Behind the Blue

Behind the Blue

Becoming a part of the Blue Man Group takes more than face paint and a spooky stare
Not everyone is cut out to be a Blue Man. Even after the initial audition, future would-be Blue Men — the blue-skinned, black-clothed trio known around the world for their quirky, mimed performances — are on a temporary contract during an extended rehearsal period, and could be cut from the roster at any time.

TV | BLACK-ISH

Exploring the knotty complications of race through comedy
With Black-ish (ABC, Wednesdays, 9:30 pm), it would be tempting to accuse ABC of just creating an African-American-led sitcom in order to cynically rake in cash by targeting the African-American demographic. So it's a good sign for self-awareness that, in its first episode, Black-ish features an ad executive giving an African-American a promotion in order to rake in cash by cynically targeting the African-American demographic.

For Your Consideration

Music tips, a handy app for readers and a better Utopia
MUSIC | We all say we like to discover new music, a prospect that's easier today than it's ever been. But then comes the moment when we slip our headphones on or key up our i-devices for a drive.

Strange Bedfellows

Completing his newest novel The Hour of Lead was a Herculean effort for Bruce Holbert
The Hour of Lead, Bruce Holbert's second and most recent novel, takes its title from an Emily Dickinson poem that begins, "After great pain, a formal feeling comes." In keeping with the salient themes of her work, the poem deals with grief, loss, resignation and death in a way that's too matter-of-fact to be sentimental and self-pitying, too lyrical to be grim.

The Leach Diaries

We managed to get our hands on the diary of Mike Leach, head football coach at WSU
Fri, Oct. 3, 7 pm We take on Cal tomorrow at home.

Reading is Hard

These days, we're surrounded by great books — the trick is reading them
I used to know how to read.

Swamp Stories

Spokane is Reading's 2014 selection lets Karen Russell take you on a journey to the Florida Everglades
Karen Russell talks fast, yet eloquently. She has an effortless sense of humor and speaking with her seems more like catching up with an old best friend.

Award | The Opus Prize

The $1 million Opus Prize is given to an individual or organization working through faith-based efforts with the poorest and most disenfranchised communities on the planet. Each year, a different university is selected to oversee the selection of the winner.

For Your Consideration

Impulsive read, a new Star Wars chapter and a comic pro
BOOK | America feels kind of messed up. We don't get along, we don't listen to ideas we don't agree with and we ignore our toughest challenges.

An Accidental Marathon

Starting with Stage Left, three local theaters are staging five different plays by Neil LaBute
Playwright Neil LaBute hasn't gone altogether unrecognized in Spokane, his erstwhile hometown, but the current theater season brings more of his work to local stages than the last several years combined. Come January, Interplayers will put his Reasons to Be Pretty and Reasons to be Happy in rotating repertory for the first time.

The Next Era

Terrain moves into a permanent space for its seventh arts showcase
Five days before the event, it's still a little hard to picture quite how the pleasantly musty, 100-year-old warehouse in downtown Spokane will look and sound when filled with hundreds of arts supporters turning out for the Visual Arts Tour this Friday, Oct. 3.On the Sunday afternoon before Terrain's seventh inception, volunteers and event organizers are bustling around, carefully affixing art to the whitewashed brick walls and debating which nooks and crannies of the brick-walled factory in which to stage the evening's live music, theater, poetry and performance art pieces. The dilemma is whether to host poetry readings in a small, dark room in the back of the building; there's concern that passing trains, less than 10 yards from the outer wall, may drown out the spoken words.

Science | Nat Geo Live

National Geographic is a magazine and a television channel, but it's also something that will come to your town and let you ask questions of the people who populate the pages and airtime of those beloved entities.

For Your Consideration

Web laughs, great songs and a novelist's new approach
WEB SERIES | Vanessa Bayer quickly established herself as an SNL MVP with impressions of Miley Cyrus and her "Weekend Update" contributor Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy. On SOUND ADVICE she plays Janessa Slater, the world's worst "media coach," specializing in awful interviews with the likes of Drake, Haim and Demi Lovato.

My Confession

Coming to terms with faith, guilt and a backpack for the end of the world
My first brush with Catholic guilt came at my first confessional.

Bright Lights, Small Town

Playwright Samuel D. Hunter, recently named a MacArthur Fellow, discusses his work and the shock of a $625k stipend
Samuel D. Hunter is an ascendant playwright whose work includes The Whale (2013) and A Bright New Boise (2011).

The Dino Draw

The enduring appeal of a gal named Sue
Like many kids, dinosaurs captured my imagination early on.

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