West Side Neighborhood News and Events

The West Side neighborhood is rich with diversity.  The topography ranges from the River Flats that are home to many businesses to the Bluffs which provide breathtaking views of downtown Saint Paul and are home to some of Saint Paul’s finest historic houses. Within the West Side neighborhood, community members come from a rich diversity of income, age, cultural, and geographic backgrounds, this diversity is celebrated through a host of public art pieces disbursed throughout the neighborhood. The West Side is home to many parks and scenic overlooks as well as several neighborhood commercial areas—District del Sol, Stryker/George, Smith Avenue—all of which make the neighborhood vibrant and convenient. The West Side is just minutes to downtown Saint Paul and surrounding suburbs.

(Description from livemsp.org)

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

Composer José Galván enriches the Twin Cities with VocalEssence’s ¡Cantaré! program

Photo courtesy VocalEssence

Two Mexican composers have been heating things up in Minnesota. Over the past school year, José Galván and Pamela Mayorga have visited the greater Twin Cities area several times to write music for and work with public school and community choirs. These efforts, part of VocalEssence's ¡Cantaré! program, culminated on May 20th in a free concert at the Ordway Center for the Arts. The Daily Planet’s Basil Considine sat down with José Galván to discuss his work in and outside of ¡Cantaré!


THEATER REVIEW | "Bring It On: The Musical" brings it to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Photo courtesy Ordway Theater

Have you ever watched Glee and thought what the show needed was less talking and more of the McKinley High School cheer squad's high-end production numbers? Do you prefer feats of athleticism and tumbling to fancy footwork? Does competitive cheerleading pique your interest? If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, then Bring It On is the musical for you. The show, currently playing at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, is exactly what you might expect from a musical about competitive cheerleaders. It's light on plot, is high on eye-catching and high-energy cheer routines, and saves its most impressive moves for the turbo drive to the finish.


Pan Asian Festival brings culture to new generation

On May 4, 2014 the Pan Asian Alliance, with the support from over 35 local organizations, held its fifth annual Pan Asian Festival at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. The event aims to present Asian culture with various performances, including Asian Indian, Chinese, Dai, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Mongolian, Silk Road, Thailand, Tibetan, Yi and more.


MUSIC REVIEW | Queens of the Stone Age rock the Roy Wilkins Auditorium

Photos by Chad Rieder

After the release of the Grammy nominated album …Like Clockwork in 2013, there is little reason to doubt that Queens of the Stone Age hold the hard-rock title today. The stoner rock legends from Palm Desert, CA hammered Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul with a nearly two-hour set that was held together with a disciplined fist that drove hard from start.


THEATER REVIEW | "Behind The Eye" at Park Square Theatre gets the full picture of a famous photographer

Lee Miller (Annie Enneking) in Park Square Theatre's production of Behind The Eye; photography by Petronella Ytsma

I fell in love with Carson Kreitzer’s writing back in the early 2000s when I first read her play Freakshow. The way she bends and twists language to do exactly the poetic things she wants it to do. The strange sideways glance she gives the world, a world you recognize but now see in a completely different way because of the manner in which she frames it. Her sharp, peculiar sense of humor.  An audience can’t sit passively and watch one of her plays drift by—it’s too busy prodding you with little shocks and surprises (and that’s as true if you’re seeing it live on stage or simply reading it). I like the way she’s drawn to the oddballs and the outcasts—whether it’s the sideshow monstrosities of Freakshow, serial killers (Self Defense or the Death of Some Salesmen), nuclear scientists (The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer), the spirits of celebrities trapped in limbo (Dead Wait), or the different breed of human being who decides to live and die in Las Vegas (Flesh and the Desert).