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Kristin Tillotson

Reporter | Features
phone: 612-673-7046
A Strib journalist for nearly 20 years, Kristin Tillotson now writes mostly for features on a broad range of topics, and sometimes for news.
Recent content from Kristin Tillotson
Rare Hawaiian monk seals make home at Minn. Zoo

Rare Hawaiian monk seals make home at Minn. Zoo

It is the only place that the public can view the endangered species outside of the Hawaiian Islands.
Local Michael Jackson tribute dancers won't stop till they get enough

Local Michael Jackson tribute dancers won't stop till they get enough

The St. Paul duo behind a Michael Jackson tribute show won’t stop till they get enough.
Azar Nafisi continues love affair with American lit

Azar Nafisi continues love affair with American lit

Azar Nafisi, author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran" and a guest at Talking Volumes on Nov. 5, views fiction as “the moral guardian of the American dream.”
Bestselling authors of young-adult fiction team up on fantasy series

Bestselling authors of young-adult fiction team up on fantasy series

Popular YA authors Cassandra Clare and Holly Black have teamed up to launch a five-book fantasy series about a boy reluctant to use his superpowers.
'The Language Archive' at Park Square: When words fail, drama follows

'The Language Archive' at Park Square: When words fail, drama follows

At Park Square, “The Language Archive” explores communication troubles between lovers.
Mpls. playwrights thrive through Mellon Foundation

Mpls. playwrights thrive through Mellon Foundation

Residency grants have allowed two local women the luxury of calling one theater home for three years.
Minn.-made series 'Theater People' puts big drama on small screen

Minn.-made series 'Theater People' puts big drama on small screen

The Minnesota-made online series “Theater People” deftly spoofs the professional and personal lives of stage actors. This show just might have legs.
At Como and Minnesota zoos, tiny critters are big draws

At Como and Minnesota zoos, tiny critters are big draws

Nothing gets more faces pressed to glass than the irresistible pull of the youngest animals. “We could have a brand-new big animal and the babies will still get more visitor interaction and online photos,” one Minnesota Zoo keeper says.
Museums are literally mind-expanding, researchers say

Museums are literally mind-expanding, researchers say

Museum visits not only influence what we learn, but how we learn.
May Day, Cinco de Mayo or Festival of Nations: Which fest is best?

May Day, Cinco de Mayo or Festival of Nations: Which fest is best?

Festival season roars in this weekend with three biggies. Here’s how to decide which one is right for you.
SPCO names star violinist Kuusisto as newest artistic partner

SPCO names star violinist Kuusisto as newest artistic partner

The wildly creative Finnish violinist begins his tenure in September 2016.

Minnesota Film & TV Board under scrutiny after legislative auditor raises concerns

House leaders aim to eliminate film subsidies as a report questions their economic benefits.
Dude, where's my museum?

Dude, where's my museum?

Thanks to recent efforts to woo youth to Minnesota museums, the stereotype of the long-suffering teenager on a forced march, slouching past priceless sculptures and paintings, seems as antiquated as an Etruscan bust.
A day at the zoo-seum: Behind the scenes at 'Big Bugs'

A day at the zoo-seum: Behind the scenes at 'Big Bugs'

A behind-the-scenes peek at preparations for the Minnesota Zoo's “Big Bugs” reveals the stagecraft involved in a show-stopping exhibit.
Minn. documentary 'Miss Tibet' chronicles a beauty pageant for exiles

Minn. documentary 'Miss Tibet' chronicles a beauty pageant for exiles

A young Minneapolis woman represents a country she’s never been to in the documentary “Miss Tibet.”
Road trip-worthy museums

Road trip-worthy museums

Check out Greater Minnesota’s coolest history museums, from a beautifully preserved G.A.R. Hall to an award-winning exhibit on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
Meet the anti-diva behind Target designs

Meet the anti-diva behind Target designs

In charge of keeping apparel and home goods affordably stylish, Julie Guggemos puts the “Tar-zhay” in Target without leaving behind her down-home roots.

Next Minnesota Orchestra season features Beethoven, Sibelius

First full season following lockout is long on traditional repertory.
How a Mpls. show helped spark mid-1990s 'culture wars'

How a Mpls. show helped spark mid-1990s 'culture wars'

The brouhaha will be remembered at various events this week.
Choral opera 'The Radio Hour' a new kind of looking-glass

Choral opera 'The Radio Hour' a new kind of looking-glass

Composer Jake Heggie takes VocalEssence through a new kind of looking glass.
How a Mpls. show helped spark mid-1990s 'culture wars'

How a Mpls. show helped spark mid-1990s 'culture wars'

The brouhaha began over some paper towels. The towels were tinged with human blood, used in a live act by a radical HIV-positive artist in…

Park Square Theatre in St. Paul announces 2015-16 season

Lineup features plenty of variety and local talent.
George Takei shows wit with Minneapolis variety show

George Takei shows wit with Minneapolis variety show

In town for a two-night “Wits” gig, the social media star and “Star Trek” icon’s current passion is the Broadway musical he’s mounting this fall.
The 'Wits' of George Takei

The 'Wits' of George Takei

“Star Trek” and social media star George Takei is in town for “Wits.”
Schubert Club's 2015-16 season features Josh Bell, Bryn Terfel

Schubert Club's 2015-16 season features Josh Bell, Bryn Terfel

Highlights of 11 recitals and chamber concerts also include Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s new group, quartet-lab.
How two Minnesotans helped build 'Birdman'

How two Minnesotans helped build 'Birdman'

Two Minnesotans talk about their challenges in creating sets for the Oscar favorite.
SPCO finally gets a hall of its own

SPCO finally gets a hall of its own

The Ordway Concert Hall is not just a hand-in-glove artistic fit for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, but a psychological home, too.
Putting new pep in 'Pippin'

Putting new pep in 'Pippin'

Chet Walker created mostly all-new moves for the revival of the show first choreographed by his mentor, Bob Fosse.
Erdrich, LaDuke, Ensler unite in support of American Indian women

Erdrich, LaDuke, Ensler unite in support of American Indian women

Louise Erdrich, Winona LaDuke and Eve Ensler join to host a fundraiser in Minneapolis.
'Unsinkable Molly Brown' is a freewheeling delight

'Unsinkable Molly Brown' is a freewheeling delight

REVIEW: Ten Thousand Things' revival of its first musical, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” is a rambunctious winner.
'The Jingle Dress' sings a quiet Native song

'The Jingle Dress' sings a quiet Native song

REVIEW: A rural Ojibwe family moves to Minneapolis to investigate a death in “The Jingle Dress.”
Shen Yun: Politics behind the performance

Shen Yun: Politics behind the performance

Some criticize the Falun Gong-affiliated dance company for cultural misrepresentation, while others find it harmless.
Poppin' it old school: Shapeshift expresses hip-hop unity

Poppin' it old school: Shapeshift expresses hip-hop unity

The dance collective Shapeshift may be young, but it embodies the unifying spirit of the genre's 1970s roots.
'Love and Information': snapshots of modern communication

'Love and Information': snapshots of modern communication

“Love and Information” is a clever study on how we connect and collect scraps of knowledge, for better or worse, in 57 scenes.
Movie review: 'Mommy'

Movie review: 'Mommy'

Canadian drama bombards the audience with the agonies of raising a violently disturbed teen.
Movie review: 'Black Sea'

Movie review: 'Black Sea'

Jude Law delivers drama, action in underwater thriller.
Oscars, in short: Reviews of this year's short-film nominees

Oscars, in short: Reviews of this year's short-film nominees

REVIEW: The Oscar nominees for animated short films include a few standouts, but this year's live-action lineup is weak.
Film drama 'Mommy' delivers a heavy story

Film drama 'Mommy' delivers a heavy story

REVIEW: The Canadian drama “Mommy” bombards the audience with the agonies of raising a violently disturbed teen.
'Black Sea' combines suspense and depth

'Black Sea' combines suspense and depth

REVIEW: Too often, moviegoers must choose between character-driven drama and edge-of-your-seat action. “Black Sea” has both, with a gripping performance by Jude Law as their nexus.
Movie review: 'The Boy Next Door'

Movie review: 'The Boy Next Door'

Neighbors get nude and things turn nasty, but nobody cares in this J-Lo thriller.
Review: 'Cake'

Review: 'Cake'

Jennifer Aniston turns in the riskiest, most emotionally naked performance of her career.
'Leviathan' bears a Russian's whale-sized pile of woes

'Leviathan' bears a Russian's whale-sized pile of woes

REVIEW: Inspired in part by the trials of Job, Oscar contender “Leviathan” heaps a truckload of trouble on a small-town family man.
'The Boy Next Door' is a plodder of a thriller

'The Boy Next Door' is a plodder of a thriller

REVIEW: Neighbors get nude and things turn nasty, but nobody cares in this J-Lo thriller.
'Song of the Sea' sends young Irish siblings on magical adventures

'Song of the Sea' sends young Irish siblings on magical adventures

REVIEW: A quieter kind of kids movie, Oscar-nominated “Song of the Sea” casts a delicate spell.
Raw sugar: Jennifer Aniston is a revelation in 'Cake'

Raw sugar: Jennifer Aniston is a revelation in 'Cake'

REVIEW: Jennifer Aniston turns in the riskiest, most emotionally naked performance of her career in “Cake.” The anti-vanity leap she takes is big, brave and deserving of sustained admiration.
'I Love Lucy,' the musical, builds on a classic

'I Love Lucy,' the musical, builds on a classic

Lucille Ball and her sitcom can't be cloned. But a stage version brings back the laughs in “you are there” mode.
Emerging composers take center stage at Minnesota Orchestra

Emerging composers take center stage at Minnesota Orchestra

At a time when composers struggle to expand the musical appetite of audiences who expect Mozart and Beethoven, young composers are getting a chance to hear their work performed by the Minnesota Orchestra.
It's 'D-Day' as Omnifest opens at Science Museum of Minnesota

It's 'D-Day' as Omnifest opens at Science Museum of Minnesota

Opening Friday, the Science Museum’s giant-screen festival covers the globe and beyond.
It's Omnifest time at Science Museum of Minnesota

It's Omnifest time at Science Museum of Minnesota

Opening Fri., the giant-screen festival covers the globe and beyond.
SPCO's first notes christen new Ordway Concert Hall

SPCO's first notes christen new Ordway Concert Hall

The chamber orchestra tried out the nearly completed concert hall at the Ordway and gave it a thumbs up on looks and acoustics.
'2 Sugars, Room for Cream' creators brew up common ground

'2 Sugars, Room for Cream' creators brew up common ground

The percolatin' pals behind “2 Sugars, Room for Cream” filter kinship and meaning through a coffee connection.
Stud takes a long shot in 'The Gambler'

Stud takes a long shot in 'The Gambler'

REVIEW: This remake of the 1974 film starring James Caan bears little resemblance to the original, and wisely so.
Movie review: 'The Gambler'

Movie review: 'The Gambler'

Mark Wahlberg scores a meaty role in this stylish if disjointed tale.
Streetscapes: Bold vision for sacred space in Collegeville, Minn.

Streetscapes: Bold vision for sacred space in Collegeville, Minn.

St. John’s Abbey Church is a stunning achievement in contemporary architecture. A new book details how it came to be, 60 years ago.
Ben Stiller brings back his 'Museum' posse | ★★½

Ben Stiller brings back his 'Museum' posse | ★★½

REVIEW: On the third go-round for the “Night at the Museum” franchise, it’s getting harder to blow the dust off the come-to-life relics, charming though they may be.
'La Natividad' takes Christmas story to Minneapolis streets

'La Natividad' takes Christmas story to Minneapolis streets

A diverse Minneapolis neighborhood is the stage for “La Natividad,” a magical, movable feast of theater.
Twin Cities gallery tries to spark new generation of art lovers

Twin Cities gallery tries to spark new generation of art lovers

With a laid-back approach, Tricia Khutoretsky hopes her gallery, Public Functionary, can continue to bring in a wide range of people.

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra bounces back with balanced budget

Balanced budget, boost in attendance are good news after 2013 lockout.
'Christmas Story'' is charming onstage, too

'Christmas Story'' is charming onstage, too

The Ordway brings the TV-movie classic “A Christmas Story” to life with a little help from catchy tunes, dance routines and talented child performers.
Grandma, grandson find common ground in '4000 Miles'

Grandma, grandson find common ground in '4000 Miles'

As one character grapples with growing old, the other faces growing up in a tale of family bonding.
Patricia Kopatchinskaja brings bold ideas to SPCO

Patricia Kopatchinskaja brings bold ideas to SPCO

An electric performer, Patricia Kopatchinskaja brings a disarming frankness to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in her new role as artistic partner.
Offbeat 'Beaverdance' hits and misses

Offbeat 'Beaverdance' hits and misses

A socialist musical of the absurd suffers from too many beaver jokes.
Art found a fit at Roberts Shoe Store, but now Shoebox Gallery must also close

Art found a fit at Roberts Shoe Store, but now Shoebox Gallery must also close

Shoebox Gallery, which occupied a window of the footwear shop, bids its rough-and-tumble corner farewell with a final exhibit.
Brave New Workshop twerks up some holiday cheer

Brave New Workshop twerks up some holiday cheer

REVIEW: Brave New Workshop's shtick may be well-worn, but infused with new topical humor, it's a crowd-pleaser.
Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst partners with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Swedish clarinetist Martin Fröst partners with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Martin Fröst is known for pushing traditional boundaries.
Gyllenhaal carries offbeat thriller 'Nightcrawler'

Gyllenhaal carries offbeat thriller 'Nightcrawler'

REVIEW: Jake Gyllenhaal brings a captivating ickiness as a crime-chasing freelance videographer, making “Nightcrawler” one of the year’s most satisfying and original thrillers.
Multimedia artist Ryoji Ikeda brings 'superposition' to Walker

Multimedia artist Ryoji Ikeda brings 'superposition' to Walker

Inspired by quantum mechanics, the Japanese multimedia artist limns the relentless buildup of big-data information layers in “superposition.”
'Birdman' soars beyond the usual backstage drama

'Birdman' soars beyond the usual backstage drama

REVIEW: Much more than just another showbiz satire, “Birdman” is original visual storytelling at its best. It inspires renewed faith in what we used to go to the movies for — original storytelling, enveloping escape, heart-stopping camera work and enough “wait, what’s going on here?” to keep us intrigued from beginning to end. | ★★★★ out of 4 stars
Actor Norton calls 'Birdman' a new style of storytelling

Actor Norton calls 'Birdman' a new style of storytelling

Edward Norton flew right into his role as cocky foil to Michael Keaton’s man on a mission in “Birdman.”
War-weary WWII soldiers are no angels in 'Fury'

War-weary WWII soldiers are no angels in 'Fury'

REVIEW: While Brad Pitt's World War II film “Fury” occasionally shocks, it is ultimately not as moving as, say, “Saving Private Ryan.” But writer/director David Ayer has accomplished something arguably more noble.
Too many 'Men, Women & Children' have online issues

Too many 'Men, Women & Children' have online issues

REVIEW: There’s a whole lot of suburban wheel-spinning going on in “Men, Women & Children,” based on Chad Kultgen’s 2011 novel that no doubt seemed more shocking a mere three years ago than it does today.
Sudanese refugees weather culture shock in 'Good Lie'

Sudanese refugees weather culture shock in 'Good Lie'

REVIEW: “The Good Lie” is a well-told tale that illuminates the experiences of the 20,000 “lost boys” (and girls) of Sudan, with such grace, insight and humor, it can be forgiven a few simplifying liberties.
TCFF: The 'other film fest' matures

TCFF: The 'other film fest' matures

The Twin Cities Film Festival reels in audiences with big Hollywood movies, such as “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, but also promotes smaller projects and local tie-ins.
Disney gives new life to classic kids' tale 'Alexander'

Disney gives new life to classic kids' tale 'Alexander'

REVIEW: Disney has taken a 40-year-old classic kids’ tale and fashioned it into a modern family movie that, refreshingly, stars good old-fashioned humans instead of phantasmagorical animated creatures.
No contempt for courtroom drama 'The Judge'

No contempt for courtroom drama 'The Judge'

REVIEW: Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. push the courtroom drama a few notches above Grisham-style schlock in “The Judge.”
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