MUSIC PHOTOS | Richard Marx at Mill City Nights

Photos by Patrick Dunn

The usually open floor at Mill City Nights was filled with seats October 23rd creating a listening party atmosphere that nicely suited the Richard Marx concert. There were of course some ladies who were especially excited to see him perform up close, while most seemed to be appreciators of his extensive catalog of hits. It was nice to see Marx’s personality shine through as he reminisced and joked about the stories behind some of the music that most in the audience grew up around. Out in support of his new album Beautiful Goodbye, he sprinkled in some new material amidst all of his well known hits and also performed big tunes he wrote and produced for other artists including Luther Vandross, 'NSYNC and Keith Urban. The venue had a great feel and had the mix dialed in to a comfortable listening level, which enhanced the dynamic difference between sweet ballads such as “Hold on to the Night” in contrast to his up tempo infectious pop tunes including “Should Have Known Better.” It was a first-class performance and memorable show greatly appreciated by his loyal fans here in the Twin Cities. 

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TC Weekend | Artability Art Show & Sale, Food Day, Metamorphosoup Puppet Extravaganza & more

Our stretch of lovely fall weather continues this weekend with highs in the 60s and plenty of sunshine! This weekend's events offer opportunities to get out and enjoy the season with puppetry and art, local Food Day fun, film, crafts and more.

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Autism and the theater frontier: Sensory-friendly performances coming to Minnesota theaters

(Source: Center for Disease Control, 2014) The rise of Autism-Spectrum Disorder diagnoses in the United States.

This is Part One of a series on autism-spectrum disorders and the theatre.

The meteoric increase in autism-spectrum disorder diagnoses in the United States presents one of the major social issues of our time. Although experts continue to debate the exact causes of this phenomenon, its impacts are profound and far-reaching, affecting public education, employment, and social interactions–not to mention the countless lives of friends, families, and individuals directly involved. Although exact figures vary, one of the most recent studies, using data from 11 research sites across the US, found an overall prevalence of autism of 1 in 68 amongst 8-year-olds. These diagnoses cut across all socio-economic classes, racial and ethnic divisions, and locations.

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Minnesota Opera's Tap Into Tempo caters to young operaphiles

Photo courtesy Minnesota Opera

Some fifty young professionals filled the tables at Fulton Brewery on Tuesday, October 21 for Tap Into Tempo, an event previewing the rest of Minnesota Opera’s 2014-2015 season and specially designed for opera lovers of a certain lack of age. The evening was hosted by MN Opera’s Bergen Baker and featured musical previews by the company’s Resident Artists. It also contained a general introduction to opera for newcomers–the “opera virgins,” as one person put it. The mood was offbeat and ribald, much to patrons’ enjoyment.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Hard Rock Cafe Mall of America Grand Opening with Morris Day

Photos by Patrick Dunn

The Hard Rock Cafe threw quite a party October 22nd to celebrate its return to the Twin Cities at Mall of America.

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Twin Cities Film Fest 2014, Part II

Photo courtesy Time Lapse

The 2014 Twin Cities Film Festival is about at the halfway point, and it looks like things are moving along pretty well. Several sold out screenings and good buzz are making TCFF a serious calendar item in the local cinema scene. As I said in the first post, I can’t make specific comments about the films, but here’s a survey of the closing movies that I think are worth mentioning.

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THEATER REVIEW | Theatre Pro Rata's "1984": A vision of the future fit for Halloween

(Photo by Charles Gorrill) Winston Smith (Grant Henderson, foreground) under the watchful eye of The Interrogator (John Middleton) in Theatre Pro Rata's 1984

George Orwell’s 1984 is perfect entertainment for the Halloween season. There are few things scarier than this futuristic dystopia. Since 1984 was first published back in 1949 (back when 1984 was still over 30 years into the future), Orwell and 1984 and its surveillance state overlord Big Brother have become so ingrained in popular culture that they’re in danger of becoming their own well-worn cliches (after all, we’ve got a long-running reality TV show called Big Brother). It’s good to be reminded how frighteningly prescient the material still is today—three decades beyond that fateful year of 1984. Michael Gene Sullivan’s adaptation of Orwell’s novel boils it down to its essence, and Theatre Pro Rata gives the story a sharp and unsettling production.

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Creeps, crawls, candy and more: Halloween highlights in the Twin Cities

(Photo by Henry Hendricks)

Halloween is lurking around the corner, promising another year of spooky good times and monstrous spending. The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual consumer spending survey projects Halloween spending could reach total sales of $7.4 billion this year, up from $6.9 billion last year.

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Laopocalypse Now: Fear, poetry, and the end of the world

This Wednesday, October 22nd will be the 170th anniversary of "The End of the World," as predicted by the adherents of Millerism in the 1830s. William Miller had predicted the Second Coming of Christ on October 22nd, 1844, That day came and went, and left a good number of people disillusioned. Some returned to their old congregations, others became Quakers or Shakers. In more recent years, the late Harold Camping predicted October 21st, 2011 was going to be the day to end all days.

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THEATER REVIEW | "33 Variations" crescendos at Park Square Theatre

Photo courtesy Park Square Theatre

There are few times when a play production achieves true theatricalism. But Park Square Theatre’s production of 33 Variations accomplishes this elusive target in its crescendo scene during the half-way point of the show. This scene, alone, renders this production worthy of both your attention and attendance.

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