THEATER REVIEW | "Hello, Dolly!" greets the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for the third time

(Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2014) A team of waiters welcomes matchmaker Dolly Levi (Michelle Barber) back to New York's most exclusive restaurant.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has been under new ownership for three and a half years, now, and the artistic team seems to have settled into a strong groove. Spring and summer see a contemporary work gracing the main stage, while autumn and winter see something out of the cabinet of classic repertoire. Hello, Dolly!, which opened on Saturday, September 12, is one of the latter blasts from the past. This is a show with bright fall colors and flavors that are predominately light, refreshing, and a little sweet; it’s more apfelwein than heavy beer and bratwurst – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

MORE »

MUSIC REVIEW | Shonen Knife pays tribute to the Ramones in 1,000th show at the Turf Club

Photos By: 
Todd Wardrope

The spirit that drives Shonen Knife was apparent in the song that played over the PA as they left the stage: The Ramones’ “Sheena is a Punk Rocker.” While Shonen Knife didn’t play any of their excellent Ramones covers for their 1,000th show, held at the newly remodeled Turf Club, all of their music displayed how that thunderous punk rock heart of The Ramones is so important to Shonen Knife. With the recent death of the last original Ramone, Thomas “Tommy Ramone” Erdelyi, being reminded how their soul and energy remain alive in bands today was comforting and up lifting.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | "The White Snake" captivates the Guthrie Theater

Photo credit Liz Lauren

The White Snake delivered just what you’d expect from a Tony Award winning director in Mary Zimmerman as her cast presented a heart-filled performance at the Guthrie Theater on September 13.

MORE »

MUSIC PHOTOS | Eric Church: The Outsiders World Tour at the Target Center

Being just the third stop on The Outsiders World Tour, a capacity crowd at the Target Center again demonstrated September 16th that Minnesota has much love for Eric Church and country music. The talent packed line-up nicely represented the range of music now associated with this genre including veteran Dwight Yoakam bringing a flavor of traditional while newbies Brothers Osborne rocked out a more current sound.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | Fortune's Fool Theatre's "In the White Room" and "A Slight Ache": Short and strange (in a good way)

(Photo by HM Photography LLC) The ensemble of Fortune's Fool Theatre's double bill of A Slight Ache and In The White Room - Ariel Leaf, Michael Ooms, John Leaf and Lacey Zeiler.

This will be a rare spoiler-free review because I honestly have no idea what happened in this play and couldn’t explain it simply even if I did. And that’s as it should be. Because it’s Harold Pinter. He loves being obtuse and screwing with your head. He can pack more dread and unsettling questions into a short play than almost any writer I know. It’s why actors and directors can’t get enough of the man’s plays. You can interpret and re-interpret and re-re-interpret the work almost any way you like and almost never be wrong, because the specifics refuse to be pinned down.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | Mu Performing Arts' "Middle Brother" not lost in translation

(Photo © 2014 Michal Daniel) Brothers from two different countries Hyung (Sherwin Resurreccion) and Billy (Eric Sharp) meet for the first time in Mu Performing Arts' production of Middle Brother.

There’s a powerful and very funny play tucked inside of everything that’s going on in Mu Performing Arts’ world premiere production of Eric Sharp’s new play Middle Brother. Right now it feels like the only thing standing in the way of the play reaching its full potential is a fictional Korean royal family, but we’ll save talk of them for later.

MORE »

IGGERS DIGEST | Somali singer Deeqa Bilan performs Wednesday at the Cedar

On Wednesday night, September 17, Deeqa Bilan will be performing an intermission set at the Cedar Cultural Center with world jazz ensemble Bob's Band, as part of their Global Roots Festival. (The headliners are Tunisian songwriter and singer Emel Mathlouthi and the Washington D.C.-based Faadel Band, who play Ethiojazz.) According to the Cedar's website, the Mogadishu native is "part of the new generation of female Somali singers in Minneapolis."

MORE »

This week in Saint Paul: Monday, September 15–Sunday 21, 2014

Our neighbors are fabulous and brought that to Thursday’s book release party, as they do to everything Saint Paul. Even though the festiveness of the summer weather is escaping, our warmth and energy were enough to make it a great gathering. I hope you had a chance to get your copy of the 2015 Saint Paul Almanac. If not, there are still many chances, at our local coffee shops, bookstores, and even at the airport (a great idea as you are headed out of town to meet people who need to know Saint Paul). The community of arts events continues. Just check out the Almanac arts calendarand keep reading!

MORE »

Honoring Saint Paul legend Leroy Neiman

When I was a kid, I watched the Olympics on television and they had this artist with a big mustache painting a big canvas. That painter was Saint Paul native Leroy Neiman. Whenever there was a dull moment or a break in the action, the announcer would ask, “What’s Leroy Neiman up to?” and the cameraman would pan to the painter daubing the canvas with bright pigments. Somehow, Neiman was able to finish the painting just as the games ended. It was real performance art. Here’s a YouTube video showing Neiman painting. Here’s another one.

MORE »

For Twin Cities readers, book fair trumps the state fair!

For some among us the iconic Minnesota State Fair should eschew the politicians, dump the Skyride, douse the corndogs and replace it all with a tasteful gathering of bibliophiles, Minnesota writers, readings, book talks, exchanges of bon mots among the literati. That’s why we have the Twin Cities Book Festival, the ultimate antidote to the State Fair.

MORE »
Syndicate content