THEATER REVIEW: A Tribe Called Queer: Can We Kick It?

You’d think communities of color, populaces historically dealing with discrimination would be the last to stigmatize or ostracize people simply because they are different.  You’d be wrong.  You’d similarly think white, gay folk, long targets of homophobia, would be beyond looking askance on gays of color.  Again, you’d be wrong.  Facts heightening the significance of Lisa Marie Brimmer’s A Tribe Called Queer: Can We Kick It? Continue Reading

ALBUM REVIEW: The Crazy EP by CorEsha

Ginger Patterson is without question, one of the strongest recording artists in Twin Cities.  A gifted throwback to the smooth fire and hard grit of true, old-school soul music. Patterson truly stands in a class pretty much by herself. Which makes it a curious occurrence that she has taken under her wing at Midwest Magic Productions the pedestrian talent CorEsha, possessed of bright but emotionless vocals singing weak lyrics to run-of-the-mill melodies.  The Crazy EP produced by Patterson, co-produced with her son, William Patterson, has material mostly written by CorEsha and him. Continue Reading

Back in action at the Black Dog

Get in off the 294 express bus from Minneapolis and am way early for the gig at Black Dog Wine and Coffee Bar in Lowertown.  So, I take a little stroll around and am almost homesick: this part of St. Paul reminds me so much of Greenwich Village back in NYC.  Laid back, bohemian – a damn nice place to take a quiet walk.  Looking for a burger joint, happen upon the St. Paul Saints’ ballpark.  It’s beautiful.  Mainly because it’s a professional baseball field with all that electrifying atmosphere and you can actually get close up on the diamond.  I drop in at Mike Kelly’s Depot Bar & Grill.  The food and service are damned good blue-collar fare. A well-done bacon-cheeseburger, onion rings and a Coke later, I head over to the Black Dog.  It has been a hell of a long time since I had a real gig.  Not since Hell’s Kitchen about 5 years ago.  I’d done a year and a half or so at Corner Coffee in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District, but this was for pay, not tips.  Get over and Brian Charles Tischleder is roaming around, trying to do something about parking.  Haven’t seen the cat in ages.  That was another time opening for him.  Well, opening for James Curry, his duo with guitarist Casey Fearing.  Reviewed Brian’s Dreams & Fear CD for the Planet – damned good music.  We, of course, immediately start chewing the rag,  Before he has to get with his wife Ka Vang – poet/spoken word artist with whom he pulled strings to get me on the bill – he promises to see can he dig an old recording of James Curry as a four-piece band.  Would love to hear that.  Spot a poster for the show on the wall with pictures of names: am in pretty sweet company Rush Merchant headlining, Ka Vang, Lauren Koshere and Brian Charles Tischleder.  Nope, not too shabby at all.  And Saint Paul Almanac is filming.  Make a mental note to swipe that poster before the end of the night. Am doing my set, happen to catch sight in the back of the room of my man Bill Borea (a/k/a pro rassler Billy Blaze a/k/a William Borea,playwright, screen writer, director, actor).  The guy came clear over South Minneapolis. Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW: Stepping out of the River at Dawn

Mixed Blood Theatre arguably brandishes the strongest track record in Twin Cities’theatre scene for living up to its espoused mission to honor cultural diversity.  Be it issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, politics, the shop’s founding artistic director Jack Reuler has, since 1976, sustained a hallmark of social comment cum theatrical expression. Last week, this season closed, conventionally anyway, with Pussy Valley, humanizing sex-industry working women.  Convention being never having been Reuler’s long suit, he’s tagged on, for this coming weekend, the conclusion of Mixed Blood’s 55454 Series, limited-run productions to do with Africans and Muslims in America.  It began in January with Yussef El Guindi’s Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World. Continue Reading

The Gospel at Colonus

Once upon a time, in 1983, there was The Gospel at Colonus (New Video NYC) a groundbreaking, Obie Award winning triumph that inarguably stands the proverbial test of time. It is an ingenious hallmark, at once culturally specific and completely universal, showcasing the pure power of soul in a classic, mainstream accessible aesthetic. Nothing quite like it had been done before, not since, say, Porgy and Bess. Colonus also happens to strongly represent Twin Cities talent. Adapted and directed by Lee Bruer with music by Bob Telson, it starred Morgan Freeman and Clarence Fountain and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. Continue Reading

Capri Glee

In recent years the Capri Theater has done a splendid job of revitalizing the arts in North Minneapolis.  The latest triumph being a performance by iconic vocalist-songsmith JD Steele with ren Continue Reading