Entertainment Briefs - March 23

Piano workshop with George Winston set March 30 Internationally renowned solo piano artist George Winston will conduct a lecture/demonstration workshop at 7 p.m. March 30 in the Music Rehearsal room at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. Winston a...

Piano workshop with George Winston set March 30

Internationally renowned solo piano artist George Winston will conduct a lecture/demonstration workshop at 7 p.m. March 30 in the Music Rehearsal room at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. Winston also is performing a concert March 31 in the Chalberg Theatre as part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center's Cultural Arts Series.

Winston travels the world performing original compositions as well as the work of jazz and blues artists. His original work includes such recordings as "Autumn," "December" and "Winter into Spring." He's known for two tribute albums to Vince Guaraldi, composer for the first 16 "Peanuts" animated films.

Attendees of the workshop are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Central Lakes College Food Bank. Winston uses his appearances to promote the alleviation of hunger in the world.

Winston's appearance is supported by A Woman's Choice, with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board.


Author of 'The Night Bird' to appear in April

Author Brian Freeman will discuss his newest book, "The Night Bird," at noon April 3 at the Brainerd Public Library.

Freeman's appearance is part of the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library's program bringing acclaimed authors to the library the first Monday of every month to speak about their latest work and the craft of writing. These events give local book lovers a chance to connect with up-and- coming and award-winning authors from around the Midwest.

Freeman's newest book, "The Night Bird," spent most of January as the No. 1 bestselling Kindle book on Amazon. "The Night Bird" is set in San Francisco, the book introduces a new detective named Frost Easton. Freeman will also talk about his next Jonathan Stride book, "Marathon" which will be released on May 2.

Freeman is a bestselling Minnesota author of psychological thrillers, including the Jonathan Stride series set in Duluth. Since 2005, he has sold books in 46 countries and 20 languages. His standalone novel "Spilled Blood," based in southwestern Minnesota, won the award for Best Hardcover Novel in the International Thriller Writers Awards, and his novel "The Burying Place" was a finalist for the same award. Other winners of this award have included renowned authors Stephen King, John Sandford and Jeffery Deaver.

Those who attend are welcome to bring a packed lunch or can enjoy the light refreshments provided. These presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library through their volunteer and fundraising efforts, and are free of charge to the public.

For more information on any of the events, visit the library's Facebook page at or call 218-829- 5574.

Martin Luther film to be shown in Staples


STAPLES-The adventure story of Martin Luther's life is told in a new film, "Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World," and will presented at 4 p.m. April 2 at Centennial Auditorium in Staples.

The event is sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church in Staples. A discussion period will follow the film, which is not being shown anywhere else in the area. There is no admission fee, but a free-will offering will be taken to help offset costs.

On October 31, 1517, a penniless monk named Martin Luther posted his now-famous document "Disputation on the Power of Indulgences"-better known as "The 95 Theses"-denouncing the corruption of the medieval world's largest and most powerful institution. His forerunners had been burned alive for similar statements, but Luther had a new tool at his disposal - the recently invented printing press.

"For Luther, it was a case of right person, right place, right time," Pastor Robin Collins of Trinity Lutheran Church stated in a news release.

The Martin Luther film chronicles the real life story of the events in the early 1500s. Against all odds, a lonely outcast stood up to the world's dominant superpower-the Catholic Church-and won.

It was a battle of ideas that formed Western society as we know it today, sparking the rise of individualism, universal education, religious freedom and new roles for church and state, the release stated.

Narrated by Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey and starring Padraic Delaney of The Tudors, this highly-visual docudrama uses full-scale dramatizations to tell a great adventure story.

The release stated: "Packed with political intrigue, kidnappings, secret hideouts and life-or-death showdowns, it does not shy away from the darker side of Martin Luther's story. At the same time, it's a story about the most important questions of life, including 'Who am I?' 'What is my purpose' and 'How do I get right with God?'"


This is the first time in more than 60 years that Lutherans have made a feature-length film about Martin Luther and the Reformation. Filmed in historic locations across Europe, this movie brings Luther's story to life with exquisite attention to detail.

The film was produced by PBS International and will be released to public television stations late this fall. The public is welcome to attend this screening. For more information contact Collins at 218-894-2372.

Needle Felting workshop planned

Brainerd-area artist Lisa Jordan will teach the art of needle-felting April 1-2 at The Crossing Arts Alliance. Needle-felting is an art form that uses specially-barbed needles and fluffy wool to create 2- and 3-dimensional forms. In this class students will make a 3-dimensional rabbit. The class will focus on building a firm structure, blending color, and adding a wire armature. No previous felting experience is required, though some experience is helpful.

The workshops will be 1-5 p.m. April 1 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 2. Class fee is $30 for Crossing Arts members, $35 for non-members. All materials and tools are included.

Each student will receive a reusable mat and set of felting needles, which is theirs to keep after the class. Additional wool and supplies will be available for purchase. Students providing their own mats and needles will receive a $5 voucher towards supplies.

Jordan has been needle-felting since 2006 and enjoys combining techniques and materials in her art. Her work has appeared in a number of craft books, magazines and online publications. She writes about her life at under the poplar and pine. By day she is the director of The Crossing Arts Alliance.

For more information or to enroll visit or call TCAA at 218-833-0416.


Gao Hong concert set in New York Mills

NEW YORK MILLS-Gao Hong will perform at 7:30 p.m. today, March 23, at the Cultural Center in New York Mills. The concert is a storytelling, Chinese pipa music and humor. A pre-concert talk will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Gao Hong begins her concert with rarely heard storytelling pieces from the Pudong pipa repertoire, a style known for its wide array of expressive note-bending techniques. Gao Hong also includes other pipa standards and her own autobiographical solo work "Flying Dragon." She finishes the program with her 2015 production "Gao Hong on the Highway" where she acts as performer, composer, scriptwriter and producer in a multi-media production.

Gao Hong, master of the pear-shaped Chinese lute, the pipa, began her career as a professional musician at age 12. She graduated with honors from China's premier music school, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In both China and the U.S. Gao has received numerous top awards and honors, including First Place in the Hebei Professional Young Music Performers Competition, an International Art Cup in Beijing, and a 2012 Global Music Award.

Gao has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and the U.S. in solo concerts and with symphony orchestras, jazz musicians and musicians from other cultures. She has performed at major concert halls and festivals worldwide, including the Lincoln Center Festival; Carnegie Hall; the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires; the San Francisco Jazz Festival; the Smithsonian Institution; the International Festival of Perth, Australia; and the Festival de Teatro de Europa in Milan, Italy, among others.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door, with a $2 discount for Cultural Center members; students are $5.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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


Donation helps Jaques

AITKIN-Niilo M. and Elene J. Hyytinen, upon their recent passing in Reno, Nev,. had bequeathed a $10,000 donation to the Jaques Art Center in Aitkin.

Niilo's brother, Don Hyytinen and Angie Barnhart accepted the check. The Jaques Art Center stated in a news release "They are grateful to the Hyytinen family for their generous longtime and lifetime support of the art center since it's inception in 1995 and to all of their supporters who help keep the arts alive in North Central Minnesota."

Dinner theater show planned in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS-Great River Arts announces its spring dinner theater production titled "Moon Over Buffalo" by Ken Ludwig, which will be on stage March 30, 31 and April 1, 6-8. Doors open with a social hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or in person at by phone at 320-632-0960.

Prices start at $35 for individual or $280 for a table of eight. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Dinner highlights include signature salad, bread sticks, cheese tortellini with marinara meat sauce and shrimp alfredo with penne pasta which will be catered by A.T. the Black and White Restaurant.

"Moon Over Buffalo" follows the lives of Charlotte and George Hay, an acting couple who has reached the end of their golden years, during their 1953 tour in Buffalo. Fate has given these thespians one more shot at starring roles in The Scarlet Pimpernel and the renowned director Frank Capra himself is enroute to Buffalo to catch their matinee performance. Under extreme pressure and with countless unnecessary complications, the matinee performance slowly comes unhinged. Will Charlotte make the appearance or run off with their agent? Will George be sober enough to recite his lines? Will Charlotte's hard of hearing mother Ethel mishear important plot points?


This show is directed by Mickey Morstad of St. Cloud, featuring Joel Mirro as George and Barb Flavin as Charlotte. Allen Riedeman, Melissa Peterson, Lindsey Derry, Matthew Toumi, Kenny Simon and Rhonda Schmidt will join Mirro and Flavin for this production.

Attendance high to see author Mary Casanova

WADENA-A standing room only greeted Mary Casanova, children and young adult novelist at the March Book Ends event at The Uptown in Wadena.

Casanova is the prolific author of 35 books and workshop presenter for school age and adult readers and writers. Many of her books are set in northern Minnesota, where she lives in International Falls.

Casanova has written books for the popular American Girl doll series, and her fans came to hear the backstory of current books and learn what's coming. Turns out two more American Girl books are in the works.

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