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Magic Barrel

The emcees for Friday's "The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger," from left, Gregg Kleiner, Karelia Stetz-Waters and Tracy Daugherty, pose behind the concessions counter at the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis, the site for Friday's event. It's the 25th anniversary of the event, a fundraiser for Linn Benton Food Share.

It's the 25th anniversary of the mid-valley's premier literary event, so that's worth celebrating — but that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the week's arts and entertainment events. So let's get going:

The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, when literary lights from around the mid-valley and Oregon gather at the Whiteside Theatre in Corvallis. Barry Lopez, the National Book Award winner, is among this year's readers.

The event, of course, raises money for Linn Benton Food Share, and after more than two decades, it's collected tens of thousands of dollars to fight hunger in the mid-valley. This year's three emcees (Tracy Daugherty, Gregg Kleiner and Karelia Stetz-Waters) will talk about the event's history and also offer shameless appeals for donations to the cause.

Click here to read my preview story, which gets into more detail about the event's origins and how it is that it came to be named after a Bernard Malamud short story. 

Elsewhere on Friday night, the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis features the season opener for the Corvallis Comedy Night series. Friday night's headliner is Josh Johnson, a writer for the "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" and whose resume also includes stints working for "The Tonight Show" and "Conan." Despite the political tone of "The Daily Show," Johnson told Patrick Fancher that his stand-up routine focuses more on the personal. Click here to read Fancher's interview with Johnson. 

If you're in the mood for jazz and blues, you might want to head over to the Majestic this Thursday night to catch guitarist Wayne Goins in action. Goins, who runs the jazz studies department at Kansas State University, is a longtime friend of Larry Rodgers, the dean of Oregon State University's College of Liberal Arts, and Susan Jackson Rodgers, who teaches writing at OSU. When the Rodgers left Kansas State for Corvallis more than a decade ago, they vowed to get back together at OSU; it took some time to arrange, but Thursdays' concert is the result. Goins will be playing with an all-star band of mid-valley jazz musicians: Joe Manis, Sean Peterson, Torrey Newhart and Ryan Biesack. Click here to read the full version of my preview story. 

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It's the third Thursday of the month, so that means it's time for the Corvallis Arts Walk. (The Thursday walk marks the event's fifth anniversary, so you'll get a chance to munch on cake at a number of the participating galleries.) As always, you'll need to do a little homework beforehand to make the most of your time, so our guide to all the exhibits is essential reading. (And be sure to check out this month's spotlight on Lee Kitzman.) Click here to learn more about the Arts Walk. 

Speaking of art, this Saturday marks the start of the two-weekend Philomath Open Studios event. This is when artists (more or less in the Philomath area) open their studios to the public, and also invite a couple of guest artists to set up shop in each of the studios. This year's tour offers 14 studios and 38 artists, working in a mind-boggling array of media. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday for the next two weekends. Click here to read my preview story. 

If you're hankering for a movie this weekend, you have plenty of options, but you should know that critics are, at best, lukewarm about the week's big new releases. Reviewer Katie Walsh says "Maleficient: Mistress of Evil" has some interesting things to say (and Angelina Jolie!) but wraps them in a goofy, chaotic package. Walsh was even less impressed with "Zombieland: Double Tap." And reviewer Richard Roeper didn't much care for the new Natalie Portman flick, "Lucy in the Sky." Other new flicks in the mid-valley include the drama "Monos" and the documentary "Return to Mount Kennedy." 

If you just want to catch up on an older flick that's still playing at your movie house, our Movie Scene feature is your essential guide. Click here to plan your weekend movie viewing. 

And even though I've blathered on for more than 700 words, I've just scratched the surface of the week's arts and entertainment. To go deeper, you need to access The E's arts and entertainment calendar — just click here to access a full list of the week's options, and I'll see you back here next week. 

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