Weekend Best Bets

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2001

African drummers and dancers kick off the weekend with a performance tonight. There's something for a variety of tastes and ages in the coming week in Juneau.

WOFA delivered a great performance three years ago, and the concert tonight at Juneau-Douglas High School should be another high-energy event. The show is well staged, bringing the drumming and dancing of West Africa to the north country of Alaska.

These are probably some of the most athletic musicians I've ever seen and they clearly have fun. The group has adapted traditional dances and the music of rituals and celebrations for the stage. Sometimes performances of unfamiliar traditional music and dance invites polite, quiet appreciation - WOFA had folks whooping and cheering. The group is easy to like and should be a good all-ages show. Tickets at the door tonight are $22, $17 seniors and students and $67 for a family.

WOFA will offer dance and drumming workshops Saturday as well as the concert tonight. The dance workshop is 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Juneau Dance Unlimited studio; the drumming workshop is 1 to 3 p.m. at the JDHS band room. Each workshop is $12.

I saw "Proof" again Wednesday night at Perseverance Theatre. The mystery-love story-family drama runs one more week. It was just as entertaining to see the play a second time. It was like watching the movie "Sixth Sense" again - knowing all the tricks and the outcome, you want to see if there are any holes or places where they cheat. They don't. If anything, it was more interesting the second time, to see how the play had been tightened up and improved as well as how seamless the writing is. This is a satisfying show well worth seeing. "Proof" runs this weekend and next, with a final show at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7.

The Marie Drake Planetarium launches its fall season with free presentations next week. An introductory presentation, "Spend an Evening Under the Stars," will be held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for young children, with a longer version for longer attention spans offered from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. The planetarium is between Juneau-Douglas High School and Harborview School.

Saturday is the last day for "Quilts of Alaska: A Textile Album of the Last Frontier" at the Alaska State Museum. The 45 quilts and quilted items on display will move on to Anchorage next month.

The museum is offering a quilting workshop for students grades 3 through 8 from 9:30 to noon Saturday. Local quilters will teach basic quilting techniques and demonstrate. Students should bring fabric scraps from home. Call the museum at 465-2901 Saturday morning to sign up; as of Thursday there were still openings in the class. The workshop is free.

Another event Saturday is definitely not for kids. Imported beers from all over the world and a variety of craft beers from Pacific Northwest brewers will be available for sampling Saturday afternoon. The event, Charrfest, is sponsored by the cabaret, hotel and restaurant retailers association, basically the folks in the liquor industry. Jeff McCain, regional sales manager for the Alaskan Brewing Co., said the event is a fund-raiser to help get a local Charr group off the ground and an opportunity to show off regional craft beers.

"There's probably going to be at least 35 to 40 styles of beer available for sampling," McCain said. "People can sample various types of beers, especially seasonals. There will be a lot of winter beers and fall beers, like Oktoberfest."

The Alaskan Brewery, the Haines Brewing Co. and four local distributors will supply the beverages.

Charrfest runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake at Salmon Creek. The cost is $20, which includes beer sampling and food, provided by salmon bake. At 5 p.m. the salmon bake will provide bus transportation to the valley and into town.

Riley Woodford can be reached at rileyw@juneauempire.com.



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