They play historical figures onstage, but do they know history? That question animated a quiz bowl held Tuesday at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. With Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari serving as host, Broadway actors from the touring production of "Hamilton" tested their knowledge against that of rising scholars from Patrick Henry High School, the FAIR School and Lundstrum Performing Arts. The latter group came in period costume and performed the opening number of Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster musical, infusing their rap with dances such as the Whip. "That was great to see," said Kyle Scatliffe, who plays Thomas Jefferson. "They're putting their own spin and style on it." Scatliffe, Ta'Rea Campbell (Angelica Schuyler) and Marcus Choi (George Washington) gamely answered such questions as: How many banks existed in America when Hamilton established the first national bank? (Answer: three.) The 100-plus students, whose scores were averaged, narrowly bested the "Hamilton" cast. The show has become a boon for educators, as it's gotten lots of youngsters curious about the nation's past. "If something like this existed when I was younger, I would have definitely been more interested in history," said Campbell. "And we would have gotten more of the questions right," said Choi, laughing.ROHAN PRESTON
It's about 'Time'
After months on the national festival circuit, "Time for Ilhan," a documentary about state Rep. Ilhan Omar, is making its Twin Cities and TV debuts. Minneapolis filmmaker Norah Shapiro is bringing the film to Walker Art Center for five screenings Sept. 21-29 while the Fuse cable channel will show it at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tracking the rise of the Somali-American congressional candidate from community organizer to the Minnesota Legislature, the film premiered last spring at New York's Tribeca Film Festival and played at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival, among many others. Toronto's Hot Docs was a favorite, said Shapiro, whose work includes "Miss Tibet" and an in-the-works project about the Jacob Wetterling family. "It was the most profound screening experience I have had, with a theater full of 700 middle-schoolers, most of whom were people of color," she said. "These kids were screaming and cheering for the film." Friday's show is sold out but tickets remain for Saturday's 2 and 7 p.m. screenings, which Shapiro will attend.
Prince and the style evolution
How did Prince develop his sense of fashion? Believe it or not, in the early years of his career he wore jeans — or dressed in the clothes of his then-girlfriend Kim Upsher, a model and former classmate at Minneapolis Central High School. "She helped him think more about style," Revolution keyboardist Lisa Coleman observed. "She was the one who wore leg warmers; that's where he got that from. She taught me about skin care. She would go shopping a lot, and we'd both end up raiding her clothes." Singer Jill Jones, who remembers Prince in bikini briefs and a cutoff sweatshirt, also went on shopping trips with him where he usually bought eclectic knickknacks, like a chandelier with candleholders. Said Jones: "He was emerging into Prince."
No place like home
She's a native of Grand Rapids, Minn. She can act, sing and dance. And, when she performs, there's an excellent chance the audience will get to hear "Over the Rainbow." Yes, all those things describe ... Marjie Shrimpton, who salutes her better-known townswoman Judy Garland in a cabaret act called "What Would Judy Do?" The show combines songs and stories from the life of the legendary Minnesotan with contemporary material that connects Garland's story to Shrimpton. Accompanied by pianist Ted Godbout, the New York-based singer is bringing the show Sept. 29 to the Reif Performing Arts Center in Grand Rapids and Oct. 2 to Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. See marjieshrimpton.com for more info.C.H.
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