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At the first concert in 11 years by the swinging, eclectic Twin Cities band the Dust Bunnies, co-lead singer Julie Reiten Setzer said she wanted to welcome a friend to the Fine Line stage Saturday. "He's sort of my husband," she said. Brian Setzer added some jazzy guitar to the 1990s band's "Mood Ring" and then sang "This Cat's on a Hot Tin Roof" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra (for which his wife sings backup). "Thank you, Julie's husband," said a beaming Jennifer Goforth, the group's other lead singer. "Well, that just made my life."
JON BREAMLooking good
Park Square Theatre had that fresh-carpet smell when I.W. cruised through a week ago for opening night of "The Last Seder." Artistic director Richard Cook noted that the comfy new seats we were sitting in, and the refurbished finishes (including acoustical wood and freshly painted walls), were part of the theater's $4.2 million capital campaign. Cook said that the $1.6 million needed for the brush-up already had been raised. Once it secures the next $1.6 million, Park Square will go to work building a new 145-seat thrust stage in the basement of the Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul. Patrons Jim and Cynthia Smart and actor Linda Kelsey are heading the capital campaign.
GRAYDON ROYCELips Inc.
As his band's visually maniacal stage show served up flashbacks of a whole other kind Sunday at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne reminisced about their early connections to the Twin Cities. He said 7th Street Entry was "one of the first places that would let us play." After citing the Replacements' and Hüsker Dü's influence, he added, "And for what it's worth, we had some really good times with Soul Asylum." (Fun tidbit: the Lips opened for SA in 1987.) As for the big kahuna, Coyne said, "I've actually met Prince, and the guy is pretty [expletive] weird." Had to be a compliment.
CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDERTouch 'em all, TK
Twins relief broadcaster Jack Morris stopped by the grand opening of Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in St. Louis Park last Friday to present the sports-loving country superstar with a personalized Twins jersey. The back said "Keith" and the number was 10 -- presumably because it's 2010. "I'm going to wear it to Yankee Stadium," smart aleck Keith joked to the former Twins pitcher. Standing nearby, K102 programmer Gregg Swedberg wondered how the Twins could give Keith the cherished number of World Series manager Tom Kelly. Said I.W.: "They're both TK."
JON BREAMClosing soon
Construction is on schedule at the Weisman Art Museum, which expects to open four new galleries and an experimental studio in October 2011. A hardhat tour of the new galleries last week showed spaces with great promise -- 20-foot ceilings, skylights that will have louvers and blackout shades to protect delicate art, and a floor-to-ceiling view of downtown from a new ceramics gallery. Bricks will cover the boxy new galleries on the building's east and south sides, and there will be a curvaceous new metal canopy over the studio facing Washington Avenue on the north. The museum on the University of Minnesota campus is open for two more weeks, but getting there by car is tricky. Its Washington Avenue access road is now closed while crews widen it. Follow those detour signs to the Weisman parking ramp, which is pretty much free-range turf.