Skidding over a thick sheet of ice, Boise Weekly publisher Sally Freeman and I made our way to the Boise Airport Jan. 24 to escape the frozen city for a digital conference in San Francisco. Hosted by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, the three-day conference included lectures from digital librarian and activist Brewster Kahle and Mark Coatney of Tumblr, among many others.
While we were talking tech with our national alt peers, other BWers were holding down the snow fort in the Gem State. Freelancer Andrew Mentzer chugged up to the opening weekend of the McCall Winter Carnival.
"Despite dismal traffic and heavy snowfall, the mood was upbeat with thousands of patrons taking in dozens of elaborate snow sculptures," wrote Mentzer. "Other events include snowshoe golf, tubing, a lobster feed and live tunes town-wide."
The carnival continues through Sunday, Feb. 3.
Back in Boise, BW's Harrison Berry stopped by Boise State University's Special Events Center Jan. 24 for the preview of Idaho Dance Theatre's Winter Performance. Berry was particularly impressed by choreographer Jessica Miller Tomlinson's "Architecture: Splintered and Cracked."
"This piece was perhaps the evening's most remarkable for the freshness and profundity of its physical statements," wrote Berry. "The dancers mimed and synthesized the cracking of concrete and twisting of steel, simulating the decay of enormous, static structures as fog billowed from stage right."
The following evening, Jan. 25, BW's Josh Gross got cozy at Liquid Laughs for a set by '90s comedian Pauly Shore.
"Shore's acting career very much on hiatus, his fortune gone, his name a punchline, he could have shuffled out onstage like a washed-up has-been."
But, according to Gross, that wasn't the case.
"Shore's lighthearted doofusness gave his lamentations a whimsical tone, a WTF for for the ages. ... It could have been terrible. It wasn't. Instead, it was hilarious."
Gross also swung by the debut of a new play from local writer and director Thomas Newby, Signal-to-Noise. According to Gross, the plot follows a love story between an "awkward, overweight schlub who spends most of his time online" and a woman "carrying on an imaginary relationship with the government official she believes is monitoring her every move."
"Depicted as a time-fractured series of vignettes that constantly repeat and expand upon one and other, the story evolves from a 1,000-mile height, giving an overall impression of the relationship more than linear narrative," wrote Gross. "It feels as convoluted and self-serving as memory, and eventually devolves into the characters' meditations on that great eternal question: What is love?"
Gross continued: "While not perfect, the production, the first from the newly launched Green Zoo Theatre, a collaborative project of Newby's band The Green Zoo, is more than just a strong debut. It's an unusual and compelling piece that is well worth the low price of admission."
The play continues Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, at The Water Cooler, 1405 W Idaho St. in Boise.