Entertainment Briefs - Nov. 3

Brainerd art club holiday show planned The Brainerd Area Art Club will host a Holiday Art Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Franklin Arts Center, Room 223. Original artwork, prints, cards, ornaments and more will be on display a...

James Casper
James Casper

Brainerd art club holiday show planned

The Brainerd Area Art Club will host a Holiday Art Show and Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 12 in the Franklin Arts Center, Room 223.

Original artwork, prints, cards, ornaments and more will be on display and be for sale.

Fall dinner show planned

LITTLE FALLS-Great River Arts announces its fall dinner theater production of "Lafferty's Wake," written by Susan Turlish and directed by Jeff Anderson and produced in part by a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council.


The dinner show is scheduled Nov. 10-12 and Nov. 17-19 at the art center, with doors opening at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and show at 7 p.m.

Dinner will be catered by A.T. the Black & White Restaurant in Little Falls. Dinner will be served buffet style and will feature the Black and White's savory signature salad, Irish stout mac'n'cheese, shepherd's pie, buttery green beans, herb roasted chicken, a decadent dessert and coffee.

Tickets are $35 per person or $280 for a reserved table of eight. Prices include dinner and show. Tickets can be purchased online at for tickets, by phone at 320-632-0960 or at the art center. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

The description of the play includes: When guests arrive for the production, they will be walking into Rory's Irish Pub as attendees of the wake for Charlie Lafferty, who is being remembered in grand style at his favorite local pub. The audience joins Charlie's widow Kathleen, his sweet daughter, bumbling son-in-law, the parish priest, and the savvy barkeeper as they celebrate the life and times of ramblin', gamblin' Lafferty.

"Two hours of sheer fun replete with jokes, jigs, stories and songs including such old favorites as 'Molly Malone,' 'Whiskey in the Jar' and 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling' guarantee a festive, audience pleasing frolic," Sam Bruno stated in a news release.

Free concert and book reading planned

NEW YORK MILLS-The Cultural Center in New York Mills will host a free concert and book reading from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday with the Artist of the Month, Helen Lapakko.

A musician, writer, and former corrections counselor, Lapakko's mission is to examine the hard realities of life in a way that touches and transforms her audience.


The show contains an interwoven set of original songs and excerpts from her recently-released book of short stories, "Living Outside the Lines."

Lapakko will be available to meet with audience members and sign copies of her book in the Center's gift shop.

Lapakko suggests adolescents, young adults and adults will get the most from her show because of mature themes.

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

Local novelist re-published in Poland

Author James Casper's 2013 novel "Everywhere in Chains" has been translated into Polish, and is now available in bookstores throughout that country with the title "Listy do Penelopy" (Letters to Penelope).

"Everywhere in Chains" is a Minnesota story featuring a family's struggle to live with the painful aftermath of a long-kept secret in the North Shore community where Penelope, its central character, searches for the truth about her imprisoned father.

Casper, a former faculty member of Central Lakes College, retired in 1999. He and his wife Kate have been living in Tennessee and in England where "Everywhere in Chains" was written. They also have a home in Pequot Lakes.


Previously, the novel was favorably reviewed by noted British author Lady Rachel Billington, and by Dale Ahlquist, President of the G. K. Chesterton Society. It was on the Ignatius Press best-seller list in 2014, and has been available in bookstores in the United Kingdom and Canada.

"Listy do Penelopy" is part of a series called Family Secrets. Its publisher Sweity Wojciech (Poznan, Poland) also features best-selling authors Michele Phoenix and Denise Hunter.

The book can be purchased at Earth and Beyond Books and Gifts in Brainerd, Book World in Baxter and at Turtle Town Books and Gifts in Nisswa; online at major book outlets; and also is available in the Kitchigami Regional Library in Pine River with its English title, "Everywhere in Chains."

Salli to appear at library event

Fiction writer, poet, essayist and playwright Donna Salli will speak and sign copies of her debut novel, "A Notion of Pelicans" at noon Monday at the Brainerd Public Library, as part of the Brown Bag Author Series hosted by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library.

"A Notion of Pelicans," published by North Star Press in September of 2016 is set on the rocky North Shore of Lake Superior. The novel opens with a mysterious appearance by a flock of pelicans, a puzzling encounter that leads Lavinia Hoope Hansen to spearhead the founding of Pelican Church. A 100 years later, the church still draws people with its legend that one of Lavinia's pelicans is still circling overhead, watching. The novel recounts the events of a day in October, as narrated from the perspectives of four variously quirky women-the pastor's wife, a young actress, a college sociology professor and a businesswoman. The women don't see the world the same, but they are all struggling to live with integrity. As they share the stories of their lives, disclosing problems, exposing secrets, it's apparent that they know themselves, one another, and their loved ones imperfectly. They're in search of something missing in their lives, something intangible and unique to each. Whether they'll know it when they see it is unclear. The action of the novel is driven by two questions: will the women find a way to calm the restlessness in all their lives and what role will the pelican of Pelican Church play?

Salli was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along the shores of Lake Superior. Much of her writing focuses on her experience having grown up there. Over the course of her education, she lived in Wausau and Madison, Wis.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Boston and Amherst, Mass. She has taught English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she earned a master's in fine arts in the creative writing of poetry; at Concordia College in Moorhead and at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. May 2016 marked her formal retirement from teaching. Salli's poems and essays have appeared in literary journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies. In 2000, she received a Mentor Series Award in poetry from the

Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, and earlier versions of her play "The Rock Farm" have been performed in translation in Finland and in Finnish/English productions in Michigan and Minnesota. In 2012, "The Rock Farm" received a staged reading and panel critique as part of PlayLab at the Great Plains Theatre Conference.

These free presentations are sponsored by the Friends of the Brainerd Public Library through their volunteer and fundraising efforts. Friends of the Brainerd Public Library brought back the Brown Bag Author series where it brings acclaimed authors to the library the first Monday of every month at noon 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, library staff stated in a news release.

Attendees are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

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

Aitkin Invitational Jazz Clinic coming

AITKIN-Aitkin Invitational Jazz Clinic featuring Tom "Bones" Malone will be Monday in Aitkin.

The jazz clinic is a new event in Aitkin. There will be a culminating concert at 6:30 p.m. showcasing the young jazz musicians of northern Minnesota, featuring students from eight area schools.

The day will consist of two honor bands and a directors' band that will work with Malone throughout the day learning about performing jazz, funk and blues styles while preparing a

short concert.

Malone was a member of the Saturday Night Live Band that began the original Blues Brothers and went on to be in the movie. From there he joined Paul Schaffer to be a member of the CBS

Orchestra. Malone is a highly sought after soloist and clinician who has performed and recorded with hundreds of artists.

HSO December concerts planned

Heartland Symphony Orchestra will perform two concerts in December with its winter performance titled "Remembrance."

Concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Charles D. Martin, Auditorium at the Little Falls High School and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd.

In its 40th year, the orchestra takes a step back in time as Alexander Corbett steps to the podium for his second concert as HSO's new conductor, directing the orchestra to well-known musical scores from "Star Wars," "The Sound of Music" and the "Nutcracker Suite." The HSO will be joined by members of the Brainerd High School Orchestra at the Brainerd concert.

Tickets for both performances may be purchased online at , at the door or by calling 1-800-826-1997.

Corbett will hold "Conductor Chats" to summarize the concerts musical selections before each concert: 6:45 p.m. in Little Falls and 1:45 p.m. in Brainerd.

In keeping with the "Remembrance" theme, the orchestra and its board of directors will pay tribute to an HSO player, Echo Kowalzek, who has been with the orchestra since its beginning in 1977. Residing in Little Falls, Kowalzek served as board secretary for 32 years and stopped playing just three years ago. She played the viola, after not playing for 18 years and then transitioned to her instrument of choice, the string bass, which she truly enjoyed.

The HSO is a 50-piece volunteer, nonprofit, community orchestra and continues to serve the central Minnesota area of Brainerd, Little Falls and the surrounding rural communities. Musicians, from amateurs to professionals, come together once a week from all over the region to rehearse and perform three full-length orchestral music concerts each season in both Little Falls and Brainerd.

Special guest artists and conductors, local soloists and ensembles and area youth concerto winners help make each concert entertaining. The HSO also contributes its service to communities through special events and ticket giveaways.

Email for more information about upcoming concerts or to get involved either as a player or HSO sponsor.

Author James Casper’s book cover for his 2013 novel “Everywhere in Chains,” which has been translated into Polish. Submitted
Author James Casper’s book cover for his 2013 novel “Everywhere in Chains,” which has been translated into Polish. Submitted

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