by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Photographs and Memories & r & Spokane lost a true original this week with the death of Wally Hagin at age 90. A musician, mortician, pilot, retailer and photographer, Hagin lived the 20th-century African-American experience and documented it along the way. More than 13,000 of his photographic images are now part of the permanent collection at the MAC.
When interviewed six years ago, Hagin chose his restaurant seat carefully, so that he could keep one eye on the door; at his home, he kept both his trumpet and an imposing handgun close at hand, habits developed as a black musician on the road in the 1930s. "I've lived a full life," Hagin told The Inlander at that time. "I don't regret it. I've sure been around, haven't I?"
Yes, Wally, you sure have, and we're all richer for it.
Call Me Martha & r & She's done The Glass Menagerie, Love Letters and Gypsy locally in recent years. Now the Inland Northwest's most recognized Oscar winner, Patty Duke, will appear in a holiday-season comedy that's not only set in Spokane but written and directed by Spokanites Reed McColm and Michael Weaver. Actors Repertory Theatre will produce Together Again for the First Time from Nov. 24-Dec. 17. Duke will play a Martha Stewart figure, recently remarried, who's intent on having a perfect Christmas with her new husband and their grown children from previous marriages. But this is a comedy, and her plans go awry. Call 838-4013.
Jazz Divas Reign & r & The 14 members of the Diva Jazz Orchestra sent concertgoers swinging into the streets Saturday night from their performance with the Spokane Symphony -- "one magnificent swinging orchestra," according to top Diva Sherrie Maricle. Highlights included solo work by trumpeter Tanya Darby (just back from touring with Aretha Franklin) and an incredible tribute to Benny Goodman featuring Anat Cohen on clarinet. From there, the group launched into Goodman's classic, "Sing, Sing, Sing," with Maricle on the tom-tom-heavy drums a la Gene Krupa. The place should have been packed for this one -- several green-jacketed Opera House staff said it was one of the best shows they've seen all year.
Theatrical Plagues & r & Spokane Civic Theatre could use some of your sympathy and cash. On Dec. 15, the building's steam boiler cracked, necessitating a $50,000 repair. On Jan. 11, an accidental fire cut off electrical power to the theater's lower level for several days. The show has gone on -- but so has the need for community support. Floods and fire -- what's next for the Civic? Locusts? Call 325-1413 to help.