Star News » Arts & Entertainment http://erstarnews.com The Star News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Sat, 29 Nov 2014 04:15:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ delivers laughs, yuletide spirit http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/27/best-christmas-pageant-ever-delivers-laughs-yuletide-spirit/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/27/best-christmas-pageant-ever-delivers-laughs-yuletide-spirit/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:23:25 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=782391 Imogene Herdman (Lizzie Inselman) plays Mary, and Ralph Herdman (Matthew Nelson) plays Joseph, in the pageant, while their brother LeRoy (Isaac Branjord) improvises with a lampshade for headgear as one off the wise men. The Angel choir includes (top) Lindsey Strecker, Shelby Swenson, Tess Trombley and Riley Wilcox, and (front) Alayna Conrad, Rose Wilcox, Lila Strecker and Quinn Oberson. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Imogene Herdman (Lizzie Inselman) plays Mary, and Ralph Herdman (Matthew Nelson) plays Joseph, in the pageant, in the 2014 cast, while their brother LeRoy (Isaac Branjord) improvises with a lampshade for headgear as one off the wise men. The Angel choir includes (top) Lindsey Strecker, Shelby Swenson, Tess Trombley and Riley Wilcox, and (front) Alayna Conrad, Rose Wilcox, Lila Strecker and Quinn Oberson. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Arts Editor

North Star Family Theatre’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is concluding its two-week run with five more performances. Show times at ERHS’s Little Theatre are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 6 p.m.

Poodle skirts in the 1960's cast.

Poodle skirts in the 1950’s cast.

 

The Bradleys

The 1950’s Bradleys have a heart-to-heart: dad Bob (Russ Branjord) with Charlie and Beth (Eli Branjord and Averi Schirmers)

This is the tale of a Christmas pageant turned upside down when a batch of unruly siblings, the Herdmans, hilariously take over several of roles, including Mary and Joseph, having never been exposed to the Christmas story before.

Above, Irma (Cindy Inselmann), next-door neighbor to the Herdmans in the 2014 cast, warns other church ladies they should hide the silver and collection plates.

Above, Irma (Cindy Inselmann), next-door neighbor to the Herdmans in the 2014 cast, warns other church ladies they should hide the silver and collection plates.

Fortunately, the little brats unexpectedly absorb the meaning of the season, and surprise everyone with a good showing when the pageant night arrives. Add some sweet Christmas tunes by choirs of little girls and you almost need to bring your Kleenex.

Cailin Conrad (right) as Imogene in the 1960’s cast spars with nemesis Alice, played by Lauren Thiesen.

Cailin Conrad (right) as Imogene in the 1950’s cast spars with nemesis Alice, played by Lauren Thiesen.

Director Eileen Anderson’s clever twist: Half the performances have a cast for the 1950s, complete with poodle skirts and wall phones, and the other half are set in 2014 with Starbuck’s and cellphones.

 

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Zimmerman’s ‘The Music Man’ packs them in; one show left http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/23/zimmermans-the-music-man-packs-them-in-one-show-left/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/23/zimmermans-the-music-man-packs-them-in-one-show-left/#comments Sun, 23 Nov 2014 08:55:14 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=782295 Parker Sturlaugson as Prof. Harold Hill leaps unto Marian's desk to woo the librarian, with the crowd up close.

Parker Sturlaugson as Prof. Harold Hill leaps unto her desk to woo Olivia Hanson’s unimpressed Marian the librarian, with the crowd up close in the Zimmerman cafeteria/auditorium.

 

Zimmerman High School’s fall play “The Music Man” played for a standing-room only crowd on Saturday evening, with the audience enjoying some large-scale song and dance numbers, a pleasing barbershop quartet that included three teachers (Jeff Downing, Lance Dalbey and director Jon Palshewski along with student Joey Briggs), and strong lead performance by Parker Sturlaugson, a pursuasive schemer/salesman with his confident hoofing and vocalizing schtick, and Olivia Hanson, convincing as the only lady in town not falling for his baloney while maybe, slowly, falling for him. There’s one more performance, Sunday at 2 p.m. Here’s a photo photos. (Text and photos by Bruce Strand)

Warbling school board members are (from left) student Joey Briggs and faculty members Jon Palshewski, Jeff Downing and Lance Dalbey.

Warbling River City school board members are (from left) student Joey Briggs and faculty members Jon Palshewski, Jeff Downing and Lance Dalbey.

River City's ladies line up to hear Prof. Harold Hill convince them to shell out for band instruments, uniforms and books for their kids.

River City’s ladies line up enthusiastically to hear Prof. Harold Hill’s message for them to shell out for band instruments, uniforms and books for their kids.

Oh, you got trouble in River City, the "professor" warns, with the citizens easily convinced.

Oh, you got trouble in River City, the “professor” warns, with the citizens easily convinced.

Zaneeta, the mayor's daughter, played by Heather Nagangast, dances with her crush, Tommy, played by Michael Shaver, in a street scene.

Zaneeta, the mayor’s daughter, played by Heather Nagangast, dances with her crush, Tommy, played by Michael Shaver, in a street scene.

Sidekick Marcellus (Josh Freeman) helps Harold Hill plot strategy.

Sidekick Marcellus (Josh Freeman) helps Harold Hill plot strategy.

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‘The Music Man’ is arriving in Zimmerman this weekend http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/20/the-music-man-is-arriving-in-zimmerman-this-weekend/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/20/the-music-man-is-arriving-in-zimmerman-this-weekend/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:26:04 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=782163 Parker Sturlaugson as Prof. Harold Hill puts on his marching outfit and goes into his sales pitch. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

Parker Sturlaugson as Prof. Harold Hill puts on his marching outfit and goes into his sales pitch. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

Parker Sturlaugson as Prof. Harold Hill and Olivia Hanson as Marion the librarian head the cast as Zimmerman High School presents “The Music Man” this weekend.

Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

“This is a delightful musical for the whole family,” said director Jon Palshewski about this longtime favorite.

Townspeople sing "You oughta give Iowa a try" in the number called "Iowa Stubborn."

Townspeople sing “You oughta give Iowa a try” in the number called “Iowa Stubborn.”

It’s the jaunty tale of a conniving salesman (Sturlaugson) who arrives in a small Iowa town by train — there’s a fun opening scene with actors simulating bumpy train travel — to make a quick buck by hoodwinking the locals into starting a band so he can sell them uniforms and instruments, only to be challenged, and smitten, by the local librarian/piano teacher (Hanson).

Among the many catchy tunes is “76 Trombones,” the first big number.

Mayor Shinn (xxxx) and wife Euralee (xxxx) on July 4 in River City.

Mayor Shinn (Nolan Cameron) and wife Eulalee (Alexa Mulyaert) on July 4 in River City.

Nolan Cameron and Alexa Mulyaert play Mayor Shinn and wife Eulalie. Heather Nagengast is their daughter Zaneet and Michael Shaver is her crush, Tommy.

Madelyn Muckenhirn is Marion’s mom, and Joey Kirk is kid brother Winthrop. Josh Freeman is Harold’s sidekick Marcellus Washburn, sidekick of Harold. Friends of Eulalie are played by Delaney Wilder, Deanna Schultz, Jessica Hodge, and Cassy Boucher.  The school board/quartet is played by Joey Briggs and faculty members Lance Dalbey, Jeff Downing, and Jon Palashewski.

Marion Paroo, who complicates things for Harold Hill, is played by Olivia Hanson.

Marion Paroo, who complicates things for Harold Hill, is played by Olivia Hanson.

Also appearing in ensembles are Lindsay Bennett, Emma Anderson, Hannah Husted, Linny Briggs, Lauren Anderson, Brandon Schnellmann, Sydney Hicks, Alexis Larson, Karissa Heyer, Hailee Peterson, Anna Lokhorst, Julia Petron, Andrea Ruether, Tyler Aderman, and Grace Guentzel.

Palashewski is assisted by Laura Berghuis and tech director Amy Cunningham.  Tech students include Seth Conklin, Alex Weber, Tia Miller, Karli Williams, Lee Muellenbach, Megan Lewis, Summer Spence-Decker, Taylor Johnson, Natalie Borg, Emily Van Wyhe, Ellie Palashewski, Abby Wisness, and Sophia Smith.

“The cast and crew are a good mix of experienced actors and tech people with a great influx of new people,” said Palshewski. “Practices have gone well and students have worked hard to produce an excellent show.”

A lively discussion on the train to River City.

A lively discussion on the train to River City.

Tickets are available at the door 40 minutes before each performance.  People are encouraged to arrive early as seating is limited.

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North Star offers a two-fer: 1960’s and 2014 casts for ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/19/north-star-theatre-offers-a-two-fer-1960s-and-2014-casts-for-the-best-christmas-pageant-ever/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/19/north-star-theatre-offers-a-two-fer-1960s-and-2014-casts-for-the-best-christmas-pageant-ever/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:13:20 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=782133 The green cast (1960s) Herdman siblings, cooking up trouble. From left, Ryan Czech, Cailin Conrad, Isaac Branjord, Tia Mitchell, Sheldon Musgjerd, Joey Musgjerd. (Photo by Melissa Kolyar)

The green cast (1960s) Herdman siblings, cooking up trouble. From left, Ryan Czech, Cailin Conrad, Isaac Branjord, Tia Mitchell, Sheldon Musgjerd, Joey Musgjerd. (Photo by Melissa Kolyar)

 

by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a comedy about a church play invaded by a brood of uproarious brats, will open Friday, presented by North Star Family Theatre.

In an interesting twist, it will be presented by two different casts in two different eras.

A group of children in the 1960's cast.

Children from the 1960’s cast — Katelyn Kolyar, Lauren Thiesen, Avery Schirmers, and Erin O’Neal. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“The green cast is set in the 1960s, with scenes in the ‘soda shop’ and 1960s costuming,” said Eileen Anderson, director. “The red cast is set in 2014, with scenes in Starbucks, modernized dialogue, costuming, and so on.”

The 1960s Bradleys, right, played by Jessi Goins and Jamie Cassidy, look dismayed when Grace learns she has to direct the play. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The 1960s Bradleys, right, played by Jessi Goins and Jamie Cassidy, look dismayed when Grace learns she has to direct the play. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Central characters are the nice Bradley family and the six incorrigible Herdman siblings.

Grace Bradley gets roped into directing the play and her reluctant hubby has to help. The green (1960’s) cast has Aleah Stenberg and Russ Branjord as the parents and Averi Schirmers and Eli Branjord as the kids. The red (2014) cast has Jessi Goins, Jamie Cassidy, Shelby Swenson and Keegan Goins.

The Herdmans, who normally don’t go to church, or anywhere else with polite society, decide to force their way in when they hear about free snacks.

Their ringleader is Imogene, played by Cailin Conrad (green) and Lizzie Inselmann (red). Other green cast Herdmans are Ryan Czech, Isaac Branjord, Joey Musgjerd, Sheldon Musgjerd and Elia Flynn. Other red cast siblings are Matthew Nelson, Branjord, Carter Kurth, Cochise Stokes and Tia Mitchell.

Not much goes right in rehearsals. In fact, they had to call in fire trucks once. Say what you want about the Herdman kids, but they are never dull.

The busybody “church ladies” keep  everything lively on the set, too, said Anderson.

“They are hilarious, and each cast tries to outdo the other with everything from costuming to line interpretation,” said the director, about Mrs Armstrong (Sandi McAllister and Leanne Musgjerd),  Mrs Slocum  (Cheryl Hathaway and  Cindy Inselman),  Mrs. Clausing (Vicki Nelson),  and Mrs. McCarthy (Cheryl Netka and Angie Cassidy).

“Most have children that are also in the show,” she added,” and are delighted to be sharing the stage with them. Truth be told, I think that they may be having more fun than their kids.”

 

The 2014 Bradleys are played by Aleah Stenberg and Russ Branjord. (Photo by Melissa Kolyar)

The 2014 Bradleys are played by Aleah Stenberg and Russ Branjord. (Photo by Melissa Kolyar)

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
(at Little Theatre, ERHS)

 

Lizzie Inselmann as Imogene, playing Mary in the pageant, softening considerably as she holds baby Jesus. (Photo by Melissa Kolyar)

Lizzie Inselmann as Imogene, playing Mary in the pageant, softening considerably as she holds baby Jesus. (Photo by Melissa Kolyar)

Friday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 22, 2 & 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 28, 2 & 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2 & 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 30, 2 & 6 p.m.

TICKETS 

Early bird prices are adult $14, senior $13, youth $12. Discounted family four-packs available. See nstartheatre.org.

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ERHS band, North Suburban Chorale play tributes for military at Vets Concert http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/14/erhs-band-north-suburban-chorale-play-tributes-at-vets-concert/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/14/erhs-band-north-suburban-chorale-play-tributes-at-vets-concert/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 07:31:53 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=781862 North Suburban Chorale sings "Battle Hymm of the Republic," accompanied by the Elk River band. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

North Suburban Chorale sings “Battle Hymm of the Republic,” accompanied by the Elk River band. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

 

There’s something special about performing music for veterans, especially if you have a personal connection, as many members of the Elk River High School band do.

“Oh, absolutely,” said Tabetha VanDeventer. “I love the fact that we can honor citizens of our nation who’ve gone out there and risked their lives for us.”

Tabetha VanDeventer

Tabetha VanDeventer solo’s

VanDeventer, a senior, played flute in the concert band, jazz band and Drum and Fife corps, and sang a solo as well, in the annual Veterans Concert on Tuesday night at Zabee Theatre. Her grandfather, a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam war, was one of dozens of veterans with local connections showcased on the big screen during the 90-minute concert.

Josh Gearou solo's.

Josh Gearou solo’s.

“Honoring All Who Served,” was the theme. At least two dozen of those men and women were in the crowd, judging from the number who stood up to be recognized during the “Armed Forces Salute” medley of branch anthems by the Wind Symphony. The veterans, many donning caps, shirts or jackets signifying their service, and their families seem to enjoy and appreciate the tributes.

A vet in the patriotic crowd

A vet in the patriotic crowd

The music includes standards presented each year by director John Rosner’s band groups, including “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (by Drum and Fife corps, marching through the audience), John Philip Sousa marches, audience participation numbers (“Star Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,”) and a soulful, 10-minute rendition of “America, the Beautiful,” with solos by both VanDeventer (vocal) and Josh Gearou (clarinet).

North Suburban Chorale, a regular special guest attraction, provided rich vocal music with “Shenandoah” and “Battle Hymm of the Republic.”

 

ERHS student Keith Sullivan read his essay about how vital servicemen and women are to our lives, and the importance of showing appreciation and support to veterans.

 

As John Rosner directed the ERHS band, tributes to veterans with local connections were shown on the big screen.

As John Rosner directed the ERHS band, tributes to veterans with local connections were shown on the big screen.

The Drum and Fife corps  delivers a peppy "Yankee Doodle Dandy"

The Drum and Fife corps delivers a peppy “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

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ERHS actor Ziegler embraces key title role in ‘Charlie’s Aunt’ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/07/erhs-actor-ziegler-embraces-key-title-role-in-charlies-aunt/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/07/erhs-actor-ziegler-embraces-key-title-role-in-charlies-aunt/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 06:28:26 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=781681 Grayson Ziegler as Lord Fancourt Babberly, pretending to be his friend Charlie's "aunt," slips briefly into masculine flirt mode alongside charming Ela, played by Jaide Freese. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Grayson Ziegler as Lord Fancourt Babberly, pretending to be his friend Charlie’s “aunt,” slips briefly into masculine flirt mode alongside charming Ela, played by Jaide Freese. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

It’s one thing for a male actor to put on a dress and play a female. It’s another thing for the actor to play a guy who’s pretending to be a female.

Gayson Ziegler is handling such a role in hilarious fashion in Elk River’s fall play, “Charlie’s Aunt,” which will close its two-week run Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m., at Zabee Theatre.

“It was the kind of role I wanted because it’s so different,” said Ziegler, a junior appearing in his fifth play. “I thought it would be an interesting challenge, rather than a typical guy role.”

Before going drag, Ziegler's Fancourt character has a scene with Jack (James Bound).

Before going drag, Ziegler’s Fancourt character has a scene with Jack (James Bound).

In this comedy set in prim-and-proper 1890’s London, Ziegler plays Lord Fancourt Babberly, whose two buddies, Charlie (Andrew Elmquist) and Jack (James Bound), need him to pretend he’s Charlie’s aunt, in order to chaperone them as they court their sweethearts, Amy (Nikki Haugland) and Kitty (Erin Stein), respectively.

Fancourt gets more than he bargained for, as Jack’s dad, Sir Francis (Nick Walz), and Amy’s uncle, Stephen (Andy Bronshteyn), both are smitten enough to propose marriage. Then the real aunt, Donna Lucia d’Alvadorz (Olivia Fromme), shows up, unrecognized, and plays along with the ruse until the time is right for her to call his bluff.

Michelle Brooks, the director, said many talented actors were considered for this pivotal role, and Ziegler was not originally on that list, but during his second audition, they needed him to read the “aunt” role in a scene where they were assessing other actors, and something clicked.

“I looked at (assistant) Christine Houchins and she was looking at me.  We were on the same page,” said Brooks. “My vision changed in that moment. These types of moments are what I love about directing.”

Ziegler wears a dress, heels, and a gray wig, and affects a falsetto voice. He’s going pretty much by observation; the only advice he mentioned was girls in the cast giving him tips about walking like a woman “which I was atrociously bad at.”

“They didn’t want character to be too good at playing a woman,” he said, “because the man has never ‘acted’ before, and you’d expect a young guy trying to play a woman to not be real good at it. I guess they thought I pulled that off.”

Glitches occurring on stage — such as him slipping out of falsetto into his regular voice, and his back zipper breaking, and his wig falling off — have actually added to the audience laughter.

“People have found that really funny,” he said, “because those things could have happened, and fit in to the reality of it.”

Ziegler has previously played the minstrel storyteller/narrator in “Once Upon a Mattress;” Trapper John in “M*A*S*H;* a Wickersham brother in “Seussical the Musical;” and both a Jewish prisoner and an SS officer in “Anne Frank and Me.”

“Grayson is such a strong and talented actor and fabulous to direct. He takes direction extremely well,” said Brooks.

So he’s certainly stretching his range in “Charlie’s Aunt,” although his character is not above lapsing into masculine flirt mode with the young ladies, who take a liking to “Charlie’s aunt,” snuggle up to her and confide in her.

“While being female, he sort of takes advantage of that, but in a way that’s appropriate,” said Ziegler.

And by the way, he doesn’t look half bad as a female. He’s been momentarily mistaken for a girl at times when entering a room. “They’re like, ‘It’s a girl! Oh, nope, it’s not.”

Asked how the women in his family have reacted, Ziegler said his mom was, ironically, in London last weekend, and hadn’t seen it yet, but his grandmother saw it twice “and thought it was really funny.”

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Spectrum’s southern murder comedy ‘Clockwork’ on stage this weekend http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/07/spectrums-southern-murder-comedy-clockwork-on-stage-this-weekend/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/11/07/spectrums-southern-murder-comedy-clockwork-on-stage-this-weekend/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 06:17:26 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=781675 Nola (Megan Hassing), Diane (Eastan Lieberg), Harold (Marcus Grund), Frieda (Kyla Galligher), and Leon (Ike Brand) discuss the death of the Dunwoody family patriarch. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

Nola (Megan Hassing), Diane (Eastan Lieberg), Harold (Marcus Grund), Frieda (Kyla Galligher), and Leon (Ike Brand) discuss the death of the Dunwoody family patriarch. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

If you enjoy a mystery, and like to laugh, then Spectrum High School recommends you come and watch the mayhem that ensues during its presentation of “Clockwork,” a comedic murder mystery by Pat Cook, in three showings this weekend.

Directed by Kathy Stelton, it’s the tale of an eccentric southern family in which each member wants the family fortune, but when they start being killed off one by one, they need to discover who is responsible before they all wind up “taking a dirt nap,” as one of the characters puts it.

Monroe Dunwoody (Nathan Roberts) settles in for a nap before discovering the couch is already occupied by Deputy Constable Crow (Graydon Snyder).

Monroe Dunwoody (Nathan Roberts) settles in for a nap before discovering the couch is already occupied by Deputy Constable Crow (Graydon Snyder).

“Clockwork is a fun production full of murder, mystery, and mayhem,” said Stelton.

Performances will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 9, at 2:30 p.m., at the Spectrum gymnasium stage.

Jackson Dunwoody (Jacob Aune) attempts to read the package he's just received, while his Aunt Diane (Eastan Lieberg) stands by, prepared to help.

Jackson Dunwoody (Jacob Aune) attempts to read the package he’s just received, while his Aunt Diane (Eastan Lieberg) stands by, prepared to help.

“All of the kids have worked very hard over the past few weeks and are excited to be performing for the community this weekend,” said Stelton. “This show has challenged our newer actors as they have become accustomed to rehearsing and performing, as well as the veterans as they developed the idiosyncrasies of their characters.”

Victor Diekman plays Zach Dunwood, 60, feisty family patriarch. Ike brand is Leon, 40, his scheming nephew. Kyle Galligher is Frieda, Zach’s flighty wife. Marcus Grund is Harold, his sarcastic son. Eastan Lieberg is Diane, Harold’s overly curious wife.

Nathan Roberts is Monroe, 55, Zach’s brother, suffering from spells of dementia, and D’Lora Roberts is Lila Mae, his long-suffering (and vocal) spouse. Megan Hassing is Nola, Zach’s conniving sister. Playing Leon and Frieda’s teen offspring are Jacob Aune as dull-witted Jackson and Siri Monroy as pompous Betty Jean. Usa Stiller is Jenny Sue, their equally snobby cousin.

Also in the fray are Marie Miller as Eloise, Zach’s disgusted nurse; Cassandra Duthler as Gladys, down-to-business household cook; Davey Jackson as Myrna, fluttery next-door neighbor; Grayden Snydere as Crow, a lazy cop; and Carter Hansen as McMurray, country doctor.

 

Zach Dunwoody (Victor Diekman) takes some of his frustration out on neighbor Myrna (Davey Jackson) and Nola (Megan Hassing).

Zach Dunwoody (Victor Diekman) takes some of his frustration out on neighbor Myrna (Davey Jackson) and Nola (Megan Hassing).

Doctor McMurry (Carter Hansen) consoles Nola Marcus (Megan Hassing) and Harold Dunwoody (Marcus Grund) on the death of family patriarch, Zach Dunwoody.

Doctor McMurry (Carter Hansen) consoles Nola Marcus (Megan Hassing) and Harold Dunwoody (Marcus Grund) on the death of family patriarch, Zach Dunwoody.

Lila Mae Dunwoody (D'Lorah Roberts) attempts to garner sympathy, and maybe a dollar or two, from her brother-in-law, Zach Dunwoody (Victor Diekman.)

Lila Mae Dunwoody (D’Lorah Roberts) attempts to garner sympathy, and maybe a dollar or two, from her brother-in-law, Zach Dunwoody (Victor Diekman.)

 

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ERHS band musician honors announced http://erstarnews.com/2014/10/30/erhs-band-musician-honors-announced/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/10/30/erhs-band-musician-honors-announced/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:36:58 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=778391 The ERHS Wind Symphony flute section at the Halloween Concert on Monday included (from left) Ivana Arrington, Izzy Hinseth, Katie VanCamp and Emily Sederstrom. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

The ERHS Wind Symphony flute section at the Halloween Concert on Monday included (from left) Ivana Arrington, Izzy Hinseth, Katie VanCamp and Emily Sederstrom. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

Elk River High School band director John Rosner announced at the Halloween Concert on Monday evening that the following students have earned honors during the first two months of school.

All-Northwest Suburban Conference —Katie Gingras (trombone), Sam Gearou (trombone), Jake Griffiths (trombone), Rohan Willoughby (tuba), Jakie Studniski (oboe), Alexis MacArthur (bassoon), Zach Griffiths (percussion), Emily Sederstrom (flute), Katie Van Camp (flute), Josh Gearou (alto sax)

St. Olaf honor band — Sederstrom, Elizabeth Stevens (bass clarinet)

St. Thomas honor band — Ivana Arrington (piccolo), Sederstrom, Van Camp, Jesse McCormick (alto sax), Carter Strunk (trumpet), Sydney Heinen (trumpet), Griffiths, Owen Kallunki (tuba), MacArthur

Winona honor band — Arrington, Van Camp, Studniski, MacArthur

UM-Duluth honor band — Sederstrom, Van Camp, Strunk, Griffiths, Studniski, MacArthur, Stevens

MN Music Educators Assn. All-state — Maddy Sorenson (clarinet)

Musician of the month — Joel Alfbveby (bari sax), Kory Esterberg (percussion)

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ERHS and NW Suburban bands present ‘One Wicked Halloween’ http://erstarnews.com/2014/10/30/erhs-and-nw-suburban-bands-present-one-wicked-halloween/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/10/30/erhs-and-nw-suburban-bands-present-one-wicked-halloween/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:22:49 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=778379 Let's hear it for the Wind Symphony, says director John Rosner, dressed as Zorro. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

Let’s hear it for the Wind Symphony, says director John Rosner, dressed as Zorro. (Photos by Bruce Strand)

 

The Elk River High School band kicked off its concert season with their always popular annual Halloween Concert, again in conjunction with the adult North Suburban Concert Band, on Monday evening, with John Rosner directing both, at Zabee Theatre.

"Flapper" Margorie Simon on percussion for the North Suburban Band.

“Flapper” Margorie Simon on percussion for the North Suburban Band.

We didn't catch her name, but this young lady won a costume prize as Malificent.

We didn’t catch her name, but this young lady won a costume prize as Malificent.

“One Wicked Halloween” started with ERHS Wind Symphony entertaining with “Who’s That Masked Man,” “Palladio,” “The Headless Horseman” and “Frozen.”

The NSCB kept the energy going with “Imperial March,” “Incantation,” “Russian Sailor’s Dance” and “Procession of the Sorcerers.”

Teaming up as Rebel Mass Band, they closed with “Rats, Bats and Spiders,” and “Star Wars Medley.”

The band boosters then hosted a costume contest which drew about 40 entrants in three age groups. Movie themes such as “Frozen” (there were three little Elsa’s), “Star Wars,” “Aladdin,” and “Malifecent” were popular customs choices for the kids.

The ERHS bands have another big event coming up soon, the annual Veterans Concert on Nov. 11.

The North Suburban Concert Band got into the Halloween spirit.

The North Suburban Concert Band got into the Halloween spirit.

Maddie Sorenson of the Wind Symphany came as Tigger.

Maddie Sorenson of the Wind Symphany came as Tigger. She took the podium warmed up the band before the concert.

Kael Smith (Aladdin) was announced as a costume contest winner by Keith Stevens of band boosters.

Kael Smith (Aladdin) was announced as a costume contest winner by Keith Stevens of band boosters.

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Laughs from London as ERHS comedy “Charley’s Aunt” starts run Thursday http://erstarnews.com/2014/10/28/laughs-from-london-as-erhs-comedy-charleys-aunt-starts-run-thursday/ http://erstarnews.com/2014/10/28/laughs-from-london-as-erhs-comedy-charleys-aunt-starts-run-thursday/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 04:20:26 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=778303 Fancourt (left), pretending to be the aunt, played by Grayson Ziegler, gets a surprise proposal from Sir Francis, played by Nick Walz. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Fancourt (left), pretending to be the aunt chaperoning the boys, played by Grayson Ziegler, gets a surprise proposal from Sir Francis, played by Nick Walz. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

“Charley’s Aunt,” a three-act comedy that was originally a huge hit in London in 1892, will be brought to the Zabee Theatre stage the next two weekends by the Elk River High School players.

Directed by Michelle Brooks, “Charley’s Aunt” will be presented Thursday, 7 p.m.. and Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m., and the following Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m.

Andy Bronshteyn as snooty uncle xxxx.

Andy Bronshteyn as snooty uncle Stephen.

“It’s a really funny show. We’re always bursting out laughing and have to stop,” said Erin Stein, who plays Kitty Verdun, one of two girlfriends of young gentlemen who find themselves in a situation that requires some deception.

The ladies in the cast, clockwise from left: Erin Stein, Olivia Fromme, xxx, xxxx. (Photo by Michelle Brooks)

The ladies in the cast, clockwise from left: Erin Stein (Kitty), Olivia Fromme (Donna), Nikki Hauglund (Amy) and Jaide Freese (Ela). (Photo by Michelle Brooks)

“The boys need a supervisor, for them to be with the girls,” said James Bound, who plays Kitty’s boyfriend Jack Chesney.

“A chaperone,” Stein said.

Andrew Elmquist and Nikki Haugland play the other young couple, Charley Wykeham and Amy Spettigue, in the story set at Oxford.

The boys want Charley’s aunt, a wealthy widow from Brazil, to fill this role, but she doesn’t show up.

“So the boys have a friend dress up like the aunt,” Bound explains. “Later on, the real aunt shows up, and it gets crazy.”

xxxxxxx

Andrew Bound (middle) as Jack discusses the situation with Charley (left, Andrew Elmquist) while butler Brasset (Liam Barnes) listens in.

Grayson Ziegler is Lord Fancourt Babberly, the buddy who’s drafted to pretend he’s the aunt, and alternately struggles with and enjoys acting out the ruse.

“The boys have to make a lot of ‘side’ comments to the ‘aunt’ so the girls won’t know,” Stein said.

Olivia Fromm plays the aunt, Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez, who storms in late in the story, except that the boys don’t realize who she is because they haven’t previously met her, complicating things further.

Ziegler’s Babberly plays his role well enough that two older gents become smitten with him — Stephen Spettig, an indignant uncle of one of the young ladies, played by Andy Bronshteyn; and Col. Sir Francis Chesney, Jack’s dad, played by Nick Walz.

Liam Barnes plays Brasset, a sarcastic butler, and Jaide Freese plays Ela Delahay, an orphaned friend of Donna’s.

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