Weekend Best Bets

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2001

Juneau will be jumping this week. Local musicians are playing downtown, Russian virtuosos are performing at the high school, a musical and a comedy are playing on Juneau stages, and an exhibit of wearable art is opening at the arts council gallery.

I had a chance to check out the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council gallery as David Depew, the gallery coordinator, was setting up the Wearable Arts show. The range of artwork is tremendous, from crazy costumes to elegant gowns to practical coats. The gallery show opens tonight with a reception from 4:30 to 6:30; and a runway fashion show will follow in a couple weeks. There will be a few Italian models tonight - Italian greyhounds, modeling elegant evening wear for dogs.

This is the final weekend to catch "The Foreigner" at the Palace Theatre. It's a funny play, fast moving, well written and well acted. It has a good premise, with just the right balance of plausibility and absurdity. Keith Aisner nails the title role, and there's good chemistry between the characters.

Bill Hurr, fresh from "Greater Tuna," plays in the show and directs. The small cast is tight and clearly having a good time with the material and each other. A purely entertaining, fun comedy is just the thing for a chilly February. "The Foreigner" runs at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, and closes with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Moscow Chamber Orchestra performs at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium and this promises to be an excellent concert. I perused the Web looking for information about the group and found dozens of over-the-top reviews praising the luminous sound, near telepathic connection and virtuosic musicianship of the players.

The group consists of about 20 string players and conductor Constantine Orbelian will play piano for a Mozart concerto. These musicians played at Carnegie Hall in New York last week, and they play Ketchikan, Fairbanks and Anchorage this week. (Tickets are $30 to the concert in Fairbanks, just to keep our prices in perspective.) Tickets here are $20 for general admission, $16 for students and seniors, and $65 for a family pass, at local bookstores and the door. A $50 "gold ticket" includes the concert plus admission to reception with the musicians afterward at the Baranof. This concert is sponsored by Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, in cooperation with other Alaskan arts groups.

There's just one more week to see "Gypsy" at Perseverance Theatre. It's well worth the admission. It runs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday, and at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Feb. 18.

Perseverance Theatre is hosting a Valentine's Day dessert and champagne event, with a floor show, from 8 to 9:30 Wednesday night at the theater. "Isn't It Romantic" will feature a song or two by about a dozen different singers, plus a few romantic stories and dance performances. This could be just the Valentine's Day treat to follow a nice dinner. Tickets are $20.

Next Thursday seven different bands are performing for a completely different event, a benefit for Juneau drummer and builder Bill Bosse. Bosse is suffering from a liver disease and is waiting for a transplant. There's no admission charge, but donations will be taken and there will be a live auction for many donated items - trips, artwork and such. The benefit will be from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Hangar Ballroom.

Nancy White Carlstrom, the author of 50 children's books, will be featured at two events Saturday. Carlstrom has written nine books about Jesse Bear, and she'll be the guest of honor at "We Love Jesse Bear Valentine's Celebration" at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library. The Fairbanks author will read some of her stories and poems, and the library will provide refreshments and craft activities.

Carlstrom will lead a workshop for young writers, age 10 and older, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the downtown library. Call the library at 586-5267 to register. There's no cost, thanks to the city and the Friends of the Library.

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