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Pioneer Previews: 'Death of a Salesman' begins this week

"Death of a Salesman," drama by Arthur Miller, will open this week in Bemidji. A production of KG Entertainment with direction by Greg Gasman, the play revolves around the world of Willy Loman, his family and those who appear or reappear in his daydreams.

The original play opened on Broadway in 1949 and won the Tony Award for best play and the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Critic's Circle Award for best play. Since that time, the play has been revived on Broadway three times and the next revival is set to open in the fall of 2011.

The Bemidji revival will feature Tom Kusler as Willy, an aging salesman who lives in his own reality; Ann Cease as Linda Lohman, his loving wife who supports Willy's illusions; and Jon Mansk and Brett Cease as sons Biff and Happy Lohman, respectively. Rounding out the cast are Mike Bredon, K.D. Howells, Danielle Macalester, Ramey Nordby, Reed Olson, Kim Quick and Charlie Parsons.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 20. The following week, performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 24-26.

All performances will be held in the Black Box Theater of Bangsberg Fine and Performing Arts Center, 14th Street and Birchmont Dr. N.E. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students and are available now at Harmony Natural Food Co-op, Wild Hare Bistro and Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and at the door. The play is set in New York City in the 1940s and '50s and is not suitable for young children for content.

Gay Men's Chorus

The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus will bring this year's competition show, "Ole!, Ole!, Ole, The Rhythm is Gonna Getcha." to Bemidji at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19 in Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Center.

The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus has been garnering awards for its performances since 1981 and is the fourth largest men's chorus (80-100 voices) in the country. This may be the only chance Bemidjians may have to hear this chorus live in concert. Their reputation is for musical energy that transforms, educates and celebrates diversity. Tickets are on sale 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.

This concert is sponsored through the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus Outreach Program and hosted by Hospitality Initiative of Servant Hearts and the BSU Phoenix Gay/Straight Student Organization. This project is funded, in part, by a Region 2 Arts Council grant and a generous donation from PFLAG of Park Rapids.

'Little Women'

Minnesota Folklore Theater presents "Little Women," adapted for the stage by Elizabeth Lincoln Gould. The play is set in Massachusetts during the Civil War when Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and their mother wait for the return of their father from the war. Set in the Victorian Era, the players invite the public to a tea at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 26 before the show. The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 25 and April 1. Matinee performances will be at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27 and April 2-3 at the theater, 6 Broadway St., Akeley. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for students. Call 652-2666 for tickets or more information.

Auditions set

Open auditions for Saaren's Productions of "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" by Celeste Raspanti will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20, at the Wild Rose Theater, 501 Bemidji Ave. N.

This award winning and internationally recognized play is about the children of the holocaust. Of the 15,000 Jewish children who passed through Terezin, only about 100 were still alive when the camp was liberated at the end of WWII. An inspiring saga of the children and their uncompromised hope told through the story of their teacher, Raja.

Director DeeJay Arens will be casting for a flexible number of roles with actors middle school age through adult. The bulk of the cast will be composed of younger actors. All those interested will be asked to do a cold reading.

For more information, phone 556-1777 or email The dates of the performance will be April 29 through May 1 which will correspond with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

On stage this week

EWayne Hoff will be playing popular Irish tunes for singing and listening from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant. Maps for the world's shortest St. Patrick's Day parade are available now at Brigid's Cross, Keg and Cork, the Bemidji Public Library and local liquor stores. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m. at Brigid's Cross and end at Keg 'N' Cork in downtown Bemidji on Beltrami Ave. N.W. Family floats are encouraged and there will be surprise entertainment, eccentric fashions and traditional Irish fare at both establishments.

EAnna C. Smith, mezzo-soprano, will perform her Senior Recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 20 in Thompson Recital Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Vendors sought

The Beltrami County Historical Society is currently accepting reservations from antique dealers, artists, craft and flea marketers who are interested in securing space for the annual "Antique Fair and Flea Market," from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Bemidji High School Commons area Vendor space is available for $10. For details call 444-3376.

Get on board

New board members are being sought for two different organizations: 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 now through March 25 and applications for volunteers or to be involved with a committee are on going. For details on positions available or an application, please contact Executive Director Lori Forshee-Donnay or executive assistant Cindy Stenberg at the Art Center at 218-444-7570, e-mail or online at

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 believe 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 or write to Nominating Committee, Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji MN 56601. Any questions, please call 751-5447 or 1-800-275-5447.


EThe Glass Shack at 925 First St. N.E. is offering a workshop on mosaics. Mosaic a bowling ball; transforming a bowling ball into a beautiful object that will rival any gazing ball for yard and garden decorations. The class will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 17. The cost of the class is $55 and all materials including the bowling ball are included. The second day is needed to finish the project.

EExperienced figure drawing artist Mary Therese Peterson will teach classical drawing techniques while incorporating new approaches to seeing and working with a model. Artists should expect to strengthen their mind and hand-eye coordination while developing their drawing skill. A drawing portfolio documenting skill level and previous drawing experience is required for participation is this workshop. The class will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday March 19 at Peterson's Fern Lake Studio, 3592 Fern Lake Rd. S.W. Cost is $45 per person and participants are asked to bring a bag lunch and refreshments will be served. Stop by or send a check payable to the Region 2 Arts Council to the R2AC Office at 426 Bemidji Avenue, Bemidji, MN 56601. The registration deadline is Thursday March 17 2011. Please note that there will be no refunds unless the workshop is cancelled. Call Peterson at 759-2566 with questions.

E"Sunflower Welcome," a Tole painting workshop will the held from 3 to 5 p.m. on three Tuesdays, starting March 22 with Melody Bowles. An artist with more than 30 years of experience in tole painting, Bowles will instruct students who will provide their own painting surface: wood, canvas, tin, slate and glass in both acrylics and oils. The project will include sunflowers and other flowers and will be taught in oils. Instruction in acrylics will also be provided. Some oils and other painting supplies will be provided. Upon registration the instructor will provide a list of needed brushes. The classes will be held at Nevis Church of Christ on the corner of Bunyan Trails and Pleasant St. in Nevis. To register, send a $15 check made out to Region 2 Arts Council.

EReflections on Little Mantrap, a tole painting class capturing a scenic lake view with Melody Bowles. This single session class will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 at the Nevis Church of Christ, corner of Bunyan Trails and Pleasant St. in Nevis. Students will need to provide their own canvas, brushes and tubes of acrylic paint. Upon registration, the instructor will provide a list of needed items. The cost of the class is $10 and reservations may be made by sending a $10 check made payable to Region2 Arts Council. The registration deadline is Friday, April 1.

EBuild a Rustic End Table Workshop with Duane Shoup, master furniture craftsman, using fine local hard woods will be held from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays, April 16 and 23, at Shoup's Woodworking Studio, 29175 243rd Ave, Shevlin. The cost is $50 per person, which covers all materials, including local hardwoods studio use and tools and end-product a new rustic end table. The deadline to register is April 8. Stop by or send a check payable to the Region 2 Arts Council.

Studio Cruise

Call for artists for the 2011 First City of the Arts Studio Cruise. All artists with studios within a 40-mile radius of Bemidji may apply for an application to participate in this juried arts cruise. This will be the fourth year for the cruise, a working studio event providing an opportunity for artists to invite the public into their studios to showcase their art and craft and as well as an opportunity for direct sales and commissions. Again, this year, artists who create their own artwork within the 40-mile radius and do not have an accessible studio may be a guest artist at a qualifying studio for the 2011 cruise. The Studio Cruise dates will be Oct. 21-23 and the deadline for all applications must be postmarked by April 1. Costs include a $10 non-refundable jury fee and $100 artist participation fee. Questions may be directed to Dave Towley at 333-3547 or Lori Forshee-Donnay at 444-7570. The application is available online at the Bemidji Community Arts Center:

Call for musicians

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 CCC. This year's theme will the Arts and Nature and the committee is looking to feature local musicians during the events scheduled for June 24 and 25 at the Blackduck City Park and July 1 and 2 at the Palace Casino Pow Wow Grounds. Contact Steve Ross at 335-2703.

Art exhibits

EBad 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 over 50 different artists in art and fine craft and is located at 315 Irvine Ave NW.

EBemidji Community Art Center has on display for the month of March, "Flora and Fauna," 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 BSU. The gallery and Shop 426 are open 12-5 p.m., Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. BCAC is located at 426 Bemidji Ave N. in the Carnegie Library Building.

EBeltrami County Historical Society has on display the work of Kay Schuver, "Reflections by Kay" until the end of 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., Monday through Saturday and is located in the historic James J. Hill Great Northern Depot at 130 Minnesota Ave. SW.

EBemidji 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 9th 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 Monday through Saturday.

EBrigid's Cross Irish Pub and Restaurant (317 Beltrami Ave. N.W. in downtown Bemidji) invites the public to view the digital photography of Danielle Blanchfield. "Welcome to the Light" are 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.

EDunn 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 is now serving wines of the month.

EHeadwaters Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is exhibiting of the work of the late Eugene Dalzatto, former professor of art at Bemidji State University. Dalzatto's painting and etchings will be on display for the months of March and April. For details or visits, call 751-9654. The exhibit is in the main hall and is only open to the public on Sunday mornings.

ENorth Country Health Services Art Committee 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 which is 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 will also have a display at the Bistro, 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 will also be available along with her collection of artistic greeting cards. Nielson Place and the Bistro are located at WoodsEdge, 1000 Anne St. NW.

ESaarens Productions invites the public to stop by the 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 from 2 to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

EWild 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 leaning environment. The Bistro is open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday.

EHeadwaters School.of Music and the Arts.(519 Minnesota Ave. N.W.) has on display works of watercolor artist Judy Selby.

ETutto 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 on Sunday.

EThe 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.

Upcoming events

EMarch 25 at 7:30 p.m.: Linda Chatterton and pianist Matthew McCright will give a recital in Thompson Recital Hall. (more information to follow)

EMarch 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 available.

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

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

EApril 2 at 5:30 p.m., Poetry readings by Sean Hill (Blood Ties and Brown Liquor) and Kathryn Kysar (Pretend the World) at the Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse. The poets' books will be available for purchase.

EApril 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m., April 3 at 2 p.m.: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," based on the original Grimm Brothers' 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.

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

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

EApril 8 and 9: "Seussical Jr." a musical production of Long Lake Theater Kids Academy at Park Rapids H.S. Information at and 218-732-0099.

EPelican Railroad performs at Backyard BBQ on Wednesdays and Jammers on Thursdays.

ENorthern 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.

EHeadwaters Basketmakers Guild meets on third Saturday of the month, contact

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