Downtown West and East

MUSIC PHOTOS | Selena Gomez backs her star power at Target Center

It was “kids bring your mom to concert night” as the Stars Dance Tour 2013 made a November 21st stop at Target Center in Minneapolis. The multi-talented Selena Gomez can flip back and forth at will between television and music and is proving to be unstoppable on both fronts. She did not disappoint her young fans in the Twin Cities building excitement with a frenzied Mall of America store appearance before the main concert event at Target Center. Her show is filled with high energy fun and as the tour name suggests, is built around choreographed dance routines. She performs the same set each night, starting out with “Bang Bang Bang” and covering her hits and some material from the much anticipated new album.

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Three questions that need to be answered about The Yard and Ryan Co's Downtown East project

“The Yard”

The proposed $400 million East Downtown corporate Wells Fargo office, housing, retail, parking and park complex being proposed by Ryan Development is chugging along, having just received unanimous support from the Minneapolis Planning Commission. At the center of this project – literally and figuratively – is “The Yard” a two block (likely separated by a county road), 4.2 acre park space that is described on Ryan Co’s website as a “world-class urban park/plaza that serves as the ‘front yard’ to the new stadium”.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Amos Lee shines at the State Theatre

Photos by Patrick Dunn

If you’re a fan of a great singing voice and quality songwriting influenced by folk, bluegrass and soul music, then you are no doubt familiar with the work of Amos Lee. He is a big talent who has built a respectable fan base nationally one gig at a time and seems to really enjoy playing to his strong following here in the Twin Cities. Lee’s November 6th stop at the State Theatre was the second night of his “Mountain of Sorrow, Rivers of Song” tour in support of his fifth studio album of the same name.

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Jonny Lang isn't getting better with age—but then, he doesn't need to

Photo courtesy Jonny Lang

Blues rocker Jonny Lang has leveled off at a quite satisfactory plateau of guitar playing. He hasn't improved much in past years—but, on the other hand, he was always pretty damned good to begin with.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | "Musicians Exit," a poem about the Minnesota Orchestra

Did we know what we had?

Could we recognize what was growing

in our Midwest midst?

Greatness may have caught us

off guard.

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The wreck of the Minnesota Orchestra: How do we improve the communications among arts boards, artists, and audiences?

Photo by JFXie (Creative Commons)

It’s been a pretty depressing week, what with the government shutdown and the resignation of Osmo Vänskä from the Minnesota Orchestra. I have to admit that I haven’t exactly been a ticket-buying supporter of the orchestra. I think the last time I went to actually see a live orchestra concert I was in college. It’s not that I don’t like classical music—I actually can’t explain my lack of enthusiasm, other than there were other things that interested me more. Still, I think it’s a shame that such a revered institution is in such dire straits.

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"Wicked": Still as wonderful ten years later

Unless you are just now emerging from the rock under which you've been living, you've at least heard of the musical Wicked. And if you've been a tween girl any time since 2003, you've belted “Popular” in front of your mirror more times than you can count. For those reading this under their rocks, Wicked is the story of the witches of Oz before Dorothy dropped in, based on the book of the same name by Gregory Maguire. The unbelievably successful musical returns to Minneapolis’s Orpheum Theatre for the fourth time September 19 through October 27. It is a great time for all ages. It makes a good date—as there is a love story; an educational family affair—as there are many important lessons to be learned; or a fun girls’ night out—as there is an inspiring friendship and a man with a great butt.

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THEATER REVIEW | A bright brilliant bouquet: "Uncle Vanya" connects with the Guthrie Theater’s past

Jim Lichtscheidl and Andrew Weems in Uncle Vanya. Photo by Joan Marcus, courtesy Guthrie Theater.

Why a version of Chekhov’s 1897 Uncle Vanya by the Irish playwright Brian Friel? First, the play’s director, Joe Dowling, acknowledges Friel (1929-) as his greatest mentor. Dowling is one of the few masterly directors of Friel’s canon. He first directed the world premiere of Living Quarters at the Abbey Theatre (Ireland’s National Theatre) in Dublin in 1977, but has always stated that the production of Philadelphia, Here I Come! presented at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1964 made him commit to theater as a career. Friel, in turn, was first fully immersed in the comic pathos of Chekhov when he observed Tyrone Guthrie’s (1900-1971) rehearsal of The Three Sisters in the inaugural season of the Guthrie Theater in 1963.

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