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Pioneer Previews: Saari's new play opens Thursday

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"Mere Image," the newest play written by Steve Saari, will open at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at the Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave. N.

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This comedy is a farce based on a dysfunctional but loveable family just wanting to sustain their status in what they consider to be "their place in the sun." Celebrity cosmetic surgeon (Kevin Cease) is married to a former cabaret singer (Sarah Einerson) who is more interested in regaining her former career than raising the couple's three children, Ernst (DeeJay Arens), Rachel (Liz MacGregor) and Virgil (Martin Drop). Tillie, the-long suffering maid (Vicki Stenerson), manages to keep the household in a measure of normality even when one famous client (Julie Quanrud) of the doctor unexpectedly shows up and promises to lend her celebrity to the upcoming opening reception for "world-renowned" photographer Franco Copacetti (Joel Ward) and the unveiling of Ernst's new tell-all rag, "Squint."

Saari directs the play and also plays the Greek assistant to the artist, Sentario. The dialogue is just what one would expect from one of Saari's comedies: clever repartee, slapstick, mob scenes where all the actors seem unhinged, and just plain silliness. The show is probably rated PG-13 only because small children would not understand the double entendres.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 and over) and $5 for students and will be available at the door. Reservations may be made by calling 556-1777.

'Stone Soup'

"Stone Soup," through Positive Kids Performing Arts, will be at 6 p.m. Friday, March 11, at the Historic Chief Theater. The play is the result of a week-long acting and improvisation drama camp for local school children during spring break. Tickets at the door will be $5 for adults and $2 for students. This activity is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature.

A book signing and reception for the second book in the Sadie Witt mystery series will be 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 12. Join local author Beth Solheim at Gallery North, 502 Third St. N.W. and listen to her read from her new book, "Outwitted," which the Midwest Book Review says is a book you will not put down. This event is free and open to the public.

Monroe Crossing will be appearing this weekend with a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Historic Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji.

The group is well-known to regional bluegrass enthusiasts for their blend of traditional up-tempo bluegrass, gospel and ballads. This family-friendly show features a group that travels nationally and internationally. It's most notable achievement is the ability to give the audience a feeling of the start of bluegrass in the late 1940s, when singers carefully choreographed their movements around a single microphone and dressed for the occasion in familiar attire.

Tickets are on sale now for $17.50 at Oberbeeks, Brigid's Cross, Wild Hare Bistro and Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. If available, tickets will also be sold at the door.

Musicians are being sought for the Lady Slipper Scenic Byway Celebration. The scenic highway is being reconstructed and two celebratory events are in the planning stages. The celebration will highlight the history, people, culture, art, music and nature of the area, which includes the Pennington bog and the Rabideau Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

This year's theme will be arts and nature and the committee is looking to feature local musicians during events scheduled for June 24-25 at Blackduck City Park and July 1-2 at Palace Casino powwow grounds. Contact Steve Ross at 335-2703 or e-mail steveross.deadpen@gmail.com.

Sean Fahrlander, an Ojibwe storyteller, will appear at 4 p.m. Saturday March 12, at Bemidji Public Library. An enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Fahrlander is a storyteller and screenwriter ("Walk in the Bear"). He was the only Ojibwe storyteller selected to perform at the grand opening of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.

In keeping with the native tradition of storytelling during the winter months when snow is on the ground. Fahrlander's visit is part of the Kitchigami Legacy, "Say It, Sing It" Storytelling project, with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information on Fahrlander, see the Bemidji Arts News blog, found by scrolling down on the home page of BemidjiPioneer.com or by going online to bemidjiarts.areavoices.com.

Musical groups performing this weekend include:

E Live music with Jake Jackson & Friends at 9 p.m. Friday at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, downtown Bemidji. The group will craft an evening of high energy music with the feeling of "coming home."

E Timeless Traditions with Jon Romer and Jacque Tinsley, who blend Native American flute and Celtic folk harp in classical, ethnic and contemporary music in original settings.

Romer and Tinsley are known for their celebration of the rich musical heritage and diversity of many world cultures. Their music strengthens a sense of peace and honors the human spirit through the power of music.

The group will perform 2-3 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at Tamarack Assisted Living, 1511 Delton Ave. N.W.

Timeless Traditions also will be performing 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at Woods Edge, 1000 Anne St. N.W.

Timeless Traditions, featuring Jeff Menten on violin and viola and soprano Laura Iverson, then will be performing at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 13, in the Mississippi Room at the Hampton Inn &Suites. Admission to the event is a non-perishable item for the Bemidji Food Shelf.

The concerts are funded, in part, by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

E Northwind Crossing will be performing a free concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Blackduck Golf Course.

For more information on the group, see the Bemidji Arts News blog, found by scrolling down on the home page of BemidjiPioneer.com or by going online to bemidjiarts.areavoices.com.

Musical groups performing this weekend include:

- Live music with Jake Jackson & Friends at 9 p.m. Friday at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, downtown Bemidji. The group will craft an evening of high energy music with the feeling of "coming home."

- Timeless Traditions with Jon Romer and Jacque Tinsley, who blend Native American flute and Celtic folk harp in classical, ethnic and contemporary music in original settings.

Romer and Tinsley are known for their celebration of the rich musical heritage and diversity of many world cultures. Their music strengthens a sense of peace and honors the human spirit through the power of music.

The group will perform 2-3 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at Tamarack Assisted Living, 1511 Delton Ave. N.W.

Timeless Traditions also will be performing 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at Woods Edge, 1000 Anne St. N.W.

Timeless Traditions, featuring Jeff Menten on violin and viola and soprano Laura Iverson, then will be performing at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 13, in the Mississippi Room at the Hampton Inn &Suites. Admission to the event is a non-perishable item for the Bemidji Food Shelf.

The concerts are funded, in part, by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

- Northwind Crossing will be performing a free concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Blackduck Golf Course.

For more information on the group, see the Bemidji Arts News blog, found by scrolling down on the home page of BemidjiPioneer.com or by going online to bemidjiarts.areavoices.com.

New board members are being sought for two different organizations.

The Bemidji Community Arts Center is now accepting applications from individuals interested in being on the board of directors or volunteering for one of their many active committees or exciting events. Applications for the board seat will be accepted through March 25 and applications for volunteers or to be involved with a committee are ongoing.

For more information on positions available or an application, contact Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay or executive assistant Cindy Stenberg at 444-7570, e-mail bcac@paulbunyan.net or online at bcac.wordpress.com/about/c ontact-bcac/volunteer,

E The Region 2 Arts Council is seeking board members from Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties to fill two-year term vacancies beginning July 1, 2011. Those who have visual, performing and literary arts interests and feel that the arts are an important contribution to the quality of life in Minnesota are urged to apply.

The board is responsible for planning, setting policy and reviewing and awarding grants. It meets seven times a year in Bemidji on the third Monday of the month. Members are reimbursed for travel. E-mail staff@r2arts.org or write to Nominating Committee, Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji MN 56601. For any questions, please call 751-5447 or 1-800-275-5447.

New board members are being sought for two different organizations.

The Bemidji Community Arts Center is now accepting applications from individuals interested in being on the board of directors or volunteering for one of their many active committees or exciting events. Applications for the board seat will be accepted through March 25 and applications for volunteers or to be involved with a committee are ongoing.

For more information on positions available or an application, contact Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay or executive assistant Cindy Stenberg at 444-7570, e-mail bcac@paulbunyan.net or online at bcac.wordpress.com/about/c ontact-bcac/volunteer,

- The Region 2 Arts Council is seeking board members from Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties to fill two-year term vacancies beginning July 1, 2011. Those who have visual, performing and literary arts interests and feel that the arts are an important contribution to the quality of life in Minnesota are urged to apply.

The board is responsible for planning, setting policy and reviewing and awarding grants. It meets seven times a year in Bemidji on the third Monday of the month. Members are reimbursed for travel. E-mail staff@r2arts.org or write to Nominating Committee, Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji MN 56601. For any questions, please call 751-5447 or 1-800-275-5447.

The following workshops have been set:

- Mosaic will show the transformation of a bowling ball into a beautiful object that will rival any gazing ball for yard and garden decorations. The class will be 6-9 p.m. Monday, March 14, and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17. The second day is needed to finish the project. The cost of the class is $55 and all materials, including the bowling ball, are included. The workshop will be held at The Glass Shack, 925 First St. S.E. Call 444-0044 to register.

- "Sunflower Welcome," a tole-painting workshop, will the 3-5 p.m. on three Tuesdays, starting March 22 with Melody Bowles, an artist with more than 30 years of experience in tole painting. Students should provide their own painting surface: wood, canvas, tin, slate and glass. Bowles will instruct for both acrylics and oils. Some oils and other painting supplies will be provided. Upon registration the instructor will provide a list of needed brushes. The classes will be at Nevis Church of Christ on the corner of Bunyan Trails and Pleasant Street in Nevis. To register, send a $15 check made out to Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji MN 56601. The registration deadline is Monday, March 14, and there will be no refunds unless the class is canceled.

- Pottery-Hand Building: Explore Form and Surface to Find Your Voice with Peter Young from Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 305 S. Main St. W., Park Rapids. To register, send a $90 check made payable to Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center, P.O. Box 721, Park Rapids, MN 56470. The registration deadline is Monday, March 21. For more information, call 847-3519 or e-mail judy@jwinc.org.

- A Writers Workshop with author Angela Foster is approaching. Attendees must commit to all four dates: April 2, 9, 16 and 30. Call 751-3963 for more details.

The Bad Cat Creations Gallery and Gifts featured artist for March is Paula Swenson and her collection of artwork from 2010, "Place of Warmth." Bad Cat Creations is a boutique featuring the work of more than 50 different artists in art and fine craft and is located at 315 Irvine Ave. NW.

- Bemidji Community Art Center has on display for the month of March, "Flora and Fauna," by Natalia Himmirska, the latest statement of her lifelong dialog with paint. Included in the installation are some pieces by some of her pupils which reflect her influence as a professor of fine art at Bemidji State University. The gallery and Shop 426 are open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and is closed Sundays and Mondays. BCAC is located at 426 Bemidji Ave. N. in the former Carnegie Library Building.

- Beltrami County Historical Society has on display the work of Kay Schuver, "Reflections by Kay," through March. A new exhibit, "Baskets and Beads: Weaving Traditions," as created and designed by Nicole Foss, is now a part of the John Morrison American Indian Collection. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and is located in the historic James J. Hill Great Northern Depot at 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W.

- Bemidji Public Library for the month of March will showcase the artwork of Miranda Rosequist, the winner of a mentor grant from the Region 2 Arts Council. The grant allowed this Bemidji High School ninth-grader to work with artist mentor Nina Lubarski on her pen and ink project, which deals with the emotional and physical characteristics of the human psyche. For more information on opportunities to exhibit work at the library, call Paul Simonson at 444-7886. The library is located at 509 America Ave. N. and is open Mondays through Saturdays.

- Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant, 317 Beltrami Ave. N., invites the public to view the digital photography of Danielle Blanchfield. "Welcome to the Light" has abstract images of lights so arranged as to display how our world is perceived through lights. The display is located in the back dining room of the restaurant. For hours of operation, call 444-0567.

- Dunn Bros Coffee, 501 Paul Bunyan Drive S., presents its March and April artist, photographer Marlys Brown, a native of North Dakota who has traveled extensively photographing the people and places she has visited. Her inspiration is drawn from the strength of people, sharing their lives through the camera's lens and celebrates the exquisite diversity and beauty of Ethiopia. Dunn Bros is open seven days a week and now serves wines of the month.

- Headwaters Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is exhibiting of the work of the late Eugene Dalzatto, former professor of art at BSU. Dalzatto's paintings and etchings will be on display throughout March and April. The opening reception will be 4-6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For further information on visits, because the exhibit is in the main hall and is only open to the public Sunday mornings, call 751-9654.

- The North Country Health Services Art Committee is hosting the new work of photographer Joe Rossi, a career photographer, who presents the ordinary in an extraordinary way that creates a new awareness. Rossi's work captures the moment with light and interaction which compels the viewer to take a second look. His work will be up for the pleasure of residents, families, staff and the public at large through the month of June and a price list will be available at the front desk.

The gift shop at the Bistro will showcase the work of Jeff Larson, who has a display of his bentwood boxes and spoons in birch, black cherry, elm and hickory. The boxes are the result of 30 years of experience as these pieces, which are handcrafted through a long process of steaming or boiling wood then bent to form a round or oval shape. The pieces also support Larson's expertise with satiny finishes, burned designs, carved handles and interiors that surprise and delight the holder. Select pieces will be for sale.

Local artist Terry Honstead also will have a display at the Bistro, featuring one-of-a-kind colorful glass bead necklaces and earrings, feather hair pieces, headbands, and lapel pins. Her special rendition of Paul and Babe mugs also will be available, along with her collection of artistic greeting cards.

Nielson Place and the Bistro are located at WoodsEdge, 1000 Anne St. NW.

- Saarens Productions invites the public to stop by Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave. N., to view a new exhibit rotation which also includes two new mixed media pieces by Phyllis Diller. The gallery is open 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

- Wild Hare Coffee House and Bistro, 523 Minnesota Ave. N.W., is hosting the Schoolcraft Learning Community Invitational for students of all grade levels who will show their work in photography, drawings, paintings, digital media and wood works on the theme of environmental arts.

The exhibit spans issues and awareness to pure celebrations of nature. The show is dedicated to the late Dann Siems and his work to integrate science and the arts in a learning environment. The Bistro is open Mondays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

- Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. N.W., has on display works of watercolor artist Judy Selby.

- Tutto Bene, 300 Beltrami Ave. N.W., a restaurant and art gallery, has an ongoing display of new art work by Michael De Witt, Jane Freeman, Terry Honstead, Beverlee Olson, Mary Therese Peterson, Judy Selby, Pat Shough (Sillimandi), Michael Thomas Sunnarborg and MaryBeth Vaudrin for viewing pleasure and sale. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is closed Sundays.

- The Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave. N., by the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe, has a map and information on the pieces included in the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.

E March 19 at 7 p.m.: Thompson Recital Hall: The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus, "Ole!, Ole!, Ole!." Tickets are on sale now at Harmony Natural Foods Co-op and the main desk of BSU Hobson Memorial Union. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students with a valid ID.

- March 20 at 3 p.m.: Anna C. Smith, mezzo-soprano, senior recital, Thompson Recital Hall.

- March 25 at 7:30 p.m.: Linda Chatterton and pianist Matthew McCright will give a recital in Thompson Recital Hall.

- March 26 at 4 p.m.: "The Man of 100 Instruments," Todd Greene will perform in concert at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. Tickets are free and limited to space availability.

- March 26 at 7 p.m.: Junior recital for Steven Radley, Trombone, Thompson Recital Hall.

- March 27 at 3 p.m.: The Bemidji Choir at Bethel Lutheran Church, 5232 Irvine Ave. N.W.

- March 25-April 3: "Little Women" at the Minnesota Folklore Theater, Akeley.

- April 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at 2 p.m.: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," based on the original Grimm Brother's fairytale with book and lyrics by Carol Weiss, a collaboration of Bemidji Community Theater and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors available now at K.K. Thompson in the mall and Iverson Corner Drug.

- April 4 at 7 p.m.: Harlem Globetrotters at the Sanford Center. For tickets, call 441-4032.

- Brigid's Cross Irish Pub hosts Open Stage 8-11:30 p.m. every Thursday. Call 444-0567 for more information.

- Pelican Railroad performs at Backyard BBQ on Wednesdays and at Jammers on Thursdays.

- Northern Artist Association meets at 12:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month at the Eagles Club. The public is invited to attend. For information, call 759-2952.

- Headwaters Basketmakers Guild meets on third Saturday of the month. E-mail epbensum@paulbunyan.net.

Announcements of arts and entertainment events may be sent to the Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56619-0455 or e-mailed to news@bemidjipioneer.com.

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