. 9. Looks like we all have some weekend binge-watching to look forward to.
Antiques Roadshow — PBS’s most-watched ongoing series — is set to roll through Spokane on June 6 for an all-day antique appraisal event. PBS is teaming up with KSPS to record three episodes for part of Antiques Roadshow’s six-city summer tour that are scheduled to air the following January, 2016, for the show's 20th season.
The show had great success during its last visit to Spokane in August 2007, and for its second go-around as many as 6,000 ticketed guests are expected.
Those in attendance can receive a free evaluation of up to two antiques or collectibles from specialists, including independent dealers and professional auctioneers. Straying from some of the more unusual artifacts and typically evaluated on the show, the focus for this year's show tour is "furniture roundup." Locals near each tour stop are invited to submit photos online of any antique furniture they may be interested in having appraised. Antiques Roadshow plans to transport some of these submissions to the show venue for on-site appraisals.
Admission to the Antiques Roadshow is free, but participants must fill out a ticket application online by Monday, April 6. Following the deadline, guests are drawn at random from all the submitted applications for an opportunity to discover the values of their hidden gems. Details regarding the venue for the tour stop here haven't been announced.
Here's a glimpse at the show's last stop in Spokane.
Many have tried but only few have triumphed. To be exact, only 28 contestants amongst 130 brave souls have conquered the infamous Pizza Rita 5-pound pizza challenge. These true testimonies to talent gorged their way through 24 oz. of crust, 12 oz. of sauce, 9 oz. of cheese and 35 oz. of various meats and veggies to earn their rightful plaque on the wall of champions.
The rules of the challenge are simple: the pizza must be consumed within 30 minutes, only one person can tackle the monstrous pizza, substitutions can be made as long as the weight remains at five pounds and previous winners can only partake once a year following their victory.
Spokane's Torrey Lybbert holds the current winning record at 11 minutes and 48 seconds. In addition to a plaque on the wall, winners receive Rita Bucks (Pizza Rita gift certificates so they can eat even MORE pizza), a $40 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice, a stomachache and a pride boost.
In recent years however, Pizza Rita has seen a decline in people daring to try their hand at the 5-lb. challenge. In light of so little participation, owner Brian Dickmann will be adding a new gut-busting pizza challenge to the list: Rita’s Rapid Challenge.
“It will be a test of speed,” Dickmann says. “If someone can consume a large thin-crust single-topping pizza in under five minutes we will give them 50 Rita Bucks.”
The thin-crust pizza is meant to entice participation from those who are intimidated by the original 5-pound challenge.
According to Dickmann, Pizza Rita offers these contests for three main reasons: for charity, for fun and to demonstrate the true meaning of a “large pizza.”
“Everyone says ‘we have a large pizza’ but really, how large is large?” Dickmann says.
Pizza Rita hopes to begin offering the Rita’s Rapid Challenge this January. These challenges are not for the faint of heart, and those willing to eat his or her heart out can mentally prepare themselves for the physical turmoil by reading former Inlander staff writer and current contributor Jordy Byrd's testimony of the 5-pound challenge here.
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