The Play’s The Thing in November

Local actors are all very busy rehearsing for the long list of theater offerings starting with this weekend. Roy Booth will be hosting his annual scary night of ghoulish delight this Saturday with three one-act plays and a movie filmed here in Bemidji. Booth, who with his wife Cynthia, is owner of Roy’s Comics on Third Street and is a renowned playwright and author in his chosen genre, terror (horror) stories. For such a nice guy, one wonders how he gets his mind working in that direction or maybe it’s just the dark humor that intrigues him. He has published so many plays and stories that it is now well into the hundreds and enjoyed by readers from all over the world. There’ll be a book signing at Roy’s comics this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. with the Titans of Terror to be followed up by the evening’s event at the Chief Theater. Tickets will be sold at the door starting a 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30.

Another dark, farcical play will open at BSU next Friday, “The Butcher of Baraboo.” Patrick Carriere and Ellen Jones from the theater department at BSU assure me that if I think the film, ”Fargo” is funny, I’ll enjoy this play set in a small town in Wisconsin—whew, it could have been a small town in northern Minnesota. Ceara Dowell is the butcher, yes, that is right, a woman butcher. She takes on the job after the mysterious disappearance of her husband, the town butcher. The sheriff is played by Jessie Ladig–think Barney Fife with smarts. The preview of the play next week will list the entire cast but just want to catch your interest with two very well known and talented young ladies at BSU. The set is modern and simple but the floor the kitchen floor is something to behold, promises Jones. Tickets are on sale now at the box office in Bangsberg Hall and the play opens on Friday, Feb. 5 and continues through the 12th. There will be a talk back after opening night’s performance with the author Marisa Wegrzyn.

Another play that opens Nov. 4 is “Footloose” at Bemidji High School directed by Jeremiah Liend.

Saaren’s Productions will offer two nights of one act plays the weekend of Nov. 11 and 12 at the Wild Rose, “Shortly thereafter…An Evening of One-Acts and Short Plays.” More information will follow about the plays and the actors.

Bemidji Community is getting ready to mount a production of “Plaza Suite” November 19-21 at the Historic Chief Theater.

Obviously Bemidji Has Talent–auditions, studio cruise, “Prairie Songs by Laura Ingalls Wilder” and Zombie Crawl on Saturday.

Anyone who goes to the Paul Bunyan Playhouse during the summer season can hear, “Why didn’t they get (you fill in the name of a local actor) to play that role? She/he would have been wonderful.” We have young actors here who have gone down to The Cities to ply their craft because there isn’t enough work for them in Bemidji; Matt Goinz, Andy Bowers and Rob Thomas to name a few. Don’t be discouraged Bemidji actors, there are lots of spots open to audition for in the upcoming 2011 season at the playhouse. Auditions will be held on Oct. 24 from 8 – 10 p.m., and 5-8 p.m., Oct. 25 at the playhouse. Just show up ready to sing and read or just read. Those interested in Shakespeare, memorize a short (60 second max) monologue from one of the plays or sonnets. A complete listing of the plays and dates for rehearsals through performance is in the arts column for 10/13 and 10/20—just click on Entertainment on the home page of the on-line Bemidji Pioneer.

The KBXE Zombie Crawl will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 in the parking lot behind Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub. Anyone wearing a zombie outfit and appropriate make-up is welcome to join the tour. The first stop will be Bar 209 and then onto the Blue Ox at 7:30, Backyard BBQ at 8 p.m., Keg ‘n Cork at 8:30 p.m. and then back to Brigid’s Cross at 9 p.m. There will also be a drink special happening at the Cabin Coffee House (214 Third Street) from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be drink specials at each stop for those wearing at KBXE sticker or button (available that night at the parking lot) and zombie attire. For those who don’t know, Zombies are the undead or a reanimated corpse. The modern popularity of zombies is a result of the 1968 movie, “Night of the Living Dead.” Parents, be aware that the costumes and make-up may not be for young children. The zombie crawl will end at the beginning, that is Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub with Lance Benson and Mark Bauer who have created an energetic yet soulful approach to what is predominantly original music, and the Band SUNNY ERA who will play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Band SUNNY ERA offers up a “kaleidoscopic” blend of folk, rock, and gypsy.   They create a fusion blend of guitars, accordion, violin, clarinet, and percussion that strives to bring you from modern day rock to old world gypsy street music. The entertainment is free and open to the public

Greg Gasman is putting together his annual Christmas Carol with script written by Gasman and the era is yet to be determined. KG Entertainment, Bemidji Community Theater and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse will be holding auditions for “A Christmas Carol” from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26 and Wed., Oct. 27 at the Historic Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. N.W. The auditions are open to all ages, experience level and talents. Be prepared to read from a script, and/or sing and dance. The production will be performed the first two weekends in December at the playhouse.

A little gem of a theater opened in Akeley a little over two years ago and has now moved to downtown Akeley to a better space than the regional school they were using until now, The Minnesota Folklore Theater. Fred Rogers retired after working in professional theater for 40 years and moved to Park Rapids. Apparently, retirement was not in the cards, as Fred developed an idea that was rambling in the back of his mind, “…a folklore theater dedicated to performing plays and musicals about Minnesota and the Midwest.” (Quote taken from the homepage of their website, mnfltheater@aol.com.

The current production is “Prairie Songs, Laura Ingalls Wilder,” a play with music. Rogers adapted a script that was written by the Repertory Theater of St. Louis many years ago of a number of Wilder’s books and added music to the background of traditional pieces of the time. There will also be a study guide to accompany the program with information about the time period; e.g. how to make cornbread sticks. There will be a long section in the second act devoted to “The Long Winter,” the winter of 1880-81 on the plains of the Dakota Territory.

Local children from the area (Winter Post, Brandon and Dylen Blink, Rebecca Lloyd and Paige Leesberg) play all the familiar characters from the beloved children’s books by Wilder and the television series which gave substance to the characters. Who can forget Pa and his violin (Michael Landon), the sturdy stuff of those 19th century Great Plains settlers living in sod houses until a “real” house was built.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students and $5 for kindergarten and under. The box office number is 218-652-2666. We are taking the grands to see the play on Saturday afternoon and hope to see some familiar faces there. Perhaps a quick stop at Purple Tour Blue Sky Beads, a few miles past the town of Akeley, during the Bemidji Studio Cruise this weekend and then double back to the Minnesota Folklore Theater, 6 Broadway St. W. (Route 34), Akeley. There is a very good map of the Studio Cruise available online at VisitBemidji.com and it can be used to find the town of Akeley. Website is minnesotafolkloretheater.org.

The Bemidji First City of the Arts Studio Cruise  ’10 starting this Friday. The committee, spearheaded by Dave Towley, has listened to past artists and cruise goers and updated the map, put in more information and made routes on the map that will allow for easy travel from one studio to another. There is the Red Tour which will begin at Your Mother’s Tattoo Atelier in downtown Bemidji and can end at Al Belleveaus’s outdoor/indoor sculpture emporium. The Orange Tour which can begin at Cindy Berger’s metal jewelry shop and end at Christina Thorne’s Bat Cat Creations in downtown Bemidji. The Purple Tour which can begin at Mary Therese Peterson’s Fern Lake Studio and end at Paula Swenson’s “River of Time Studio” on North Plantagenet Rd. There will be many directional signs along the way (Paul and Babe at the mouth of the Mississippi River) so you can’t get lost. There will be many tourists in our area for the tour, so ask if you can help if someone looks lost.

I was so excited after viewing the video (Erik Evensen) and music (Andrew Boysen, Jr.) that will be played during “Twilight of the Gods” piece that I said bravo to an empty room! The story comes from Norse mythology, the story of Ragnarok–the doomsday story. The concert is at 3 p.m., this Sunday (Oct. 24)in Bangberg Fine and Performing Arts Complex by the BSU Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. There is more information in the preview column this week and a feature story with a preview video is forthcoming this week.

That’s all she wrote, folks!

Obviously Bemidji Has Talent! Why Else Would There Be So Many Auditions?

 

Anyone who goes to the Paul Bunyan Playhouse during the summer season can hear, “Why didn’t they get (you fill in the name of a local actor) to play that role? She/he would have been wonderful.” We have young actors here who have gone down to The Cities to ply their craft because there isn’t enough work for them in Bemidji; Matt Goinz, Andy Bowers and Rob Thomas to name a few. Don’t be discouraged Bemidji actors, there are lots of spots open to audition for in the upcoming 2011 season at the playhouse. Auditions will be held on Oct. 24 from 8 – 10 p.m., and 5-8 p.m., Oct. 25 at the playhouse. Just show up ready to sing and read or just read. Those interested in Shakespeare, memorize a short (60 second max) monologue from one of the plays or sonnets.

If you ever wanted to be a Zoombie, here’s your chance. More information than is in the weekly arts column is the Bemidji Zombie Crawl that will start at 7 p.m. in the parking lot behind Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub on Oct. 24.

More to come on this and other news as a last minute hospice assignment leaves scant time to write all that needs notice.

Auditions this weekend at Saarens Productions and presenters for the Beltrami History Center upcoming workshop.

Actors and people who think they would like to be actors, auditions are scheduled from 2-4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10 for Saarens Production, “Shortly Thereafter…an Evening of One-Act and Short Plays.” Just show up at the Mask and Rose Theater and be prepared to cold read a selection from one of the plays. There are some Bemidji authors (Roy Booth, Justin Holley, N. Peter Johnson) and authors from Ohio and Georgia and the plays range from drama, comedy, dark comedy and finally mystery.

  • “Storms, Sheets and Snow Tunes” by Stacy Lane is the story of spirited theatre ghosts who are conducting late night auditions to replace the current ghost who wishes to retire from haunting. Cast 3 men, 3 women.
  • “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Diabolical Necromancer” by Roy C. Booth and Justin Holley. is a mystery. 5 men, 3 women, extras.
  • “Avenues of Attack” by N. Peter Johnson is a story of a chance encounter between a young man and an elderly woman at a bus stop. This dark comedy needs one older female and one young man.
  • “The Homestead Players” by Marie Elliott is a comedy about a theatrical family, their son and his new girlfriend, and family entertainment on the night of the “big question.” The cast includes three men and two women.
  • “Veronica’s Test of Worthiness” by Eddie Zipperer is a comedy about a young man who brings his “unstable” girlfriend home to meet his pretend family. The play calls for one woman and four men.
  • “Where Have All the Lightning Bugs Gone?” is a drama by Louis E. Catron. A nostalgic play that captures the wonder of love as boy and girl meet and discover how to relate to each other. The play calls for one man and one woman.
  • “Rainbow Sprinkles” by Stacey Lane is a comedy about a kind-hearted clown and the politically-correct lawyer who is interviewing him for her son’s birthday party. The cast calls for one man in his 60’s and one woman in her late 30’s.

Auditions are open to people ages 16 through seniors. Each actor will be asked to do a cold reading from one or more of the plays. Stop by the Wild Rose Theater at 501 Bemidji Ave. and go to the main auditorium, one flight up and straight ahead to the big hall.

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“Finding your roots—journals, journey and generations” workshop sponsored by the Beltrami County Historical Society from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 16 at Beltrami Electric in Bemidji. The workshop includes six speakers, a silent auction and catered lunch. Tickets are $35 for the general public and $30 for BCHS members and will be $40 at the door the day of the event. Advance tickets may be purchased that the History Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The presenters for the “Finding your roots—journals, journey and generations” workshop will be:

  • 9–9:50 a.m.,     Art Lee, University in the Pine: The History of BSU.
  • 10-10:50 a.m., Anton Treuer, “The Assassination of Hole in the Day.”
  • 11-12 noon,     Cecelia McKeig, “Uncle Ole at the Beltrami County Poor Farm.”
  • Lunch break
  • 12:30-1:20p.m. Carol Cunningham, Files and Genealogy.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.  Janet Rith-Najarian, Family History Detectives: Hot on the trail of your immigrant ancestors.
  • 2:30-3:20 p.m.   Randy McGuire, Bemidji Pioneers: The Founding Generation.

Be sure to attend the opening concert of the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra this Sunday. The program promises to be exciting because of the new work by Adams, Carlson’s virtuosity and the guest conductor. Norman Gamboa. The doors at Bemidji High School Auditorium at 2:30 with a 3 p.m. start time. Ticket prices are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and college students. Children and students through grade 12 are admitted free. Advance ticket purchase is available now at Lueken’s Village Food North and also at the door the day of performance.