Arts & Literature


North High alumnus back in town with ‘Wicked’

North High School graduate Adam McDonald poses backstage with an intimidating “Wicked” prop. Adam is currently on tour with “Wicked,” serving as second key and as an associate conductor.

“Wicked”’s associate conductor-second key Adam McDonald (right) chats with appropriately dressed fans before the Oct. 8 show.

He may be a nice guy, but Adam McDonald has spent nearly two years being Wicked.
That’s how long the North High alum has been working with the national touring company of the Broadway hit “Wicked.” Adam has served as the tour’s orchestra as “key 1”; recently he was promoted to Associate Conductor and took over “key 2.”


Twin Cities artist takes a curious portrait

Photographer Xavier Tavera stands in between two portraits he took of Latino families in the Twin Cities. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Xavier Tavera is standing beside a striking, 3-foot-square photo he took of a Hispanic family from Minneapolis. The patriarch is wearing a clown suit and makeup, surrounded by his family in their normal garb, in the family’s living room.
To Tavera, the photo depicts a scene that’s normal to him -- he knows the clown man, and it’s not out of the ordinary. But for people stopping by Tavera’s exhibition at Metro State University, he is hoping they come up with their own story to go along with the image.


RAHS grad onstage at Guthrie

Aeysha Kinnunen (submitted photo)

From an early start in Roseville community and school theater, Aeysha Kinnunen has landed on the Guthrie Theater stage, as “Lydia” in “Pride and Prejudice.”
The “Pride and Prejudice” production, which runs through Aug. 31, stars Vincent Kartheiser from TV’s “Mad Men” as Mr. Darcy and Ashley Rose Montondo as the intelligent, spirited Elizabeth Bennett.
Under Joe Dowling’s direction, this “Pride and Prejudice” is definitely played for laughs, and Kinnunen, as Elizabeth’s twitter-pated and brazen younger sister, gets some of the biggest.


West St. Paul author offers ‘dilemma’ in first book

submitted photo

Steve McEllistrem

In his first novel, “The Devereaux Dilemma,” West St. Paul writer Steve McEllistrem paints a picture of a disturbing time in the not-so-distant future.
In this “speculative” science fiction piece, the world is on the verge of collapse. War is breaking out among humans, many of whom are biologically enhanced, and the bio-weapons being created are powerful enough to destroy them all. As war wages around him, Jeremiah Jones embarks on a journey to hunt down an elusive religious leader who holds the key to saving them or destroying them all.


Mounds View Theatre offers first local “Les Mis”

The revolutionaries prepare to fight to the death in the Mounds View Community Theatre production of “Les Miserables.” (photos by Heather Edwards/Bulletin)

Jean Valjean, played by Lorin Yenor, expresses rage after years of being falsely imprisoned. 

Hazen Markoe and Tina Brauer offer comic relief as Thenardier and Mme. Thenardier. Brauer is a resident of New Brighton. 

A young Cosette (played by Sophie Kuether) sings of a castle in the clouds during Mounds View Community Theatrés production of “Les Misérables.”

“Les Mis” fans, rejoice; for the first time, a non-professional Minnesota theatre is presenting “Les Misérables.”

Until recently, the production rights for the wildly popular musical were exclusive to professional theatre companies. When the rights were released  to non-professional theatre groups this year,  the Mounds View Community Theatre (MVCT) was the first to obtain those rights.

“I was just really impressed that Mounds View took that leap of faith,” said New Brighton resident Tina Brauer, who plays Mme. Thenardier.


“Chicago - The Musical” brings “All That Jazz” to Tartan Theatre

The Tartan cast starring Chris Wallace as Flynn and Ariana Campanaro as Roxie rehearses for “Chicago” which runs June 28-29 at 7 p.m. and June 30 at 2 p.m.. Director’s note: parental discretion is advised. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Tartan Theatre Summer Intensive has been busy with three weeks of rehearsals for the classic Broadway hit musical “Chicago.” The musical is set in the roaring twenties- sin, corruption, and All That Jazz. Abbey Chapdelaine is cast as Velma. Performances are June 28-29 at 7 p.m. and June 30 at 2 p.m. Parental discretion is advised. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Tartan Theatre is proud to present their production of the classic Broadway hit, Chicago - The Musical.
This classic American musical will run Friday, June 28 through Sunday, June 30.


New Brighton actor takes the stage in “Joseph”

New Brighton resident Wes Mouri is serving as understudy for six of Joseph’s brothers in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. (Heather Edwards/Bulletin)

It isn’t easy being a theatre understudy; you must always be prepared to take an actor’s place if they become ill or are injured. However, if an actor enjoys perfect health, the understudy may never take the stage despite extensive preparation.
“(Audience members) don’t think about what really goes into being an understudy,” noted Wes Mouri of New Brighton, who is an understudy for the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s current production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”


Talking about the Glock with Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett

Monday, June 3.
Circle this date on your calendar, then head on over to the Roseville branch of the Ramsey County Library for what should be a fascinating presentation entitled: “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun.”
That’s also the title of the best seller by New York City author Paul Barrett who will be in town for his only visit to Minnesota this year.


Fond ‘Memories’

Gloria VanDemmeltraadt will release her new book, “Memories of Lake Elmo,” on May 1. (submitted photo)

Most people would not consider two years’ worth of arduous research a fun task, but an Oakdale author has taken on the challenge in order to satisfy her fascination with Lake Elmo’s colorful history.
Gloria VanDemmeltraadt began looking into the city’s past in September 2011. Little did she know the research she was doing would amount to several hundreds of hours poring over old newspaper clippings and vintage photos, as well as conducting personal interviews with longtime residents.


New art at Metro State

Metropolitan State University’s Gordon Parks Gallery presents “Realism Reconsidered” from April 26 through July 26 with a reception from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25.