Sports columnist Sid Hartman is still working at age 96. And jazz man Irv Williams is still playing his saxophone at age 97. He celebrated his birthday Tuesday night at the packed Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis with two sets with his combo, featuring his warm tone, spot-on timing and quick wit. What was the highlight? His version of "Satin Doll" or "My Funny Valentine"? That Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges declared it Irv "Mr. Smooth" Williams Day or he became the inaugural inductee into the new Minnesota Jazz Hall of Fame? It had to be his eloquent words: "It means so much that you're here. It means maybe I'll play a half year longer." Applause. "With clapping like that, maybe six years longer." Amen.
Please forgive Sunday Burquest for missing a few church services. The youth minister at Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park has been cast in the 33rd season of CBS' "Survivor," which will pit Gen Xers against millennials, a new twist for the series. "Definitely, some of the young players are my kids' ages, I can tell," the 45-year-old Otsego resident said in a CBS video. Burquest will compete alongside a Marine mechanic, a "Family Guy" writer and an 18-year-old high school student, the show's youngest competitor ever. The new season, filmed in Fiji, debuts Sept. 21.
Shake, rattle, roll
The Minnesota Orchestra's European tour send-off concert Tuesday night was full of surprises. And no, they didn't include the orchestra's spirited performance of Beethoven's Fifth — now available as ringtones! — or Finnish violin phenom Pekka Kuusisto's frisky take on Sergei Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto. Kuusisto responded to the obligatory standing O with a Swedish folk song about immigrants who hoped to make a better life in the New World. Halfway through, conductor Osmo Vänskä emerged from the wings to join in on clarinet. The final surprise came in the lobby afterward as orchestra CEO Kevin Smith played piano with a rock 'n' roll quartet drawn from the orchestra that offered — no duh — Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" and other sock-hop classics that got the crowd to dance — or at least rattle their jewelry.
Blame it on Rio
Total attendance at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, which ended Sunday, was down this year — dipping below 50,000 for the first time since 2012. The 11-day orgy of theater, dance and spoken word saw attendance of 47,882 at 869 performances. In 2015, attendance hit 50,338 for 909 performances. The per-show average was 55 people. The Fringe changed its procedure this year, eliminating single tickets and selling an all-day pass. Executive director Jeff Larson said he felt audiences were "taking more chances and being more adventurous," although the numbers were down for total attendance and per-show average. The festival pays 70 percent of box office revenue back to the artists. The top-selling show was "Bezubaan: The Voiceless," presented by Bollywood Dance Scene.
If you didn't score Metallica tickets in the first 10 minutes they were on sale and don't want to pay the inflated prices on the secondary market, you can listen to Saturday's concert at U.S. Bank Stadium live via Pandora. The streaming service has livestreamed only two other major concerts before (Mumford & Sons and Jack White). Tune in at 9 p.m. The show will also replay afterward. Here's the link: pandora.com/metallicalive.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres will shift from nouveau Disney to classic musical theater with "Camelot." When "Beauty and the Beast" ends its smash run in late September, director Michael Brindisi will bring back the Lerner and Loewe classic. It was last done at the Chan in 2001. Then, Keith Rice played Lancelot. This time, Rice will be King Arthur. Aleks Knezevich (Gaston in "Beauty") will play the young noble Lancelot, and Helen Anker (Eliza Doolittle in the Guthrie's "My Fair Lady") will portray the tragically conflicted Queen Guenevere. Longtime Chan faves David Anthony Brinkley and Tony Vierling are Merlin and Mordred, respectively. First performance is Sept. 30, with the official opening Oct. 7.
Find more coverage of the arts all week at our pop culture blog startribune.com/artcetera and follow us on Twitter @entertain_mn.