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2012 FALL ARTS PREVIEW — September 

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60 Works | Sept. 14-Oct. 6
Visual Arts

This is exactly what it sounds like: 60 works from Oklahoma-born artist Del Gish, who currently calls Medical Lake home. Through the exhibition, the viewer is taken around the world to far-away countries like Russia, India and Rwanda, thanks to Gish’s incredibly lifelike sketches, still life compositions and paintings. Gish sees inspiration anywhere and in just about anyone, including rickshaw drivers, African bazaars, children, sidewalk barbers and his own father. Gish, who received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Idaho, stresses the importance of painting what one sees and certainly practices what he preaches. (AP) The Art Spirit Gallery, Free, 11 am-6 pm


Gift of the Artist | Sept. 14-Dec. 14
Visual Arts

As they say, “It’s better to give than to receive,” and several artists are taking that saying to heart by donating their work to Gonzaga University as part of an exhibition called “Gift of the Artist.” From paintings, prints and photographs, to drawings, ceramics and sculptures, the exhibition will have something for most art lovers. Visitors will be able to see Brad Brown’s used and reused artwork “Look Stains (2290-2292);” screen-printing and metallic sequins from Michelle Forsyth, a WSU associate professor of art; sculptures, paintings and prints from Maxine Martell; a paper stencil from Kathleen Adkison; and much more. (AP) Jundt Gallery, Free, 10 am-4 pm


Death of a Salesman | Sept. 20-23 and Sept. 27-30
Theater

You know the story... or do you? Here’s a refresher: Willy Loman’s days are bleak. For a man who always longed for the American Dream, losing his job as a salesman was not part of the plan. His discontent and disappointment are also directed at his son, Biff. Willy wishes Biff was a businessman, but he is really a has-been football star and a school dropout — a result of Biff learning one of his father’s dirty secrets. Arthur Miller’s 1949 play, directed by Millie Brumbaugh, comes to the Pend Oreille Playhouse for two weekends, bringing loads of melancholy with its story of Willy’s hapless mess of a life. (JM) Pend Oreille Playhouse, $5-$10, 7 pm, Sundays 3 pm


Harry J. Riley | Sept. 21-22
Comedy

Here’s why we like local funnyman, Harry J. Riley: he makes jokes about Slip n’ slides, parachute pants, NASA, the common cold and dirty bathrooms. He’s not a comic who wastes his time on swearing a ton, or on the tired path of jokes about crazy women/crazy white people/crazy black people. Instead, Riley’s material is sort of a childlike stream of consciousness. He talks about taking his pants off in the bathroom and makes videos of himself doing cartwheels in grocery stores. These two performance will be recorded for inclusion in an upcoming comedy album. (LS) Spokane Comedy Club, $12, 8:30 pm


Dirty Martinis for Clean Water | Sept. 21
Community

In addition to taking home a strong nomination for best charity event name, Dirty Martinis for Clean Water also serves an excellent and noble purpose. The Spokane River Keeper holds this fundraising event to help further efforts to maintaining the city’s main waterway. The cocktail party features music by Pink Tango and an exclusive art gallery up for a silent auction — featuring photos, paintings and other works, most of which are inspired by nature. If you’re going to drink, it might as well be for a good cause, right? (MB) Spokane Masonic Center, $25/advance, $35/door, 6 pm


The Incredible Corn Maze | Sept. 21-Oct. 31
Community

Corn may not be at the center of many entertaining weekend activities throughout the year, but during the harvest season, families from the Inland Northwest flock to the Incredible Corn Maze in Hauser, Idaho, for the ultimate fall-time fun. Traditional doings like pumpkin picking and maze games are always on the agenda, though they also offer other, more extreme activities. Visitors can shoot corn stalks through a cannon, take helicopter rides (from September 29 to October 28 for a cost of $20 per person) and play on a tractor tire playground. Feeling pretty gutsy? Grab some friends and take a spooky stroll in the Field of Screams Haunted Maze for a scare or two — starting on October 6 — to get in the Halloween spirit. (KS) The Incredible Corn Maze, $6-$10, times vary


Spokane Symphony Gala | Sept. 22
Classical

Sometimes it’s easy to think that downtown Spokane’s revival is long behind us and that things have essentially been bustling down there. Then events like this remind us that not too long ago, places like The Fox were being considered for demolition. Thankfully, the landmark theater remains, as does the venerable Spokane Symphony, which has called the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox its home for the past five years. To celebrate that half-decade in its refined digs, the Symphony is going all out to kick off the season with a reception at the Davenport Hotel (black tie optional) followed by the Symphony’s performance of “A Russian Adventure.” (MB) Davenport Hotel from 5-7:30 pm, The Fox at 8 pm, $150/tickets and reception, $125/reception only


All The King’s Men | Sept. 26
Film

Part of a classic film series loosely tied to our current (and perennial, let’s be honest) obsession with politics, All The King’s Men follows a fictional Louisiana governor — who bears a striking resemblance to the real-life Huey Long — from his idealistic rise to his corruption and eventual fall. The film was nominated for seven Oscars and won three: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. It’s a loose adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Robert Penn Warren novel of the same name. The series concludes with The Last Hurrah on Oct. 3 — a John Ford/Spencer Tracy film about an Irish political boss’ last campaign — and a double feature Oct. 10 of the Marx Brothers’ classic totalitarian farce Duck Soup along with the May West Western My Little Chickadee. (LB) Bing Crosby Theater, $5 suggested donation, 7 pm


Professor Film Series | Sept. 26 – Nov. 28
Film

While the Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) doesn’t take place until February, the local movie organization has some goodies for the film geeks out there to get you through the less-than-cinematically-stellar autumn months. The Professor Film Series takes place on select Wednesday nights this fall and features films handpicked by local university professors, including the kick-off movie The Tree of Life, as well as older staples like, Vertigo (Oct. 24) and Sullivan’s Travels (Nov. 14). And then there’s the wrap-up selection, the always enjoyable yet intriguing Royal Tennenbaums (Nov. 28). It’s not a film festival, exactly, but it’s not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night. (MB) Magic Lantern Theatre; $7, $5/student; all films at 7 pm


A Casual Vacancy Release Party | Sept. 27
Words

Kids who show up at 6 am in invisibility cloaks and Potter spectacles are gonna be bummed. J.K Rowling’s new book, A Casual Vacancy, is completely devoid of horcruxes and sorting hats and weird, nose-less villains altogether — instead focusing, this time, on a story that’s decidedly more mature. Rowling’s hotly anticipated book tells the story of Pagford, a tiny British town constantly fighting with itself. When a city councilman dies, the town faces its greatest battle yet in the fight to fill his seat. Politics, death, war: A Casual Vacancy almost seems like a thank you to all the adults who spent so much time reading Harry Potter books bedside to Rowling’s eager young fans. (LS) Auntie’s Books, Free, 6 am



Mike Watt and the Missingmen | Sept. 30
Music

Back in the mid-1970s, the Minutemen was the teenage punk project of Mike Watt and his best friend, D. Boon. The band did things its own way, weaving California sunshine into bass-happy punk rock ditties. The youthful group fell apart, though, when Boon was killed in a car accident in 1985. Devastated, Watt swore to never listen to the Minutemen again. In the years since, Watt has had several high-profile bands and even landed a slot playing bass for the Stooges. Watt stops in Spokane with his longtime punk outfit, the Missingmen, with which he recorded last year’s bizarro Hyphenated-Man, an album that resulted from Watt’s decision listen to the Minutemen again — more than 20 years after his friend’s death. (LS) A Club, $12, 7 pm


El Katif /Shriner Duck Race | Sept. 30
Community

The rules are pretty simple. You buy a duck. Not a real duck, but rather the Bert and Ernie style duck — one made out of rubber — and then that duck is placed in the Spokane River in Riverfront Park and races a bunch of other ducks downstream. The first duck across the finish line wins as much as $10,000. Seems simple enough, right? The best part is that your duck’s entry fee goes to benefit this children’s hospital organization. There’s also a 5K charity walk. (MB) Riverfront Park, $5/duck, 11:30 am

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