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Patt Rall Arts Column for July 23: Gilbert and Sullivan operetta auditions announced

Paul Bunyan Playhouse and Bemidji Community Theater will present a collaborative effort, "Pirates of Penzance," a Gilbert and Sullivan musical comedy. This will be a high-energy show with physical comedy, challenging lyrics, dancing and sword fighting. Actors, male and female ages 15 and older, are encouraged to audition and prepare 16 bars of music, an accompanist will be provided. Director Mary Knox Johnson and musical director Karen Bradley will be holding auditions from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. Aug. 8 and 7-9 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Cabin Coffee House and Cafe, 214 Third St. N.W., or by appointment. For more information, contact Kelly Kirk, technical director, at 760-1066. Rehearsals will begin Aug. .24 at the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. N.W. Performance times and dates are 7:30 p.m., Nov. 11-14 and 2:30 p.m., Nov. 15 at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in the Historic Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. N.W.

Bass day

The Headwaters School of Music and Arts, will host Bass Day from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, July 25. Anyone can stop by and either jam, take some free lessons, talk bass or just hang out. This is a free event with a free will donation. The grand finale will feature guest drummer Eric Sundeen jamming from 3-4 p.m.

Festival comedy

"Raymond Takes a Wife," a musical comedy written by Beverly Olson from the Lake George Senior Citizen Group will be part of the Lake George Blueberry Festival this weekend. The annual Blueberry Festival will run Friday-Sunday, July 24-26, with the parade to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday. Play performances will be at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Senior Citizen Center. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. Call 218-368-3032 or e-mail Tickets are available at the door and cost $8 for adults and $5 for children 9 and younger. Proceeds will buy a new pancake griddle for the Senior Center.

'Greater Tuna'

"Greater Tuna," a slapstick comedy by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, opened Wednesday at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. Known to local audiences for their performances in last year's comedy, "Laughter on the 23rd Floor," Michael Paul Levin and Eric Webster play local radio commentators and the inhabitants of the mythical Texas town of Tuna. The two actors bring 20 different characters to the stage - Aunt Pearl who is known for her fried chicken, the Reverend Spikes, Sheriff Givens and the Bumiller Family with Little Jody among other residents - with their lightening costume changes and farcical characterizations. Performances will run through Aug. 1, with a half price matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 26. Wednesday-Saturday performance times are 8 p.m. in the Historic Chief Theater, 312 Beltrami Ave. N.W. Ticket prices are $22 for adults and $10 for those younger than 21 and may be purchased in person at the playhouse box office 751-7270 or online at

Light opera

"Fiddler on the Roof," the musical story of a Jewish family struggling to survive in a village in the Ukraine, performances will be at 7 p.m. July 31, Aug. 1, 6, 7 and 3 p.m. Aug. 2 and 8. The play is based on a story by Sholem Aleichem, "Tevye and his Daughters." The audience is transported to a Jewish ghetto where Tevye the Milkman struggles to maintain "Tradition," dreams of what he would do "If I Were a Rich Man," asks his wife, Golda, "Do You Love Me?" and a poignant rendition of "Sunrise, Sunset." As he prepares to take his wife and younger daughters from their ancestral village "Anatevka" for America, the fiddler on the roof plays on. The Northern Light Opera Company, known in the area for professional productions, is offering a bonus to the audience at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 and 2 p.m. Aug. 2 when Allen and Sharon Friedman of Park Rapids will talk about Jewish traditions in the Park Rapids Area High School commons, 401 Huntsinger Ave. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and older and $10 for children under 12 with a 10 percent discount if purchased in advance. There are also group rates. Contact Northern Light Opera Company on line at Tickets will be sold at the door if available. This event is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Flute recital

The Cabin Coffeehouse and Café will feature Master Flutist Silverfox who will be performing live at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Cabin, 214 Third St. N.W.

Concert series

The Lake Bemidji Summer Concert Series welcomes the Pine Tones at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Lake Bemidji State Park Amphitheater. Cars need a park sticker to enter. These events are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota State Legislature, as well as the collaborative effort of Lake Bemidji State Park and the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts.

Church musicians

The Bemidji Area Church Musicians 2009 Summer Recital Series holds concerts each Wednesday until the end of August. Glenn Seibel on euphonium and Wayne Hoff on piano will play at noon July 29 at Bemidji United Methodist Church, Ninth Street and Beltrami Avenue Northwest.. A free will offering will be accepted in support of music scholarships at the door. Always well attended, these half-hour concerts give the public an opportunity to hear area church musicians play and also enjoy a luncheon at the host church after the concert for a nominal cost.

Fair entertainment

Beltrami County Fair is looking for children who would like to participate in the Kids' Talent Show from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, at the Marilyn Shutter Country Stage. Children ages 5-18 are invited to show off their talent in a three-four minute act and all participants will receive a prize. For more information or to register, call Peggy at 368-6831.

Other events

- Bad Cat Creations Gallery and Gifts, 315 Irvine Ave. N.W., features art and fine crafts by over 35 artists.

- Beltrami County Historical Society, 130 Minnesota Ave. S.W., has an ongoing exhibit in collaboration with Gallery North, "Summer Breeze." Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday at the Historic James H. Hill Great Northern Depot.

- Bemidji Community Art Center galleries feature "New Work" by well known local artists Marlon Davidson, Butch Holden, Jay Jones, Marley Kaul, Don Knudson and Vivienne Morgan in a display of sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, painting and photography. There is also new inventory in Shop 426 with proceeds benefiting programming at BCAC and the participating artists. BCAC is open Monday-Saturday and is free and open to the public at 426 Bemidji Ave.

- Bemidji Public Library, 509 America Ave. N.W., welcomes Janelle Christnesen as its featured artist for July.

- Cabin Coffeehouse and Café features local artist Audrey Merschman who works in oils and watercolors. The Cabin is open seven days a week.

- Dunn Bros. Coffee, 501 Paul Bunyan Drive S., welcomes the work of Pat Shough who paints under the name of Sillimandi for July. Also on display and available for purchase are Levandowski Pottery and fused and slumped glassware by MaryBeth Vaudrin and Beverlee Olson.

- Gallery North, 502 Third St. N.W., welcomes Showcase Artist for the Month Tom Hetznecker who is known for unique line drawings.

- Headwaters School for Music and the Arts, 519 Minnesota Ave. N. W., invites the public to photographer Brian Grund's exhibit, "Chasing the Wind." All the photographs are for sale and the proceeds will be used to pay for wilderness travel expenses for youth.

- Neilson Place, 1000 Anne St. N.W., and the North Country Health Services Art Committee welcome an exhibit by Natalia Himmirska, "Embrace." Her work will be on display through August for the pleasure of the residents, families, staff and the community at large. The work is for sale, and a price list is provided at the reception desk.

- Wild Hare Bistro and Coffee House, 523 Minnesota Ave. N.W., presents the photography of Tyson Kuznia, a professional photographer based in Fargo, N.D.

- Beltrami Historical Society is accepting vendors for the eighth annual Depot Day Fest. Artists and crafters, flea marketers, antique collectors, woodworkers, metalworkers, jewelers, non-profits and garden producers are encouraged to attend. There are a limited number of outdoor spaces, call 444-3376 for details. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 8 at the James J. Hill Historic Railroad Station.

- Bemidji Sculpture Walk received a grant from the G.W. Nielson Foundation to fabricate and display fiberglass images that will be decorated by artists for the 2010 season. Members of the general public are being asked to vote for an image: fish, beaver, turtle, deer, small canoe, Paul Bunyan or anther choice. Votes will be compiled until the end of August, at which time the winner will be announced. To cast your vote, e-mail Two-dimensional artists may also access this Web site for further information and apply to participate by decorating the winning image.

- Wet-on-Wet Floral Watercolor class where students will create a loose style watercolor painting of birch trees will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 13. All materials will be provided and students will complete a matted 16-by-20-inch painting. For information call 751-7741 or register at Gallery North.

- Tutto Bene, 300 Beltrami Ave. N.W., has an ongoing display of new art work by Beverlee Olson, Jane Freeman, Judy Selby Pat Shough and MaryBeth Vaudrin for viewing pleasure and sale. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sunday

- Stop in the Tourist Information Center, 300 Bemidji Ave., for a map and information on the pieces included in the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.

Mark your calendars now with these upcoming events:

- "Riders of the Golden Sphinx," Bemidji Community Theater's annual melodrama, 7:30 p.m., July 31, Aug.1, 7-8 in the amphitheater at Lake Bemidji State Park. Free admission, family friendly.

- Community Band Concert, 7 p.m., Aug. 2, Baker Park.

- Wilton Days, Aug. 8-9. Talent Show sign-ups call 751-1186.

- Mozart's "La Nozze di Figaro," 7:30 p.m., Aug. 19-21, Thompson Recital Hall.

- "Pirates, The Musical," by Mrs. Yam's Children's Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20-22 and 2:30, Aug. 22.

- Street musicians 5-8 p.m. every Thursday night, downtown Bemidji.

- Pelican Railroad 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Backyard BBQ 119 Third St. N.W.

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