The 16-year wait will soon be over for Phish phans in the Twin Cities: The Vermont-reared jam-band heroes have confirmed a June 22 date at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the first date on their summer tour announced Friday.

Tickets will formally go on sale Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the arena box office for $45 and $65. However, the quartet has implemented an “online ticket request” system to combat scalping for the best seats, which is already underway at Deadline for the requests is Feb. 21.

The St. Paul date will be a warm-up to the band’s two big shows June 24-25 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, across town from Soldier Field where Phish frontman Trey Anastasio played with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead last summer. Phish’s last time in Minnesota was at Target Center in September 2000.


From Twitter to the big screen

A Twitter story about a wild road trip to Florida that went viral last year is in development to be turned into a feature film that actor James Franco will direct. Franco’s publicist confirmed reports that Franco, Andrew Neel and the production company Killer Films are working to adapt the Rolling Stone article about Aziah “Zola” Wells’ 148-tweet account of the road trip. Zola’s story took the Internet by storm in October, captivating everyone from Ava DuVernay to Missy Elliott, who both tweeted about the saga.


Onstage mystery: Italian authorities are trying to unravel the mystery of an actor who was strangled on a theater stage in Pisa during a hanging scene. Pisa University Hospital said doctors declared 27-year-old Raphael Schumacher dead late Thursday, five days after the incident. Italian news reports said a recent medical school graduate in the audience sounded the alarm after noticing the actor was under distress while enacting a hanging. The daily il Giornale quoted the directors as saying the piece, about an adolescent’s existential crisis, was supposed to end with a fake pistol shot, but that Schumacher changed it without informing them. Prosecutors are investigating whether a lapse in safety procedure was to blame, with the focus on a possible stage accident rather than suicide.


Unfair advantage?: Puddle of Mudd singer Wes Scantlin has pleaded not guilty to a felony vandalism charge filed after his arrest at a home he recently lost in foreclosure. Los Angeles District Attorney spokesman Greg Risling said Scantlin entered the plea Friday. The 43-year-old singer was arrested Jan. 9 by Los Angeles police and is accused of causing about $7,000 in damage to the home. He was also charged with misdemeanor trespassing after being found squatting in the home. He was charged on Wednesday, but missed his arraignment. Scantlin is suspected of damaging the home’s plumbing, a garage door and ripping an alarm system out of the wall. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.

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