Arts scene: 'The Blind Man and the Loon,' 'Red,' East High Taiko Team, National Tap Dance Day

Arts Reporter

No soft shoes

Saturday is National Tap Dance Day. Celebrate with a quick lesson followed by a classic tap dance film at 1:30 p.m. in Wilda Marston Auditorium at Loussac Library. If Shirley Temple could do it at age 3, and Ginger Rogers could do it backwards, surely you can give it a try. The program is free.

Spreading stories

Craig Mishler's new book, "The Blind Man and the Loon: The Story of a Tale," follows the fascinating path of a well-known yarn about a blind man befriended by a kind bird. In Alaska, we think of it as a Native Alaskan myth. But Mishler, a research professor at the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska, has traced it back to 1827, with variations spreading from Greenland to the Great Plains. He'll discuss the book and what his research shows about the migration and adoption of stories at the UAA Campus Bookstore at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Free.

Back to the easel

After a trip to the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, "Red" resumes at Cyrano's. Mark Robokoff is sensational as artist Mark Rothko in the Tony Award-winning play about one of the most controversial and unexpectedly successful painters in modern times. Performances take place 7 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through June 16. Tickets are available at

Drumming up some Shakespeare

Lifelong Anchorage resident and East High music teacher Erika Ninoyu is leaving for a stint in Japan with a bang. She's playing the Juliet character in a revised version of "Romeo and Juliet" set in feudal Japan and told through taiko drumming. The East High Taiko Team, Alaska Kendo Club and Wadaiko Alaska will participate in the one-time-only performance of "Eastside Story: A Taiko Love Story" at 7 p.m. on Friday at East High School Auditorium. Ninoyu's next job will be as a professional taiko drummer with the famous Shidara ensemble, which performed in Anchorage back in 2008.

Compiled by arts reporter
Mike Dunham