Our American Assassin, or You Can’t Handle the Booth! at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival

Our American Assassin, or You Can’t Handle the Booth!, presented by Mainly Me Productions story by Josh Carson and Andy Kraft is playing at the Theatre in the Round. Just a note-while many of Mainly Me productions are all ages shows, this one is not. There is a lot of profanity.  But the show is clearly marked ages 16 and up on the artists page. Continue Reading

The Bother at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival

The Bother, written, directed and performed by Rita Boersma, James Rone, and Jake Scott, is a complete and satisfying drama about a writer who thinks she’s “losing her mind when she encounters the imaginary monster that terrified her as a child on a trip home as an adult.” The writer, Bri, played by Rita Boersma, has made her career as a Young Adult writer. Her stories are based on that imaginary monster. But she is stuck, both personally and professionally. Is the monster real after all? Continue Reading

TC Weekend | LynLake Street Fest & Open Streets, West By West Bank, Art in the Hollow and more!

Local art and music, books, open streets: there’s a lot to love about this weekend’s line up with festivals and activities all over town!  As with last weekend, this weekend’s weather forecast seems to call for a bit of rain, but after our winter, what’s a few raindrops?!  See this weekend’s vibrant line up below:Art in the Hollow, June 7Art in the Hollow, the only art fair on Saint Paul’s east side, will feature over 50 visual and performing artists creating art in a variety of forms – murals, mosaics, sculpture and more, with many artists creating on-site. There will be a prize-awarded sculpture installation contest, a teen art poster contest, a teen gallery and much more! Go here for more information.Swede Hollow Park 720 Payne Ave., Saint Paul10 am – 5 pm Ancestry Books Grand Opening, June 7Come out and celebrate the good things happening in North Minneapolis with the grand opening of Ancestry Books! Enjoy great local music from hip-hop artist Toki Wright, and vocalist Mankwe Ndosi, plus a live painting by Jordan Hamilton and food and drinks.Lowry & Penn AvenueMusic, food, 12 pm – 2 pmBookstore opening 2 pm  It’s Easy Being Green, June 7 Are you interested in learning to garden or make your own green household cleaner? How about gaining a better understanding about the risks of lead paint or composting? Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | The Lowest Pair and Dead Pigeons at the Cedar Cultural Center: Double record release, double banjo harmony

If I said imagine a band with one member from Minneapolis’ West Band and one from Olympia, Washington playing at the Cedar Cultural Center, I think you might be able to picture The Lowest Pair. He used to play Palmers on Tuesday nights; she used to work in a vegan bakery. They look exactly like you might think. However you might not picture the most important part: two banjos. Palmer T. Lee is originally from Minnesota he plays with The Boys n’ the Barrels; Kendl Winter is from Arkansas but lived in Olympia. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | You really don’t want to meet the Dicks at Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America

I’m not one to cry. Truth is, I rarely cry, but during a visit to Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America I was literally reduced to tears! The bartender was abusive, abrasive, and mean as HELL. I wasn’t sure why he was in a bad mood, but later found out that it is their “niche” to be mean as spitfire. Were they really trained to treat people like this, to the point of harassment? Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW | “The Sun Serpent” enchants and educates at Mixed Blood Theatre

I didn’t look at the program before The Sun Serpent began on Saturday, March 8 at Mixed Blood Theatre, but at the end I could have sworn there were at least six people in the cast. It turned out that only three actors received the audience’s fervent praise at curtain call: Andrés Alcalå, Adrian Hernandez and Andréa Morales. The three-person cast embody the arrival of Cortés in modern day Mexico and the chaotic stew of clashing cultures that followed. It’s a ridiculously huge task. And aside from a few distractions the production not only pulls it off, but depicts a surprisingly complex period of history rather than the expected story of conquerers and the conquered.Over the course of the show, the actors speak in three different languages representing the Spaniards, Aztec, and other native peoples. Subtitles aid those of us not so well versed in the languages and add a whole other dimension of the distance between cultures and creates an incredible sense of uniqueness about the production a. The illusion of three people representing entire armies is helped by truly outstanding costuming. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Kevin Presbrey and Danny Pratt warm the Whiskey Junction

When Kevin Presbrey and Danny Pratt played the Whiskey Junction, Friday, February 28, the whole thing felt very familiar. They brought Americana that bled household-name influences from folk to country to Top 40. And Whiskey Junction, with its long, worn bar and wall decorated with Budweiser-brand guitars, existed with all the same faces as Trails End and Larry’s Good Time Inn and all the other bars from my rural Wisconsin hometown as it gives refuge from all the wind, cold, and misery outside. It certainly took me back to where I grew up, like we could’ve been back home, we four or five dozen crowded between the tables, talking while on stage Kevin Presbrey and Danny Pratt hammered out songs about the trials of life and love.With Presbrey handling guitar and vocals, while Pratt hit percussion and keys, they introduced themselves over the crack of pool balls to the bar rabble sitting at tables and huddled in circles. There were a lot of folks younger than me and a lot of folks older than me and Presbrey and Pratt caught a warm if scattered wave of claps and whoops.Presbrey and Pratt mostly played songs from their summer 2013 EP Dust Unto Dust. Continue Reading