Entertainment briefs - Aug. 23

Astronaut Jones to appear at The Beanery AITKIN -- Back by popular demand, Astronaut Jones also known as Tony Costa will once again perform his originals and a select group of covers at 8 p.m. Aug. 31 at The Beanery in Aitkin. Astronaut Jones is ...

Astronaut Jones to appear at The Beanery

AITKIN - Back by popular demand, Astronaut Jones also known as Tony Costa will once again perform his originals and a select group of covers at 8 p.m. Aug. 31 at The Beanery in Aitkin.

Astronaut Jones is described as having an atypical Jersey Shore sound, as he is from New Jersey. His playing and song writing combine a variety of acoustic rock with influences ranging from Led Zeppelin to The Misfits. Although his solo act is a recent venture he is by no means new to the entertainment scene. Playing out in local bands since 1998, he is well seasoned as an entertainer and is a regular on the Jersey Shore Scene.

Costa is in Aitkin as his family owns a home on Big Pine Lake in Hazleton Township and his mother, Sylvia Allen, is restoring the Butler Building in Aitkin.

‘Off the deck’ concert set Sunday


NEW YORK MILLS - Otter Tail County musicians in the reggae/jazz band MOTU will perform a free concert at 6 p.m. Sunday at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center “off the deck.”

Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the concert. This activity is funded by the Lake Region Arts Council and 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.

Just For Kix hosts annual Directors Convention

BAXTER - More than 145 Just For Kix youth program dance directors from Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and South Dakota recently attended the 2012 Directors Convention held at the Just For

Kix Baxter Dance Studios and The Legacy.

“The 2012 Convention focused on techniques and curriculum to allow our directors and their young dancers the ability to soar,” said Cindy Clough, Just For Kix executive director. “We needed to remind our directors that the skills they teach in class not only affect their technical dancing, but also give them the foundation for life skills, too. The culmination of these skills, we believe, give our dancers a platform to soar.”

A highlight of the convention was the launch of a Just For Kix effort to create awareness and educate youth and their families about bullying. The convention also offered multiple educational and programming classes to assist in furthering the Director’s dance curriculum knowledge and sessions on resources for program development.

Additionally, the annual Just For Kix Hall of Fame inductee is announced at the convention. The 2012 inductee was Carrie Cowell of Brainerd who started working part-time at Just For Kix in 1991 as a dance teacher, then joined the organization full time in 1997 as dance programs assistant. In 2011, Cowell retired as director of programs. Julie Davidge, the Just For Kix youth programs manager said the overall convention experience allows for the directors to come to Brainerd to collaborate


and engage with the Just For Kix home office staff and other directors from across the country.

For 28 years, Just For Kix has held a Directors Convention. Just For Kix orchestrates youth dance programs in 10 states at nearly 200 locations engaging more than 20,000 youth dancers. Specific to Minnesota, 11,460 metro and out-state Minnesota youth are enrolled in Just For Kix programs, which employ 100 Minnesota-based Just For Kix directors alone who teach and orchestrate the dance programs.

New Member Night set for Staples chorus

STAPLES - The Staples Area Women’s Chorus will open their 2012-2013 rehearsal season with a New Member Night at 8 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Staples Motley High School Choir Room.

Chorus director Rob Freelove will start his third season with the women’s chorus. Sandy Paskewitz will be coming back as the accompanist. Paskewitz took time off from playing for the chorus to do a wide variety of other venues accompanying choirs, solos and ensemble.

The chorus invites all women who would like to be a part of a talented group in practicing and performing a wide variety of music to join them. The women rehearse from 8-9:30 p.m. on Mondays in the choir room.

The season runs from Sept. 10 through April. Some of the events in the planning stages are the Soup, Sandwich & Song scheduled Oct. 6 at the Staples Alliance Church; participation in an event at St. John’s University on Oct. 27; Community Christmas Concert at Sacred Heart Church on Dec. 8; a combined work with the Staples Area Men’s Chorus in January; and a spring concert in April and many other performing events.

Poets honored at annual Northwoods Art and Book Festival


HACKENSACK - The fifth annual poetry recognition event was recently featured at the Northwoods Art and Book Festival in Hackensack. Poetry was displayed in the book arts section of the United Church of Christ. Each Minnesota poet who entered the event had one or two of their poems on display.

A committee selected six poems as winners for Works of Merit. During the day those who attended the festival had an opportunity to vote for their favorite poems. Six poems were then chosen as winners in the Popular Choice category.

Sue Ready, chair for the event, presided over the poetry reading in the afternoon. Athena Kildegaard of “Cloves and Honey,” Margaret Hasse of “Milk and Tides,” Doris Stengal of “Small Town Lines” and Charmaine Donovan of “Tumbled Dry” were the guest poets. Each of them read poems from their new books.

Lea Johnstone, Backus, was recognized for her work winning the Works of Merit for “Poems Wander Shyly.”

Popular Choice awards went to the following lakes area residents: Charmaine Donovan, Brainerd, “Nature’s Goodness,” Lea Johnstone, Backus, “Autumn Drew Its Bedtime Bath,” Carol Campbell, Brainerd, “The Collectors” and Marion Hotley, Nevis, “There Are No Words.”

Changes this season for From Age to Age

From Age to Age will see several changes this year, including seeing artistic director Andrew Miller, who founded the group in 2007, leaving the group.

Miller worked countless hours to ensure that From Age to Age would became a respected choral ensemble of the highest quality. Miller, who currently serves as the director of choral activities at Bismarck State College, has become active in the arts community in Bemidji and he continues to compose choral music.  

Succeeding Miller will be Jodi Bennett, who joined the group in 2008 and served as assistant artistic director last season. Bennett has been a music educator for 16 years, a guest clinician for area choral groups and a performer and soloist with multiple Minnesota choral ensembles.

From Age to Age also is gearing up for its 2012-13 season and it has worked on programming music, finalizing venues and holding auditions. This season the group will preform the following concerts: In October and November the concert title will be “Roots of American Music;” December, “O Great Mystery;” February and March, “Life, Love, Loss, and the Journey Beyond;” April and May, “Music in Bloom;” and June, “Peace.”

Program and location details can be found at .

From Age to Age also is looking for volunteers, who would be interested in many jobs, including being an usher, providing a meal, labeling envelopes and folding programs. The group also is currently recruiting for those who’d like to serve on the board of directors. If interested contact .

Authors to appear in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS - Good Books & Gifts in Little Falls will be hosting three authors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for book signing events.

Authors Mike and Dianne Heintzman of Nisswa will sign copies of their book, “The War is Over” and Author Carol Joan Campbell of Brainerd will sign copies of her book, “Between Webster and Me.”

Working her way through the dictionary, Campbell artfully chose her words, from “A” through “Z,” and crafted stories expressing the different facets of each word and its range of definitions and usages.

“The War is Over” is about a man was on a mission and someone was going to get some news. Each person in the little cluster braced themselves in their own way; the message was for one of them. As the runner came around the last descending bend on Jordan’s west bank, they could identify him as Benjamin, from the house of Heis, 27 miles away, near Bethany.

Benjamin is used to delivering messages, and in this case he has been hired by two sisters to find Jesus, and deliver their message that Lazarus is sick. But when Jesus sends him back with a return message, everyone, including Benjamin is surprised. Why would Jesus wait three days to come when the situation is so dire?

Heartland Poets to meet

Heartland Poets will meet in the large room at the Brainerd Public Library the first Friday in September and October and the second Friday of the month beginning in November.

Poets will meet from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 7 and poets are asked to bring a poem in progress.


Staples Poetry Slam set

STAPLES -  The Staples Poetry Slam will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Lincoln Park in Staples, as part of the community’s celebration of Railroad Days. 

Certificates will be awarded to all participants and plaques will be awarded to first, second and third place winners.  

Contact Amy Hunter for more details at (218) 894-1925 or .

Pottery classes being offered

Kevin Matthews Pottery in Brainerd will offer two classes this fall. Registration and prepayment is required for the classes by calling the studio at (218) 270-2242.

Beginning pottery wheel will be offered on Sept. 18, 20, 21 and Oct. 2, 4, 5. Cost is $40 and includes fees and supplies. Students will learn the basics of throwing pots on a wheel. Each student will create up to two items, which includes painting and firing.

Hand building class will be offered Oct. 16, 18 and 19. Cost is $35 which includes fees and supplies needed. Students will learn the Pinch Pot technique using a ball of wet clay. Students will make two pinch pots and put them together to make a body of an animal bank with legs, ears, eyes and tail. Each student will create one item, which includes painting and firing.

Comedian Louie Anderson to perform in Crosslake

CROSSLAKE - Comedian Louie Anderson will perform shows at 7 and 9 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center in Crosslake.

An Italian buffet by Maucieri’s will be served for $10. There will be a full bar.

General admission is $35 with VIP Meet and Greet tickets for $50. Get tickets at Maucieri’s in Crosslake or call the ticket hotline at (888) 379-4078.

Anderson is an author and comedian known for the nightly series “Family Feud” and late night chat shows.

Johnny Carson invited Anderson to make his national television debut on the “The Tonight Show” in 1984. Leno, Letterman, “Comic Relief” and Showtime and HBO specials followed.

Anderson has guest-starred in sitcoms like “Grace Under Fire” and dramas like “Touched by an Angel” and “Chicago Hope,” and he has had featured roles in film comedies like “Coming to America,” opposite of Eddie Murphy, and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” He is also host of “Comedy Showcase,” the late-night series that follows “Saturday Night Live.”

In 1995 Anderson put his creative energies to work on the Saturday morning animated series “Life with Louie.”

The long-running series based on Anderson’s own childhood as one of 11 children in Minnesota and his life with his father won three Humanitas Prizes for writing on a children’s animated series. It also earned a Genesis Award for its depiction of the proper treatment of animals and two Emmy Awards.

Brainerd native performs in New York

Brainerd native Peggy Kriha Dye sang the title role of Armide, a collaboration with Opera Atelier directed by Marshall Pynkoski and conducted by David Fallis, in this summer’s Glimmerglass Festival held in Copperstown, N.Y.

Kriha Dye, a 1987 Brainerd High School graduate, currently serves as the director of artistic and educational programming at Opera Columbus. She performed Stella in the world premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire with San Francisco Opera and later reprised the role with Washington National Opera. She has also performed Musetta in La bohème with both San Francisco Opera and Shanghai Opera. In May, she performed Armide with Opera Atelier at the Royal Opera House in Versailles, to great acclaim.

Kriha Dye’s parents are Carol Bombardier and George Kriha, who live in the Brainerd area.

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with numerous job titles since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently as Digital Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was present and worked on the our web page when our original website first went live on April 26, 1994.
What To Read Next
This week's featured read is "Angle of Declination" by Deerwood couple Doug and Sally Mayfield.
Live music in the Brainerd lakes area.
This calendar lists book or author events, auditions for theatrical productions, art, craft or food fairs and other unique entertainment events.
Brainerd Community Theatre will put on a production of “9 to 5: The Musical” at Central Lakes College. The musical comedy by Dolly Parton is based on her 1980 hit movie about women in the workplace.