HOPKINS

'Charlotte's Web' at Stages Theatre

"Charlotte's Web" has opened a month-long run at Stages Theatre in the Hopkins Center for the Arts, with shows scheduled through Oct. 24.

It's a challenging show in that the central character, Charlotte, must move convincingly about a web. Actress Gretchen Emo plays the part by using rock-climbing techniques to simulate the movements.

Set Designer Brian Proball created the scene by constructing a web out of welded metal. A top-rope setup similar to that used by mountain climbers supports Emo.

Tickets are available at www.stagestheatre.org or the Stages box office at 952-979-1111. They are $15 for adults and $12 for children age 5 to 17 and seniors age 60 and older. Lap passes also are available.

CHANHASSEN

Autumn classes abound at Arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is offering a lineup of Saturday gardening classes, including:

• Growing grapes. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday. Learn about grape-growing in Minnesota from instructor Sue Riesgraf, former vineyard manager.

• Bulbs -- Fall Planting for Spring Color. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 9. Learn which bulbs are hardy enough for Minnesota gardens from Shirley Mah Kooyman, a botanist, teacher and gardener.

Cost of these classes is $30 for Arboretum members and $40 for non-members.

The Arboretum also is offering a series of cooking classes taught by Twin Cities chefs, including a "Taste of France II" on Oct. 28, taught by Vincent Francoual, chef and owner of Vincent restaurant.

The Arboretum's Saturdays in the Kitchen Series also will feature "World of Tea" on Oct. 9; "Natural Skin Care" on Oct. 23; "Biscotti, Favorite Italian Cookie" on Nov. 6; "Gifts from the Kitchen II" on Nov. 13, and "Spicy Spa Treatments" on Dec. 4.

For more information or to sign up for these and other classes, go to www.arboretum.umn.edu .

The Arboretum also is planning a special Fudge Tasting Event all day Saturday at its AppleHouse.

Visitors will be able to sample apple-pie fudge, pumpkin-pie fudge, chocolate-walnut fudge and chewy praline fudge, courtesy of Klein Foods of Marshall, Minn.

The Arboretum also will have locally grown produce such as cantaloupes, zucchinis, corn, tomatoes and potatoes. And it will be offering University of Minnesota-produced cheese as well as locally made jams and soups.

The AppleHouse is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the Arboretum, which is located at 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chanhassen.

BLOOMINGTON

Big band music at arts center

The Wolverines Big Band will perform at 2 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road in Bloomington.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, $16 for Twin Cities Jazz Society members and $10 for students.

The Wolverines' repertoire includes music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Jimmie Lunceford, Fletcher Henderson and Buddy Rich. The band, formed in 1973, has opened for Sarah Vaughan and Manhattan Transfer, performed on the initial broadcasts of "A Prairie Home Companion" and at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural ball. For more information, go to www.wolverinesbigband.com/.

MINNETRISTA

Gale Woods Farm celebrating harvest

Gale Woods Farm will be offering tours of its gardens and orchard from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9 when the farm celebrates harvest time.

Visitors will get a chance to see border collies and their trainers during the Star of the North Stock Dog Trials. Fall sheep shearing also will be underway. And visitors can take a wagon ride, tour the barn and meet the farm animals, as well as shop for locally produced gifts and crafts.

Cost is $7, with a 20 percent discount for groups of four or more.

Gale Woods Farm is located at 7210 County Road 110 W. in Minnetrista.

STAFF REPORTS