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Pioneer Previews for Nov. 18: Last chance to see ‘Oliver' today

BEMIDJI — The final performance of “Oliver!” is at 2 p.m. today at the historic Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. NW, in a collaboration between Bemidji Community Theater and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.

This musical rendition of “Oliver Twist,” the story by Charles Dickens, tells the story of an orphan boy in England in 1884. Directed by Mary-Knox Johnson with Karen Bradley and Wayne Hoff as musical directors, the production is suitable for middle-school children and older. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children (17 and younger) with a $1 refund per ticket with a donation to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf at the Box Office.

Madrigal Dinners

The 44th annual Madrigal Dinners, featuring the Bemidji State University Chamber Singers as the Royal Court and members of the Bemidji Choir performing in the Masque, will herald in the start of the holiday season in Bemidji.

The first dinner/show that takes the participants back to Merry Olde England will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 30, with additional evening performances Dec. 1, 7 and 8 and a 5 p.m. performance Dec. 2 in Beaux Arts Ballroom of Hobson Memorial Union at BSU. Tickets are $38 each for dinner and the show. A bottle of sparkling cider can be ordered in advance for $7.

Tickets are on sale now in the Madrigal Dinner Ticket Office, Bangsberg 223 in the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex, 14th Street and Birchmont Drive, or call 755-3406 for more information.

‘Oxcar’ awards

The public is invited to attend the first 2012 ‘Oxcar’ Awards Dec. 8 at the New City Ballroom, 2300 24th St. NW.

The event will be held each fall to recognize theatrical work from Nov. 15 of the previous year to Nov. 15 of the current year in the areas of production, design, direction and performance. The traditional Oscar statuettes will get a Bemidji touch with Babe the Blue Ox replacing Oscar.

Theatrical groups included are Bemidji Community Theater, Loon Opera Company, Mask and Rose Women’s Theater Collective and Saarens Productions from the Bemidji area; Minnesota Folklore Theater in Walker; Northern Light Opera Company in Park Rapids and Long Lake Theater in Hubbard.

The evening will begin with a social hour from 5:30-6:30 p.m. with a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.

The two masters of ceremonies, Catie Belleveau and Rob Thomas, will begin the festivities and present entertainment from the Region 2 Arts theater community and local and regional celebrities.

Recognition in two categories will also be given: awards for established works and for emerging works produced by non-professional Region 2 Arts area theater organizations and individuals, and special citations as determined by the volunteer group of evaluators.

Formal wear is requested, and prizes will be given for “Best and Worst Dressed.”

The cost per ticket is $10. Tickets are on sale now at Brigid’s Pub in downtown Bemidji or by credit card via Belleveau at 218-243-2685. There will be limited tickets at the door at $15 each.

November Art Installations

A complete listing of all the artists and venues can be found on the Bemidji Community Arts Center website at

Historic Furrier Display

The Historic Furrier Display is at the Blackduck Area History and Art Center, Main and Margaret Street in downtown Blackduck. The show contains memorabilia from the collection of Nanette Barthelemy: a 1936 OSANN Fur Machine and tools of the trade used by Felix Barthelemy in his Bemidji-based business from 1936-1969.  The display will be up during November and December. Hours are 1-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Ongoing Exhibits

Brigid’s Pub’s “Wonderful Animals” by the Artists of Studio 10 in all media is at 317 Beltrami Ave. NW.

“Paul and Babe,” works by Artists of Studio 10, are on exhibit in the lobby of the historic Chief Theater, 314 Beltrami Ave. NW.

Northwoods Gallery at 218 Third St. NW has a display of work by Jane Freeman and D. L. Houseman.

Ravenrock Fine Jewelry and Art’s new installation by the Artists of Studio 10 is “Transitions,” an interpretation in all media: pastels, watercolors, acrylics, oil and mixed media.


-- “Painting Nature” with Scott Fadness, a Northern Artists Association Workshop sponsored by the Region 2 Arts Council, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6 in the Beltrami Electric community room, 411 Technology Dr. NW. Participants will learn how to compose a 16-by-20 acrylic painting, including lessons in composition, layout, preliminary chalk drawing of the subject and acrylic painting techniques. There will be breaks during the day and a one-hour lunch. Participants are welcome to bring their lunch.

The registration deadline is Nov. 30; send a check for $50 to Region 2 Arts Council, 426 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji MN 56601 or drop off a check at Gallery North, 502 Third St. NW. There will be no refunds unless the workshop is canceled. For more information, call R2AC at 751-5447 or 800-275-5447 or Gallery North at 444-9813.

-- “No Risk” workshop funding is available now at R2AC. The workshops are open to artists in the Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen Counties. Applicants must submit an application for a workshop that focuses on learning experiences for adult artists and be open to the public. Proposals are considered on an on-going basis and funds are limited. Applications are available at or call 218-751-5447 for more information.

Upcoming events

-- Anyone who enjoys poetry is invited to attend the Poetry Slam at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Keg and Cork in downtown Bemidji. Contestants will present three original works (shorter than three minutes each) to five judges. Poets will be rated on a scale of 1-10, weighted 50 percent on content and 50 percent on performance of the work. The top three finalists in the last round will receive a cash prize of $75, $50 or $25 for first, second and third place. Music will be provided by cellist Gwenfrewi Burger.

This will be the first event in the 2012-13 Poetry Slam series. For more information, contact Marsh Muirhead, event series coordinator, at or 556-6313, or Paul Ericsson, Bemidji Public Library branch manager, at or 751-3963. This is a free Legacy Program funded in part by the legacy amendment.

-- Monthly Book Discussion Series will discuss “Suite Francaise” by Ron McLarty Dec. 3 and 6 at the Bemidji Public Library.

-- Big Band Experience with Shaun Johnson brings the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé to Bemidji. The fundraiser to support the Paul Bunyan Playhouse will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in the historic Chief Theater. Tickets are $25 in advance at Marketplace Foods, the radio stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and online at

Tickets at the door will be $30. The concert is presented by Marketplace Foods, First National Bank Bemidji and Paul Bunyan Broadcasting.

-- The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concert and Messiah Sing-a-Long is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Bemidji High School Auditorium.