Weekend Best Bets

Posted: Friday, February 02, 2001

Three art exhibits, three plays, a concert and four dances should provide plenty of entertainment this weekend.

The top picks are "Fry Tales" and "The Foreigner."

"Fry Tales" closes Sunday, so see it while you can. This is a vastly entertaining show, full of imagination, originality and talented performances. Clarabella and Lawrence's waltz on the trapeze and Clifford's hang-gliding and scuba-diving adventures are standouts.

It is a show for children and much of the humor is clownish and physical. However, there is depth and sophistication to the four principal characters far in excess of what is needed simply for clowns to entertain children. The broad humor is balanced with subtleties and references that are almost certainly lost on kids, delivering a show with a wide appeal and a story that hangs together and goes someplace.

The symphony has been in good form this year, invigorated with new players and a new director. Turnout has been consistently high, and deservedly so.

"Fry Tales" shows at 7 p.m. tonight through Sunday, with 4 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday, at Centennial Hall. Admission is $11 for adults and $9 for those 18 and under.

"The Foreigner" is another winner. This Juneau Douglas Little Theatre production shows at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Palace Theatre. It's fast and funny and well worth seeing. I could rave on, but I want to highlight the events that are only happening this weekend. "The Foreigner" runs through Feb. 10.

The Juneau Symphony performs at 8 p.m. Saturday with violinist Linda Rosenthal as the featured soloist. The symphony has been in good form this year, invigorated with new players and a new director. Turnout has been consistently high, and deservedly so.

Rosenthal lives in Juneau but does much of her performing as the featured soloist with symphonies and chamber groups throughout the world. Saturday will be a chance to see this consummate violinist in action.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the JuneauDouglas High School auditorium. Conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett is offering a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. He has a talent for highlighting the details and background on the music that can really enhance appreciation for the piece and the composer.

Cajun music kicks off Dance the Dark Away, the Juneau contra dance group's annual winter dance weekend event. Musicians Ray Garrity and Jennifer King are coming down from Homer to play a Cajun dance beginning at 8 tonight. Garrity is a powerhouse musician and accomplished on several instruments. He's playing Cajun accordion tonight, and teamed up with Juneau fiddler Bob Banghart. This promises some hot, danceable music.

Tomorrow night at 8 another fine band plays, Andy's Old Time Band, delivering the music for a square and contradance. Guest caller Brian DeMarcus from Anchorage will call the dance. Both dances are at Smith Hall at Chapel by the Lake. This is a departure for the dance group, but should be a good venue. Other Dance the Dark Away events include a dinner tonight, a contra dance Sunday, an English Country Dance on Saturday, and workshops for dancers and musicians.

Tonight is also a good night for a little gallery walk. The Alaska State Museum is opening exhibits by two fine artists, and just up the stairs the Juneau-Douglas City Museum is opening exhibit of paintings by Juneau artist Jim Fowler. Receptions will be simultaneous, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Artists Joan Hornig from Ester and Graham Dane from Anchorage will talk about their work in a presentation at 6 p.m. at the state museum.

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