BW Picks

20 Years of Dance • Blues Journey • 2009 McCall Winter Carnival • Two Servings of Comedy • Banff Mountain Film Festival • CSI Boise • Author Talk

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29 Thursday – 1 Sunday

20 Years of Dance

Break out of frigid routines by attending Idaho Dance Theatre's winter production of "No Hesitation." Artistic director and choreographer Carl Rowe premieres a complex dance number that crescendoes in organized chaos. Artistic director and choreographer Marla Hansen presents To Be Loved, a piece in four duets that depicts the various stages of love set to music expressly shared by composers the Pikoul sisters. IDT alumni dancer Jenn Freeman's piece, Turning, Turning, Turning features modern dance set to a remix of songs.

Jan. 29-31, 8 p.m., and Feb. 1, 2 p.m., $28 adults; $20 seniors (62 and older); $14 youth/students, Boise State Special Events Center, 1800 University Dr., idahodancetheatre.org.

30 Friday

Blues Journey

The Blues Journey puts a spotlight on one of the most influential forms of music developed in the 20th century. The play begins with the humble roots of the blues and dissects its spiritual connections, themes, cultural significance and influences on other types of music. Powerful vocals, sensational stories and electrifying music are all part of the Morrison Center's ENCORE educational program presented by The Kennedy Center. For tickets, call Karen Stucker at 208-426-1034.

9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., $5-$7, Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, artsedge.kennedy-center.org/bluesjourney.

2009 McCall Winter Carnival

The 44th annual Fantasy in Ice festivities takes place Jan. 30-Feb. 8 with food, drink and live music happenings all over McCall. Celebrate winter with parades, fireworks over the lake and mountainous snow sculptures. New this year, check out the debut of the world's first 2Moto Ground Zero Snowbike Race at the McCall Golf Course Feb. 7 at noon. Pioneered by Idaho-based company 2Moto, off-road motorcycles are fitted with a ski and a lightweight, high-performance track.

A full schedule of events is available at mccallwintercarnival.com.

Two Servings of Comedy

How do you like your comedy: squeaky clean or with a touch of debauchery? Spend an evening laughing along with Mormon comedian Bengt Washburn and his funny friends, or alter your mind with J. Medicine Hat. Bengt Washburn lived in Mountain Home before starting a career in comedy with routines that take rib-tickling jabs at the LDS church fueled in part by his intake of caffeine, which he is fully aware is frowned upon by his faith. Hear more at getbengt.com. Boise audiences have been under the demented direction of J. Medicine Hat many times. The hypno-comedian uses a unique blend of hypnosis mixed with comedy to plant seeds of entertainment in the minds of willing volunteers. No college campus, casino or club across the country is a safe haven from his suggestive scenarios. Check him out at jmedicinehat.com.

Bengt Washburn performs 8:30 p.m., $12 adv.; $15 door, The Knitting Factory Concert House, 916 N. Ninth St.; J. Medicine Hat performs for two nights Jan. 30-31 at 7:30 p.m., $18, China Blue, 100 S. Sixth St., 208-338-6604.

1 Sunday – 3 Tuesday

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Settle into the comfort of a theater seat and prepare to take a visual adventure through the outdoor culture of the mountain world. Award-winning action, environmental and outdoor-sports films ranging from 3 to 55 minutes offer messages of inspiration and show feats of athleticism. Film topics range from backcountry skiing to BASE jumping, preserving sockeye salmon to a short film about flavored sweets made from ice shaved off the Andes. Food and adult beverages are served and The Bogus Basin Junior Nordic Team hosts the popular prize raffle. For the first year, the Boise Nordic Foundation is raising money by offering dinner and a movie at Reef to the first 50 people to buy tickets for Monday night's screening. For $39, eat a dinner of scallop and mushroom risotto, Jamaican jerk chicken or filet mignon before heading over to The Egyptian Theatre. Get tickets at idahotickets.com.

7 p.m., $15 adv.; $20 door; $12 student/senior; three-night pass $40, The Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., banffmountainfestivals.ca.

3 Tuesday

CSI Boise

Get a free pass to cross the crime tape and find out about what goes on during homicide and crime scene investigations. Join detectives Tucker and Barker from the Ada County Sheriff's Office during an hour-and-half long presentation suitable for civilian adults. The presentation is in conjunction with The Big Read. This year's featured selection is The Maltese Falcon, the classic detective story by Dashiell Hammett. The Big Read program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and local partners, is an initiative to bring communities together through literature.

7 p.m., FREE, Library at Hillcrest, 5246 W. Overland Road, Boise, neabigread.org.

4 Wednesday

Author Talk

Aimee Bender and Anthony Doerr are notable authors who love to talk about their craft, which makes them the perfect guests for The Cabin's Readings and Conversations. The authors read selections from their work and then engage in an interactive discussion with the audience about their creative processes and how their work relates to contemporary issues.

Bender, who has received two Pushcart Prizes, a literary award honoring small presses and emerging authors, is from Southern California, where she teaches creative writing at University of Southern California. Her collection of short stories and novels include The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, An Invisible Sign of My Own and Willful Creatures.

Boise's own Doerr is no stranger to literary recognition. Idaho's writer-in-residence is the author of the award-winning collection of short stories The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome, a book about his experiences in Italy with his wife and then-1-year-old twin sons.

7:30 p.m., $20 general; $12 student, The Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., 208-331-8000, thecabinidaho.org.