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THEATER REVIEW | Minneapolis Musical Theatre's "Happy Days A New Musical": Old jokes with fresh energy

Photo credit Heidi Bohnenkamp.

A musical rendition of a 1970s TV-Show centered in the 1950s, Happy Days A New Musical, is like the Inception of theatrical venues. Built on nostalgia upon nostalgia, the show and all its adaptations are a baby-boomer version of The Brady Bunch, centered around a knock-off James Dean. Whereas Grease could be posed as a satire, Happy Days is only palatable when you try to take it as a serious tribute to the golden days of musicals.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Joe Bonamassa energizes the Orpheum Theatre two nights

Photos by Patrick Dunn

Have you noticed lately that most mainstream music we’re being fed is severely guitar solo deficient? Music fans in Minneapolis had an exceptional opportunity to supplement their listening diet at the Orpheum Theatre April 24 with a heavy dose of Vitamin JB. Fortunately there is no limit to the amount of Joe Bonamassa guitar mastery one can consume, which is why I expect many of the same faces will be back to the Orpheum Theatre again Saturday night April 25 as demand warrented a second performance.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Information Society at The Fine line Music Cafe

Photos By: 
Ben Zvan

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

The crowd for Information Society's April 18 homecoming show at the Fine Line Music Cafe appeared to have been mostly in junior high and high school while InSoc was releasing the albums that made them a hit. DJ Jake Rudh began the evening with music and media designed to take us back to that time, when a handful of weird kids with samples and synthesizers could become a band and an enduring band at that. Stony-faced and ambitiously coiffed young musicians of thirty years ago shared the screen with Star Wars sequels and Daleks to create a 1980s just a bit better than the decade we actually grew up with.

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THEATER REVIEW | "The Other Place" transcends subject matter at Park Square Theatre

Photo courtesy Park Square Theatre

The Other Place, one of the most powerful plays I have seen in the last year, opened at Park Square Theatre on April 3. Shari White’s play concerns a medical researcher working on a drug to combat dementia who, herself, is suffering from early on-set Alzheimer’s. Aditi Kapil masterfully directs this intense show which highlights how fragile the mind can be.

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How the Nicollet Mall Project construction affects you

Nicollet Mall is going to look a lot different in 2017: refined pedestrian paths, more greenery and better lighting are some of the improvements to transform the Mall into a “must-see destination” as bullet-pointed in the Minneapolis Downtown’s Council 2025 plan. But before the new Mall becomes a reality, there’s the always-dreaded construction, which starts this spring with utility work (upgrading and relocating power, gas, telecommunications, sanitary sewer and water lines); the full construction begins in 2016.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Shooting Star" asks "if only" at Park Square Theatre

Photo courtesy Park Square Theatre

Reflections on the divergent roads taken by past lovers are explored in Steven Dietz’s play Shooting Star which opened at Park Square Theatre on March 27. Director Leah Cooper’s direction of the former lovers meeting at a snowed in airport removes the “fourth wall” to reveal the play’s humor and the characters’ pathos.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | Father John Misty at First Avenue

Photos by Chad Rieder

On Saturday, April 4, Father John Misty performed at First Avenue in Minneapolis. King Tuff opened.

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MUSIC PHOTOS | OK Go at First Avenue

Photos by Chad Rieder

On Thursday, April 2, OK Go performed at First Avenue in Minneapolis.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Candid Kid EP release at the Turf Club

Photo by Ann Treacy

You have to appreciate a band that plays a few new songs at an EP release party. The new songs are post-EP (Turtleneck) production. That’s a group with a lot of ideas and enthusiasm for the music. That’s Candid Kid.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Annie" timeless at the Orpheum Theatre

 Photo credit Joan Marcus

Stop what you’re doing right now and get all expectations of cliches out of your system. Sure, go ahead, say something along the lines of “I’ll see the production ‘Tomorrow.’” Make a few cracks regarding what a “Hard Knock Life” you’d experience if you missed this show. Go ahead and make reference to the barely related Jay-Z track. Just work it out of your system quick. We can wait.

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