Sneak Preview -- With the exception of First Night and a smattering of holiday-themed events, the arts scene is a veritable ghost town these last few weeks of the year. But despair not, our l'il readers... 2004 is already looking like a year to remember. We've overheard talk at the coffee shop about the upcoming Spokane Northwest International Film Festival (Jan. 29-Feb. 1) - the details are being carefully guarded but it should be another great foray into indie film. "3 Degrees of Cool" opens at the WSU Museum of Art on Jan. 6 and explores all the visual permutations of "cool," from Gerhardt Richter to Andy Warhol. And finally, let's not forget Get Lit - featuring Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry and Kurt Vonnegut - in April!
Aidan Channels Austen -- "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." And with that hilariously arch assertion out of the way, Jane Austen proceeds to write one of the most celebrated novels in English literature. Pride and Prejudice has been read and re-read, studied, adapted to TV and film, and - from the number of fan sites that come up on Google - subjected to an abundance of fan fiction. But no one has ever endeavored to tell arrogant Mr. Darcy's side of the story -- until now. Coeur d'Alene writer Pamela Aidan has just published An Assembly Such as This, the first of three chronicles told from the point of view of "Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman." Aidan explores Darcy's world of wealth and privilege while serving up his innermost thoughts during all those tedious evenings among the country folk of Hertfordshire. An extra bonus is that readers who have repeatedly gorged themselves on the Pride and Prejudice BBC miniseries -- not that anyone here in the Bin would do such a thing -- will find their familiarity with the text rewarded by identical narratives and dialogue, but told from a different perspective. An Assembly Such as This is available at area Borders Books and at Auntie's in Spokane.
Local Boy Plays Mean Lion -- Dan Donohue (Lewis and Clark '84, Whitman '88) has already made it big in theatrical terms: He has played leading roles at Seattle Rep, the Intiman Theater, and - for the last 10 years - at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Now through August - mostly in the Midwest -- he's in the national touring production of Julie Taymor's The Lion King, playing Simba's nefarious uncle, Scar. Donohue needs to put on 45 minutes' worth of makeup and a 3-foot mask for every performance, but we're sure he can still snarl just like Jeremy Irons.