by Michael Bowen & r & & r & Tender Him Love
Spokane's Ben "Preslee" Klein is sailing through the Bahamas right now, performing his tribute act on "The Elvis Cruise" to hundreds of folks who paid handsomely ($600-$2,500) just to be surrounded for six days by everything Kingly. Klein, 26, was one of two dozen regional winners in worldwide Elvis-impersonation contests. (Some of the winners came all the way from Australia and Norway.) Two weeks ago in Memphis, Klein was judged to be the fifth-best Elvis tribute artist in the world. You can see him less expensively on Saturday, Sept. 29: Just $45 will get you into the Brotherhood of Friends' historic Dome Building, 933 W. Third Ave., from 8-11 pm that night ($30-$40 for members). Call 456-8076.
In his acting classes, Gonzaga theater professor Brian Russo noticed that students kept clamoring to do scenes from a set-in-1982 play about disaffected rich kids in New York. In late-'90s productions, Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth had starred the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Anna Paquin. Filled with drug deals, theft, verbal abuse, insecurity, alienation and sex, Lonergan's drama tackles subjects that don't seem contrived to young adults. With nationwide theater audiences graying, both Russo and his cast felt that a play called This Is Our Youth just might appeal to twenty-something college students who distrust revivals of Oklahoma! Russo even secured funding for four weeks of full-time preparation. Judging from a recent dress rehearsal, there's virtually nothing dated about this play. Free performances at Gonzaga's Russell Theater (east end of Admin. Bldg., 502 W. Boone Ave.) on Friday-Saturday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, at 9 pm, and on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 4 pm -- with additional ($7) performances at Empyrean (Nov. 1-11). Write [email protected]
or call 323-6551.
Chew on the Choo-Choo
Between now and Oct. 21, you have five weekend opportunities for taking in the autumn colors on the Excursion Train Rides between Metaline Falls and Ione, Wash. Enjoy trestles, tunnels, steep cliffs and a "train robbery." Tickets: $10; $7, children and seniors; free, toddlers. This weekend, departures are at 1 pm and 3 pm on Saturday and at 11 am and 1 pm on Sunday. Call (509) 442-5466.