It's a sure sign that summer is coming in the mid-valley: The Corvallis Community Band settles into Central Park for its seasonal series of Tuesday night concerts.
The 2019 season starts Tuesday at 8 p.m., but this will be a season of transition for the Community Band: Steve Matthes, who has led the band for more than four decades, is planning to retire and is transitioning out of the role. The band's board has hired Lia Poole, band director at Corvallis High School, to replace Matthes, although the transition will be a slow one: Poole won't completely take the reins until 2022.
Matthes isn't planning to go anywhere soon: He still plans to direct three concerts this season, including Tuesday's opener, a salute to musicals that have recently been performed in the mid-valley. (Jim Martinez, who has served as musical director for many of those shows, will share conducting duties on Tuesday.) Poole also will conduct three concerts this summer.
The overall idea is to ensure that the band continues to be a going concern after Matthes finally retires, and that's a good goal. Click here to read my story about the band.
If you're a fan of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales — or if you have a weak spot for those wacky theatrical productions that try to cram all the works by one author into a 90-minute show — you won't want to miss "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" when it bows Friday night at the Albany Civic Theater.
Conner Riley, a 19-year-old Albany resident with a long list of acting credits to his name, is making his directing debut with the show, which essentially tries to cram all 209 Grimm fairy tales into one madcap production. "Cinderella" may never be the same. Neither may Riley. Click here to read Jennifer Moody's fun preview story about the show.
If you're more in the mood for dance, the weekend has a couple of options: The 28th Spring Celebration of Dance, a production of Donna Blatt Ervin's Modern Dance Technique studio, plays Friday and Saturday night at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis. The show spotlights the studio's advanced dancers, Blatt Ervin told me, and even includes a piece the dancers choreographed themselves. Click here to read more about the show.
The weekend also features the Downtown Dance Spring Showcase, set for 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at Corvallis High School. More than 200 performers, from ages 3 to adult, will be on stage during the show.
Don't forget to check out our weekly guide to all of this week's arts and entertainment events in the mid-valley: You can click here to access our calendar. This week's list includes a pair of interesting concerts at the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis: A Friday event will feature Jason Webley, a troubadour based in Everett, Washington, who's got plans to bring a troupe of musicians, circus performers and puppeteers down the Willamette River this summer on a homemade raft, performing in parks along the way. He's dubbed it the "FLOTSAM" tour, and you can help it out by buying a ticket to catch Webley's show at 8 p.m. Friday. Webley says the show will include many of this summer's performers.
And Monday night, the Whiteside welcomes flutist, whistle player, singer, and Juno Award winner Hanz Araki, who's been praised by critics and audiences alike for his explorations into Irish, Scottish, Japanese and American musical traditions.
As for movies, the weekend brings another fresh harvest of summer titles, but none has grabbed my interest as much as "The Dead Don't Die," the new zombie comedy from offbeat director Jim Jarmusch, the director of "Stranger Than Paradise" and other cult favorites. Jarmusch has assembled quite the cast for the flick — Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton and Chloe Sevigny headline the cast, so to speak, but folks like Iggy Pop and Tom Waits also show up. Reviewer Richard Roeper says Jarmusch fans will recognize the deadpan tone of the film, and also said it's a hoot: Click here to read his review.
If you're a fan of actresses with the last name of Thompson, this is your lucky week: Rising star Tessa Thompson dons the iconic black suit for the sequel "Men in Black: International." Reviewer Katie Walsh says the movie was unnecessary, but it's still enjoyable — and Thompson is the best thing in it. Click here to read her review.
Similarly, reviewer Michael Phillips says Emma Thompson (um, no relation to Tessa) is the best thing about "Late Night," the movie about a late-night talk-show host (Thompson) who's forced to add a woman (Mindy Kaling, who wrote the script) to her writing staff. The movie has received generally strong reviews, but Phillips is a little more lukewarm about it: Click here to read his review.
Still unsure what to see at your local multiplex? Relax: Our weekly Movie Scene runs all the titles down for you. Click here to plan your flicks for this Father's Day weekend. John Wick — and his dog — are still in the middle of mayhem.
That's it for this week. I'll be back in a week with a fresh new cheat sheet. In the meantime, I'll be mourning the news that controversy continues to stalk my beloved Bananarama. It's a "Cruel Summer" indeed.