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Art Hounds: A dog's tale of love and grief

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Margo McCreary's "Diggity Dog Days"
Margo McCreary's "Diggity Dog Days" follows Jack the dog as his aging owner's life begins interrupting their normal routine.
Courtesy photo by Bruce Silcox

Theater artist Emily Zimmer says Twin Cities puppeteer Margo McCreary is a community gem, and her new show "Diggity Dog Days" provides a great opportunity to see her heartfelt work up close. The story follows Jack the dog as his owner's aging begins to affect their daily routine. Zimmer says the show uses humor and a dog puppet to deftly explore heartache and grief. Performances are Friday through Sunday at Dreamland Arts in St. Paul.

Performance artist and dance teacher Justin Leaf is intrigued by a new show called "Holding On: Unexpected Stories of World War II." The performance combines storytelling, theater, dance and music to bring to life the experiences of local veterans; their roles are performed by residents of Episcopal Homes and danced by alums of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Performances on Friday and Saturday at MacPhail Center for Music's Antonello Hall.

Theater-maker Steve Lawler recommends visiting Northfield, Minn., for the Vintage Band Festival, which runs Aug. 1 through 4. Musicians from around the state and from far away as Belgium, Germany and Finland gather in Northfield to share their love for old military bands, uniforms and music. Lawler says you never know when a band might march on by and strike up a spontaneous performance.