Rock the Vote -- It was a sight to make a liberal Spokanite's heart glad. Friday afternoon's showing of Fahrenheit 9/11 -- Michael Moore's incendiary expose of the Bush family's connections to the House of Saud and Bin Laden families -- was not only sold out, but to an unusually enthusiastic crowd. In fact, all three of AMC River Park Square's opening day showings sold out as well as most of the weekend showtimes. With "No More Bu$hit" T-shirts for sale on the sidewalk out front and a uniformed police officer just outside Theater 18, the movie qualified as a bona fide event. Perhaps most telling was how much of the crowd consisted of non-regular-movie-goers (you could tell because they clapped at all the pre-show entertainment). Michael Moore may have his critics, but here in the 'Kan, he's getting folks talking.
Portrait of the Founders -- Eighteen years ago, Interplayers founders Bob and Joan Welch performed in Tina Howe's Painting Churches, in which an artistic daughter wants to paint a portrait of her aging parents one last time before they sell the family home. It's often recalled as one of the best shows of Interplayers' first decade.
Well, Spokane gets a second chance to see it -- and them. Replacing the originally scheduled season opener, Interplayers will instead present Painting Churches from Sept. 9-25, with the Welches reprising their roles as Gardner and Fanny Church, and with new artistic director Nike Imoru directing. An opening gala, an "industry night" for local theater folks and other benefit events for reminiscing are planned, but -- best of all for a theater community in need of good news -- on Sept. 25, Interplayers' theater space will officially be christened the Bob and Joan Welch Auditorium.
Shoulda Woulda Coulda -- The Spokesman-Review: nearly 550 employees. KREM-TV: 175 employees. KHQ-6: 115 employees. The Inlander: 30 employees, four of whom are still bruised and battered after placing third out of 12 teams in Hoopfest's Media division. The Paperboys went 5-1 and won the bracket, defeating KREM-2 twice in the championship finals.
Our hats off to Noah Cooper of KREM of the Crop and to Ben Shors of the Spokesman, the outstanding players in our bracket. (By comparison, you'd think some of us were just plodding middle-aged nonplayers. Oh, that's right, we are plodding middle-aged nonplayers.) The fondest memories we'll take from Hoopfest '04? Playing Ben Stiller-style defense, our faces jammed into the sweaty bellies of our worthy but odoriferous opponents, only to be slammed down to the ground by various round mounds of rebound. But hey, this is street ball: We weren't exactly asking permission either before knocking people over.