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Fall Highlights: Culture 

Fall Arts Preview 2014

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Sept. 26

Ever heard of a bowed erhu or a zhongruan? Better question: Have you heard them being played? Well, if you go see A Moving Sound, you'll hear those traditional instruments from the Far East and others being played, paired with avant-garde singing and dancing. The performance company, Sheng Dong (translated "a moving sound") fuses musical traditions from Taiwan, China and other neighboring Asian countries with Western elements for a new but culturally rooted sound. (JM) Jones Theatre at Daggy Hall, WSU, free, 7:30 pm

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Oct. 24-26

Our Lilac City is poised to one-up big-sister metros like the Emerald and Rose cities with this fall's first-ever Pac Con Spokane, a comic and sci-fi convention that's billed as the largest event of its kind in the Inland Northwest. And with a lineup of celebrity guests that includes William Shatner and Marvel legend Stan Lee, the inaugural expo is already level with the likes of Seattle and Portland's annual mega-comicons that draw fans from across the West. For the uninitiated, comicons go beyond just the chance to get an autograph or photo with industry stars. There'll be an exhibitor floor hosting tons of comic artists and writers in all sci-fi genres, along with panels on how to create epic character costumes and insightful discussions on all things geek culture. (CS) Spokane Convention Center, $20-$25/day; $60-$100/weekend pass

Oct. 31

Between August and September, brave Spokanites who figured they're funny enough to stand on a stage and make people laugh auditioned at the Bing Crosby Theater's Stand Up to Bigger Things series. The top performers were selected from that battle of wits and will take to the spacious (and hopefully not daunting) main stage at the Bing for the Spokane Comedy Laugh Off. Only one funnyman or funnywoman will walk away with the top prize. After things wrap up, the theater is screening John Carpenter's Halloween because, duh, it's Halloween. Bing Crosby Theater, $20, 7:30 pm

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Nov. 2

Comedian, actor and playwright Lewis Black is making a return appearance to Spokane for another round of flamboyant and livid comedy with his latest traveling show, which he's calling The Rant is Due. Known for his erratic and angry style that he often brings to The Daily Show, Black laments anything and everything from politics to social media. In his first tour since 2012's In God We Rust, Black promises constant profanity-laced tirades that will leave the audience in stitches. (CV) INB Performing Arts Center, $40-$65, 7 pm

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Nov. 8-9

The Spokane Folklore Society has thrown this community party for 19 years, and it only improves with age. Eight stages feature all manner of traditional and ethnic music and dance, and there's something for every taste. Celtic music your thing? No problem. Blues and bluegrass? Got ya covered. And those desiring more exotic flavors will find Asian, Middle Eastern and African sounds and more to explore. Contra dances close both nights and KPBX will broadcast live from the festival Saturday from 11 am-1 pm as well. (DN) Spokane Community College Lair, free, Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm

Dec. 4

When he's not doing commercials or various Comic-Con/Trekkie conventions (including Spokane's PAC Con in October), 83-year-old William Shatner is performing a one-man stand-up act titled Shatner's World: We Just Live in It. Part humorous storytelling and musical act (he's very talented at sing-talking), the show follows Shatner's journey from Shakespearean actor to Captain James T. Kirk. Resistance to this show is futile. (LJ) INB Performing Arts Center, $43-$153, 7:30 pm

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Dec. 31

If you're averse to music, dancing, theater, comedy, art, children or generally having a good time, then First Night Spokane is probably not for you. However, if you fall into the category of someone who enjoys a winter evening full of activity, this annual New Year's Eve jubilee offers over 150 performances for all ages to enjoy. First Night boasts visual art, live performances and kid-friendly attractions in abundance, taking place in over 40 alcohol-free venues downtown. Buttons ($15) offer access to all First Night events, and kids under 10 are free. Bring the family and help welcome in 2015 with bang. (CV) Downtown Spokane venues, $15/advance; $18/day of


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