One Hundred Candles -- He's no longer with us, but there's no reason we can't throw Bing Crosby a great big 100th birthday bash if we want to. While Bing's birthday proper is May 3 (and back then he was known as Harry Lillis Crosby, mind you), his birthday gala is scheduled for May 16-18 at the campus of his alma mater, Gonzaga University. The definitive experience of the weekend will be the gala "White Christmas Banquet," featuring Bing's widow Kathryn Crosby, comedian Rich Little (that guy's still around?) and Frank Sinatra, Jr., who, as one might imagine, has plenty of stories about Bing. If the $85 banquet price is a little steep, consider the $10 weekend pass, which will get you into concerts by Bing imitator (and the only one endorsed by the Bing Crosby Fan Club) Bob Pasch, his nephew and golfing buddy Howard Crosby and Gonzaga's a capella chorus, Big Bing Theory. You'll also be able to check out the Bing Crosby Film Festival, which includes the premiere of a new KSPS documentary about Bing, as well as his classics White Christmas, Bells of St. Mary's, High Society, Holiday Inn, Road to Singapore, Road to Zanzibar and more. Crosby biographer Gary Giddins will offer lectures on "Bing the Technologist" and "Bing the Catholic" and "Bing the Gonzagan." Other highlights include a bus tour of old Bing haunts, as well as a lecture by Ottawa broadcaster Gord Atkinson, who spent his career interviewing celebrities for the popular Showbill radio series. Whether you're a big Bing fan or you don't know much about the ol' guy but he "seems cool," this weekend is really worth checking out!
Solid Gold -- If you grew up on a steady diet of sugary sweet Growing Pains, you no doubt remember Tracy Gold, who played oldest daughter Carol Seaver. In the tradition of Dana Plato and Justine Bateman before her, Gold played the kind of upbeat, sunny-natured big sister that most families of the '80s would have killed for. But behind the scenes, she was struggling with both anorexia nervosa and attention deficit disorder. Gold talks about these experiences and more in a lecture at EWU-Cheney's Showalter Auditorium on Wednesday, May 7, at 7:30 pm. Call: 359-4839.
Upstairs, Downstairs -- Did you get a chance to check out PBS's new "reality series," Manor House? As fun as that was, we're hoping to see another BBC production (Manor House was originally the BBC's Edwardian Country House) cross the Atlantic. Regency House Party pairs the "house" formula with The Bachelor antics as carefully chosen volunteers vie for the hand of a Jane Austen-esque type hero (think Lord Darcy or Edward Bertram). Looks like lots of effervescent fun.