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Lit Up -- It was a phrase we were hearing a lot over the weekend, in any number of variations but pretty much expressing the same sentiment: "This is renewing my faith in Spokane." What was this magical elixir? Was it a big new high-paying industry come to town? A sudden surge in the local economy? Nope. Neither. It was this year's Get Lit! festival, and people were talking about not only how David Sedaris packed the Met, but how Spokane's literary presence was evidenced by such local talents as Jess Walter, Jasmine Paul and Scott Poole. Hell, even Sedaris (who is understandably pretty hard to impress) commented on the caliber of our local literary lights.

And speaking of literary lights, did we dig Lynda Barry's Saturday night reading or what? The popular cartoonist and novelist gave an inspired performance, which included a slow-mo version of the Funky Chicken, an homage to her Evergreen State College English teacher, plenty of thoughts on writing and even a song, to the tune of "Coal Miner's Daughter." It was a great time, and we also thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Davenport so busy. In addition to Get Lit!, there was also a wedding reception, a prom and a college formal taking place at the same time. Enough to restore one's faith in this town, indeed.

Butterfly Redux -- If you didn't get a chance to catch I Never Saw Another Butterfly at the Met a few weeks ago, you're about to get another try. A benefit performance has been scheduled for Monday, April 21, at 7:30 pm at the Met, and proceeds go towards travel expenses for the Spokane Theatrical Group to attend the AACT/Fest 03 competition in Tacoma. They've already been selected Best in State for best director (Troy Nickerson), Best Actress (Laura Kohler) and Special Recognition for Best Lighting Design (Brian Ritter); in Tacoma they'll compete with the Best in State from Oregon. Best of luck, everyone!

Lilya of the Valley -- There's been a slight change in the Spokane Symphony's printed schedule, and instead of the Faust concert on Friday (it's been moved to May 9), they're offering Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto with Moscow-born pianist Lilya Zilberstein. We think this one's definitely worth checking out: Not only has Zilberstein performed with the London Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony, the program includes Schubert's "Fantasy in F Minor" and four of Wagner's pieces from The Ring. Yep, "The Ride of the Valkyries" is one of them.

Publication date: 04/17/03

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