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Three Jewish widows — Jean Hayenga (left), who plays Lucille, Dawn Timbs, who pl1 / 3
Above: “Patrol” is one of the paintings by artist Megan Rye included in the exhi2 / 3
A piece of artwork by Laurel LaBorde that will be displayed at the Crosslake Lib3 / 3

Lamplighter staging ‘The Cemetery Club’

STAPLES — “The Cemetery Club,” the newest production of Lamplighter Community Theatre, will be performed Feb. 25-26 and March 3-5 at the Landmark Inn, 631 3rd Ave. N.E., Staples.

The funny and poignant story about the lives of three Jewish widows will be performed at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for general admission seating. Tickets are available at Unity Bank, First International Bank and Trust and the Staples World or by calling the Staples World at (218) 894-1112.

Lifetime friends Doris, Ida and Lucille meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. Doris, played by Pam Collins, is set in her ways. She visits the cemetery faithfully and refuses to live a life that does not somehow involve her deceased husband. 

Jean Hayenga plays Lucille, the complete opposite of Doris. With her flamboyant personality, Lucille seems to be making up for the flawed relationship she had with her husband by chasing as many men as she possibly can. 

Ida, portrayed by Dawn Timbs, balances out the threesome. She is slowly getting over the loss of her husband and wants some kind of change in her life. The change begins when the widows meet Sam, played by Lee Paskewitz, who is visiting the grave of his late wife at the cemetery.

Cassandra Magers plays Mildred, whose date with Sam starts the unraveling of long-term relationships. The production is directed by Amy Hunter, who has a long history in all aspects of community theater, including directing and acting. 

“The Cemetery Club” was written by Ivan Menchell and is being produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

A  special senior citizens night has been designated for March 3. Lakewood Health System is arranging for transportation to the performance from their senior-living sites. In addition, Lamplighter Community Theatre received a grant through Five Wings Arts Council and Legacy funding to provide free transportation from senior centers in Todd County for the performance. A bus will stop at Grey Eagle, Long Prairie, Browerville, Clarissa, Eagel Bend and Bertha/Hewitt. For information call the Todd County Council on Aging at (218) 738-5702.

‘Iraq: The Forgotten War’ exhibit at CLC

Artist Megan Rye’s exhibit titled “Iraq: The Forgotten War” will open Wednesday and run through March 24 in the Central Lakes College Gallery in Brainerd.

Rye, of Minneapolis, is best known for large-scale oil paintings of the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

“Although we have had all great shows, this one might be a step up,” said Mic Stowell, CLC art instructor and gallery curator. “Megan Rye has been getting a lot of attention in Minnesota and nationally. Her work is timely.”

Rye’s paintings are based on snapshots taken by her brother Ryan, a Marine who served in Fallujah and the Sunni Triangle for seven months.

Born in Seoul, Korea, Rye studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, earning a bachelor’s of fine arts degree in painting in 1998, with an art history concentration. Her senior year was spent in Rome as a participant in the European Honors Program. She was awarded a master’s in painting from the University of Minnesota in 2003, where she received a graduate school fellowship. In 2005, Rye was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.

Rye is represented by Forum Gallery in New York City and Galeria Omar Alonso in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Her work is included in private collections across the country.

Heartland Poets to meet at new location

The Heartland Poets will meet from 1-3 p.m. Saturday for a birthday reception honoring Maxine Kaiser Russell, their oldest member.

The poets will meet at the Brainerd Fire Hall on Laurel Street instead of at the Brainerd Public Library, their normal gathering spot.

Russell, who turns 99 on Thursday, has published three books of poetry. The most recent, “Celebrating One Hundred,” will be available for signing at the reception. 

The reception is free and open to the public.

Shakespeare class/ Guthrie Theater trip

CROSBY — Joe Albrecht, retired English teacher, will reacquaint an audience with the life and works of William Shakespeare in an Unlimited Learning event scheduled from 1:30-3:30 p.m. March 8 at Heartwood Senior Living Community in Crosby.

As a follow-up experience, a bus trip to the Guthrie Theater is scheduled for March 12. Participants will see the theater’s current production of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale.” The bus will pick up Brainerd area passengers at Caribou Coffee on the east side at 8 a.m. and Crosby area passengers at the Hallett Center at 8:30 a.m. The performance is at 1 p.m.

Cost for the theater ticket and bus trip is $65 for Unlimited Learning members and $80 for non-members. For more information, contact Joanna Pierce at (218) 534-4946 or Reservations must be made by Feb. 28.

Unlimited Learning programs are funded in part by a Lifelong Learning grant from the Minnesota Humanities Center. The public is invited to attend class sessions for a fee of $6. For information about other UL programs go to or call Larry Foote at (218) 678-3034.

SKATYRS calls it quits

SKATYRS, a classic rock ’n’ roll band in the Brainerd lakes area, Monday announced their retirement.

According to the band’s website, Stan Childs and Ed Koehler said they had no idea that after nearly 15 years they would still be playing together. They played at parks, weddings and private parties across the area. SKATYRS also played at Heartland Animal Rescue Team benefits at Norway Ridge, July Fourth Madden’s celebrations and Crosslake and Pequot Lakes summer concerts.

SKATYRS has had a few changes in band members over the years. Most recent members were Childs, Koehler, Brad Wallace, Greg Welu, Joe McGowan and Van Bialon. Other former members were Brian Wallace, Mark Westburg, Mac McCauley, Ron Scrimshaw, Bob Dandanelle and Loren Knack.

BHS choir to sing at state conference

The Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir will sing at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at  the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association conference in Minneapolis. 

Crosby artist’s work on display

A show of original oil paintings by Laurel LaBorde of rural Crosby is currently on display at the Crosslake Library in Crosslake. 

LaBorde has won numerous awards for her paintings, which feature a variety of subject matter, including still lifes, landscapes and portraits. She has taught classes in various art mediums and is an active member of the Crosslake Art Club. 

An exhibit of paintings by Crosslake Art Club members is on display at the Crosslake Community Center through May.