Jose James, The Shadow War, and celebrating a great children’s author

Illustration from the book "Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation" by Andrea Davis Pinkney. (Courtesy of the University of Minnesota)

The hounds speak glowingly about a Minneapolis born and bred R&B songwriter, a play about the CIA's "Secret War" in Laos, and an exhibition exulting writer Andrea Davis Pinkney.

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sharon demark

St. Paul playwright Sharon DeMark doesn't want the exhibition "Rejoice the Legacy," showcasing the work of celebrated children's author Andrea Davis Pinkney, to slip by unnoticed. Sharon says it's too good. At the University of Minnesota's Elmer L. Andersen Library through May 14. Pinkney will deliver the U's 2014 "May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture" on May 3.


Twin Cities actor and theater instructor Taous Khazem has her eye on We Theater's production of "The Shadow War." It's a play about the CIA's recruitment of Hmong soldiers during the Vietnam War and it features several local Hmong actors. Through April 27 at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul.


On what does Tom Steffes, guitarist with Minneapolis indie rockers William Within, rely when he needs to relax? The smooth, jazzy R&B of Minneapolis native Jose James. James is playing at The Cedar in Minneapolis on Monday, April 21.

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