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Pioneer Previews for July 28: Winter in Arizona, summer 'at the lake'

When speaking with my cousin in Arizona who was suffering with 112 degree weather, I gave a silent thanks that the fine summer temps in Bemidji continue to invigorate the arts and cultural scene.

Today, take a ride over the the state park to enjoy Mark Fogelson and his stories about winters in Arizona and summers "at the lake." Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, in collaboration with Lake Bemidji State Park and underwritten in part by a grant from Region 2 Arts Council, bring these family friendly artists for the public each summer. Fogelson plans to begin his concert at 2 the amphitheater, which is accessible by foot, boat or car. Bring lunch or snacks and prepare to enjoy the sylvan glen. Admission to the concert is free for those with a yearly pass and $5 for a daily pass, both available at the visitor's gate. No rain dates as the concert is held rain or shine at the park, and the Visitor's Center is located near the amphitheater.

Northern Light Opera Company production opened this weekend in Park Rapids; "Carousel,"a musical by Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers. Today's performance begins at 3 p.m. at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium, 401 Huntington Ave..Park Rapids. (The Y Steak House is open for lunch and dinner.) A show that is family friendly as the familiar social issues of alcohol, thievery and physical abuse are faced and "fixed." The show revolves around the carousel barker, Billy Bigelow, and his trusting wife, Julie Jordan. The action covers a span of time from the early marriage of Billy and Julie and his return to earth 15 years later. Produced in 1945, when words and music of songs confronted social issues of the day in tuneful life lessons. "Soliloquy," possibly the most emotionally laden lyrics, redeems Bigelow as the audience is always willing to forgive his human failings because he realizes that "you can have fun with a son but you gotta' be a father to a girl." Songs such as "If I Loved You," "You'll Never Walk Alone," "June is Bustin' Out All Over" and "When the Children Are Asleep," are typical of lyrics in that era. Lyrics that taught life's lessons in a simple, understandable and supportive insights from the lyricist. There's never a dry eye when the house lights go up on this show. Additional performances will at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and online at or by mail at NLOC, 11700 Island Lake Dr., Park Rapids, MN 56470. They will hold tickets at the door.

If you missed "The Dixie Swim Club" by Jones, Hope and Wooten last summer at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse or even if you didn't and want to see it again, make an effort to get to Long Lake Theater in Hubbard. It's a bit of a drive, but always worth the effort especially when Bemidji's own Julie Kaiser is part of the cast. The show revolves around the annual long summer weekend college pals spend together to catch up on their lives. Southern ladies to the core, they can't help meddling in each other's problems and reminiscing about the good old days when they were swimming champions. Go to the website for more information. Tickets are $16 adults, $8 children (4-12) and $14.50 group rate or 15 or more. They do have a Wednesday matinee at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows until Aug. 17. They can also be reached by phone at 218-732-0099.


Region 2 Arts Council Grant Writing Workshop from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bagley Elementary School Library, 202 Bagley Ave., Bagley. This free workshop covers grant writing for organizations from 5 to 6 p.m. and grant writing for individual artists from 6 to 7 p.m. All R2AC grant request are for arts related projects, materials and supplies.


• The Bemidji Area Church Musicians summer concert series will present pianist Lois Simonson and cellist Deanna Murphy at noon, Evangelical Covenant Church, 5405 Hwy 2 West ( just across from the Bemidji Theater). The recital will comprise a medley of songs and hymns arranged by various composers. A unique feature will be Intermezzo written by Murphy's father, Jay H. Carlsgaard. There is no charge for the recital, a freewill offering will be received. A luncheon will be served following the concert at a minimal cost.

Opening night for "She Loves Me" by Masteroff, Bock and Hornick at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. If you liked "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, you will love the final show of the 2013 season. The story takes place in a perfumery shop in Budapest, Hungary. Two work rivals are actually each other's secret pen pals and even though the romance blooms in the mail, they are not friendly at work. Think of all this being an early version of The playhouse is going all out in bringing back some familiar faces such as Jessie Ladig, Katherine Tieben-Holt and Erik Bergstrom (all Bemidji State University alums), Kristen Husby ("Gypsy"), Jake Endres and Paul Reyburn. The 8 p.m. curtain in the historic Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. NW. Tickets online at or call the box office at 751-7270.


"Arms Around the Armory" event to acquaint the public about the collaborative effort to launch the Upper Mississippi Center for the Arts. The event will run from 10:30 a.m. to noon at 203 Park Ave S, Park Rapids. A short presentation will be given by PRLAAC with refreshments provided by R2AC. Open to the public and RSVP is required: or call 751-5447.

• The Park Rapids Downtown Business Association invites you to celebrate summer at 2nd Street Stage events Thursday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 2nd Street Stage, Main Avenue and U.S. Highway 71, Park Rapids. The Seasonals, a folk rock band will play their high energy music from every genre. The event features live music, a beer garden and family activities and is free and open to the public. Just remember to bring your own chair.

"She Loves Me" at 8 p.m. at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, historic Chief Theater.

"Dixie Swim Club" at 7:30 p.m., Long Lake Theater, Hubbard.


"She Loves Me" at 8 p.m. at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, historic Chief Theater.

"Dixie Swim Club" at 7:30 p.m., Long Lake Theater, Hubbard.

The 8th Annual Family Music Festival will begin at 5 p.m. on the Pioneer Farmer's grounds near the north entrance to Itasca State Park. The event will continue until 1 p.m. Aug. 5. More information at This is a family event: no pets, drugs or alcohol will be permitted on the grounds.


"She Loves Me" at 8 p.m. at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, historic Chief Theater.

"Dixie Swim Club" at 7:30 p.m., Long Lake Theater, Hubbard.


• Bemidji Area Community Band Concert at 7 p.m. Aug. 4.

"Shades Brigade," an original radio thriller by Eric Webster at 8 p.m. Aug. 5 at the historic Chief Theater. All tickets will, be sold at the door, $10 general admission.

A special note of thanks for all those notes,cards, letters, cookies, Billl's Dills, flowers and installation by Al Belleveau. I am humbled by your generosity and kind words.