Sunday, September 23, 2018

Local Entertainment

Cues from Katy: Local plays, a comedian and a film festival highlight weekend

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    Dan Reiland

Editor’s note: Cues from Katy is a list of events entertainment reporter Katy Macek thinks are worth checking out this weekend.

1. “Arrivals and Departures” (7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Valleybrook Church, 412 S. Barstow St. $10): If you have an affinity for people-watching in airports, or are familiar with Jim and Jane Jeffries’ work (they’ve done a history podcast with Blugold Radio, performed at Renaissance fairs and have premiered several original plays in Eau Claire), you’ll want to check out the playwright duo’s latest.

“Arrivals and Departures” comments on the quirks about airports we all love to complain about. It’s got the comedy stamp of a Jeffries original, but this one also dives into some more serious topics — including a woman’s decision to become a nun.

Plus, proceeds from the show are going right back into the community, with half going toward Valleybrook Church’s Hollywood Stage the show is being presented on and the other half to the Eau Claire-based nonprofit Fierce Freedom, which works to fight against human trafficking. 

2. Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild’s “Driving Miss Daisy” (7:30 p.m. today through Saturday; 1:30 p.m. Sunday, The Grand Theatre, 102 W. Grand Ave. $23 adults, $10 youth. This three-character play shows how something as simple as taking the time to get to know someone can lead to lasting friendships despite barriers in race, age and religion. That’s a life lesson we can still use today. 

History buffs will enjoy the accuracy of this show that takes place from 1948 to 1973 in the South, a time period in the U.S. defined by discrimination. 

Anyone paying attention to today’s national political climate will see still-relevant parallels.

3. MidWest WeirdFest (Friday through Sunday, Micon Downtown Cinema, 315 S. Barstow St. Individual film tickets, day passes and full festival passes available. This film festival devotes an entire weekend to the weird, wacky and horrific side of film. 

From horror to science fiction to erotic underground cinema, the 13 feature films and 52 shorts in this year’s festival are bound to intrigue audience members. 

Around 20 filmmakers, producers and directors will be speaking throughout the weekend. It’s not often you can watch a cool film AND talk to the brains behind its production, so take advantage of the full day (or full festival) passes. If you’re not sure this is up your alley, individual film tickets are also available. 

4. UW-Eau Claire Theatre’s “Kingdom Come” (7:30 p.m. today through Saturday; 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Riverside Theatre in UW-Eau Claire’s Haas Fine Arts Center. $18. If you have yet to see this nontraditional play about Norwegian immigrant settlers coming to America in the mid-19th century, and you’re an avid theatergoer, you’ll want to check this off your list. 

The show draws on themes of immigration, family and religion. It’s main characters defy stereotypes in each of these categories as they go against the Lutheran Church and settle into Wisconsin. 

This show is guaranteed to play on your emotions and connect you with the characters. 

5. Kyle Kinane (7 p.m. Sunday, The Plus, 208 S. Barstow St. $20. 715-832-8844): Eau Claire’s Clear Water Comedy is bringing this internationally touring comedian back to The Plus this weekend.

Kinane has appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” “Conan” and “Workaholics,” among numerous others. He also has been featured several times on Comedy Central, and he’s one of the biggest acts to take the stage in Eau Claire. 

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