While standing ovations have become quite customary in the Inland Northwest, here's our pick of the eight shows most likely to earn one in the 2018-19 arts season.
1 - Finding Neverland
This nationally touring production brings this hit Broadway musical about Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie and the real-life origins of his imaginary world to the Inland Northwest. Individual ticket prices and more are at inbpac.com.
WHEN & WHERE: Nov. 15-18, 2018 • INB Performing Arts Center • 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. • 279-7000
2 - Music Video Jam
Do you want your MTV? It's not too late! Although the golden age of music videos might be behind us, its creative spirit lives on in Music Video Jam. This project pairs local filmmakers with local musicians to develop original music videos that will be filmed, edited and finally screened in all their glory during a one-day event in early September. It promises to be a varied and surprising showcase that speaks to the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration. And, just as importantly, loads of fun too. Ticket prices and pairings will be announced on thebartlettspokane.com.
WHEN & WHERE: Sept. 9, 2018 • The Bartlett • 228 W. Sprague • thebartlettspokane.com • 747-2174
3 - Mary Poppins/Constellations
Three months before Mary Poppins Returns hits cinemas is as good a time as any to revisit the original story of a curious nanny who floats into two children's lives one magical day. This isn't just a live retelling of the beloved 1964 film, though. It incorporates additional elements from P.L. Travers' stories to create a suitably supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story that includes all the memorable favorites ("A Spoonful of Sugar," "Chim Chim Cher-ee") with some extra layers and twists. The special effects and illusions are bound to delight. And if quaint family musicals aren't your bag, that's fine. Just wait a few weeks and catch a series of mind-bending musings on romantic destiny when Constellations opens in the Civic's Studio Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $32.
WHEN & WHERE: Sept. 14-Oct. 14, 2018 • Spokane Civic Theatre • 1020 N. Howard • spokanecivictheatre.com • 325-2507
4 - The Nutcracker
State Street Ballet returns from Santa Barbara, California, to partner with the Spokane Symphony for this annual performance of the classic holiday ballet scored by Tchaikovsky and based on the fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffman. More than 75 young dancers from local ballet schools participate. Tickets are $25-$82; spokanesymphony.org has details.
WHEN & WHERE: Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2018 • Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox • 1001 W. Sprague • 624-1200
5 - ReMixMas Carol
When you've seen Elf, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life and all their variants no fewer than 6,729 times, maybe it's time to mix things up a bit. The Blue Door players will apply their improv magic to the yuletide spirit in ReMixMas Carol, a seasonal show that will allow you to experience the very opposite of nostalgia — namely, the thrill of seeing holiday stories invented on the spot. Tickets are only $7. Details at bluedoortheatre.com.
WHEN & WHERE: Fridays in December, 2018 • The Blue Door Theatre • 815 W. Garland • 747-7045
6 - True West
Over the decades, a host of celebrity duos have played the pair of feuding brothers in Sam Shepard's enduring play about sibling rivalry: Tommy Lee Jones and Peter Boyle, Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano. No, Lake City Playhouse's talented community actors might not pack that kind of star power on the marquee, but this Pulitzer-nominated script is undoubtedly a raw, funny and often strange work in its own right. Go to lakecityplayhouse.org for info; tickets are $23.
WHEN & WHERE: Mar. 15-31, 2019 • Lake City Playhouse • 1320 E. Garden Ave. • Coeur d'Alene • 208-676-7529
7 - Classics 10: Eckart's Farewell
The Spokane Symphony bids farewell to its longtime music director, Eckart Preu, in truly epic fashion with this concert featuring Zivkovic's suitably unhinged "Concerto of the Mad Queen" for percussion and orchestra — yes, percussion, with the composer himself soloing — along with Strauss' magnificent "Alpine Symphony," which is less like a conventional four-movement symphony and more of a visionary, 22-part tone poem for a massive orchestra (and, trivia buffs take note, the first audio ever to have been pressed on a CD). Should you prefer something a bit more intimate and informal, check out The M Show, a laid-back, lighthearted performance and multimedia series hosted by the symphony's concertmaster Mateusz Wolski, who brings his passion for music and a spirit of experimentation to the proceedings. That's on May 23 and 24. Individual ticket prices for both events are still TBD; spokanesymphony.org will have more info closer to the date.
WHEN & WHERE: May 4-5, 2019 • Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox • 1001 W. Sprague • spokanesymphony.org • 624-1200
8 - The Threepenny Opera
Directed by Troy Nickerson, this marks the first time in its history that Stage Left will have produced a full-blown musical. And they've chosen a heckuva show for that occasion: The combined talents of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill transformed John Gay's The Beggar's Opera into an astute yet incredibly entertaining socioeconomic critique, producing jazzy musical standards like "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" in the process. For tickets ($20) and details, visit spokanestageleft.org.
WHEN & WHERE: May 24-June 9, 2019 • Stage Left Theater • 108 W. Third • spokanestageleft.org • 838-9727