Idaho Arts Quarterly » Southwest Idaho

Southwest Report


Group Art

Art is supposed to be inclusive, so what could be better than a group art show? The Basement Gallery is rolling out new work by some of Boise's best local artists for its annual group Christmas show.

We hate to use the "it comes but once a year" line, but hey, we will anyway. This is the only opportunity to pick up some truly unique holiday gifts for the art-lover in your life all in one place. Six artists have contributed work to the show—many of whom have created work that has graced the cover of BW over the years.

Ben Wilson's original paintings will hang beside his special events posters, and Bill Carman will share his fancifully designed drawings and paintings. Also joining the show is Erin Ruiz, whose mixed-media paintings are always eye-catching. Another BW favorite, Jeremy Lanningham, will show his illustrations, while Ardith Tate's teapot sculptures turn the familiar kitchen item on its spout.

Finally, John Warfel will make his debut in the gallery with a collection of acrylic and ink drawings on wood.

Show runs through December. The Basement Gallery, 928 W. Main St., Boise, 208-333-0309.

En Pointe

There are certain things that are required in the holiday season. Bing Crosby must sing "White Christmas" to a room full of World War II soldiers in a New England ski lodge. Rudolph and his day-glo nose must save the day while the Snow Miser busts out a tune. And, of course, Clara must venture through a dreamland inhabited by militaristic mice, dancing snowflakes and a fully animated nutcracker.

While we'll have to depend on network television for Bing and Rudolph, Ballet Idaho will bring us Clara's adventure when it presents The Nutcracker on Dec. 13 to 16. That's right, there are only five chances to catch what has been a Treasure Valley tradition for two decades—one in Caldwell at the College of Idaho and five in Boise at the Morrison Center.

The production will feature 26 company dancers in the lead roles, with more than 25 local children joining them onstage. Once again, the production has been choreographed by artistic director Toni Pimble.

The story is as timeless as it is classic: After being presented with a toy nutcracker by a mysterious toymaker, Clara falls asleep and dreams of a magical land where the nutcracker prince leads her from danger. Along the way, she meets an array of characters, including the Sugar Plum Fairy. Not a word is uttered during the entire performance (by the cast, anyway), but the story is told beautifully through dance and music. For those not initiated in the ways of ballet, it may sound a little dull, but seriously, give it a try.

December 13, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15-$19 for adults or $9-$13 for students. The College of Idaho, 2112 E. Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, 208-459-3405 or 208-454-1376, December 14, 8 p.m., December 15, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., December 16, 2 p.m. Tickets $19-$45 for adults or $10-$35 for students. Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise, 208-426-1609,

2,443 Dirty Words

In 1982, comedian George Carlin introduced the world to the seven words you can never say on radio or television. A couple of decades later, he's up to 2,442 words. Not bad, but you can hardly expect less from a comedian whose career has spanned the stand-up circuit, books, television and movies.

While he probably doesn't need to be out performing, he is in the middle of a national tour, gracing audiences with a brand of comedy the Morrison Center calls "salty." And thankfully, Treasure Valley audiences will get a chance to see Carlin when he appears on Jan. 18 at the Morrison Center.

It's safe to say this won't be a family-friendly show. But fans of the provocative performer should jump at the chance to catch his show live.

Since this is a print publication, we feel safe in sharing some of Carlin's latest dirty words: charlies, cherries, nuts, seeds, letch water, love liquor, four-legged frolic, scutz around. Of course, all of these are a little dirtier when you know what context they come in. You'll have to check out Carlin's show to get the full experience.

January 18, 8 p.m. Tickets $42. The Morrison Center, 2201 Cesar Chavez Lane, Boise, 208-426-1609,

If It Ain't Baroque

Classical music can be daunting for many, but add a specific time period to it, and it can seem downright scary.

Put your fears aside—no phobia should prevent anyone from taking the opportunity to see Boise Baroque. The performing ensemble is smaller than the philharmonic, but that doesn't stop the group from creating a rich, full sound that gives audiences the chance to experience some of the best of classical music in a more intimate setting.

With violins, viola, cello, oboe, bassoon, trumpets, horns, bass, percussion and even harpsichord, there's no shortage of sound. And neither is there any lack of skill. Boise Baroque musicians are professionals, and many perform with the Boise Philharmonic, Boise Master Chorale and Opera Idaho.

Led by music director and conductor Daniel Stern, the ensemble will perform two concerts in February; on February 8 in Caldwell and February 10 in Boise. Organist Michael Boney will join the group at both concerts, performing an organ concerto by Arne, as well as pieces by Wagner and Handel.

Still need convincing? Check out the group's Web site at to find some inspiration.

February 8, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $12-$15 for adults, $8-$11 for students and seniors. The College of Idaho, Jewett Auditorium, 2112 E. Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell. 208-459-3405 or 208-454-7511,

February 10, 3 p.m. Tickets $18 general admission, $14 for students and seniors. Cathedral of the Rockies/First United Methodist Church, 717 N. 11th St., Boise. 208-343-7511.