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Weekend Best Bets

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2001

The tragic events this week have impacted arts and entertainment in Juneau, just as they have affected almost everything everywhere in America. In some cases, the show will not go on. In other cases the show will go on, but it's not business as usual.

Some folks are forging ahead with conviction. I emailed Alaska author Dana Stabenow to ask if she was still planning to visit Sunday. Her response: "If the plane is flying, I'll be on board. We don't let crazies dictate our lives."

If she makes it to Juneau, I'd recommend seeing her. Stabenow is a dedicated and successful writer with 17 novels and a regular column in Alaska Magazine to her credit. She's brought to life Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak, who has sleuthed her way through 11 novels. Three of her novels have featured another Alaska character, state trooper Liam Campbell.

The president of the mystery writers' group Alaska Sisters In Crime, Stabenow knows her craft and profession inside out. She's funny, smart and straightforward, a great person for aspiring writers to converse with about the business and art of writing.

Hopefully, Stabenow will be at the downtown Juneau library at 7 Sunday evening. If you're a fan, bring your books. If you're a writer, bring your questions. She'll give a short talk about growing up in Seldovia and the influence the local library there had on her, and then answer questions.

Perseverance Theatre canceled the Tuesday night preview of "Proof," but will open the show tonight as planned. "Proof" is a very entertaining play. In some ways it feels like a good, satisfying movie, but with the immediacy and presence of theater. The characters ring true and have depth and dimension. We catch them at a pivotal moment in their lives and, like real people, they show their best and worst sides.

The dialogue is especially well-written and delivered. There's a little swearing, but you'll hear that sometimes in the "real" world, too. I thoroughly enjoyed the preview I saw Sunday and plan to see the play again. "Proof" plays at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday and at 6 p.m. Sunday. It will run through Oct. 7.

The clowning workshop and performance planned for this weekend have been postponed until early April of next year. Don and Dee Burda were scheduled to arrive in Juneau Tuesday.

"We've tried everything," Burda said Thursday. "It's impossible to get there."

He said he worked with the local promoters and Alaska Airlines and rebooked the performance and workshop for April 5, 6 and 7, 2002.

"People's focus is elsewhere and we need to have a period of time for grieving," Burda said. "A lot of families have been disrupted and this affects everyone in the country."

It is unlikely that the three new films scheduled to open tonight at Gross Alaska Theaters will be available. "Curse of the Jade Scorpion," "Bubble Boy" and "O" were to replace "Summer Catch," "Rat Race," and "American Pie 2." Gross Alaska management is hoping the films will arrive Saturday. Call 463-3549 or check Juneaumovies.com. for updates.

"FaatKine," the first film in the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council film series, will be screened at 7 p.m. next Wednesday in the Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium. A Senegalese film with English subtitles, this is the latest effort by Ousmane Sembene, considered to be one of Africa's greatest directors. Sembene established a reputation in the 1960s with the films "Mandabi" and "Black Girl."

"Faat" is a term of endearment akin to calling a woman "Auntie" who is not a blood relative. The film looks at current Senegalese culture by focusing on a strong, 40something woman called Faat Kine.



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