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  • GETTING OUT

    Gordon Weeks|Jun 22, 2023

    Meet the women who jumpstart their lives in the comic play "The Savannah Sipping Society." Boisterous Texan Marlafaye has blasted unto Savannah after losing her tom-cattin' husband to a 23-year-old dental hygienist. Also new to town is Jinx, a spunky ball of fire offering her services as a life coach. Randa is a perfectionist and workaholic without a job or a life. Dot is also alone after the death of her husband and the loss of her plans for an idyllic retirement. Fate throws these four Souther...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 22, 2023

    Last week in streaming, the 21st century's best "Star Trek" series returned for a second season on Paramount+, and the honorary godfather of superhero comics was treated to a highly sympathetic documentary on Disney+. In some corners of the internet, I saw the second-season premiere of "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" described as "underwhelming," and I can only wonder what alternate timeline version of this show those people were watching. Just as its first season did, the return of "Strange...

  • GETTING OUT

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 15, 2023

    Many amateur — or “ham” — radio hobbyists develop their skills to provide lines of communication when other avenues of communication have failed, and they need to practice to keep those skills current. During the weekend of June 24-25, hams across the country will set up operations to make as many contacts as possible within 24 hours for this year’s American Radio Relay League Field Day. The Mason County Amateur Radio Club, which operates under the Amateur Radio Emergency Service,...

  • IN THE DARK REVIEWS

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 15, 2023

    Seeing the Michael J. Fox biopic "Still" on Apple TV+ last month stuck with me, so I skipped the latest "Transformers" film to raid Fox's catalog for a couple of his lesser-loved films to see how they hold up in retrospect. Writer-director Paul Schrader's "Light of Day" cast Fox alongside rock 'n' roll musician Joan Jett in 1987, while Jay McInerney wrote the screenplay for the 1988 movie adaptation of his own novel, "Bright Lights, Big City," which starred Fox in 1988. Both films were released...

  • GETTING OUT

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 15, 2023

    Cody Morris, head brewer and founder of Potlatch Brewing Co. in Hoodsport, credited Kelli Kohout, co-founder of the Hoodstock Music and Arts Festival on the Hood Canal, with inspiring him to brew custom ales for community events. It started with a recipe for last year's Hoodstock, and expanded for this year's Hoodstock and Fjordin Crossin events. Morris debuted his farmhouse ale, which employs a largely traditional Scandinavian recipe and kviek yeast, May 19 at Potlatch Brewing to lead into the...

  • Fjordin Crossin free shuttle, paddle sign-ups going fast

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 8, 2023

    As the Hardware Distillery and Hood Canal Events team up to stage the fifth annual Fjordin Crossin festival on June 17, event co-founder Jan Morris wants to ensure returning and new attendees know the festival's features. Morris, co-founder of the Hardware Distillery with her husband, Chuck, said a free shuttle is set to run roughly every half hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that Saturday to cater to those arriving early and to encourage them to explore the area later that afternoon. The shuttle...

  • 'Across the Spider-Verse' delivers dynamic action

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 8, 2023

    Just as 2021’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” beat 2022’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” in introducing the concept of the multiverse to live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, so did 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (and 2021’s “What If…?” streaming series for the MCU) beat both films in introducing the multiverse to Spider-Man and Marvel fans alike in animation. (Warning: Multiple spoilers ahead.) Between all those big (and small) screen...

  • 'Showing Up' spotlights artists dreams

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 1, 2023

    After her unexpected but characteristically meditative revisionist Western "First Cow" in 2019, Oregon filmmaker Kelly Reichardt returned yet again to her stomping grounds with "Showing Up" in 2022, which I finally had a chance to catch in the Rose Theatre's Starlight Room in Port Townsend. This film could have been subtitled "The Portland Scene," because not only does it capture the subculture of working-class artists and the murmuring, occasionally circular conversations that define their...

  • Shelton Cinemas' summer festival back for 10-week run

    Kirk Boxleitner|Jun 1, 2023

    It’s a tradition that has been put on pause just once, during the first year of the pandemic. Shelton Cinemas’ Summer Movie Mondays returns June 26, starting with the musical comedy “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.” Brittney Kick, head manager of Shelton Cinemas, recalled how the event got started in 2013 as “our gift to the community,” with prices to match. “It’s a milestone for this program, but we hope we can continue it for many more years to come,” Kick said. “Regardless of the...

  • Annual Spell-E-Bration fundraiser June 2

    Gordon Weeks|May 25, 2023

    The Shelton-based nonprofit Sound Learning hosts the 27th annual Spell-E-Bration fundraiser June 2 in the Shelton Civic Center. The silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., and the spelling competition begins at 6 p.m. Teams of three spellers, some in colorful outfits, will showcase their skills during the spelling bee. Each team is sponsored by a business or group. The event features a silent and live auction, a band, loads of desserts and other food, banter between the teams and the judges -...

  • 'Mrs. Davis' uneven; 'Marvels' heroine safe in the MCU

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 25, 2023

    'Mrs. Davis' on Peacock I promised I would offer a final verdict on Peacock's "Mrs. Davis" streaming series once it had aired all eight of its episodes. As of May 18, its entire run is now online, but I still find myself left with mixed reactions to the whole affair. First off, credit to series co-creator Damon Lindelof for not choking in the clutch on "Mrs. Davis" in the same way he did on "Lost," because it wrapped up with all its plot threads tied up so neatly that, in retrospect, it becomes...

  • Evangelical musical this weekend at Shelton High

    Gordon Weeks|May 18, 2023

    Clearly Focused Productions stages the evangelical musical drama "Moment of Truth" at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Shelton High School Performing Arts Center, 3737 N. Shelton Springs Road. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children younger than 10, and church youth groups can get in for $5 each with a minimum group of 10. Information: www.ClearlyFP.com and 360-789-7917. Laura Lee (Johnston) Roznowski directs a cast of about 30 in the show, which she co-wrote...

  • 'Still' uses Fox's career to capture travails, triumphs

    Compiled by reporter Kirk Boxleitner|May 18, 2023

    It's hard to convey to those who didn't experience the 1980s firsthand what a huge deal Michael J. Fox was, and how much he seemed to remain a down-to-earth guy. I'd say (as a compliment to both men) that he was the Will Smith of his day, except Smith and Fox's heydays weren't that far removed - "Family Ties" ran from 1982-89, while "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" ran from 1990-96. And of course, Smith was never diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The title of the Michael J. Fox biopic on Apple TV...

  • 'Guardians of the Galaxy' has satisfying closure

    Compiled by reporter Kirk Boxleitner|May 11, 2023

    In retrospect, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" feels like the true capstone to the Marvel Cinematic Universe up through "Infinity War," because it finally addresses the last loose plot threads left untied after Thanos (and Bruce Banner and Tony Stark) snapped their fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. Thanos' brief mid-credits appearance at the end of the first "Avengers" film in 2012 obscures the fact that his first full, substantive role was in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy"...

  • Community events along Hood Canal in May, June

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 11, 2023

    Hoodsport, Union and Belfair’s calendars are active with arts, entertainment and community events in the coming weeks, starting with the Hood Canal Improvement Club’s community market at the New Community Church of Union, at 951 E. Dalby Road in Union on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kerry Meyers, vice president of the Hood Canal Improvement Club, anticipates one to two dozen vendors, and hopes for clear skies, since that’s enough vendors to fill the church and start to spill outside, ev...

  • Creepy, kooky, mysterious, ooky

    Gordon Weeks|May 4, 2023

    After members of the Shelton High School Drama Club considered possible plays to stage this spring, they whittled their choices to "Beetlejuice" or "The Addams Family Musical." This illustrates their current mood for black comedy, said Wendy Burr, adviser to the group and an arts and CTE instructor at the school. Burr directs the school's production of "The Addams Family Musical" at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the school's Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for...

  • 'Mrs. Davis' succeeds so far; 'Peter Pan' fails to fly

    Kirk Boxleitner|May 4, 2023

    'Mrs. Davis' on Peacock I should have suspected I'd encounter this problem with a miniseries co-created by Damon Lindelof. Between co-creating the ultimately disappointing TV series "Lost," co-writing some of the worst installments in the "Alien" and "Star Trek" film series, and helming the controversial TV adaptation of the "Watchmen" comic, Lindelof has a checkered record. But "Mrs. Davis," which he co-created for the Peacock streaming service, came with positive recommendations from folks I...

  • 'Mandalorian,' 'Picard' score satisfying finales

    Kirk Boxleitner|Apr 27, 2023

    This past week delivered a season finale, a series finale and a season premiere of a recently revived series, so join me as I reveal some MAJOR SPOILERS while reviewing all three shows. "The Mandalorian" wrapped up its eight-episode third season on Disney+ on April 19, and was followed by "Picard" completing its 10-episode third-and-final season on Paramount+ on April 20. While both shows' most recent seasons were entertaining, well-made and mostly satisfying, I've seen comments online that...

  • Bob Ross movie, documentary offer true-life takes

    Kirk Boxleitner|Apr 20, 2023

    I had intended to see "Renfield" last weekend, with Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult, but since it's not screening at a theater near me yet, I decided to take advantage of this "happy little accident" by seeing "Paint" instead, starring Owen Wilson as fictional pastoral painter Carl Nargle, who is very obviously based on legendary real-life artist Bob Ross, who died in 1995. More than a quarter-century after his death from cancer, it's a testament to Bob Ross' artistic legacy and his aesthetic...

  • 'Slaughter Nick for President' a human rights win

    Kirk Boxleitner|Apr 13, 2023

    The approach of Easter had me in a kind of contemplative mood, so I finally got around to seeing a documentary I'd first heard about when it debuted in 2012, but which, for whatever reasons, I simply never managed to watch at the time, until I found it on Amazon Prime Video. It's a story for the ages, as an oppressive despot wages war in Eastern Europe, and a decidedly unserious actor suddenly becomes the unlikely voice of an opposition movement fighting for freedom. While it has parallels to...

  • 'John Wick: Chapter 4' best installment yet

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 30, 2023

    All hail "John Wick, the most perfect unplanned action film franchise ever. With every other series of action films whose sequels were propelled more by the previous installments' unexpectedly outsized and enduring popularity than by any premeditated plots their creators might have had in mind, there is always some misstep, however minor, that the series has to either retroactively erase or else compensate for in the later installments. The "Fast & Furious" franchise has made an admirable...

  • 'Mandalorian' reliable, 'Shazam!' offers adventure

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 23, 2023

    The ides of March yielded great fun for nerds, with intriguing developments in the third season of "The Mandalorian" on Disney+ and bombastic, mostly all-ages adventures in the sequel "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." Three episodes into its third season, there's less of a sense of urgency to the ongoing plot arcs in "The Mandalorian," which is, I suspect, why they're getting resolved more briskly, to ensure the viewership doesn't succumb to what's already been alleged in the entertainment press as...

  • 'History of the World, Part II' lives up to Part 1

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 16, 2023

    In the end, they pulled it off. The problem with measuring any sequel to Mel Brooks' "History of the World, Part I" against the film that inspired it is that Brooks' original film in 1981 somehow managed to feel like much more than the sum of its somewhat uneven parts. In one sense, Hulu's "History of the World, Part II" streaming miniseries, whose debut ran March 6 to 9, learned the best lesson possible from its predecessor's mistakes, because while it spans eight episodes, each one lasts less...

  • Sultans of String perform

    Mar 9, 2023

  • 'Picard' could go either way; 'Creed III' wraps saga

    Kirk Boxleitner|Mar 9, 2023

    'Star Trek: Picard' Three episodes into the third and allegedly final season of "Star Trek: Picard," and too much of it has already been wasted on recreating the hide-and-seek fight inside of a nebula from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," which seems to be the all-too-obvious inspiration for other key aspects of our protagonist's intended character arc this time around. In terms of pacing overall, this season has already introduced two new adult children of core cast members from "Star Trek:...

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