by Inlander Staff & r & A Fun Way To Make Money & r & In a sign of support for the arts in Spokane, more than 55 local businesses and individuals donated goods and services to the Summer Gala fund-raiser at Interplayers on Friday night. The well-attended event raised more than $10,000 for the theater.

Revue highlights included a couple of self-mocking numbers sung by Abbey Crawford, Melody Deatherage spoofing My Fair Lady, a tap-dance competition between Kathie Doyle-Lipe and Troy Nickerson and many more. The sushi was great. And you missed out on the auction of the '94 Pontiac Grand Prix -- a steal at just $2,800.

Spinning Scrums & r & Through Aug. 26 at the Met, you can catch Murderball, the movie that has garnered rave reviews and not much in the way of box office receipts -- apparently because Americans feel a little queasy about guys in wheelchairs, even if they are playing a particularly vicious form of wheelchair rugby.

Spokane native and Team USA member Scott Hogsett explains the rules of wheel rugger this way: "It's pretty much 'Kill the guy with the ball.'"

The violence of Hogsett's sport, along with the fact that Murderball is a documentary and R-rated for language (these are jocks in mid-game, after all, and they really, really hate Team Canada) may explain its limited appeal. But Murderball has the virtue of not focusing on what people with disabilities can't do. At first, says Hogsett, you'll just see a bunch of guys in wheelchairs, then their crazy sport -- and then, "toward the end," he says, "you won't even see the chairs."

While he lives in Arizona, Hogsett spends his summers training in Coeur d'Alene. And you should spend some evening soon at the Met watching what he can do.

Still Central & r & With new Interim Executive Director Tina Luerssen and more than $50,000 in pledges, CenterStage has decided to make it official: Its doors will remain open. Yay!

Chew on This & r & One of the ploys of Stephen Covey, the Seven Habits guy, is to imagine your own funeral: Who will show up, and what will they say about you?

On Friday at Spokane Civic Theatre, a lot of people showed up to say a lot of nice things about Firth J. Chew, the 92-year-old accountant with the unusual name who started WAMPUM and whose name is on the Civic's Studio Theatre. (Along with musical and video tributes, there were five eulogies.)

Keeping a community theater going is the work of generations, and taking time to commemorate the dead reminds us that we're all working against the clock. You could do a lot worse than spend your time the way Firth Chew did.

Newport Rodeo & Festival @ Newport Rodeo Grounds

Fri., June 25, 1-9 p.m. and Sat., June 26, 12-9 p.m.
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