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Star alert! Lea Thompson scheduled to visit TCFF gala

Lea Thompson returns to the Twin Cities to receive a Lifetime Achievement award. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

If you don’t remember Minnesota native Lea Thompson from growing up with her in Rochester, you certainly know her winsomely pretty performances in “Back to the Future,” “Caroline in the City” and “Dancing With the Stars.” Maybe you even saw her dancing on Broadway in “Cabaret.” (We’ll pass by “Jaws 3D.”)

Thompson will be returning home next month. And you can hang out with her personally. She’s heading to the Twin Cities Film Fest in St. Louis Park to receive the TCFF Lifetime Achievement Award, and to screen the Minnesota premiere of one of her finest films, Sept. 21 and 22. 

On the first evening TCFF will host a special screening of Thompson's critically acclaimed, much buzzed about but little seen 2011 triumph "The Trouble With the Truth." With a stratospheric 94 percent positive critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s widely considered a descendent of the art house masterpiece "My Dinner With Andre," presenting one of Thompson's deepest, and most lauded lead performances. The indie dramatic comedy centers on divorced couple Emily (Thompson) and Robert (John Shea) reunited to discuss their daughter's coming marriage. The screening marks the movie's Minnesota premiere. 

The next evening, she will be the guest of honor at the Twin Cities Film Fest Annual Gala at the St. Paul Athletic Club, a special fundraising event where she will receive the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The event is also where the official schedule of the 2016 Twin Cities Film Fest will be unveiled, spotlighting more than 100 films to be shown there Oct. 19-29. Limited tables, and standing room tickets, remain available for the Gala, including a special cocktail hour that Thompson will attend. Selfies!

The 2016 TCFF tickets will first go on sale for TCFF members one day after the gala, on Sept. 23. Limited memberships remain available online at twincitiesfilmfest.org

Lizzo to co-host VMAs pre-show Sunday ahead of her new MTV series

Lizzo performed for the last time with Grrrl Prty at Rock the Garden in June between stints in Los Angeles. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Lizzo performed for the last time with Grrrl Prty at Rock the Garden in June between stints in Los Angeles. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Twin Cities music lovers have another reason to watch Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards other than the chance to see the videos the network never actually shows anymore: Our very own Lizzo is playing a key role in the 7 p.m. red-carpet pre-show.

“So excited to announce that I’m hosting the @MTV #VMAs2016 with @DJKhaled and @CtheGod,” the “Good as Hell” rapper/singer tweeted out Wednesday, referring to hip-hop powerbroker and her new pal Khaled as well as Wendy Williams’ radio sidekick Charlamagne Tha God as her co-hosts. Apparently, she will be getting her Joan Rivers on and chatting up folks as they arrive, as well as introducing some pre-show performances.

This is only the start of what could be a long relationship between Lizzo and MTV; she’s also been tapped to co-host a new live music and comedy series, “Wonderland,” which the network is launching sometime this fall -- purportedly to put the “music” back in its name (it’s also relaunching “MTV Unplugged”). Lizzo’s big personality will undoubtedly shine through on screen, but here's hoping these on-air gigs won’t cut a whole lot into her output on record and on stage. She signed with Atlantic Records earlier this year ahead of the release of "Good as Hell," a single from the "Barbershop 3" soundtrack.

The VMAs news tops off a rather eventful week or two for Lizzo. She also just earned a big write-up from Vibe and a slot opening for LL Cool J's after-party at the Austin City Limits Festival in October. Next weekend, she will make her debut at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado with her homies Atmosphere, who just landed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard rap albums chart today following the release of "Fishing Blues."

As for the VMAs, they will air Sunday at 8 p.m. CT from Madison Square Garden and will feature performances by Britney Spears, Ariana Grande with Nicki Minaj, Future, Nick Jonas and this year's Video Vanguard honoree Rihanna. Rumor has it Beyoncé -- who leads in awards nominations alongside Adele -- also might make a surprise appearance on stage.

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