Playwright and lyricist Dan Pinkerton was knocked out by the musical "Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant." The premise: a junior pageant show ends abruptly when one of the contestants dies on stage. Twenty years later, one of the remaining contestants decides to remount the competition, even though they're now all in their 30s. Pinkerton says it's an over-the-top comic affair that also has a lot of heart. Performances run through July 28 at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul.
Musician Nidhal Keddah had a blast at "Scream if off Screen," a short film competition at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. Local filmmakers submit their work, and the audience decides who wins. Don't like a film? Scream it off! Keddah says while it's a competition, it's also about creating a much-needed space for budding filmmakers to show their work. The next round is July 5.
Avid arts consumer Florence Brammer paid a visit to the Rochester Civic Theatre last weekend to see Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." Brammer says while she loves new work, it's always fun to revisit a classic like this one, and to see how it continues to hold its own 125 years after it was written. Witty dialogue, biting satire and relatable — albeit ridiculous — characters keep the show humming along. Performances run through Sunday.