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!

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