Minneapolis MC Toki Wright, who led the hip-hop studies program at McNally Smith College of Music until its abrupt closing in December, has landed a post at one of the country's top music schools. Wright will become assistant chair of Berklee College of Music's Professional Music Department, starting his new job in Boston July 15. "Windows open when doors close," Wright posted on Facebook. "Honored to have a leadership role at an institution that has graduated Quincy Jones, Lalah Hathaway, Steven Tyler, Esperanza Spalding, John Mayer and many more." A fixture in the local scene, he also hosts a weekly program on 89.3 the Current, "Wright About Now." Literally dozens of his Twin Cities friends and colleagues plan to perform at a going-away party June 28 at Icehouse, but Wright says: "I want my Minnesota family to know this is an expansion of work. My wife and I will now be simultaneously building platforms on the East Coast and MN. Onward and upward."JENNA ROSS
Things didn't go so well the last time Bob Dylan's music fueled a Broadway show — "The Times They Are a-Changin' " only ran for a month in 2006. No Broadway plans have been announced but "Girl From the North Country," a huge hit on London's West End, has been announced for its U.S. premiere in September at the Public Theater in New York. Like Abba's "Mamma Mia," the musical uses Dylan songs such as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Forever Young" to weave an atmospheric tale set in "Dylan's home town, Duluth" (Hibbing residents, direct your letters to the Public). The script by "The Weir" playwright Conor McPherson assembles a disparate group of characters for a drab, boardinghouse Thanksgiving in 1934.
Out of his 'Element'
Prince's film career didn't exactly soar after "Purple Rain," but his prospects might have changed if he had accepted the role of Ruby Rhod in 1997's "The Fifth Element." Instead the part went to Chris Tucker, the "Rush Hour" star said during his stand-up performance last weekend at Treasure Island Casino. "I didn't like the clothes," Prince later told Tucker by way of explanation. The comic also shared anecdotes about Prince's rivalry with Tucker's friend Michael Jackson, who invited him once to secretly watch one of Prince's Las Vegas shows. After one concert, he said he tried to ask Prince about the tension between the two. Prince's response? "He called security on me," Tucker said. Twin Cities Prince fans have many options this weekend to honor what would have been his 60th birthday, including the Minnesota Twins' "Prince Night" at Target Field and the Jake Rudh-led "Let's Go Crazy" dance party at First Avenue, both on Friday night.
Scaffolding has gone up underneath the Guthrie Theater's Endless Bridge, but it won't affect high school graduates and romantic couples planning to use the scenic spot for photo ops. The Jean Nouvel-designed 178-foot-long cantilever, which juts across W. River Parkway toward the Mississippi River, is undergoing maintenance work. Some condensation was discovered under the bridge that needs mitigation and rusty metal panels will be cleaned or replaced. The work is to be completed by July 1, just in time for fireworks.
Local shows at the Dowling
The Guthrie will showcase four works by Twin Cities artists in its Dowling Studio next season. Things kick off in October with Tira Palmquist's "Two Degrees," about a climate scientist in the nation's capital, staged by Prime Productions, the company founded to give theatrical voice to women over 50. November brings "Hot Funky Butt Jazz!" from Interact, a musical about the birth of jazz. Next spring, Full Circle Theater will stage "Caught," an Obie Award-winning play by Christopher Chen while writer/performer Patrick Scully will present his Walt Whitman show "Leaves of Grass — Illuminated" in July 2019. R.P.
Jam gets Sirius
Jimmy Jam can talk. For hours. On anything from the NBA to Janet Jackson to racism at the Grammys to his former band the Time. Now the world can hear the Minneapolis-reared producer talk on "The Jimmy Jam Show," a monthly program on SiriusXM's Volume Channel 106. It premiered Thursday with guests Questlove and Terry Lewis. JON BREAM
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