Downtown West Neighborhood News and Events


Photo by Julie Fields

The Downtown West neighborhood is the central business district of Minneapolis.


Venora HungVenora Hung is our neigh-borhood corres-pondent for Downtown  - and she wants to hear from you. Tell Venora about the garage sale, or the music festival -and  ask her how to register and get your profile on TC Daily Planet! Email Venora at venorahung [at] gmail [dot] com.

Venora Hung, a lawyer practicing in the Twin Cities,  volunteers on several boards and dabbles in cooking and writing. Most recently she started a company called Cupcake Goddess specializing in Asian inspired cupcakes. She also enjoys exploring the Twin Cities - particularly anything that has to do with healthy living, yoga and pilates.

As such, it is home to many Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, moderate and upscale retail shops, and luxury, boutique, family-friendly, and landmark office building conversion hotels.

Nicollet Mall—which is very active with restaurants and shopping—runs south from Washington Avenue. Hennepin Avenue, with its concentration of theaters and entertainment, runs south from the Mississippi River. (Description from

For detailed demographic information, see the neighborhood profile from Minnesota Compass


THEATER REVIEW | "Play With My Poodle For Christmas Starring Miss Richfield 1981" at Illusion Theater

Photo courtesy Illusion Theater

The Illusion Theater celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, collecting a pair of Lifetime Achievement awards at the Iveys and ringing in a number of other notable honors and accomplishments. One of the organization’s other milestones this year is the 15th anniversary of Miss Richfield 1981’s holiday show, now one of the Twin Cities’ own venerable holiday entertainment traditions.


THEATER REVIEW | "Motown the Musical" strikes a chord at the Orpheum Theatre

Photo credit Joan Marcus

Motown the Musical is playing, joyously, at Hennepin Theatre Trust's Orpheum Theatre through December 28th, 2014. Get yourself a holiday gift and go get a ticket. Based on Motown founder, Berry Gordy Jr.'s (sic), book "To Be Loved," the musical celebrates Gordy's talents as a writer, producer, entrepreneur, also his legacy and character while telling the story about the music and stars created at "Hitsville U.S.A." 


MUSIC REVIEW | Mannheim Steamroller self-sabotages, charges on at Orpheum Theatre

A picture from Mannheim Steamroller's 2013 tour. Photo courtesy of Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary year, is now almost as much a cultural phenomenon as a performing ensemble. Even people who don’t recognize the name have probably heard its holiday music on the radio or as the soundtrack for innumerable videos on YouTube showcasing holiday lighting excess (not that that’s a bad thing). The ensemble’s holiday concert tours are sufficiently successful that there are actually two simultaneous touring groups crossing the United States each year. This is the root of the problems with the Dec. 7 concert at the Orpheum Theatre.


ARTS REVIEW | Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker inspires awe at Orpheum Theatre

Photo courtesy Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

When a speechless performance can get the crowd at Orpheum Theatre to applaud and give “woos,” there’s something magical about what’s being presented on stage and the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker was no exception.


MUSIC REVIEW | Mason Jennings at First Avenue: Mellow and melodious

I had never seen Mason Jennings live before Friday night. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Mason Jennings is mellow. He’s very cool on stage, very natural. I heard someone in the crowd describe him as “Dylanesque.” I know this won’t win me any fans but I think that’s damning with faint praise he’s much better than Dylan. He just has a much smoother voice. If Dylan were a whiskey, he’d make your eyes pop when you drank; Jennings makes your eyes close. But they both certainly share the folks singer ability to sing a story.