SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Arts & Entertainment

Australian Greg Thomas' Performance Opened October's Monthly Grind
By Susan Batho & Bill Hupe


November 14, 2007
Wednesday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska - The October Grind tends to bring out the Halloween in everyone, in song, as well as in the scariest event of the evening: the introduction of mein host. The scheduled host, Dave Lieben, was unable to make it, so a wayward traveler, fresh out of rehab (or on her way to rehab) was recruited to fill Dave's shoes. In between acts, "Britney" gave us the abridged version of her life story. She made the audience appreciate Dave Lieben's bad jokes that much more.

The show opened with a real treat, direct from Australia, Greg Thomas, performing songs he has written, or helped write, though the years. His first song, "I am Pegasus", was a hit in his native country some time ago, and it was quite easy to tell, with its easy, accessible melody. Thomas' performance was very polished, and his four song set was definitely a hard act to follow.

jpg Dave Thomas

Greg Thomas
Photo by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe©

Next was a preview of the First City Players November 2007 production, Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Two selections were presented - the first, the proposal scene between Gaston and Belle. The preview was meant to whet our appetites for the upcoming musical production, which is still in rehearsal. The young lady portraying Belle, will fill the role quite well, and, the gentleman portraying Gaston, will further refine his role in the two weeks of rehearsals remaining. The second scene was a song from the show as performed by Mrs Potts, played by Lou Ann Richardson, was excellent, and we look forward to seeing her performance of the other songs during the show. Between the scenes presented, some of the characters and costumes were discussed, making it clear that the upcoming production at the Kayhi Auditorium will be quite elaborate and for adults, as well as children.

The third performance of the evening was a reading by Kim Blunt. "The Spoon Theory" is a piece about a meeting between two old friends, one whom has Lupus. It was an interesting selection, and thought provoking. A special guest followed, Marguerite Krause, who dropped in from Anchorage to perform Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust". Her rendition was extremely well received and performed, and quite reminiscent of the original artist's. We only wish there had been more time to allow her to perform a few more songs, as she was a pleasure to listen to.

jpg Marguerite Krause

Marguerite Krause
Photo by susan Batho & Bill Hupe

The Badriyah Bhangra Troupe rounded out the first half of the October Monthly Grind, a quarter of four girls decked out in red costumes, dancing to a Bollywood song. For diehard fans of Bollywood musicals like us, this was a real treat; the dancing and flashing of colours was greeted by the audience with great enthusiasm, leaving everyone wishing for more.

As everyone returned to their seats after partaking of the fine selection of desserts, Raven's Brew Coffee, and visiting, the Grind House band took the stage to perform a handful of enjoyable blues tunes, including a sing-a-long of "Amazing Grace". For the last song of their set, they were joined onstage by the children present, to perform a somewhat impromptu special Halloween Song. The children entered the stage in costume and performed exceptionally well, the short rehearsal during the intermission not withstanding, to the delight of everyone in the Tribal House, especially their parents, cameras flashing.

jpg Children perform Halloween Song

Halloween Song
Photo by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

Sam Burrous followed with an enthusiastically-performed set. Sam has been a regular at the Monthly Grind in the past, and he was warmly welcomed back tonight after escaping for a while from his new home in Juneau.

The evening concluded with one of Ketchikan's favourite local bands, Paddy's Leather Breaches, who started out with a mournful dirge, complete with bagpipes. They then lightened things up with a selection of upbeat tunes that would be performed at an Irish Wake, much to the delight of the audience, who joined in with our own voices and toe-tapping.

The Saxman Clan House wasn't quite filled to capacity, thanks to the chorale concert as well as the Senior Fair that were going on concurrently. Whilst it's always nice to see a packed house for The Grind, having a little less crowding was a welcome respite, and gave the local cable camera crew plenty of room to maneuver. Irregardless, a fine evening, as usual, and for Five Bucks, how could one miss it?

The next Monthly Grind will be held Saturday, November 17th at the Saxman Tribal House at 7pm. Tickets are $5 for Adults, and $1 for Children, if you bring a dessert, you get a full refund at the door.

November's month's grind will be hosted by Anakin, Obi Wan, and Padme, and features other fabulous local talent. May the Force be with you!


Related Article:

Disney's Beauty and the Beast Presented by First City Players Review By Susan Batho & Bill Hupe - The Kayhi Auditorium was abuzz for the opening night of the 2007 First City Players' musical, Disney's Beauty and the Beast. This production was one we had been hearing about for some time now, especially after the tantalizing preview provided at the November Monthly Grind two weeks previous. For those of us lucky enough to score opening night tickets, we were not disappointed. - More...
November 07, 2007


Susan Batho & Bill Hupe are residents of both Ketchikan and New South Wales, Australia. They are a writing and photographic team specializing in photography of Alaska and Australia for 22 years, and Best Friends for 22 years and a day.
Their website features some of their work, and they an be reached through
©2007 Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2007
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska