Sir Ian’s icy frolic
Minneapolis playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, whose Sherlock Holmes adaptation begins at Park Square Theatre this weekend, had a very different Sherlock experience in London last summer on the set of “Mr. Holmes,” a screenplay he adapted for a film starring Sir Ian McKellen as a 93-year-old version of the oft-portrayed crimesolver. Director Bill Condon told Hatcher that McKellen would be method acting, and that he was, shuffling creakily and saying in a quavery voice, “Oh, Mr. Hatcher, it’s good to see you.” All that changed on the last day of shooting, when a suddenly jaunty McKellen (actually only 76) invited a group of shirtless dancers to join him in the ice-bucket ALS charity challenge that was then making the rounds. “He said ‘OK, boys, go,’ ” Hatcher said, “so there I was in the middle of all these young men throwing ice at each other, Ian the funster’s idea of a good time.” The movie opens July 17.
Lighting up Meyers
After his standup gig at the State Theatre this month, Seth Meyers went with friends to Marin at the Le Meridien Chambers hotel, where he was staying. Surprise! It was the site of a monthly “queer bomb” party. Flip Phone, a Twin Cities LGBT events promotion company, announces the location of a straight bar 24 hours in advance and 200 or more of its followers show up. Meyers reported about his Minneapolis nightlife experience last week on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers. “It’s a lot more fun when the bar you go to is being queer bombed,” he explained. “I had the time of my life.” Two guys asked him if he’d like a sticker to celebrate the night. One of them was carrying a lit-up toy saber. Meyers asked how many queer-bomb parties have taken place. “I don’t know. I just hold up the light-up dildo,” the saber holder replied. Said Meyers to his TV audience: “That’s how you know it’s queer bomb and not comic con.”
Back with Bach
When she was 13 years old, Twin Cities hard-rock singer Chelsea Wrathchild — who’s so metal she changed her name legally — got to meet and hang out with Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach before a show in Troy, Mich., thanks to her mom telling him what an inspiration he was to her daughter. “His music got me through some pretty intense years for a kid to live through,” noted Wrathchild, referring to her mom’s two victorious fights with cancer around that time. Eighteen years later, Wrathchild and her band Hollowstone have landed the opening slot for Bach’s gig Friday at Povlitzki’s in Spring Lake Park. (Mom will be there, too.) Wrathchild doubts Bach will remember her, but she bought a ticket to the meet-and-greet with him to guarantee she will get to remind him of his inspiration. “He’s the reason I’m doing this,” she said. “It’s such a full-circle moment.”
Four students from Minnesota will be getting inside the Broadway theater scene in New York next week. The four were chosen as Triple Threat winners in the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight competition. Reese Britts of Andover, Annika Isbell of Wayzata, Jack Johnston of Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul and Anna Moskowitz of Southwest High School in Minneapolis will get to take classes, schmooze with Broadway star Laura Osnes (a Spotlight spokeswoman) and take in some shows during four days. The four were chosen from among 20 finalists in the Hennepin Trust program that judges performers on acting, singing and dancing — theater’s version of the Triple Crown. Seventy-seven high school hopefuls auditioned.
Putting ‘e’ in Piano
A 13-year-old prodigy from Sammamish, Wash., has $8,000 more in his bank account after winning this year’s e-Piano Junior Competition held in Minnesota. Nathan Lee finished first among the classical pianists, 17 years and younger. The “e” in e-Piano comes from a technology that allows contestants to perform online during auditions and preliminary rounds. Five finalists performed with the Minnesota Orchestra. The competition is under the auspices of the International Piano-e-Competition at the University of Minnesota School of Music.