Downtown West and East


If you look up 17 Cherry Tree Lane on Google Maps, you encounter a small, nondescript house in the Borough of Havering in London. But according to author P. L. Travers, this address was the sight of one of the greatest phenomena for children worldwide: Mary Poppins. The Banks family is a scene of unparalleled conflict of order and chaos as the Banks' try to find a suitable nanny for their rambunctious children. Out of the blue, Mary Poppins, the savior nanny, appears to take care of the children, and the adventures that follow are odd and exciting, a feeling that this performance excellently captures with set and acting. Come along to 17 Cherry Lane (or the Orpheum Theater) for a pleasant drift through the classic story of Mary Poppins. Didn’t guess that from the picture? Perhaps Google Maps isn’t so accurate after all.


"Mary Poppins" musical: Hokey, pokey

I found myself, blown by the cold wind, into Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins is the story of the beloved nanny in Victorian England who comes and tries to reform two unruly, but good at heart, children through a process of drugging (sugar-coated?) and ‘trips’. She is no .... ordinary nanny. In my opinion, the show was hokey and pokey, and I wanted to turn myself about. Mary Poppins is running at the Orpheum from April 23rd to April 28th.


Streets must be priority #1 for Minneapolis Downtown East

If we get the streets right, good things will follow in downtown east. Much hand-wringing is occurring over whether or not there will be good development around the new Minnesota Vikings football stadium in downtown Minneapolis. When we look backwards 30 years at why development hasn’t happened since the current Metrodome stadium was built, we find three main reasons. One reason is some property that remained zoned industrial until very recently. A second obvious reason is five entire blocks of land owned by the Star Tribune blocks didn’t get developed in part because the newspaper was using them and didn’t want to develop nor sell them (this situation is very likely to change so new development can coincide with the new stadium). However, the real culprit is the public realm and a network of streets in the area that are much better suited to racing to and from downtown rather than for creating sustainable neighborhoods. Any successful plan for good development around the stadium will require an honest reckoning for the role of streets in the area.


"The gatekeepers are gone": Minnesota publishers adapt to the self-publishing explosion

A Paper Darts staff meeting (via Paper Darts on Facebook).

“I think that publishing is taking a long time to catch up to the technology that’s available,” says Jamie Millard, executive director of the Minneapolis publisher—and publication—Paper Darts. “There’s going to be a new role for publishers. We’re going to see self-publishing increase, but readers are still going to want some sort of curation.”


From Laos to Minnesota: My life, my journey, my wish

This excerpt is from the Minnesota Literacy Council's annual reading by adult learners held on May 12, 2011 in collaboration with the Loft Literary Center. The event featured the stories of adult literacy students enrolled in English as a Second Language, GED, reading and other classes. Several of the readers were authors featured in the book Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writings. Some are immigrants or refugees writing in their second or third language, while others shared their writing for the first time after years of frustration and anxiety attributed to low literacy skills. For more information or to order a copy of the book, visit


"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical": Queen of disapointment

Sitting at the Orpheum watching Priscilla*
Gaudy set and costumes burn my eyes
l feel a little awkward
So many nearly naked guys
But I swallow my pride
And wait for an emotional plot
But this, ladies and gentleman
Priscilla demonstrated not


"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical": This desert dressed like a rainforest

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert took place in Australia but began its world tour in Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theatre. It was a good place to start because every time a character entered the crowd broke into applause or laughter. This proceeded for the remainder of the night. With a multitude of costumes and relentless sex jokes, it was easy to understand why. Priscilla Queen Of the Desert brought fresh life to the desert every scene.


"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical": A review

An instant crowd favorite, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was presented at the Orpheum Theat


"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical": "Ladies and...ladies"

“Ladies and...ladies.” I took my straight, white father to the show and when I told him, “tonight we will be seeing Priscilla Queen of the Desert.” He replied with, “Oh s***.” Priscilla Queen of the Desert invited a range of people to the show, which can still be you. If you love “punny” things, exotic moments, and laughing, this show will bring a smile to your day no matter what mood you began with. By the end of the show he left with the totally opposite attitude. Although it sounds entertaining, Priscilla Queen of the Deserts has viewer discretion is advised, written all over it. Staring Wade Mccollum as Tick, a devoted Drag Queen, who travels on a road trip to visit his son he hasn’t seen in 6 years, with two of his drag friends on the bus named Priscilla. This show keeps the audience laughing consistently, even my father.

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