THEATER REVIEW | Workhaus Collective's "Lake Untersee" navigates glaciers, divorce, autism

Rocky (Michael Thurston) and an ill-dressed Phyllis (Jennifer Blagen) explore the Antarctic. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

One of the most transformative movements in 20th-century opera was verismo, which foregrounded realistic depictions of everyday life. This focus on realism, especially in examinations of contemporary lower-class life, opened the floodgates to a rich array of stories that simply had not been told or were previously being swept under the rug. Lake Untersee similarly pulls back a veil, revealing a story that delves into a condition still largely absent from the theatrical limelight.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Real Phonic Radio returns to Hill Library with Augie Meyers, Broke Down Dollys and Erik Koskinen

Photos by Ann Treacy

After a summer hiatus, Real Phonic Radio returned to the James J Hill Library for their monthly show of local and national country-flavored music performed on the third Thursday of the month. This month Augie Meyers headlined.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Test Pilot" at The O'Shaughnessy: The untold story of the Wright brothers' sister

Soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw as Katharine Wright in Test PilotPhoto by Jack Dant.

St. Catherine University launched its 2014-2015 Women of Substance series on September 12 with Test Pilot, a striking new music and dance piece. The work, billed as a dance opera, delves into the early history of aviation from an unusual perspective: that of the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine. The explorations of flight, its mechanics, and the build-up to the final flight are engagingly rendered in vocal and instrumental music and in modern dance.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | I Am the Avalanche and Dads at Triple Rock Social Club

Photos by Nikki Rykhus

On Wednesday, September 17, I Am the Avalanche with Dads played at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis.

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TC Weekend | Open Streets Saint Paul and Lowry Avenue, Fall Fine Arts Show and more!

This weekend offers a number of colorful outdoor events, from hip-hop fests and fine arts shows, to beer fests and Open Streets. Taking place in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the events encourage you get out and savor the last official summer weekend of the year.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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