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Two Twin Cities theater artists win national fellowships

Twin Cities actor, director, teacher and theater founder Luverne Seifert has won a $25,000 distinguished fellowship from the Bethesda, Maryland-based William and Eva Fox Foundation. Meanwhile theater artist Taous Claire Khazem has won a $15,000 fellowship for exceptional merit.

These two are part of a national cohort of six artists supported by the foundation, which underwrites training and career development for talented performers.

The support will enable Seifert and Khazem to deepen their knowledge of their art form and to work on projects.

Seifert (left) recently finished a run playing a nice gangster in Dark and Stormy’s production of “The Norwegians.” In the past 25 years, he’s acted at a myriad of theaters nationally and in the Twin Cities, including at the Children’s Theatre, where last fall he appeared in the premiere of Naomi Iizuka’s “The Last Firefly,” and at Ten Thousand Things, where he’s had a decades-long association.

He will travel to France and Switzerland to study technique with two master clowns for use in a piece about workers stuck in a small town.

Khazem (right) acted last summer in "Bars and Measures" at the Jungle Theater. In addition to her extensive work in the Twin Cities, she has performed and taught in Algeria. She is currently assistant director to Rachel Chavkin at the Guthrie Theater for “Royal Family.”

Under the aegis of Mixed Blood Theatre, which is located on the West Bank in Minneapolis, she intends to work with the Somali community on an inter-generational folktale project.

Run to the hills! Iron Maiden finally returning to Minnesota June 16

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson in concert last year in Chile. / Courtesy

Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson in concert last year in Chile. / Courtesy

At least one British rock band that’s long-overdue in Minnesota will finally play here in 2017. Enduring metal kingpins Iron Maiden have confirmed a June 16 date at Xcel Energy Center as part of a 25-city North American tour, their first Twin Cities date in 17 years.

Tickets go on sale Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. for $37-$97 via Ticketmaster and the arena box office. Holy-creepy Swedish band Ghost -- last year’s Grammy Award winner for best metal performance -- will open the show.

Iron Maiden returned to the road last year – or rather, to Ed Force One, the jet that singer Bruce Dickinson flies from town to town – in support of their well-received double album, “The Book of Souls.” Their tour’s second go-round will predictably include an arsenal of fiery, Mayan-themed stage theatrics, including appearances by the band’s mummified mascot Eddie.

Unlike his fellow Brits in Radiohead -- whose tour announcement Tuesday ignored Minnesota for going on 19 years -- bassist/bandleader Steve Harris seemed to recognize the pent-up anticipation for the show locally. He said in a press release:

“We are really looking forward to returning to North America for a full tour. We had always planned to go back there and to the UK as last year, due to the global nature of the tour and the period it took, we just didn’t have time to cover them properly and we do still like to get to fans in as many places as possible! So this year we’re able to reach many more cities in America, including a return to places Maiden haven’t played for many, many years like Lincoln Nebraska, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City and Oakland California.”

The last time Maiden performed in town was way back in the year 2000 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, soon after Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith rejoined the band. They have enjoyed quite a resurgence in the 15 years since, but the nearest they have come to us was a headlining slot at Rock Fest in Cadott in 2012.

Here's a video highlighting last year's tour.

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