Outdoor Hmong Music at the History Center

Check out these great photos of a partnership with the “We Are Hmong Show” at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul, the Center included a night of Hmong Music in its “9 Nights of Music” series, which is held in the outdoor plaza space between the State Capitol and the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Continue Reading

Video: The Future of Southwest Light Rail

Among our regional elected’s, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin remains one of the strongest voices for an up-to-date public transit system in the Twin Cities metro area. McLaughlin chairs The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and the Counties Transportation Improvement Board. The HCRRA has committed to fund 10% and the CTIB, 30% of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project being planned to connect Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, Saint Louis Park and the west lakes district of Minneapolis and the southern fringe of North Minneapolis to the Blue and Green LRT lines at Target Field. The State of Minnesota will shovel-in 10%. The plan has been to qualify for Federal Transportation Agency monies which would account for 50% of the project. Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW | Sandbox Theatre’s “War With The Newts”: A darkly funny cautionary lizard tale

I had the pleasure of seeing the original War With The Newts back in 2007 when Sandbox Theatre first tackled the Karel Capek science fiction novel, so I knew this reimagined revival was also bound to be a lot of fun. In a way, Capek’s tale is not your standard sci fi cautionary tale. Normally, you’d use the race of newts as a stand-in for human behavior and the audience would have just enough distance from themselves to be able to see the pitfalls of the newts’ way of dealing with one another. Here though, the newts are addressing us in the audience as fellow newts, using human beings themselves as the cautionary tale, putting on masks in order to imitate human beings and just making the whole thing a lot harder to ignore as a straightforward indictment of human folly. “No sensible man has any business going to Devil Bay.”

Sandbox Theatre as a company has also been evolving over the eight years since this story last hit the stage, and it shows in this new improved version of War With The Newts. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | FMLY Fest, Irish Fair, Polish Fest, Pizza Lucé Block Party, Play on Penn, Art on the Ave & more!

This weekend’s lineup is a bit quieter than last weekend’s, but no less engaging. From community gatherings and cultural fairs, to art crawls and music festivals — there is a lot to enjoy this weekend! Scroll down to see what’s on tap; if you know of an event that readers should know about, sound off in the comment section below.Play on Penn: Meat and Greet, August 8Come on out to the second Meat & Greet, a Play on Penn event sponsored by Penn Avenue Community Works that aims to create an attractive destination for community-building and opportunity along the Penn Avenue corridor. The event offers free BBQ, live music, and an opportunity to interact and socialize with people in the community! Special guests include the Free Speech Machine, E.G. Bailey’s Talking Tree Poetry, IMPACT Penn Avenue Story Series by Bully Creative, and a special showing of the film “A Place at the Table” presented by Appetite for Change and its Fresh Corners Initiative. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Twin Cities Jazz Fest, Twin Cities Pride Fest, Beer Dabbler, MN Food Truck Fair and more!

Updated: 6/27/2014 2:19 pm Can you believe we’re almost at the end of June? Time flies, so spend it wisely — get out and enjoy some of the outdoor happenings around the cities. This weekend offers two big festivals — the Twin Cities Pride Fest in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities Jazz Fest in Saint Paul, along with other fun happenings around town. Just like the last couple of weekends, this weekend might be a bit wet so plan accordingly.See this weekend’s lineup below, and use the comment section or email tcweekend@tcdailyplanet.net to let us know about an event in your community.  Music and Movies in the Park, June 27 – 28 Music and Movies in the Park is celebrating over 100 years of free entertainment in Minneapolis parks with 250 free concerts and movies taking place this summer. Bring a chair or blanket, some snacks and some bug spray and enjoy a night in the park. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Backstreet Boys at the Xcel Energy Center: Backstreet’s back, alright!

My first thought after grabbing my tickets from will call for the Backstreet Boys at St Paul’s Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, June 10 was simply “What the hell am I doing here?” Looking out over the crowd, and for the first time in my life I could actually look OVER them as I was taller than most of the people there, I couldn’t help but notice that I stood out like a sore thumb: a scruffy 30-something amidst a sea of women who were predominantly dressed more for a night of hitting the clubs. The feeling of being on the outside was very strong as I watched a sea of people excitedly take selfies, making damn sure to get the stage in the shot.That feeling washed away in the wake of the tremendous energy that the near-capacity crowd brought to bear last night for the Backstreet Boys. The show kicked off with an unexpected opening act: Brian Littrell’s 11-year old son, Baylee Thomas, rocked a few choice stylings like “My Girl,” Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy,” and The Jackson Five’s “Give Me One More Chance.” No knocking the youth, the kid’s got some pipes and the performance was a good way to warm up a crowd that was still slowly trickling into the arena.Avril Lavigne hit the stage next, shoving more coal into the engine of this odd little nostalgia train. She got the crowd singing along to hits like “Complicated” and, yes, “Sk8er Boi.” It was something of a humbling experience to watch Avril point the microphone to the crowd and suddenly realizing I was the only person in the entire arena who didn’t know the lyrics in the midst of a crowd of thousands all singing along.Finally, the Backstreet Boys took to the stage, and in a lot of ways it was like traveling back in time. The choreography may have been a bit more stiff and dull at moments, but all five of the guys are performers who thrive in front of a massive audience. Continue Reading

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.“This art festival really is for our next generation,” Ange Hwang, the executive director from Asian Media Access, said. “Because there are lots of young kids, when they learn their cultural dance, they would appreciate more to keep their traditions and culture…we are taking a different education aspect.”While enjoying the Asian dance and music, event goers could also experience authentic Asian food, experience craft makings and play carnival games.“We do feel lots of differences this year,” Hwang said. “We have a lot more mainstream audiences. Continue Reading

TC Weekend | Get into the swing of spring with the Saint Paul Art Crawl and more!

TC Weekend is back, a sure sign of spring! We’ve selected a few choice events to help you ease into the season. From Earth Day cleanups and One Day in the Twn Cities to literary readings and art showings, there’s plenty on tap to help you get out and about this weekend!Saint Paul Art Crawl, April 25 – 27Lowertown, University Avenue and more in Saint Paul, MN; Go here for location info.4/25 –   6pm – 10pm4/26 – 12pm –   8pm4/27 – 12pm –   5pmEnjoy the work of over a hundred local artists as they open their studios to the public for the weekend. Thousands of visitors from across the Midwest take in this bi-annual art crawl that also features free music, theater performances, art activities and more! Free rides from Metro Transit are available. Continue Reading