Best bets

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2000

Painting, literature, theater and music are all in the offing this weekend in Juneau.

Jim Valley, the lead guitarist for the '60s pop group Paul Revere and the Raiders, is coming to town this weekend for a concert. Valley is still going strong as a musician, but unlike many former rockers, he's not playing his old hits in bars.

In 1980, Valley launched a project called The Rainbow Planet Workshop. Valley wanted to use his musical talents to encourage children to be creative, self-confident and friendly. Over the past 20 years he's produced five Rainbow Planet recordings and a creative movement video. He's also written a musical play and five books, and teaches at educational conferences.

I haven't seen Valley perform, but I have a stack of good reviews and positive articles about his shows. This sounds like a good bet for young audiences. The show is at 4 p.m. Sunday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, and it's a benefit for the Juneau Community Food Bank. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

This is a good time to catch Perseverance Theatre's current play, ``The House of Blue Leaves.'' The cast and crew have nearly a dozen performances behind them, and they're on a roll.

They have a twist in this show. There's a brief, chaotic scene where a white-coated mental health worker shows up with a straitjacket to haul away one of the characters. Perseverance has invited a variety of community members to cameo as The Man in White. They include Sen. Kim Elton, Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins, Alaska Corrections Commissioner Margaret Pugh, Frank and Sally Rue (he's the Department of Fish and Game commissioner, she's on staff in the lieutenant governor's office) and Agent X, a.k.a. Mark Farmer.

It's an all-star cameo cast, with some humorous, ironic twists, but I'd be giving away plot elements to say more.

``Blue Leaves'' shows Thursdays through Sundays, through April 2. The pay-as-you-can show will be 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22.

Perseverance is also presenting a play-reading festival over the next two weekends. All four performances are free and open to the public. This is an annual event at the theater, a chance to preview some ideas being considered for upcoming seasons. All shows are at 2 p.m.

``Bedfellows,'' a play about politicians and the press is the first show this Saturday. ``The Granny'' runs Sunday afternoon. Next Saturday is ``The Wooden Breeks, a play set in Scotland, and next Sunday is last year's Pulitzer prize winner, ``Wit.

Three or four weeks ago several visitors from Russia brought 42 paintings from artists in Juneau's sister city of Vladivostok to the capital city. The paintings are still in Juneau, and are on display at KTOO-FM. It's a fine exhibit of contemporary artwork. Centennial Hall provided more room to move back from the paintings and really take them in, but it's great to be able to see them again. Just go upstairs anytime during business hours Monday through Friday.

There's a book-signing with authors and photographers from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the new Hearthside Books location in Nugget Mall. I don't think it will feature any readings, but it's a chance to meet the authors and photographers. Mark Kelley will be debuting his new book on Glacier Bay National Park. Author Nick Jans wrote the text for another coffee-table-style photography book on Alaska that features the work of Art Wolfe, and Jans will be at Hearthside. Juneau artist Jim Fowler illustrated a new book by a Florida author, and will be there. And finally, Juneau poet, linguist, essayist and playwright Nora Dauenhauer will be there with her new book, ``Life Woven With Song.''

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