Vote for my pix on CelebSafari...and post your own!

Hey, kids! I just discovered a website called where you can post photos of yourself with celebrities. It’s fun!

Having been “PR person to the stars” on behalf of Target Corporation for several years, I don’t get as starstruck as some folks when I encounter a celebrity, but I still like having my picture taken with ‘em! To wit: right now on, you can view pix of me with Mo Rocca, star of The Daily Show and Court TV (and of course author of All the Presidents’ Pets) and mischievous Gary Baseman, the world-famous artist whose illustrations you know from the board game Cranium. The more times a photo is viewed, the higher it is in the rankings, and because I have competition in my genes, I want to end up on top! So please view me and vote for me!

Next I’ll have to delve into my past and dig up those pre-digital* celebrity photos of me with recording artists Amy Grant and Clint Black (mmm, mmm, MMM, short but CUTE!), entertainer Shari Lewis, TV/movie star Brooke Shields, actor/singer Davey Jones of The Monkees fame, former U.S. Senators Bob Dole, Dave Durenberger and Rudy Boschwitz, and assorted other Senators and Congressmen from my intern days on Capitol Hill, actor/producer/director Rob Reiner, and former First Lady Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton from the White House Conference on Child Care that I helped to coordinate in 1997.

I could drop more names, I suppose, but I would rather you go to the website and vote for me! The Oscars are coming up and I want to win Best Picture!

*Whoever remembers black-and-white 126 cartridges and flashcubes, raise your hand!

What to do when your Happy Bubble bursts

I learned a lesson today: always call before you show up at a small, out-of-the-way art gallery, even when they advertise an exhibit. The place might be locked and dark. This is the downside of being adventuresome—like Geraldo Rivera finding nothing but cobwebs in the alleged secret vault of Al Capone, you sometimes wind up at a dead end, forced to apologize for hyping up the mission and then wasting everybody’s time….

On the air yesterday, I declared today (Sunday, February 26) to be Happy Bubble Sunday, a name I invented for a fun-filled afternoon. My group of friends coming from the rock opera My Green Eyes at Judson Church (which was, in fact, sold out as I reported), along with any listeners who dared, were to meet at Stevens Square Center for the Arts for the last hour of an advertised exhibit called The Happy Show, featuring the cheerful work of seven visual artists, including Keiko Yagishita, whose sweet “Above the Clouds” print of a boxer pup was featured in promotional materials. I thought it fitting that after such levity, we should all enjoy some bubble tea. (I learned to love the stuff in China. Slurping pea-sized tapioca pearls through big, fat straws from frothy drinks is fun!) Thus, Happy Bubble.  read more »

MIA's Arty Party, free...Larry the Rug Delivery Guy, priceless!

The rugs that I’d sent out for cleaning last week were due for delivery at noon Friday. After several botched scheduling attempts (neither his fault nor mine), Larry showed up at around 4 p.m. with my rugs.

Larry looks like a rug delivery guy: low-hanging pants, faded sweatshirt, baseball cap, substantial paunch. The look is deceptive. Larry is a rug delivery artist.

Before placing the Persian onto my dining room floor, he asked if I’d intended for the Dan Mason painting on the wall to be centered there. “It…well, yes…,” I stammered. “Hmph,” he replied, critically surveying the painting.

His eyes darted from corner to corner of the space. Hoping to be useful, I tugged at the carpet pad. “Uh-uh-uh,” Larry said. “Let me do that.” Tap dancing over the pad, he put it squarely in place. I watched him place the heavy log of carpet at the narrow end of the room, lifting and dropping repeatedly until it was centered and straight. Then he rolled it out with his hands, and I knew better than to interfere.  read more »

La Belle Vie is first stop for dining club

Last night was my fourth or fifth evening at La Belle Vie’s new Minneapolis location, but I cannot yet claim to be a “regular” because the coat check girls didn’t recognize me (or, for that matter, my coat).

This was the first of what I hope are many meetings of the women’s dinner club initiated by my friend Faith McGown. Ten of us gathered at the 510 Groveland address, filling two round tables situated, appropriately, beneath the metal forms of two lithe women’s torsos created by local sculptor and legendary party host Brant Kingman. We ordered wine by the glass. My choice: a toasty Cotes du Rhone, Domaine St. Anne 2001. (It’s not every day that I see my name—“Anne with an e”—on a wine label, let alone a French one.)  read more »

I've finally met Twin Cities theater's #1 go-to gal

At a party in her honor tonight at the home of Grace and Jack Harkness, theater aficionado Shirley Moore pronounced her feelings about Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake at the State Theatre: “I liked it. I’d go again. It was a new take on something old, and it worked,” she said.

Everyone listened because Shirley knows the performing arts. She knows because she GOES. “I go out every night,” said the energetic social worker/whirler and widow of WCCO TV anchor legend Dave Moore.

Most of the people who gathered tonight, including my former Spamtown neighbor and Cross Country Journal publisher Knowles Dougherty, are members of the University of Minnesota’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), billed as “a health club for the mind,” through which Shirley Moore leads popular courses such as Twin Cities Theater and Dinner and Winter City Adventures.

From the OLLI website: OLLI members pay an annual fee of $195. Your membership is good for one full calendar year from the date you enroll. It entitles you to participate in two courses per session, and as many open activities and summer programs as you wish. Additional courses are offered on a space available basis. Fixed income or short on cash? OLLI offers a $120 scholarship to anyone who requests it. That means a full year’s membership would cost $75. Sounds like a great deal to me!

Vivo "Il Divo"!

If it’s Saturday, and several hundred women are screaming “I love you” in the dark, it must be Il Divo at Northrop Auditorium. My friends and I attended their “world tour” concert tonight, and although we weren’t as vocal as some of the women (whose shrieks are still reverberating in my eardrums), we did enjoy the beltings and croonings of four very handsome men tonight.

Il Divo is a “popera” (pop-meets-opera) quartet straight from the pages of GQ: American tenor David Miller, Swiss tenor Urs Buhler, French pop singer Sebastien Izambard, and Spanish baritone Carlos Marin. They are the project of American Idol slam-judge Simon Cowell, who conducted an international search for guys who could carry a tune and make women swoon.  read more »

Have you seen a concert or theater production, or visited an art gallery recently? Send in your review!

I’d like to know what you think of the concerts, plays, gallery shows, museum exhibits and other arts and culture activities recommended on the show. If you’ve attended anything you’ve heard about on the show, or an event we haven’t talked about (but should!), send me your comments! Good, bad or indifferent, your thoughts matter, and I’d love to hear from you!

As always, I invite you to call in with your comments or just to be part of the discussion at 651-989-KTLK (-5855). Thanks for listening and I hope you have a chance this week to see and be seen on the art scene! For links to what you heard on the show, click here.

Just a closer walk with Thee...

I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar last night at the Bloomington Civic Theatre, and the only reason I’m not completely depressed by the death scene at the end (you know the story…it’s in the Bible) is that the actor who plays Jesus of Nazareth (Patrick Morgan) is an absolute doll—and he assures me that the blood is fake. I just had to show you his picture before heading off to bed, where I hope that I will not dream of murderous behavior by the clergy. More about this classic “rock opera” on my show Saturday, so tune in!

By the way, Jesus wears Homer Simpson slippers. Betcha didn’t know that!

I (Heart) Hennepin & Lake

What a magical night, for a Tuesday!

If you heard the show on Saturday, you know that I was planning to indulge in some live music tonight (Valentine’s Day), date or no date. When listener Terry came through with an offer to escort me, I decided to take him up on it. The show started at 7:00. Thanks to Google and to studio producer Ann Cole for the screening techniques to ensure that I wouldn’t be ditching a wacko at 7:15.

Terry was, in fact, delightful company and the perfect gentleman. Of course, one couldn’t help behaving respectfully in the soulful presence of Thomasina Petrus, T. Mychael Rambo and Ray Covington, not to mention Thomasina’s mother-in-law’s dangerously delicious chocolate cake, served as we were seated.  read more »

Wherefore ART?

Everywhere I go around the world, I seek out art and never fail to find some that I love. But like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I always seem to find that “there’s no place like home.” In other words, the Twin Cities is an awesome place for art.

Last night I visited three galleries and it has left my mind awhirl in a kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, materials and meaningful messages. First stop: Rogue Buddha Gallery on 13th Street just off of University, where I picked up the Craig Bell painting I purchased when the show opened a month ago. Now a new show is up (artist Jon Langford) and I like it—in particular, the digital image of Hank Williams, gussied up through techiques that make his smile fairly jump off the plywood to which it is applied and I can almost hear the “Howdy, Ma’am” that would tumble from the country singer’s lips. Better put a sticker on that one. He’s mine.

Next, a short walk down the block to Gallery 13, and I’m sorry, did we just enter Wonderland? My friend Jill and I agreed that “Tin Man” sculptor Lester Hoikka has created a fabulous pop-up book for grown-ups that you can actually walk around in. Inspired by tin toys of the ’40s and ’50s, and influenced by themes you’d see during Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico and Carnival (Mardi Gras) in New Orleans and points south of the equator, Lester’s sheet metal imagery makes you feel as if you’ve been dropped onto a stage on which a colorful play about life and death is in progress. The motion, the drama, the humor, the fun—it’s all there! I hope you see it, but hurry. Lester’s work is in demand, and so the show runs one week only.  read more »

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