Art Hounds: Music for dancing, theater and a recreation of a popular Moorhead live venue

A bar with images on the wall
Images from some of the music history captured by the Ralph's Corner Bar exhibit at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minn.
Markus Krueger

Raul Gomez, longtime publisher of the High Plains Reader in Fargo recalls rushing to put the paper to bed by midnight so they could drive over to Ralphs’ Corner Bar in Moorhead to cap off the week.

Ralph’s was a fixture of the music scene in northwest Minnesota, drawing big names from the punk and indie music scene. The bar was demolished in 2005.

Gomez says he was pleased with the way the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County paid homage to the venue in its Ralph’s Corner Bar exhibit at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead.

Each of the four rooms in the exhibit “captures different styles and vibes of Ralph’s.” One of the exhibit’s four rooms looks like the bar itself, complete with wood paneling, booths, and a wall that looks like a pool table. Other rooms record memories of patrons and pay homage to its musical history, including instruments, band memorabilia and posters. The exhibit is on view through June 25.

Musician Sarah Larsson can’t wait to get on the dance floor at the Minneapolis Afrobeats Dance Party Saturday at the Cedar Cultural Center, featuring some of her favorite local DJs and artists.

Fanaka Nation, an Afropop/Afrotrap artist, is hosting. DJ Fawzi, whom Larsson calls the “go-to greatest Somali woman DJ in town,” will do a set, along with DJ K-Little and a live performance from singer/songwriter Carolyne Naomi, who recently released a new EP. Larsson loves the energy of these performers.

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This is an all-ages event. Doors open at 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. show.

If you’re looking for unusual musical theater productions this holiday, Minneapolis actor Anissa Lubbers recommends “Striking 12,” a musical inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Little Match Girl.”

Set on a cold, contemporary New Year’s Eve, an overworked businessman plans to hunker down alone at home when he encounters a woman selling holiday lights who is determined to spark some holiday joy.

Lubbers enjoys that the band providing the music, GrooveLily, also interacts with the performers on stage.

“Striking 12” runs through Dec. 18 at the Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul. The show was staged by Minneapolis Musical Theatre, which specializes in rare musicals.