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THEATER REVIEW | "2 Pianos, 4 Hands" two Hours of laughs and music at Park Square Theatre

Friends and sometime rival pianists Richard (Peter Vitale, left) and Ted (Michael Pearce Donley, right) relax between notes. Photo courtesy of Park Square Theatre

The story of 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, if you wanted to analyze it, is about chasing dreams, obstinance, frustration, and the quest for identity. Alternately, you could say that it is a string of theatrical vignettes that are alternately funny and poignant. A little myopia might focus on moments recalling Victor Borgia’s musical humor or perhaps what it might look like if Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck had to play a piano duet together (Daffy Duck vs. Donald Duck at the piano isn’t quite the same thing, although Bugs has a solo turn or two at the piano himself). The larger point is not that this play with music is one of these things, but that these are just some of the types of things interwoven into this piano-filled show. 2 Pianos, 4 Hands is much more than the sum of its parts, as excellent as they are individually.

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Bloomington threatens to arrest Black Lives Matter organizers, not protesters

(Photo by Anna Min) 2,400 people have RSVP’d on Facebook to attend the Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America on Dec. 20. More than a thousand protesters rallied last week in downtown Minneapolis.

A Black Lives Matter protest planned for Dec. 20 at the Mall of America hit a snag this week when Mall of America officials threatened to remove any protesters and potentially have them arrested. The protest is part of a national movement aimed at raising awareness about police violence against people of color.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Understated timeless cool of Jeremy Messersmith at the Turf Club

(Photos by Ann Treacy)

Man, woman, child, I don’t care who you are – everyone has a little crush on Jeremy Messersmith. He could fit into almost any era with pompadour, dark glasses and cardigan. He could play with Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly or the Bing Crosby, banter with Mr. Rogers, give him a pipe he could hang with Beaver Cleaver’s dad. The themes of his song – mostly love lost – are just as universal. And that adds to the crushability!

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Bernadeia Johnson steps down as Minneapolis Public Schools superintendent

(Photo by Sheila Regan)

In a surprise move, Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson resigned on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at an annual school board organizational meeting.

Superintendent Johnson cited family commitments as a key reason for her resignation, saying in a letter given to school board chair Richard Mammen that she felt it was the right time for her to step aside and allow another candidate to help move the district forward.

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Minneapolis approves additional funding for small business support

(Photo by Ron Reiring published under Creative Commons License)

The City of Minneapolis recently passed new funding to support its Business Technical Assistance Program (B-TAP) providers. B-TAP now has over a million dollars in funding, including $500,000 approved on Friday, Dec. 12 by the Minneapolis City Council. B-TAP provides services to support new and growing Minneapolis businesses. 

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What will become of Dinkytown’s Southeast Library?

(Photo by Bill Huntzicker) The Southeast Library, designed by the late Ralph Rapson to be a credit union, has operated in its Dinkytown building since 1967.

Dinkytown could soon lose its public library, but Hennepin County will ultimately decide if that's worth it, or if they should replace or upgrade it.

The four neighborhoods that surround the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis are underserved by library services and space, said a consultant who organized a study that could be the first step toward determining whether the Southeast Library at Dinkytown will be updated or replaced.

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THEATER REVIEW | St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre goes local with "Don't Hug Me, We're Married"

Aristotle described three primary forms of theatre in his Poetics: comedy, tragedy, and the satyr play. Although the mediums, varieties, and forms of theatre have expanded in the intervening millennia, the conceptions Aristotle recorded remain surprisingly valid in describing today’s theatrical entertainments. (See, for example, this video exploring the Aristotelian conception of the tragic hero in Star Wars.) Don’t Hug Me, We’re Married, now playing at the St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre in Hudson, WI, is a satyr play.

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“From Prison to Ph. D:” Jason Sole's memoir tells a harrowing story

(Photo by Regina Wamba)

Jason Sole realized he had become a statistic when he was convicted for a felony for the third time. Since then, after a life of selling drugs, gang activity and losing close friends, Sole decided to turn his life around.

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Dazzling holiday lights and sights in Twin Cities (and beyond)

(Photos by Paige Elliott)

Now is the time to shine, light-seekers! Holiday sparkle is back, illuminating cold, dark winter streets with bursts of vivid color and community spirit. Below, we’ve made a list – and checked it twice – of a few choice spots to see holiday lights around the Twin Cities and beyond. Scroll down to see how you can share your photos and add light displays in your community to our list!

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[PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter momentum continues, protesters march on downtown Minneapolis

(Photos by Kristoffer Tigue)

Over a thousand artists and activists gathered in downtown Minneapolis on Dec. 13 to rally and march in solidarity with the national #BlackLivesMatter movement that aims to highlight the lack of equality and accountability in police dealings with the black community in the United States.

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