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Posts about Television

'West Lake': Condo comedy being shot off Calhoun

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: May 30, 2014 - 2:07 PM

Esera Tuaolo, left, prepares to shoot a kidnapping scene in the Edgewater's parking garage with fellow actor Erik Stolhanske, sporting a duct-taped mug at right. Producer Kirk Hokanson is in background. Photo by Kristin Tillotson.

Ex-NFL defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo tossed a struggling, bound-and-gagged man over his shoulder and burst through the doorway of an underground parking garage. It looked just like a kidnapping, and it was — a scripted one, at least. Tuaolo and his “victim,” actor Erik Stolhanske, were shooting a scene for  the pilot of “West Lake,” which writer R.D. Zimmerman and director Rob Perez hope will get picked up as a half-hour online comedy series about the residents of a luxury condo complex on Lake Calhoun. Stolhanske plays Ian, an agoraphobe hiding out in the suburbs who is forcibly relocated to Uptown Minneapolis by his best friend, Tanner (played by Tuaolo). Much of the pilot will be shot at the gorgeously modern penthouse suite in the Edgewater building on the northeast shore of Calhoun, where Zimmerman, better known as historical-fiction author Robert Alexander (“The Kitchen Boy”), lives with architect Lars Peterssen, who designed the suite, the Edgewater's lobby and several other units. “We consider ourselves a sort of of vertical community here, and so are the characters on the show,” said Zimmerman, whose script was inspired in part by the cozy relationships he has with his neighbors. Perez, who moved to Minneapolis after working with and befriending hometown guy Josh Hartnett in “40 Days and 40 Nights,” said that the broadcast-quality pilot will be marketed for online streaming to websites like Hulu and Amazon. “Everyone’s looking for good original online content,” he said. “It’s the new frontier, like what HBO was 30 years ago.”  "West Lake" will be shooting through early next week at locations including Icehouse restaurant on Eat Street.

'American Idol' to hold auditions in Minneapolis in June

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: May 16, 2014 - 1:49 PM



Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest at a 2006 press conference in Minneapolis/ photo by JOEY MCLEISTER

Start your vocal exercises immediately. "American Idol" will kick off its audition process for season 14 in Minneapolis on June 18, roughly six months before the show returns to the air. It's the show's first visit back here since 2006 when more than 10,000 hopefuls showed up at Target Center.

Don't expect those kind of numbers this time around. The show is at an all-time low in ratings with an average of 12.3 million viewers. Fox president Kevin Reilly told reporters earlier this week that "Idol" will be more "streamlined" in 2015 with roughly 37 hours of programming compared to 50-plus in the past.

Keeping in mind that the hoopla has died down, the auditions will be held at the smaller Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

After the Minneapolis stop, the judges will travel to New Orleans, Long Island, Nashville and San Francisco over the course of nearly four months.

Here's the nitty gritty:

WHO: Men and women 15-28 years old as of June 18 who are eligible to work in the U.S.

WHERE: Mariucci Arena, 1901 4th St. SE, Minneapolis

HOW: Wristband will be distributed starting at 7 a.m. June 18. Contestants will not be allowed to camp out or line up before 6 a.m.

'Mad Men' star Jon Hamm coming for All-Star game

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: May 15, 2014 - 2:01 PM



Jon Hamm/photo by AP

Last summer, Minnesotans got "Mad Men" star Vincent Kartheiser on the Guthrie stage.This July, we'll get the show's headliner.

Jon Hamm, who is also featured in the new movie, "Million-Dollar Arm," will show off his fielding skills during the 2014 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on July 13 at Target Field.

Other newly released names: Andrew Zimmern, James Denton, Kevin Love, Adrian Peterson and Zach Parise.

This is the fourth time Hamm has participated in the game.

Tickets are available at AllStarGame.com, twinsbaseball.com and at 1-800-33TWINS.

Kat Perkins fails to make "The Voice's" final three

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: May 14, 2014 - 12:41 AM

The Wild weren’t the only Minnesota competitors to lose big despite a great effort Tuesday night.

Minneapolis-based singer Kat Perkins was eliminated from NBC’s “The Voice” after failing to earn another “instant save” vote, which would have earned her a spot among this season’s final three contestants.

As was the case in the prior two weeks, Perkins found herself competing for votes among the bottom three, two of whom were eliminated. She and Kristen Merlin lost to Christina Grimme, a younger and more pop-centric starlet who already had a strong following on Twitter and YouTube. Grimme joined Josh Kaufman and Jake Worthington, who had already been voted into the final three.

Perkins put another rocking twist on a not-so-rocking song, Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl,” for her final effort on the show. That’s after she sang the “Frozen” mega-hit “Let It Go” in Monday’s episode, a song inspired by the kids of the Edina-based Keller family, whom she nannied for prior to her “Voice” run.

Her coach, Adam Levine, seemed to know Kat was nearing her ninth live despite another commanding performance in his on-air comments Monday.

“This girl has fought her way through two elimination weeks and deserves to fight her way through the last elimination week,” the newly blonde-headed Levine said. “Now, whether or not that happens is irrelevant to me and to Kat, because we know that we went out there and did something different and refreshing, and we love it.”

A native of Scranton, N.D., Perkins came to "The Voice" with a decade of Minneapolis stage experience that ranged from a run in Hey City Theater's campy "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" to innumerable bar gigs in the metallic band Scarlet Haze. In our profile of Perkins two weeks ago, she admitted her heavier singing style and tattoo- and piercing-adorned look might be make it tougher for her to win as the competition neared the end.

“That was one of my big questions coming into this: ‘Can a rocker really win ‘The Voice’? ” she said then, pointing to another rocking Twin Cities-reared “Voice” contestant from the show’s second season, Jordis Unga. The only Minnesota competitor to make it into the show’s final three was soul man Nicholas David (aka Nick “The Feelin’” Mrozinski) in 2012.

Talking to local NBC affiliate KARE-11 after her loss, Perkins came off remarkably upbeat and grateful for the experience.

“What a ride,” she said. “I feel like I just got done skydiving.”

'Survivorman' star Les Stroud's next adventure: downtown Minneapolis

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider Updated: May 13, 2014 - 12:08 PM

He has endured weeks lost in the Kalahari Desert and the Arctic Tundra, but can “Survivorman" star Les Stroud survive one night at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis?

In what has to be the oddest booking at the downtown Warehouse District nightclub since the “John Waters Christmas” performance, the enduring star of the Discovery Channel series will appear there Aug. 1 as part of a “Survivorman Live” tour. The live appearance will reportedly include stories and footage from his TV show adventures as well as a musical performance. Anyone who watches the show knows ol’ Les plays a mean harmonica, in addition to his remarkable talent for eating grubs and warding off deadly snakes and doing all the other things it takes to survive many days in the wilderness legitimately all on his own -- unlike that melodramatic prettyboy Bear Grylls, who travels with a camera crew and probably a portable Jacuzzi tub.

The details of Stroud's live show are still a little vague, so we’re hoping it might involve some kind of self-inflicted survival adventure while he’s in Minneapolis. Here are five ideas for survival tests we came up with based around the club’s location:

1. Bring Phish in to recreate Mill City Night’s 2012 opening-night concert with Jane’s Addiction, when the venue was called the Brick and didn’t quite have its capacity issues worked out. Sure, a little overcrowding didn’t kill anyone when the band only plays 90 minutes, but how about a four-hour show?

2. Make him roam the Warehouse District over a weekend and survive on the area’s most abundant natural resource for his only nourishment: frat-boy vomit.

3. Send him without water or peanuts into Target Field, which should really be a vast, vacant wilderness in August if the Twins stay in last place.

4. Hook him up with Mark Mallman for another 78-hour Marathon concert. We have no doubt Stroud could stand the test. The question is: Could Mallman or anyone not named John Popper endure harmonica solos for that long?

5. Give him a Metro Transit schedule to go find his next meal, but tell him he can only board a bus or train that shows up on time.



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