Lance Olsen at the Log Cabin • Warsaw Poland Bros. • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes • Collie Club Agility Trials 

Thursday 30

Lance Olsen at the Log Cabin

Idaho writer Lance Olsen has a lot going on right now, including the release of his latest novel, Nietzsche's Kisses, and receiving a 2006 NEA fellowship in prose fiction. And that's just this year. He has penned novels, short story collections, published in the Iowa Review and the Village Voice, is a former Idaho writer-in-residence and has received the Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. This week, Olsen will share some of his expertise. First, at 6 p.m., Olsen will give a talk entitled "Constructing Character," exploring what kind of characters exist in fiction and how they are created. Preregistration is required. Then at 7:30 p.m., Olsen will give a reading from Nietzsche's Kisses.

6 p.m. workshop, $10 members, $12 nonmembers. 7:30 p.m. reading, $4 members, $6 nonmembers. Log Cabin Literary Center, 801 S. Capitol Blvd., 331-8000, www.logcabinlit.org.

Thursday 30-Saturday 1

Warsaw Poland Bros.

That's right--Warsaw Poland Bros. are coming to town. If you don't know who they are, you've obviously been living in a cave somewhere in the Sawtooths. When this band brings their kicky ska-punk-pop sounds to our valley--which they do on a regular basis--the townsfolk come out in droves, and it's a love/love relationship. Nothing but a real love for their audiences could explain the dedication and energy the band pours into every show. With somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 shows a year over the last eight years, Warsaw has perfected the art of performance. You'll get three opportunities to see them this week: one night at Whiskey Jacques in Ketchum and two nights at Tom Grainey's. Clear your calendar and do a little stretching and warming up, because once Warsaw hits the stage, you'll hit the dance floor and you won't be able to quit moving until the party's over.

Thur., 9 p.m., FREE, Whiskey Jacques, 251 N. Main St., Ketchum, (208) 726-5297.

Fri. and Sat., 9 p.m., $4, Tom Grainey's, 109 S. 6th St., 345-2505.

Sunday 2

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

You have one chance to catch this Jazz Age classic. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes began its life not as a musical, but as the 1925 novel by Anita Loos, following the ambitions and adventures of Lorelei Lee, a sharp little gold-digger with ambition. Loos was no dummy herself, and her early Hollywood screenwriting, together with her novels and plays, earned her a place as one of the respected writers of the time.

Most of us know Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as the 1953 musical set in the Roaring '20s and starring Marilyn Monroe. (Remember that pink dress? Remember the Material Girl paying homage to that pink dress?) Come out to the Nampa Civic Center this weekend and watch Lorelei wrap men around her little finger as she vamps her way through classic numbers "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

7:30 p.m., $34, Nampa Civic Center, 311 3rd St. S., Nampa,468-5555, www.nampaciviccenter.com.

Tuesday 4-Wednesday 5

Collie Club Agility Trials

If you've ever suspected that your dog wasn't living up to his potential, you ought to check this out. The Collie Club of America's National Specialty Event will feature a full week of dogtastic events in conformation, obedience, rally, herding and agility, with over 730 collies and 500 of their handlers, breeders and owners from across the country. And the cost to witness pooches with training and drive to put your own Fido to shame? Nada. All events are free and open to the public.

There will be herding on Sunday and Monday, obedience demonstrations on Thursday and Friday, conformation (this is the beauty portion of the event) Wednesday through Saturday, culminating with a Best of Breed award, but what we want to check out are the agility trials on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Beginning at 8 a.m., the dog agility trial is basically a race through an obstacle course. A dog's handler is given a set amount of time to direct an unleashed dog through an obstacle course, with the obstacles arranged in various configurations based on levels of challenge appropriate to each race class and the experience level of the dogs competing. The intelligence and sense of fun exhibited by these whip-smart animals is a great reminder of why dog is man's best friend. (And perhaps a gentle hint that it wouldn't kill you to take your own four-legged buddy out for a game of frisbee once in awhile.)

April 2-8, FREE, Western Idaho Fairgrounds Main Expo Building, 5610 Glenwood, Garden City. For more information, call Judie at 238-2475 or 680-1377 or visit www.collieclubofamerica.org.

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