twin cities entertainment

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This week’s Entertainment spotlights

When a Man Loves a Diva

Every Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 18 — Nov. 10, 8 pm
The Lab Theater
700 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-333-7977 or 
Sanford Moore leads Dane Stauffer, Ben Bakken and Julius Collins, III in singing songs about love that made divas of the women who recorded them. Tickets are $29.50 for general admission and $38 for V.I.P.

Next to Normal

Oct. 5 — Nov. Continue Reading →

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Martha Reeves and the Vandellas bring memories like a ‘Heat Wave’ to Dakota

By James L. Stroud, Jr.
Contributing Writer


Fans of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas who were fortunate enough to get tickets to one of the four sold-out performances at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis on January 11 and 12 witnessed one Motown’s greatest groups ever and one of the greatest female groups in music history. In fact, in 1995 Martha Reeves and the Vandellas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming just the second all-female group to be inducted. The group was first known as Martha and the Vandellas before their name was changed in 1967. Their classic songs include “(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” (1963), “Dancing in the Street” (1964), “Nowhere to Run” (1965), “I’m Ready for Love” (1966), “Jimmy Mack” (1967) and “Honey Chile” (1967). Martha Reeves went solo in 1972. Continue Reading →

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Congressional officers get paid by double dipping



Big cable is at it again. Comcast — the only cable company in town — slyly announced on its December billing statements that beginning January 1, a $1.99 “convenience fee” will be charged to customers who pay in person. I was outraged when I saw this. Ever since I’ve had cable three companies ago, when it was Rogers, then Paragon, then Time Warner and now the Philadelphia-based mega-company, I have handed over my hard-earned bucks to a customer service person each month. Comcast, the only cable game in town, has no competition, so we consumers have no leverage. Continue Reading →

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Trin-i-tee 5:7: Gospel singers reap rewards for enduring career


By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


After over a decade as top gospel performers, Angel Taylor and Chanelle Haynes both admit that it is still exciting whenever they hear their music played. “The excitement never goes away,” says Chanelle, who along with Angel are the original members of Trin-i-tee 5:7. The two New Orleans natives have known each other since elementary school, and each young woman began singing at their respective churches at a young age. Chanelle, a daughter of a Pentecostal minister, first sang in the choir at age six, then later became choir director. At age 12, she tried out for an unused television pilot produced by Quincy Jones, who later recommended her for Star Search when she was 15 years old. Continue Reading →

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Da Black Pearll shines in the local spoken word scene

Da Black Pearll, née Tinitha Warren, has been building a strong reputation for prose-poetry with an uncompromising womanist bent and a flair for ingenious wordplay.  

It’s no mean feat to prevail in the Twin Cities spoken word scene. Seems about everyone with an attitude and access to open mic night at one venue or other holds forth, glutting the scene in a bottleneck of poseurs pretending to wax profound. So, you have to give it to Da Black Pearll, née Tinitha Warren. She has slugged it out in the trenches over at least the past decade, building a strong reputation for prose-poetry with an uncompromising womanist bent and a flair for ingenious wordplay. Continue Reading →

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Disney on Ice features first Black princess

Treasure Trove production includes African American figure skaters

By James L. Stroud, Jr.

Contributing Writer


Year after year, since its debut in 1981, Disney on Ice has entertained families around the world and employed more than 400 professional skaters that bring life to Disney characters on ice. The Disney on Ice concept was created by Kenneth Feld. Feld’s company, Feld Entertainment, is the licensee of the Walt Disney Company, with exclusive worldwide rights to produce live Disney-themed shows. Disney on Ice has performed in more than 70 countries and six continents. On Thursday, December 8, 2011 through Sunday, December 11, 2011, Disney on Ice will make its way to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Continue Reading →

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My Secret Language of Wishes: Gifted actors wasted on cloying, convoluted play



Cori Thomas’s My Secret Language of Wishes at Mixed Blood Theatre is a sterling showcase for gifted actor Brittany Bradford. Bradford plays Rose, a sensitive, brightly spirited teenager severely afflicted with muscular dystrophy and is utterly convincing. In fact, the full cast is quite capable with Nora Montanez, Taj Ruler, Jevetta Steele, Signe Harriday and Mo Perry all turning in solid performances. Had they a viable script with which to work, this would have been a powerful production. Instead, the ensemble makes its way through a static morass of inert storytelling that, indeed, tells — time and time again — a great deal more than it ever shows. Continue Reading →

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The Haves and Have Nots: Tyler Perry rakes in more millions with new play



Tyler Perry’s license to mint money shows no sign of expiring anytime soon if ever. He began making morality plays a bankable enterprise in 1999 with I Know I’ve Been Changed, established his franchise character “Madea” the next year in I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and the cash register hasn’t stopped ringing since. Perry capitalized on the formula popularized by Michael Matthews’ 1990s hit Fake Friends: Take a protagonist tempted by sin, add a heavy helping of Bible-thumping dialogue liberally interspersed with gospel-message music, season with lots of humor, and bring to a close with the hero and heroine being saved by the Good Lord’s grace. All but cornering the market, his only real competition being T.D. Jakes, Perry graduated from stage to film and now is the richest man in show business according to Forbes magazine, hauling down $130 million between May 2010 and 2011 alone. His latest triumph, The Haves and Have Nots, premiered in September, is touring the States, and swung by the Twin Cities November 8 and 9 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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