This weekend features a 50-mile bike ride through Central Minnesota, as well as some great music hitting the stage at the College of Saint Benedict and at Munsinger Clemens Gardens. Also a new art exhibition starts this weekend, and an award winning play will take the stage at Pioneer Place.
The Curtain Call Community Theater presents Avenue Q at the Pioneer Place Theater. This show features a majority of the characters as puppets, but don't be fooled. This isn't a children's show, it is recommended for ages 17+. This show follows college graduate Princeton who just moved to Avenue Q in New York. Together with his new found friends, Princeton struggles to find a job, dates, and the purpose of life.
Avenue Q won three Tony Awards in 2004 for Best Musical, Best Book of Musical, and Best Original Score.
Tickets for this show are $22 for adults, $19 for students/seniors, and $25 for VIP table seating. Avenue Q hits the stage tonight, and will run each weekend until July 25th.
Sunset Stages at St. Ben's presents Robert Robinson who is referred to as "God's Canary". He will be performing at the Darnall Amphitheater tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. Robinson has performed with Aretha Franklin, Andrae Crouch, Kenny Loggins, the Sounds of Blackness, Bobby McFerrin, Barry Manilow, and Jermaine Jackson among others. He is also a two-time Minnesota Music Award Winner for Best Gospel Artist, and a three-time Minnesota Black Musicians Award winner for Best Gospel Group. He also happened to open for Prince's Birthday Bash. Now you can catch this award winning vocalist live.
There is one other show remaining in the Sunset Stages series. Deuces Wild will be performing on Thursday, July 16th.
The Music in the Gardens series continues this Sunday with the Twin Cities Trio. This is a woodwind trio featuring oboist Karen Tonneson, clarinetist Beth Huttlin, and bassoonist Maia Hamann. The group performs a mix of classical and popular music. It includes Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as well as new pop songs and video game music. The concert will be held near the gazebo in Munsinger Garden. The Botanical Society will also be selling Root Beer Floats.
The Music in the Gardens series continues through out the summer including performances by Laura Cavianni, Dennis Warner, and Monday Night Jazz. The Memorial Release of the Butterflies will be held later this month on July 26th.
The 35th Annual Tour of Saints will take off from the College of Saint Benedict on Sunday in St. Joseph. Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. and run until 8:30 a.m. The course takes you through Central Minnesota's scenic byways, and along the Lake Wobegon Trail with 18-mile, 35-mile, and 50-milecourse options. Click on the course you would like to ride to see the map. Food and drinks will be served at the rest stops in Cold Spring, Collegeville Orchards, and Avon. The ride ends back at the College of Saint Benedict with watermelon and lemonade. There is still time to register for this bike ride.
The Great River Arts Juried Exhibitionis now on display in the main gallery, and will run until August 29th. 32 artist are displaying their work during the exhibition. The jurors of the show are RC McCoy and Mary C Bruno who focused on bringing in the best and most unique use of material and design elements for this show. This exhibition features a variety of media including photography, painting, fiber arts, mosaics, and many more. Many of the 32 artists have never shown their work before at Great River Arts Center, and for some it is their first time showing their work.
An opening reception will be held next Thursday, July 16th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.