Editor's note: Ben Anderson was so, so excited about the late season snow that we let him spend the week at Alyeska in Girdwood. Standing in for Ben is "This Weekend" special consultant and regular Prime Time reporter Suzanna Caldwell. We'd apologize for Ben's absence, but we're sure he's not at all sorry.
Katie: Alright Suzanna, let me just say, this is going to be a big weekend. There's a lot to do. I know I sort of said that about last weekend, but this one might be even bigger. Let's talk.
Number one event of this weekend is not, I repeat, not for the younger ones: "Debbie Does Dallas" (the musical) premiers on stage at Mad Myrna's on Friday, April 12, and it's going to be hot in almost every way (I'll leave that to the imagination). Tickets are $20 through CenterTix or at the door and the show runs until Saturday, May 4, so if you can't catch it this weekend, worry not.
Next on the docket -- and I must stress if you've not yet seen this band live, you absolutely must, and now is a great time to do it -- is the up-and-coming Anchorage band, Historian. Historian will play at S Lounge on Saturday, April 13, with Ghost Hands and Turquoise Boy -- also excellent local bands -- for a mere $7 cover. You have no excuse. You must go. Unless you're out of town* ... which I will be ...
Suzanna: I'm not sure how you top a porn-turned-musical, but I think I've got a one-upper. I mean, what's crazier than Arctic Man? Think about it: Skiers and snowboarders grab a tow rope attached to a SNOWMACHINE and hang on for dear life as they hurtle through the HooDoo Mountains at speeds of up to 90 miles an hour.
It's the kind of stuff you just can't make up.
While there truly is a race involved (it's not uncommon to see Olympic skiers paired with Iron Dog champs), that's only one part of it. The race area becomes packed with thousands of Alaska slednecks each year, and things are known to get a bit rowdy. For example, the event's website notes revelers are welcome to bring couches under one condition: They have to cart them away (i.e., don't set them on fire -- or worse -- and leave them in the mountains.)
Some riders have already started making their way to the HooDoos, but for those heading up late, the race's planned start (barring any crazy Alaska weather) is 11 a.m. Friday, April 12. The event runs through Saturday.
Also "bounding" into spring is University of Alaska Anchorage's New Dances, the annual dance program showcase. It's packed with talent this year, with both local choreographers and outsiders -- including Nicholas Young, a New York-based performer currently in his ninth year with Stomp -- bringing new works to Alaska's largest city.
New Dances might be mostly students, but if history is any gauge, it should be a crowd-pleaser. Add to the mix that several of Anchorage's hottest choreographers (including Stephanie Wonchala of Pulse Dance Company and Becky Kendall of Momentum Dance Collective) have put together pieces for the show, it should be pretty darn exciting.
Performances start Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m. and run through next Sunday. For more information, check out the UAA Department of Theater and Dance website.
Katie: Ahw, nards! I totally forgot about Arctic Man. Good thing I have you to remind me.
Speaking of forgetting things, I forgot to mention that Friday, April 12, is 49 Writers 3rd Annual Write-A-Thon event at Snow City Cafe. The Write-A-Thon is essentially four-hour, nine-minute writer's party-slash-fundraiser. Participants gather at Snow City around 5:30 p.m. and sit down with pen and paper (typewriter, computer, or whatever) at the ready. And then they write. Hopefully a lot.
There will be free coffee, appetizers, prizes, yoga breaks and inspirational motivation throughout the event, which is $10 for adults, or $5 for students and writers under 18.
However, if you're not feeling the Indoor Kid activities and would rather be outside, but don't want to drive out to the HooDoos, there's always the AK Skimeister in Girdwood on Saturday, Apirl 13. The Skimeister is a one-day, three-race event hosted by the Alyeska Ski Club. Alpine and Nordic skiing plus a fat-tire bike race make the Skimeister one tough cookie. Registration is currently closed to racers, but the event will definitely be fun to watch.
Still unsatisfied? Try one of these all-day events on Saturday, April 13: Science Potpourri at UAF in Fairbanks, the Folk Festival in Juneau or the Annual Spenard Beer and Mead Social at the Tap Root in Anchorage.
*If you can't make it to Historian's Saturday show, listen to them here.