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MUSIC PHOTOS | Extreme at Mill City Nights

Photos by Patrick Dunn

Any mention of the hard rock band Extreme and most people immediately identify them by their early 90s Billboard #1 hit “More Than Words.” Ask any of the true fans of this band who joined forces January 29th at Mill City Nights for the Pornograffitti Live – 25th Anniversary Tour and they’ll be sure to let you know there’s so much more to their catalog of material.


THEATER REVIEW | Minneapolis Musical Theatre's "Calvin Berger" a modernized classic at New Century Theatre

Calvin (Gregory Adam) agonizes over seducing Rosanna (Emily Madigan) under someone else's name.

Calvin Berger is a musical update of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac. That’s a big nose to fill, but the production now playing at the New Century Theatre is smartly done. The music and script are fun, funny, and enough of their own animal so as to not invite too many comparisons with the wonderful poetry of Edmond Rostand’s classic play. As Minneapolis Musical Theatre & Hennepin Theatre Trust collaborations go, it’s also a story that fits particularly well with the space of the New Century Theatre.


More tickets available for Minneapolis' Luminary Loppet

Art walk fans rejoice–more tickets are now available for the previously sold-out Comcast Luminary Loppet. This curated, candlelit walk around Lake of the Isles takes place this Saturday, January 31, and is one of the signature events in the Loppet Foundation’s City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, which runs from Friday, January 30 through Sunday, February 1. The new block of tickets is available due to one of several tweaks to the festival resulting from the Twin Cities’ relatively mild winter thus far.


THEATER REVIEW | Minnesota Opera's "The Elixir of Love" has body, pipes

Nemorino (Leonardo Capalbo) discovers that a love potion (and becoming a millionaire) makes him irresistible to women.

Classical music audiences are not as loud as they used to be. Eighteenth-century opera patrons could eat, drink, and converse during a performance; through much of the 19th century, many operagoers treated the opera as a participatory event, shouting encouragement and boos, calling for encores, and stopping performances with applause. The present culture of silence in the concert hall and opera house is largely a product of the last century or so. It was in many ways a blast from the past on Saturday when Minnesota Opera’s performance of The Elixir of Love paused due to riotous applause.


First-time promoter brings indie film "Amira and Sam" to Minnesota

In November of 2014 Kim Flynn made a trip to Austin, Texas to watch the Forever Film Fest. Forever Fest grew out of “Girlie Night” at the Drafthouse Cinema.


THEATER REVIEW | Theatre Novi Most's "Rehearsing Failure" at Southern Theater: Theater porn (in a good way)

The ensemble of Theatre Novi Most's Rehearsing Failure rocks out - (rear, l to r) Pearce Bunting, Sara Richardson, Annie Enneking, (front) Billy Mullaney, Barbra Berlovitz. Photo by Bill Prouty

I'm glad that Theatre Novi Most's latest production Rehearsing Failure is part of the new ARTshare program at the Southern Theater. Since I'm a member, I can go back whenever I like and see it again.  And I'd like to, very much. This production bears repeated viewing, as there's a whole lot going on in any given moment.


THEATER REVIEW | "The Color Purple" inspires at the Park Square Theatre

Photo credit Petronella J. Ytsma

Park Square’s Theatre ambitious production of the musical The Color Purple creates an exuberant production that was well deserving of the standing ovation it was given on opening night. The musical is based on the Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name. The book for the musical was written by Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. In the regional premiere of the musical, Lewis E. Whitlock directs an exceptionally talented cast in a production that brings out both the humor and pathos of the story.


Opera in the color of Siena: A conversation with Siena Forest

Soprano Siena Forest

Minnesota Opera is nationally known not just for its flagship productions, but also its programs devoted to the future of opera. Its New Works Initiative is still riding high on the success of Silent Night, a commissioned opera that has been picked up by other opera companies both domestically and abroad, and has built considerable buzz about its upcoming Manchurian Candidate premiere. Among early-career opera professionals, however, the program that attracts the most interest is MN Opera’s Resident Artist program. Originally started by Dale Johnson to train singers, the program has since expanded to include professional training and apprentice roles for a conductor, a stage director, an artistic administrator, and two coach-accompanists – in addition to six singers.


THEATER REVIEW | "Snowflake" masters puppetry at Children's Theatre Company

Gay LaJoye in Snowflake.

There is a line in entertainment when something passes from the comedic to the profound, from the parody and sendup to the deeply moving. On the one hand are Charlie Chaplin’s silent comedies starting The Tramp, films like Gold Rush that speak with a humor that knows no language barriers. Then, on the other, is the same filmmaker-actor’s The Great Dictator. Both are greatly amusing, but with one comes a slow realization of the undergirding – that some of the laughs add up to something terrible or tragic. To do this without words is something genius.


THEATER REVIEW | "I Love Lucy: Live on Stage" a classic at the State Theatre

Photo by Justin Namon.

Minneapolis’s State Theatre took the time machine back to the early 1950s for a live studio recording in Los Angeles for back-to-back episodes of the classic CBS hit sitcom I Love Lucy.

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