There’s never a dull moment and rarely a quiet night in Tacoma’s Theater District, thanks to the busy bees who book the shows at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.
On Friday night, Jeff “The Dude” Bridges will play guitar with his band, a few blocks away from a speedskating exhibition.
Over the next few months, downtown T-Town will be awash in acts as diverse as Chinese acrobats, Beatles impersonators and the Seattle Men’s Chorus donning their gay apparel. Fa la la la la.
There’s even a musical about women going through menopause, called — appropriately — “Menopause: The Musical.”
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(Sorry fellas, you’ll never understand. Maybe next year they’ll stage a world premiere of “Erectile Dysfunction: The Musical.”)
Nobody ever said that every person has to approve of every show or every performer. In a fast-rising cosmopolitan city like ours, people will always have different opinions about art.
But scandal sometimes gets in the way of art.
And all of a sudden, the Broadway Center’s 2015 lineup is on fringes of a national scandal.
Hey, hey, hey: Bill Cosby is scheduled to bring his comedy tour to the Pantages Theater on April 18.
The same Bill Cosby of the hit ’80s family sitcom and the enduring ’70s cartoon series starring Fat Albert, Old Weird Harold and other genius characters borrowed from Cosby’s childhood.
The same Bill Cosby who has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and who gave a free pep talk to Lakewood students and parents in 2007.
The same Bill Cosby who is so old, the lil’ nostrils in the Nose household sometimes mix him up with Bing Crosby.
Now they’ve definitely heard of him, but in a way that seems horribly out of context.
This week, Cosby had TV projects scrapped by NBC and Netflix under a cloud of sexual assault accusations by multiple women — accusations that are sticking to the 77-year-old comedian like Jell-O Pudding to his shoe.
In defense of the Broadway Center, it booked Cosby months before these old, sordid stories went viral. He’s been prosecuted for none of them and he has denied all of them (not counting a lawsuit he settled years ago).
But will the stink be enough to sink a show that has a leading local women’s welfare organization, the Carol Milgard Breast Center, as one of its sponsors?
The Broadway folks are staying mum for now. They told the Schnoz they’ll have something to say Monday.
“We’re in negotiations with (Cosby’s agent). Until we have that buttoned up, we can’t say whether the show will be canceled,” said Lacey Wright, Broadway’s director of marketing. “We are talking to his agent about our concerns. The media firestorm around Cosby is a concern.”
Whichever side is lying here, the comedian or his accusers, to them we say: Shame on you.
To quote Rudy, one of the cartoon Cosby kids: “You’re like school on Saturday: No class.”
Déjà vu all over again: All of this feels oddly familiar.
Last summer, in a bit of news broken by Snores Truly, the Emerald Queen Casino took a stand against offensive behavior by canceling a performance by rocker Ted Nugent.
Incidentally, this column might be the only time in history that Bill Cosby is compared with Ted Nugent.
Feast your eyes on this: Our favorite Central Tacoma lunch spot, MSM Deli (home of the inimitable Mike’s Deluxe), was overshadowed for a few weeks recently.
If you drove down Sixth Avenue, you might’ve seen the hard-working Magical Sandwich Makers and their tiny sign dwarfed by a total eclipse of Big Sandwich.
Personally, we have no beef with the Subway corporate franchise. Hey, we appreciate a supersized tribute to bacon as much as the next supersize American carnivore does.
The real devils here are — insert diabolical theme music — Clear Channel Outdoor Inc.
Second place goes to city leaders who’ve spent decades making empty promises to rid T-Town of billboards.
Today, we’re left with some puppet show called the Tacoma Billboard Community Working Group — the result of a two-year “standstill” agreement between the city and Clear Channel that keeps them from suing each other.
Memo to both of them: You can order your next working lunch from Subway, or from MSM. We don’t care.
Either way, just hold the baloney.
Yeehaw, we’ve seen the light! Reckon we owe an apology to the Tacoma Art Museum for a column we wrote a year and a half ago, saying the city-slicker design of the new Western art wing put a hitch in our giddyap.
The addition opened last weekend, and boy howdy, she’s as purty as they come.
We’d cotton to it even more if museum honchos would tip their hat to T-Town and preserve some classic local cowboy art.
Bring on the flyin’ boots!