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As I write this column, the computer-generated weather report says that Christmas Day will be a mess with snow, rain and rattles (thunder). I can only hope that someone pushed the wrong button and the day is lovely. If not, stay warm by the fireplace and play lots of board games!
The buzz around the Department of Music at Bemidji State University has changed from "wait until you meet him" to "see, didn't we tell you so?" The holiday and end-of-semester concerts by the choral singers with backup by colleagues this year has been packed with many surprises, including the annual Madrigal Dinners.
We talked about going to the live performance of "It's A Wonderful Life" at the Firehall Theater in Grand Forks, and last Sunday, we drove down to Walker to see Fred Roger's lovely version of the original Lux Soap script for the radio show. The Walker Bay Theater is located on the ground level of the American National Bank on the main street of Walker. Albeit an intimate space, the artistic director has spent many years on Broadway designing costumes and scenery.
Last year we drove to the Firehouse Theater in Grand Forks to enjoy a stage adaption of "It's A Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play." It was so special as had never seen actors portraying the characters, the sound effects man (showing stage secrets) and being taken back in time — 1940s — and the hopes and aspirations of an angel striving for his wings. This year, the Walker Bay Theater is presenting the same show with more performance dates to accommodate audiences. The show opened this weekend and will continue with a matinee today at 2:30 p.m.
Wow! How did "that time of year" roll around so quickly, perhaps we weren't paying attention to the pace of time, being busy with all the musical and theatrical events this fall? Thanks are due to Beverly Everett of the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra for inviting the MIDIots to the concert stage last Sunday. For those not familiar with the group, it was an exhilarating introduction and for those who have heard them before, the addition of the string section of the orchestra was inspired. The audience response was overwhelming.
As I write this column, my mind and body are anxious to catch the sunlight still peeking through the bald trees. I like reading on the porch and will have some more titles for you to pursue before the fireplaces, all snuggled up! The news of this year's coming winter is great for outdoor "fanatics" but not for couch potatoes!
November follows October in celebrating the "hope" that ghosts and other creatures will rise up from the Earth to scare and generally titillate us. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between the black arts and a fruitful imagination that celebrates what we do not know about the next step in our humanity.
When we were young, we'd set off to find another group of kids to tour with and torment the houses that remained dark on the special night—Halloween. Would parents allow that now; probably not but it has been fun driving around Bemidji looking at the wonderful and sometimes scary setups that have already been built on porches and lawns.
The colors of autumn are quickly fading but October still promises the most waited event of the fall — the Studio Cruise is starting this Friday with the largest number of artists opening their studios for observing how they work and various pieces to purchase. The maps are available now at the Visitors Information Center (down by Paul and Babe) and online at visitbemidji.com for a copy of the map that can be downloaded.