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Grand opening Saturday of new club

The Moonshine Lounge in Brainerd, formerly Varsity Grill on Mill Avenue, is hosting its grand opening Saturday with live music from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. by Drew Peterson’s new band Dean Pigeon.

Breezy’s skating exhibition set Sunday

BREEZY POINT — The Breezy Point Skating Club will be hosting the sixth annual “For the Love of Skating” exhibition at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Breezy Point Ice Arena. The exhibition is in connection with USFS national Love of Skating month for January. This is an annual event the skating club host for the community to feature our local skaters who compete in competitions throughout the state, as well as, showing off the new incoming skaters from the “Learn to Skate” program.

The show features all skilled level skaters from the beginner to the advance skater skating double jumps.

The event is free for the community. However, donations are welcomed.

‘Julius Caesar’ to be on stage Feb. 8

Following a month-long residency at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Acting Company will make Central Lakes College the first stop of its 2012 tour to perform Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.

“Julius Caesar” is a classic story of pride and envy, arrogance and honor, opportunity and tragic strategic errors. Written in one of his most productive times of Shakespeare’s life, “Julius Caesar” blends the historic events of the reign of this iconic roman emperor with tragic elements and compelling language creating of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies.

“In the 1980s and 90s, every election was peppered with reports of voter apathy,” said director Rob Melrose. “The intense passion that now permeates our politics and threatens to divide our country make this a perfect time to re-examine Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar,’ a play that looks at what happens when political convictions create conflict and sometimes tragic upheaval.

“We’re imagining a ‘Julius Caesar’ that captures the energy and excitement of American politics of the last presidential and mid-term elections: The rallies, the protests, the political spectacles of conventions, bill signing and the congress, the high stakes speeches and debates, and of course the behind the scenes deal-making and strategizing.”

The Acting Company has garnered critical acclaim on a national scale through 135 productions and 39 seasons of classic, contemporary, and new plays.

Recipient of a TONY Award of Excellence in Theatre, the Acting Company has won other numerous awards for performance and education including Obies, Audelcos, and the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award.

The Cultural Arts Series is an offshoot of CLC Theatre. It is the goal of the series to bring to local stages professional artists of national and international reputation.

Tickets are $10, $20 or $25 depending on seating. For full ticket details and seating charts, visit For information call 855-8199 or email

Puppet show scheduled Saturday at Brainerd library

Coyote Stories, puppets that come alive offering stories on Indigenous cultures, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Brainerd Public Library.

In Coyote Stories, a theater event geared for all ages, Nimisee the clown will tell some favorite trickster tales. Drawing from the stories of the Assiniboine of the Great Plains, the Aztecs of Mexico and the Okanagun and Salishan of the Great Basin; Coyote is a hero, a creator and a self-centered show off with a kind heart. At a time when so many things cause us to weep, Coyote brings laughter, nurtures the spirit and reminds people to celebrate life.

Since 1973, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has been using water, flour, newspaper, paint and unlimited imagination to tell stories that explore the struggles and celebrations of human existence. Drawing inspiration from the world’s traditions of puppet and mask theatre and its lively roots in trans formative ritual and street theatre, HOBT creates vital, poetic theater for all ages and backgrounds.

This free Legacy Program is funded in part or in whole with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s art and cultural heritage.

South African students to talk about their country Feb. 2

Shanice Hector and Nqobile (Obi) Mahlangu of South Africa will present the next Cultural Thursday program from noon to 12:50 p.m. Feb. 2 in Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The event is free and open to the public.

Hector, 19, is from Cape Town and Mahlangu, 20, is from Johannesburg. Both are majoring in business, attending CLC for one year through the Community Colleges for International Development program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. CLC was the first college in Minnesota approved for participation three years ago.

With a stunning variety of spectacular natural environments, exotic wildlife, award-winning vineyards, historic townships, uniquely sophisticated cities, world-renowned cuisine, and lively culture, South Africa offers a journey of discovery like no other.

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures and languages.

About 79.5 percent of the South African population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.

Although English is commonly used in public and commercial life, it is only the fifth most-spoken home language. Education continues to receive the biggest share of the country’s budget.

Pierz elementary students to perform musical

PIERZ — Pioneer Elementary School fifth- and sixth-graders will be performing the musical play “The Princess and the Magic Pea” at 9:45 a.m. Feb. 2 and at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 in the school gym in Pierz.

Everyone is welcome. Admission is free.

‘A Night of Theatre’ has variety, humor, surprises

STAPLES — Lamplighter Community Theatre’s winter production “A Night of Theatre” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9-10 and 17-18 and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Landmark Inn in Staples.

The opening act is “Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn” by Lorees Yerby. Two old friends meet for lunch at a cafeteria and face the uncertain interval of life still remaining. They’re touched with wisdom and humor and surprising revelations illustrate the depth of their friendship.

Dawn Timbs is Clara; Brenda Halvorson is Gertrude; and Amy Hunter is the director.

Improv, a short segment of improvisational theatre and sketch comedy, will follow the intermission. Participating actors will be different for each performance, but all will have worked with Justin Edin to develop techniques. Edin has three years of improvisation performance background as well as other theater experiences.

The final segment will be one short act from Neil Simon’s comedy “The Good Doctor,” which is based on short stories by Anton Chekov.

“The Seduction” is one act from a full length comedy by Neil Simon based on short stories by Anton Chekov. In the act, the seducer tells the audience how he will win the lovely young wife of his friend. In fact, he brags to the audience about how successful he is as a seducer, especially of married women. However, the ending leaves the audience wondering who was really in charge of the situation.

Nate Mathews plays the seducer with Michael Rohr and Kathryn Edwards as the married couple. Jim Vollegraaf is the narrator and Pam Collins is the director.

All seats are general admission and a limited number are available for each performance. Doors open one hour before each show. Tickets are available at Miller True Value, the Staples World and from cast members.

For more information call (218) 894-1112.

Calling for entries for exhibit

AITKIN — The Jaques Art Center in Aitkin is calling for entries for its next exhibit entitled “The Power of Pencil, Pen & Ink.” The event is an open juried show with ribbon awards. Entry forms and details are available at the center or online at The entry deadline is Feb. 1. The exhibit runs from Feb. 24 to April 7. An opening reception is planned from 12-3 p.m. Feb. 25. Colored pencils and inks are acceptable as well as black and white.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889