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Updates Du Jour

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You’re probably asking yourselves “Where have you been, Todd darling?!”

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In Review: “The Shining

THE SHINING

Music by Paul Moravec
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Based on the novel The Shining (and the novela Before The Play) by Stephen King
Conducted by Michael Christie
Directed by Eric Simonson
Featuring Brian Mulligan, Kelly Kaduce, Arthur Woodley, and Alejandro Vega

Presented by Minnesota Opera

Kelly Kaduce, Brian Mulligan, and Alejandro Vega (center) with the cast of Minnesota Opera's production of The Shining.

Kelly Kaduce, Brian Mulligan, and Alejandro Vega (center) with the cast of Minnesota Opera’s production of The Shining.

Ever since it began in 1963 as Center Opera, Minnesota Opera has been on the forefront in developing and championing new modern operatic works. Thanks to its New Works Initiative, it has worked tirelessly to commission and perform new works to add to the operatic repertoire; a stellar list that has included Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, Douglas J. Cuomo and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, the co-commissioning with Santa Fe Opera the premiere of Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer’s Cold Mountain, and more; including next season’s world premiere production of Dinner at Eight. But the Initiative might have scored its biggest triumph yet with the world premiere of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s The Shining. While at first blush Stephen King’s iconic modern-day horror novel might seem an odd choice for an opera, Moravec and Campbell have created a thrilling addition to the modern opera repertoire aided and abetted by one of the strongest productions Minnesota Opera has created in its fifty-three year history.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race 07:07

I think that at this time, to process this episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, it pays to ask the musical question posed by the late, great Amy Winehouse….

What Kind Of Fuckery Is This?!?!?

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Hang your head in shame for a moment Ru while I explain why.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race 07:06

I have been looking forward to this episode for four years, and by god it did not disappoint!

Why was I so excited? Because she’s back people!

And not only was it as glorious as I expected, and more, but there was a lot of good that happened this episode from a stunning runway, some fun performances, a fantastic guest judge, a terrific Lip Sync For Your Life, and we finally get the answer to that burning question…

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Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Special

What do you get a television show that has been often subversive, usually chuckle-worthy, definitely iconic, sometimes just hit-and-miss, sometimes brilliant, yet somehow through thick and thin, through mediocrity and magnificence, has become a cultural and television?

Why, an often subversive, usually chuckle-worthy, definitely iconic, sometimes just hit-and-miss, sometimes brilliant, anniversary special, of course!

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Last night’s three and a half hour Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary special was a fitting tribute to the show; a slightly bloated mish-mosh of mediocrity and maddening brilliance. If it sounds like I’m hating on it, that’s only a partial reaction. If anything, the skitzy nature is keeping in lockstep with the varying degrees of quality of the show that has happened over the past four decade. (As for which is which, I leave that decision to you gentle reader: Everyone has their own favorite period and to say that particular period sucks is cause for rioting).

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In Review: Saint Dinette Pop-up Preview

“Do you want to come with me to a top-up dinner at The Strip Club?” my friend Kris Vruno casually asked one day.

“Absolutely!” I replied, with just a little too much enthusiasm.

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I have always been a fan up pop-ups. Though the trend has been co-opted by everything from non-traditional museum exhibits to random performance art pieces to shopping experiences and more, the pop-up has and will always be the domain of the restaurant world. Pending on the culinary brains behind it, a pop-up can run the gambit from a restaurant trying out a new menu, a chef previewing a new concept, or a chance for the kitchen staff to let their hair down and have fun in the kitchen.

All of these things, and more, happened on Monday night at The Strip Club in St. Paul as co-owners Tim Niver and JD Fratzke threw the first of two pop-up dinners in honor of Saint Dinette, their new restaurant opening in Lowertown St. Paul later this year (or “mid-soon” as they like to say).

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In Review: Macy’s Floral Show 2014

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Spring may be delayed due to polar vortexes and cold temperatures, but at Macy’s spring has arrived as the annual Flower Show opened on Sunday. The exhibit, entitled “The Secret Garden” and created in collaboration with Bachman’s is now open to the public, and thanks to a special press preview on Friday afternoon, we got a sneak peek at this year’s gorgeous tribute to spring.

 

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