This week in Saint Paul: Monday, October 20–Sunday, October 26, 2014

Polar vortex. El Niño. El Niña. Swirling weather concoctions made it nice to get out and enjoy our fair city. We will see what this week brings, as far as sun and warmth and cold and beautiful colors. Who knows how long before it gets cold and icy, but we will continue to have great reasons to get out and great things and people to see. I have a few ideas for this week. Maybe you have some, too.

MORE »

MUSIC REVIEW | Pearl Jam worth the wait at the Xcel Energy Center

Photos By: 
Chad Rieder

White stage lights streamed horizontally over a sea of heads, silhouettes stealthily moved and found their places, 18,000 voices exploded in greeting, and Eddie Vedder seemingly floated to the front and raised a bottle of wine to return that greeting. Without a word, the “Pendulum” started to swing with the tapping of a hi-hat and a soft haunting resonating from piano keys. Vedder’s voice, deep and melancholy, slowly pushed forth the words “Can't know what's high, 'Til you've been down so low” and space was taken up by the entrancing tone produced by his vocal chords.

MORE »

MUSIC PHOTOS | Bastille at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium

Photos by Patrick Dunn

Sunday night October 19th may have been family concert night at St. Paul’s River Center where parents could have been reliving their passion for 90s grunge rock at the Xcel Energy Center with Pearl Jam, while the kids where next door at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium going crazy for the new sound of their generation courtesy of British rocker’s Bastille. The band’s solid debut album Bad Blood has lit up the charts and earned them more than 2 million likes on Facebook including Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan O’Brien.

MORE »

Kindness in chalk

You could still see the messages written three different languages chalked on the sidewalk in front of my daughter’s school earlier this week from the October 10th Kindness in Chalk event. The words were faded then, but they still have me hope.

MORE »

Flyway Film Festival lures Twin Citians across the river October 23-26

How is the Flyway Film Festival, happening this week in the Wisconsin river towns of Pepin, Stockholm, and Maiden Rock, different from other film festivals? A well-known producer visiting the Flyway once told me, off the record: “Nobody’s trying to suck up to anybody here. People say what they really think about the films and nobody acts pretentious, the way they do at most festivals.” (You can see why this person did not want to be quoted by name.)

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | "33 Variations" explores Ludwig van Beethoven at Park Square Theatre

Dr. Katherine Brandt (Karen Landry) tries to determine Beethoven (Edwin Strout)'s intentions despite the composer's notoriously bad handwriting. Photo courtesy of Park Square Theatre.

One of the most memorable moments in the film Amadeus depicts Antonio Salieri seeing a score of Mozart’s music for the first time. As his eye passes over the page, the music sounds in his head and Salieri describes each musical entrance and change in the composition’s texture with wondrous amazement. It is an experience, to the film’s viewer, of hearing something familiar again as if for the first time, so great is the difference when the details and elegance are made apparent. This is a scene that has made many lovers of classical music out of proud plebians, and one for which viewers of the stage play on which the movie was based wait in vain, as it was added especially for the film. Such a scene is found, however, in Moisés Kaufman’s play 33 Variations, now playing at Park Square Theatre.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | "Nice Work If You Can Get It" Ordway Center for the Performing Arts: Old dog, new tricks

Jimmy Winter (Alex Enterline) has lots of problems, and being loved by the female ensemble of Nice Work If You Can Get It is most of them. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but by golly the team behind Nice Work If You Can Get It has given it the old gangster try. This Gershwin jukebox musical passes the time pleasantly, forgoing musical innovations for tried and true melodies and a farce of a plot that steadily amps up the ridiculous complications.

MORE »

MUSIC PHOTOS | The Rural Alberta Advantage at First Ave

Photos by Tom Baker

It's fun going into a show with no expectations. That's what happened Friday, October 17 when I went to go photograph The Rural Alberta Advantage. I had only listened to a couple of their songs, as I was only recently introduced to them by a girl that I like and she was going to the show. So, my nautral reaction was to go with her and I figured at the very least I would come out of it with a few good photos, and perhaps impress her with my camera skills and awkward dancing in a very crowded room at the same time in the hopes she'd want to see me again. I was blown away. They elated the room and created a fan in me. Without research, I couldn't name a single song or album title to save my life. Thank God for Spotify, where I will begin to do diligent listening in anticipation to the next time they come around as I will be sure not to miss them. And yes, I will be seeing the girl again as she is all the more cooler for introducing me to a such a stellar band.

MORE »

"Dirty Dancing" at the Orpheum Theatre: Just a bit off the beat

Some movies cannot translate well to the stage. Dirty Dancing, at the Orpheum Theater until October 19, is one of them. The scenes were overly cheesy, and the transitions were choppy. While the dancing definitely was the focal point of the show, the singing and acting was subpar. When a movie is loved and touted by millions, the bar is set even higher. Unfortunately, this show did disappoint.

MORE »

MUSIC REVIEW | Love over Gold, The Icicles, Erik Koskinen and the Real Phonic Radio Band at the Hill Library

Mayor Chris Coleman welcomed the crowd to Real Phonic Radio at the James J Hill Reference Library Thursday, October 16. And I have to say, our Mayor is a good sport, reading in the usual iireverant appraoch of regular spokesman, Thom MIddlebrook. He astutely observed that while we had enough entertainment for three shows in Minneapolis, it was all hitting one stage in St Paul—as it does every third Thursday.

MORE »
Syndicate content