Entertainment Briefs - April 14

C-I to present musical 'The Fantasticks' CROSBY--The Crosby-Ironton Music Department will present the musical "The Fantasticks" Friday-Sunday in the Mayberry Auditorium in the Crosby-Ironton High School. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday a...

Artist Kathy Strahota titled her oil painting "Lake Superior Edge." The artist will be among 14 other artists who will have their work on display in the “Water: We All Live Downstream” exhibit at Ripple River Gallery in Aitkin. (Submitted)
Artist Kathy Strahota titled her oil painting "Lake Superior Edge." The artist will be among 14 other artists who will have their work on display in the “Water: We All Live Downstream” exhibit at Ripple River Gallery in Aitkin. (Submitted)

C-I to present musical 'The Fantasticks'

CROSBY-The Crosby-Ironton Music Department will present the musical "The Fantasticks" Friday-Sunday in the Mayberry Auditorium in the Crosby-Ironton High School.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Doors open a half hour before the show.

Tickets are $8 and may be purchased from cast members, the Crosby-Ironton School District office or calling the district at 218 545-8802 or by contacting the director Daniel Olson at . Tickets also will be available at the door.

The book and lyrics of "The Fantasticks," are by Tom Jones, with music by Harvey Schmidt and it is the longest running production of any kind in the history of American theater.


"The Fantasticks" is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, and their two mothers who try to keep them apart. The narrator, El Gallo, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo's words that "without a hurt, the heart is hollow".

15-artist exhibit planned at Bay Lake area gallery

AITKIN-Fifteen regional artists have focused their work on a theme for a new exhibit at Ripple River Gallery in Aitkin. The theme titled "Water: We All Live Downstream" includes painting, printmaking and photography; dyed, stitched and woven fiber pieces; and mixed media.

The exhibit opened Wednesday and continues through May 15. A reception to meet the artists will be held from 2-4 p.m. April 23.

Artists participating in the exhibit are Judith Bergerson, Sartell; Denise Bunkert, Savage; Scott Dalquist, Rochester; Kit Eastman, St. Paul; Donna LaBeau, White Bear Lake; Linda Johaneson, Delano; Dee Kotaska, Brook Park; Rex Lindberg, Brook Park; Susan Longstaff, Backus; Karren Mills, Golden Valley; Mary Opatz Herges, St. Cloud; Jerry Riach, Little Marais; Kathy Strahota, Mayer; Mel Tudisco, Burnsville; and Jo Wood, Hovland.

Since it opened in 2000 Ripple River Gallery has hosted several exhibits with an environmental theme, including 2015's "It's About the Bees" show that addressed the plight of pollinators.

In light of recent events in Flint, Mich., and elsewhere, this year's theme, "Water: We All Live Downstream," is particularly timely.

"If you brushed your teeth this morning or had a cup of coffee, if you turned on your tap and potable water freely came out, consider yourself truly blessed," Gallery Owner Amy Sharpe stated in an email release. "Here, in the land of 10,000 lakes, it's easy to take our abundance of clean water for granted."


Water means different things to each of us but one thing is certain, water is vital for our lives, the release stated.

Ripple River Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and other times by chance or appointment.

For more information call 218-678-2575 or email .

Book-signing event planned

BAXTER-Author Kimberly Waltman of Little Falls was named a finalist by the USA Best Books Awards for her picture book "Bright or Blue" published by Splashing Cow Books.

Waltman will have a book signing event from 12:30-3 p.m. April 30 at Book World in Baxter.

'Les Voyageurs - from Canoe to Canvas' exhibit planned

AITKIN-The Jaques Art Center in Aitkin Friday will unveil an anniversary art exhibit by artist/historian Robert Perrizo titled "Les Voyageurs - From Canoe to Canvas"


This exhibit opens at 11 a.m. Friday and there will be a reception for the artist from 12-3 p.m. Saturday. Perrizo will speak about his paintings at 1 p.m. during the reception. The exhibit will end May 21.

It was 210 years ago that Lewis and Clark completed their "Corps of Discovery" journey west which was commission by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. This exploration concluded the Louisiana Purchase that made the United States whole in 1806. "Les Voyageurs - From Canoe to Canvas" documents this early Minnesota history and features more than 40 all new vibrant oils of wilderness scenes and explorers. It covers the state's 1660-1740 French period.

The exhibit features researched portraits of early French explorers, including Radisson, Marquette, Duluth, and Hennepin who explored and claimed the Mississippi for French King Louis XIV.

Perrizo also portrays the colorful French Voyageur fur traders and their Indian trade partners. These two groups embraced each other's cultures which eventually set the tone for the blending of mixed-blood peoples call the Metis nation in the New World.

These French Canadian canoe men were known for their red wool tasseled caps, deer-skin leggings secured to a waist belt, bare thighs, Indian breech cloth, plus deer skin moccasins. They also featured a colorful sash around their waists to protect them from ruptures when carrying two or more 90-pound packs of their backs during portages. They navigated their eight-man, 36 foot canoes that carried up to four tons of trade goods, especially beaver hides, and supplies on the Great Lakes for rendezvous with with western Indians and wintering French voyageurs of Minnesota. Paintings include the establishing of the North West Fur Company at Grand Portage as the western Great Lakes terminus from Montreal in 1780. All of this makes for a colorful display of voyageurs canoeing, portaging and singing around campfires during their evening respites.

The exhibit illuminates the close participation the French had with the Indians, particularly the Dakota, in the storied horse and buffalo culture that emerged with the arrival of horses on the Great Plains. The horse had been extinct in North America for 50,000 years. Then, in 1690 the Pueblo Indians "liberated" horses from the Spanish conquistadores and in a few years over two million horses were running free on the Plains.The Dakota obtained steeds from the Mandan peoples and quickly transformed themselves into master horsemen. The French involvement with this era comes alive with Perrizo's portrayal of the exciting evolution from plodding farmers to a wide-ranging, hard-riding, buffalo-hunting, Plains tribe.

Music General takes home top honors in dance championships

Music General Company Line dancers on March 31 to April 3 attended the Legacy Dance Championships in Burnsville.


Music General competed against 14 dance studios and 604 routines from around the state competing for prestigious top honors. Dancers took home 23 Platinum Awards with 291-300 points and eight Elite Gold Awards with 285-290 points. Music General had 22 of their 31 routines place in the Top Ten High Point scores of the weekend and dancers took home seven first place, four second place and two third place finishes.

Music General Junior Company Line took first place overall with their tap routine "Want You to Want Me;" Teen/Senior Company took first place with their tap routine "Cop Chase;" and Senior Company Line took first place with their jazz routine "Seven Nation." Three routines, "Cop Chase," "Sweet Disposition" and "Seven Nation" were Excellence Award recipients for tap, contemporary and jazz. "Sweet Disposition" also won the Choreography Award.

Soloist Sylvia Borash was the top scoring senior soloist with a score of 297 out of a possible 300 and she was named Senior Miss Legacy, winning a cash award and full scholarship to the Hollywood Summer Intensive.

Borash, Libby Borash, Savanna Oberfeld, Jordan DeChaine, Nariah Fett, Megan Miller and Kailee Coleman were all chosen as Legacy National Invitee dancers. DeChaine and Miller both received a scholarship from Artists Simply Human Dance Convention, Libby Borash received full scholarship from New York City Dance Alliance and Savanna Oberfeld received full scholarship from Broadway Dance Center.

Local Coffee Shop holds Haiku Contest

CROSBY-Mixed Company - A Kava House in downtown Crosby is hosting a Haiku Contest with winners being announced Sunday, which happens to be National Haiku Day.

People can submit a Haiku that is eighter funny, serious, rhyming or deeply poetic, it just has to stick to the 5-7-5 syllable pattern.

The inaugural contest will divide all entries into two categories: 18 and under and 18 and over.


Submissions should be sent to the Mixed Company now through Sunday, either in person or by email at . For any questions call 218-545-1010.

Cultural Center presents Finnish language and music event

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills presents two separate but related "Finnish Roots" events on Saturday: Salolampi Finnish Language Village activities during the day, followed by funnyman and musician Kip Peltoniemi in a night concert.

The activities with Salolampi will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. and 3:30-5 p.m. at the Cultural Center. These activities, songs and stories are free to attend, and appropriate for youth and families. At 7:30 p.m., Peltoniemi will perform a music and comedy concert.

In the two day-time sessions, instructors from Salolampi will lead families in organized learning through play activities. Students will experience Finnish language and learn to speak words, phrases, and short sentences. An active game, storytelling and singing will introduce participants to Finnish and the culture of Finland. These two sessions each contain different activities and Finnish language content, so attendees are welcome to attend one or both.

Salolampi is a language camp in Bemidji which focuses on Finnish language and culture. Students come from all over the world to attend for one, two or four weeks during the summer. Salolampi is one of the Concordia Language Villages, which helps people discover what it means to be a citizen of the world.

Peltoniemi has performed in several states and Finland for the past 50 years. His act features comedic songs, tall tales-some would say "out and out lies," and original and traditional button accordion instrumentals, it stated in a news release. His original compositions have received airplay in a dozen countries, including features on A Prairie Home Companion, and on the Dr. Dementieva Show out of Los Angeles.

Peltoniemi likes to mythologize northern Minnesota life and tell tales about feral Jersey herds, haunted dance halls and imaginary musicians like Rex Sisu and Elvis Aho.


These events are presented through a partnership with Salolampi, and with support from the Finn Creek Open Air Museum and Wadena Hide and Fur Company.

For more information, visit the Center's website at or call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339.

Cultural Center to host garden party fundraiser

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills will host its Featuring old favorites and new additions, the Garden Party promises a fun night out for folks looking to support their local arts organization, as well as local artists, greenhouses and florists, organizers stated in a news release.

This year's activities include a live auction of goods from local greenhouses and florists, with half the proceeds going to the businesses; a silent auction that will include plants, gardening supplies and beyond; and the Wall of Wine/Tub of Beer drawing. Two new activities are the Live Art Creation, where a local artist will make art in person at the event, with an opportunity for an attendee to go home with the created artwork and a "Celebrate the Local" Artist Auction featuring works from more than 20 local artists.

The Cultural Center welcomes donations of items to include in the live and silent auctions and for the wine and craft beer drawings.

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