Danger in 'Detroit'
There's a lot of potentially dangerous stuff going on in the freewheeling play "Detroit" at the Jungle Theater — dangerous to both the actors and the scenery. An outdoor umbrella collapses, gashing the forehead of actor Tyson Forbes. A back-yard deck caves in, sending the leg of actor John Middleton through a floorboard. Fires are lit, patio furniture is smashed and an entire house undergoes serious calamity. How did director/set designer Joel Sass pull it off? "Part of the reason it looks so convincing is things are actually getting broken," he told I.W. "Our awesome crew has a night clinic after the show when they reassemble some of the stuff." As for those chairs that get smashed to smithereens, "we bought multiples so in the first scenes you are looking at stable furniture, and during the set-change blackout we replace it with breakaway pieces." The true miracles take place during the quick-as-a-wink set changes, accomplished in total darkness, which Sass says were thoroughly rehearsed. "It's an elaborate ballet between the cast and a crew of four all moving items onto bits of glow tape. I had to choreograph a traffic pattern with as few movements as possible."
Jason Davis is going from "On the Road" to Down the Road. The longtime Minnesota TV journalist will hang it up on May 30. KSTP, his home since 1976, will air a week of tributes starting Monday. "Jason won the first Emmy awarded in KSTP history in 1996," said Stanley Hubbard, chairman of Hubbard Broadcasting. "He has been a tremendous asset to KSTP and will be missed." Davis said he'll miss the exciting travel and fascinating people whom he's met. "I have been given the unique freedom to choose my own stories, travel where I will, and write and produce the story I want to tell," he told I.W. "I don't think any other person in the television industry has been given the freedom I have enjoyed at KSTP."
Minneapolis' Kat Perkins was eliminated from NBC's "The Voice" on Tuesday, falling just short of the season's three-singer finals. Her coach, Adam Levine, seemed to sense Kat was nearing her ninth life despite another commanding performance. "Whether or not [she moves on] is irrelevant to me and to Kat," he said on-air Monday, "because we know that we went out there and did something different and refreshing." Before her exit, the singer from Hey City Theater and the local hard-rock band Scarlet Haze told I.W. she plans to come home after the show and make an album rather than return to the nannying job that became part of her TV story line. "I love those kids, but I really missed being in the music industry," she said. She also seems like a shoo-in to join this summer's "The Voice Tour," which includes a July 17 gig at Mystic Lake Casino, but fans have to vote for her at NBCTheVoiceTour.com. Geez, does the voting ever stop for this show?
Where the girls aren't
KDWB's annual spring Star Party has no female performers. B.o.B. and Jason DeRulo are back at Star Party once again (second consecutive year for DeRulo), along with boy-band newbies Timeflies and Rixton. Ed Sheeran, the rising redheaded star known for the hits "Sing" and "The A Team," will headline the show Friday at the Myth in Maplewood. Past Star Parties have featured Ke$ha, Cher Lloyd and Kelly Clarkson, among others. I.W. guesses the only well-known woman onstage at the Myth might be KDWB's own mononym morning personality Falen, whom we now think of as Mrs. Sauce since she married KFAN sidekick Meat Sauce.
Twin Cities arts leader Catherine Jordan is being honored for championing culture. Jordan, who has served such organizations as the Bush Foundation, Intermedia Arts and Circus Juventas over the past several decades, is the only local recipient of the first national Artspace Artist Awards, which will be presented Monday at the Cowles Center for Dance in Minneapolis. The event features the dance and drum duo Buckets and Tap Shoes, singer Ashley DuBose from NBC's "The Voice" and New Orleans jazz trumpeter James Andrews.
Lights, camera, music
Denizens of Palmer's, the long-lived West Bank dive bar, got all-star treatment from Minneapolis photographer Vance Gellert. At Palmfest, the joint's official annual party, Gellert showed up with lights, camera and white backdrop and began snapping portraits of such regulars as musicians Spider John Koerner, Willie Murphy, Charlie "C.P." Lawson and John Beach, as well as various hangers on, with a cute baby and a perky, bug-eyed dog in the mix. Fifteen of the prints are hanging at Palmers through May 31, when they'll be auctioned off for a good cause — the West Bank School of Music.