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Another day, another missed Minnesota legislative deadline

Entertainment briefs - Nov. 22

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■ Music General holiday

show planned

Music General will host its annual holiday shows Nov. 30 at Tornstrom Auditorium.

One show will be held at 5:30 p.m. and the second show at 7:15 p.m.

This year’s show’s theme is the story of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The story of Rudolph will be told through dances performed by dancers age 2 to the “Golden Girls.”

The famous Music General Dancin’ Dads also will be performing in the show.

Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under and are available at Music General.

At the door, tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Three Music General dancers — Sylvia Borash, Maddi Adams and Trevina Newcomer — will perform with the Heartland Symphony Orchestra for their holiday show “Christmas Fantasy” on Dec. 1-2 in Brainerd and Little Falls.

■ HSO presents a

‘Christmas Fantasy’

Heartland Symphony Orchestra (HSO) presents “Christmas Fantasy,” a concert featuring holiday favorites for the whole family to be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Charles Martin Auditorium in Little Falls and at 2 p.m. Dec. 2 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

Experience the world premiere dance interpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Christmas Eve Suite” by the Music General dancers and Brainerd’s own Bill Satre will narrate a delightful musical arrangement of the famous poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” All youth through high school are admitted free for a budget-friendly holiday show.

Other pieces on the program include Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” Linday Pulwar’s “Canadian Brass Christmas,” J.S. Pierpont’s “Tintinnabulations” and a sing-along during George Frideric Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”

HSO concert tickets are available at Little Falls at Bookin’ It, Great River Arts Center and Little Falls Radio, all in Little Falls; and at the Brainerd Dispatch and Bridge of Harmony, both in Brainerd. Tickets also will be available at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors.

For more information, call the HSO office at 1-800-826-1997, or visit This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008. Also in part, the Five Wings Arts Council and the Laura Jane Musser Fund.

■ CLC plans ‘A Night with Jon Hassler’

“A Night with Jon Hassler” is scheduled at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 in the Jon Hassler Library on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College (CLC).

“The occasion marks the fourth anniversary of the naming of the library after the world renowned Minnesota author Jon Hassler,” said Larry Kellerman, CLC librarian.

Kellerman said that, in honor of Hassler as a former instructor at Brainerd Community College (BCC) and as a prolific author, many of the CLC English instructors have incorporated the reading of Hassler’s “Staggerford” into curriculum during November.

The library presentation will feature a world premiere reading from “My Simon’s Night Journal,” edited and read by Joseph Plut, author of “Conversations with Jon Hassler.” Hassler wrote two of his novels, “Staggerford” and “Simon’s Night,” while an instructor BCC (now CLC) in the late 1970s.

In addition to the readings, there will be a review of related Hassler literature, memorabilia and academic achievements of the author.

Some autographed and other copies of Hassler’s novels will be available for purchase, with the proceeds being contributed to the Jon Hassler Scholarship at the college.

Hassler’s collected works: 1977, “Staggerford”; 1979, “Simon’s Night”; 1980, “Jemmy” (a young adult novel); 1981, “The Love Hunter”; 1985, “A Green Journey”; 1987, “Grand Opening”; 1989, “Four Miles to Pinecone” (a young adult novel); 1990, “North of Hope”; 1993, “Dear James”; 1995, “Rookery Blues”; 1997, “The Dean’s List”; 1999, “Keepsakes and Other Stories,” “The Underground Christmas,” and “My Staggerford Journal”; 2001, “Rufus at the Door and Other Stories”; 2001, “Good People”; 2002, “The Staggerford Flood”; 2004, “The Staggerford Murders” and “Stories Teachers Tell” (Gretchen Kresl Hasslaer, editor); and 2006,“The New Woman.”

An unveiling of donated photo portraits will conclude the event with a reception following. Hassler died March 20, 2008, at the age of 74, in St. Louis Park, following complications from progressive super-nuclear palsy.

■ Alan Godage and Sundown

to perform Saturday

Classic Country musicians Alan Godage and Sundown will perform from 7:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Club in Brainerd.

Veteran singer, songwriter and the acoustic guitarist Alan Godage is known for his clear diction and rhythmic delivery that combined with his naturally deep, resonant voice makes him a singing sensation.

Alan Godage and Sundown specialize in music from such Country legends as Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Conway Twitty and Hank Williams Sr. This band is versatile and can play a variety of styles. They perform country rock, fifties, gospel and old time.

The Sundown band consists of Dan Gadacz on drums and back up vocals. He is also Godage’s youngest son. Gadacz started drumming on the pots and pans at age 2. Gadacz and Barb Gadacz work together on the sound this band has. Rick Jenkins is the lead guitar player for the band. Jenkins started playing with his dad early on. He was playing chords on the ukulele starting about age 3.

Greg Gonsior is the bass player, soloist and back up singer in Sundown. Gonsior started playing guitar when he was 13. Melody Lane sings part time with Sundown. The youngest of Godage’s five children, she grew up listening to Classic Country Music and credits Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells and Patty Loveless as being some of her influences. She has been singing since she was 5. Barb Gadacz is the band’s manager and booking agent.

Tickets are $5 at the door.

■ Auditions set for musical at CLC

Central Lakes College Theatre will hold auditions at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 for the musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.

Director Patrick Spradlin is seeking 10 men and seven women for the musical, which will perform Feb. 14-17 and 21-24, 2013.

The musical is written by Bert Shevlove and Larry Gelbart, creator of the hit TV series “MASH.” The musical score is by American legend Stephen Sondheim and includes songs such as “Comedy Tonight,” “Everybody Ought to Have a Maid” and “Lovely.”

The story is set during the time of the Roman Empire and revolves around Pseudolus, a slave to the young Hero, and his attempts to gain his freedom. When Pseudolus discovers that Hero has fallen for the virtuous Philia, a courtesan in the house of Marcus Lycus, he strikes a deal with his master to get him the girl if he’ll be freed in return.

Of course, complications aplenty ensue. Philia is promised to a Roman general coming to collect her. Hero’s father is also smitten with the young girl and fellow slave Hysterium is on to the scheme and doing all he can to thwart it.

Of the 10 men’s roles, six are singing parts with age ranges from late teens to mid-50s. The other men’s roles are for physical comic actors. There are two principal women’s roles: one role is age mid-teens to mid-20s, and the second role is late 30s to mid-50s. The other women’s roles are chorus parts but will include some dance.

The production team includes vocal director Lauren Nickisch of Pequot Lakes; orchestra director Steve Anderson of Merrifield; and choreographer Wendy DeGeest of Pequot Lakes.

Those auditioning should prepare a short song or, at minimum, 16 measures of a song. Any song is acceptable. Aspirants should bring the sheet music of the song to the audition for piano accompaniment.

The audition also will include readings from the script and a dance audition for those who will be asked to dance.

A calendar of schedule conflicts for week nights between Dec. 10, excluding Christmas week and the final performance should also be brought to the audition.

For information, contact Spradlin at 855-8255 or email at

■ International students

to present Dec. 6 program

Eight international students attending Central Lakes College (CLC) will present the Dec. 6 Cultural Thursday in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.

The free, public event will begin at noon and feature students from Pakistan, India and Indonesia. They will present information about their schools, home life, jobs, urban and rural culture, and take questions near the end of the 50-minute program.

It is an opportunity for the community to get acquainted through personal reports by Chiranjeet Shah, Zishan Khan and Richard Andrews from India; Abdul Qadir, Usman Naeem and Nasir Hussain from Pakistan; and Beatha Astamarindraputri and Elsa Sasmita from Indonesia.

They are one-year students at CLC through Community Colleges for International Development, a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. CLC was the first college in Minnesota approved for participation three years ago.

The program gives under-served, non-elite young adults from various countries an expense-paid year of education. The students take 15 credit hours per semester at CLC and sign up for 60 hours of unpaid internships and volunteer activities. A key component is leadership and acquisition of knowledge essential to economic and democratic development for their home nations.

Housed together near campus, the international students are matched with local mentors for support.

The Cultural Thursday series is coordinated through the Resource Center for Cultures and Languages of the Americas as directed by Spanish instructor Jan Kurtz. To contact Kurtz call her at 855-883 or email her at

■ ‘Merry Tuba Christmas’ is Dec. 8

The Central Lakes College (CLC) Music Department will present “Merry Tuba Christmas” at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Westgate Mall in Brainerd.

Low-brass musicians from throughout the area convene for rehearsal that day at 10 a.m. in the CLC Music Room on the Brainerd campus in conjunction with a nation-wide emphasis that assembles players of tuba, euphonium (baritone horn) and trombone to perform free, public holiday music.

Conductor Steve Anderson asks all interested players of low-brass instruments to join the fun for shoppers and others who enjoy festive tunes. Stands and music are provided.

For more information, contact Anderson at 855-8215 or 831-3652 or via email at or

■ CLC choir concert scheduled Nov. 29

The Central Lakes College (CLC) Music Department will present “Songs of Love, Joy and Farewell,” a free public concert, at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.

The Cantare’ Concert Choir and the CLC Chamber Choir will be singing an eclectic mix of music by composers Irving Berlin, Felix Mendelssohn, Rodgers and Hammerstein and many more.

The night will feature student and faculty collaborations and solo spotlights including local favorites Steve Anderson, Chris Bolsted and student cellist Talitha Decker.

The concert is under the direction of Brenda Handel-Johnson and accompanied by Sarah Gorham.

■ Michael Johnson holiday

concert in New Year Mills

NEW YORK MILLS — Michael Johnson will perform a holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at the New York Mills Cultural Center. Admission is $12 advance reservation or $15 the night of the concert. Members receive a $2 discount and anyone gets a dollar off by bringing a donation for the New York Mills Food Shelf. Student admission is $5.

Call 218-385-3339 for tickets or visit the Cultural Center website at .

His voice immediately identifies him as the man who sings “Bluer Than Blue,” “Give Me Wings,” “That’s That,” “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and other landmark songs. His music shows diversity, depth and heart that only come from years of dedication to a labor of love. This concert is sponsored by Dr. Rachel Grieger, DDS, New York Mills and the Peloquin-Beck Law Offices of Perham and New York Mills.

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