When the wind is whipping around on Ninth and Marquette and the TCF clock is reading –13, it’s very easy to forget why we live here. Some suggestions are in order, Dear Reader; maybe off the beaten path but worthy diversions nonetheless.
- First on our list, for reasons you’ll soon discover, is the upcoming MacPhail Center Spotlight Series: Contemporary Compositions from 12th Street to the River. This showcase features the original works of six MacPhail composers, but we would like to call your attention to the collection of songs for which this showcase is made. Composer Greg Theisen will lead a piano and vocal ensemble performing “From 12th Street to the River,” a collection of pieces from the opera “The Ballad of the Nicollet Mall.” Mr. Theisen has been an important collaborator on a very special project being shepherded by our/your own Charles Neerland. There are several other recognizable theater powerhouses collaborating on the “Ballad,” notably human luminaire John Clark Donahue. Neerland is not one to brag, so the rest of us will on his behalf. In its entirety, the Ballad of the Nicollet Mall is a beautiful work as the pieces that will be performed at this event will prove. The concert will be held on Saturday, February 9, at MacPhail’s Antonello Hall, starting at 8:00 pm. The concert will be preceded by a discussion on how to listen to a piece “you’ve never heard before” led by Sarah Miller, another one of the evening’s featured composers. FFI http://www.macphail.org/events/ or call 612-767-5250.
- Speaking of luminaires—and we just did—this Saturday and Sunday, February 2-3, the City of Lakes Loppet brings its cross-country related pageantry to Minneapolis. We lovingly refer to the Loppet as R.T.’s accomplishment but all kidding aside the Loppet has certainly established itself among the big four of civic events in Minnesota, joining the Aquatennial, Winter Carnival and the Twin Cities Marathon as must-see events. There are 16 events including skiing, board throwing and even cycling, but our favorite is the luminary Loppet Saturday evening around Lake of the Isles. Skiers of all abilities are welcomed as are walkers and car gawkers. It is an absolute must-see. FFI www.loppet.org.
- It may be a ways off, but this is a definite mark-your-calendars once-in-a-lifetime event in the making. N&O Online’s favorite and the Star Tribune’s official horse racing expert, Johnny Love, is expected to return to the wrestling ring after a twenty year absence to wrestle legendary bad guy Jerry Lynn, who claims this to be a retirement/grudge match after his storied career in the AWA, WWF and WWE among other circuits. Frankly we can’t tell you what has gotten into Johnny. His online handicapping site, http://www.ExoticPlays.com, is one of the fastest growing sites of its kind. We have heard from insiders at Canterbury that Love has been asked to refrain from recommending “pick fours” in his Strib column because they were dead-on a large percentage of the time. We won’t wager that fans of Johnny from his wrastlin’ days will see much of his storied “high flying” antics, but we will bet he gives old Jerry all he wants on March 23rd. When details are announced you’ll find them here so you can run—not walk—to get your tickets.
- Nick Koch, our Online culture and fitness consultant, asked us to tout the ballroom dance classes offered by championship dancer and renowned instructor Rachel Damiani. The classes are held in the movement studio at 501FIT (501 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis) on Tuesday evenings. They are nuts cheap, $10/per for 501 members and just $15 for the rest of the unwashed. FFI call 501FIT, 612-767-4115.
- Ladies night out to combat the chill? Chuck Leer, our Malibu correspondent, wanted us to let you know that there are just six performances left of the much-hailed “Ultimate Pajama Party” interactive women’s theater and dance party. What is it? Well, we know it’s a food, dance, theater (21 and over), wear-your-pajamas, good time for gals. The reviews and the word on the mean streets of North Loop Minneapolis have all been outstanding. FFI http://theultimatepajamaparty.com/, 612-333-7977.