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by Inlander Staff

Actors in Rapport -- In the 1944 MGM musical, Meet Me in St. Louis, Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to a 7-year-old named Margaret O'Brien -- who won a special child actor Oscar for her performance. O'Brien went on to star in other films of the '40s: Jane Eyre, Little Women and The Secret Garden.

Sixty years later, local actor Michael Weaver needs to organize some fund-raisers for his new acting troupe, the Actors' Repertory Theater of the Inland Northwest.

Weaver used his theatrical connections to contact Randal Malone, "the unofficial historian of Hollywood's Golden Age," who persuaded O'Brien to headline a trio of fund-raisers for ART.

Through March 29, you can bid in a silent auction to enjoy dinner at the Catacombs on April 2 with both Malone and O'Brien. Also on April 2 will be a screening and simul-enactment, live and onstage, of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Met. The third fund-raiser for Weaver's new theater will take place on April 3, also at the Met. O'Brien and Malone will speak, and leading actors from Broadway shows like Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera will perform along with Spokane notables such as Kathie Doyle-Lipe, Troy Nickerson and Weaver himself. Call 838-4013.

But Can He Shoot the Three? -- We like Tony Shalhoub, star of TV's Monk and an actor and director in film, as much as anybody. But as the star of Hoopfest's poster this year? This one probably looked good when they drew it up, but to us it clanks off the front of the rim.

Choosing an actor with thin ties to the region -- he visited here for a film screening last fall -- seems to break an unspoken tradition of having athletes of some prominence with some Inland Northwest cred featured on the poster. Kudos to Hoopfest for thinking outside the box, and Shalhoub is worthy for his offbeat style. Still, count us as among those who want Hoopfest to stick with tradition.

Our pick? Richie Frahm, the former Gonzaga hoop star who finally won a roster spot with the Seattle Sonics, after years of bouncing around various leagues and teams across the planet. Nobody asked for our two cents on this one, but there it is.

Paddling Prince William -- Easy, Buzz Bin readers... we're talking about the sound, not the kid. Mountain Gear is putting on a slide show of Bill and Debbie Pierce's 12-day sea kayak voyage through Alaska's remote but gorgeous Prince William Sound, complete with guest appearances by sea lions, orcas, humpback whales and the occasional glacier or two. The Pierces will be on hand to narrate the slide show and answer questions on Thursday, March 24, at 7 pm. Call 325-9000.

Publication date: 03/17/04

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