Grease Is the Word -- When it comes to fund-raising, it's not what you know so much as who you know. Case in point: the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre's upcoming gala, which sold out in less than a week thanks to John Travolta. Travolta, whose sister Ellen often headlines the summer musical series along with her husband Jack Bannon, will not only be in attendance but is raffling himself off as a prize. One lucky winner will get a private dance lesson with His Saturday Night Feverishness. Another will walk away with a Grease movie poster signed by Travolta and co-star Olivia Newton-John. Tickets to the event - which takes place at Duane Hagadone's posh lakeside digs - were only $150, which makes us wonder if maybe they could have gotten away with asking for $300. Also, forgive us for pointing this out, but we couldn't help but be grateful that Mr. Travolta is not raffling off a poster for Battlefield Earth.
Retail Rant -- OK, not to be one of those Spokanites who's always bitching about how much better everything is in Seattle, but why do they get IKEA and we don't? One shouldn't have to drive 300 miles just to find bookshelves that are both cheap and attractive. We tried all the major retailers here, believe us. With Spokane's considerably more modest incomes, IKEA's inexpensive, stylish products would make a killing here. Just because we're poor doesn't mean we don't like cool stuff. IKEA, we beg you. Please come.
Web Site of the Week -- Courtesy of our Calendar Editor, here's our new favorite Web site: www.johnkerryisadouchebagbut imvotingforhimanyway.com
New Directions -- Spokane Interplayers Ensemble has named Nik & eacute; Imoru as its new artistic director, succeeding Robin Stanton. And in a decision that has implications for any proposed merger with Michael Weaver's new Actors Rep Theater, the new title is just that -- artistic director -- without any "producing" or "interim" in front of it. Interplayers intends to announce its 2004-05 season this week and to name a managing director soon after.
Dropped Lines -- A couple of corrections to our "Dramatic Developments" article on the local theater scene (May 28): Melody Deatherage, who was unidentified, is vice president of the Board of Directors for Spokane Civic Theatre. The Odd Girls LLC are the landlords of CenterStage, not the arts center's financial backers.