Best bets

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2000

It's another great weekend for entertainment in Juneau. Saturday is particularly slam-packed with fun things to do.

Some folks will be unwrapping their boats for the first time this year, while others are headed up to Eaglecrest. Buds are popping out and sprouts are beginning to push up as well.

Back when you could walk to Siberia and mastodons roamed the land, Alaska was a very different place. If you've ever wondered how different, and how a now-submerged strip of land became the first gateway to the Americas, check out Debra Gerrish's presentation at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Alaska State Museum.

At 10:30 a.m., geologist Cathy Connor goes even further back in time with``Dinosaurs In Alaska.'' Both are part of the Alaska State Museum's Spring Lecture Series and they're free.

The Annual Saint Patrick's Party for kids at the Douglas library kicks off at noon Saturday. There will be live fiddle music, tales from Ireland, green magic and green bread.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday are two free events at Centennial Hall:``Art for Radio,'' a show featuring about 18 local artisans and crafters, and the Capital City Quilters Quilt Show 2000, with more than 150 quilts on display. The quilters will also offer demonstrations. Kids are welcome.

The art show is a benefit for KTOO-FM and a portion of the proceeds will go to the public radio station. The quilt show will also run Sunday afternoon.

Saturday night there's four plays, a concert and a dance. You can catch the plays tonight as well.

The concert is the Symphony Showcase, which has been consistently good over the years. It's a chance for different musicians with the Juneau Symphony to showcase their own projects. This year, eight different ensembles will perform a wide variety of music, from modern performance art pieces and nonclassical works to traditional classical works. It starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Northern Light United Church.

There are four plays this weekend - one is opening and three are closing. Since you have the next month to see ``The House of Blue Leaves,'' unless you really like opening weekends, I'd recommend waiting. I really enjoyed the preview, and I'm looking forward to seeing it underway.

``42nd Street,'' the Juneau-Douglas High School spring musical, starts at 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the high school auditorium. ``archy and mehitabel,'' starts at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Palace Theatre, and also shows at 2 p.m. Sunday. Both of these musicals close this weekend.

``The House of Blue Leaves'' opens at 8 tonight, and shows at 8 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. This runs for about a month.

``The Drag'' runs at 7 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday, with a special midnight show Saturday - half price if you come in drag, at the Goldtown Nickelodeon Theater in the Emporium Mall downtown.

If you like drag shows, I'll bet the midnight show will be fun. Of course, with a play called ``The Drag,'' you can imagine there's already a drag show in the show as well.

The script could have been written last year and set in 1927. Instead, actress Mae West wrote it in 1927. She was clearly an intelligent, insightful writer with keen insight into gay culture. It's interesting how contemporary her cross-dressing characters are, fun-loving and flamboyant and repressed and persecuted at the same time.

``The Drag'' is a completely volunteer effort. A core group decided they wanted to do this play, pulled together some friends and support, and made it happen. It's great to live in a town where this kind of initiative is possible and encouraged.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 at the door.



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