Thursday, Jan. 10
• The Sarah Spurgeon Gallery at Central Washington University is taking a broad multidiscipline look at the cultural and natural history of the Yakima River in a new show, “Yakima River Diaries,” featuring work by 10 local artists. It’s an interesting approach to the age-old notion of river as life-source and it combines art from established painters such as the late John F. Clymer (who did 80 Saturday Evening Post covers) with that of contemporary artists such as Rachel Dorn and Justin Gibbens.
The art exhibit will run alongside the CWU Museum of Culture and the Environment’s “Voices of the River: Life Along the Yakima River” exhibit. It kicks off with a free reception from 4-6 p.m. For information, visit www.cwu.edu/art/spurgeon.html or call 509-963-2665.
Friday, Jan. 11
• Yvonne Pepin-Wakefield’s book “Suitcase Filled With Nails” about her time teaching art in Kuwait focused on cultural and social issues, but it also illuminated the humanity of its subjects. The students and other Kuwaitis in the book are not sociopolitical symbols; they’re people. Images of the paintings in her new Larson Gallery exhibit, “Abaya and Beyond,” suggest that the art she created based on her Kuwait experience does likewise. Its ostensible focus on the traditional clothing of Middle Eastern women is actually just an entry point into exploring themes of commonality through expression and self-reflection.
The show opens with a free reception from 5-7 p.m. at the Larson Gallery on the campus of Yakima Valley Community College. The show runs till March 9 and includes a public lecture by Pepin-Wakefield on Feb. 13. For information, visit www.larsongallery.org or call 509-574-4875.
Sunday, Jan. 13
• I don’t know a thing about the three members of the Oakland-based Lucky EEjits or how they live their lives off stage, but I’d bet they like to drink beer a lot and probably roll around on dirty floors. That’s the sort of thing I look for in my rock musicians. The EEjits play straightforward punk with just a bit of a Celtic-folk twist. It’s a little more Dropkick Murphys than it is Flogging Molly, which is good. That means it retains punk rock energy and swagger even on songs that include tin-whistle or other folky instruments.
You can see them for free at Bill’s Place, 206 S. Third Ave., at 8 p.m. For information, visit www.facebook.com/theluckyeejits or call 509-575-9513.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
• The annual Allied Arts Juried Poetry Contest is notable for a couple of reasons: It always showcases top-notch professional poets from throughout Central Washington, and each year it reveals new voices. It’s that mix of established poets and undiscovered poets that make the contest exciting. Every entrant starts out even; the judging is blind.
The winners are celebrated each spring with a reading and inclusion in that year’s chapbook. So if you enter, your work could be published alongside some of the area’s best.
The deadline to enter is Jan. 16. For instructions and rules, visit www.alliedartsyakima.org/lit/poetry.html or call 509-966-0930.
Friday, Jan. 18
• I worry when I see a comedian touting how clean his show is; it often means he’s a square whose cleanliness is just about his only selling point. Tony Deyo, who works clean and is proud of it, is no square. He’s sharp and legitimately funny with a keen eye for the absurd. Think Brian Regan and you’re getting close.
He’s playing three local venues in three nights, starting with an 8 p.m. show at the Pastime, 125 E. Naches Ave. in Selah on Jan. 18. Then he’s in Yakima at The Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches Ave., at 8 p.m. Jan. 19, and Santiago’s, 111 E. Yakima Ave., at 5 p.m. Jan. 20. Tickets for the first two shows cost $15 at www.carmenscomedyclub.com or 509-945-5224. Tickets for the Santiago’s show cost $20 and include hors d’oeuvres. Call 509-453-1644 for those tickets. For more on Deyo, visit www.tonydeyo.com
Saturday, Jan. 19
• I’d tell you to go to the WinterHop Brewfest in Ellensburg but, as it does every year, it has sold out in advance. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten your $30 tickets already, you’re in for a day of exceptional beer tasting in one of my favorite small towns. If not, well, get your act together next year and get tickets earlier. For information, visit www.kittitascountychamber.com or call 509-925-2204.
• A 2011 New York Times review called The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s show “The Complete World of Sports (abridged)” “a manically paced collection of one-liners and puns with a little audience participation thrown in.” And that sounds about right, based on the videos I’ve seen online. It appears to be a mix of Monty Python absurdity and Catskills-style “joke” jokes.
The show opens at The 4th Street Theatre at 2 p.m. and is back on stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $11, $6 for ages 12 and younger. For information or tickets, visit www.capitoltheatre.org or www.reducedshakespeare.com or call 509-853-2787.
— Pat Muir