Art Hounds: Musical follows journey from comedian to oncologist

Two people talk on a stage
Stuart Bloom, left, takes the stage in "How to Avoid Burnout in 73 Minutes: A Minimally Invasive Musical Procedure," a show that uses humor and song to tackle the serious issue of burnout in the medical profession.
Courtesy of Becca Dilley

Nancy Crocker of Minneapolis recommends the musical “How to Avoid Burnout in 73 Minutes: A Minimally Invasive Musical Procedure.” 

“I saw this show in its initial run. This is a wonderful, life-affirming show,” Crocker said.

The show was created by Dr. Stuart Bloom, who also performs. It depicts his journey from a comedian in New York to an oncologist in Minnesota. The show is built around a simple premise: Bloom reads from a questionnaire designed to determine if someone is experiencing burnout at their job.

“And of course, doctors – and especially oncologists – have one of the highest burnout rates of any profession,” Crocker explains. “And so he goes through this questionnaire, one question at a time, but his answers are always in the form of a song.”

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The musical is at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis from April 19-23. 

John Orbison of Minneapolis is an amateur musician. He recommends the season finale of the Bakken Ensemble at Antonello Hall at MacPhail Center for Music.

“All of the composers on the program are people that I'm not very familiar with … They delve into music that you might not hear anywhere else, featuring some of the finest musicians in the world that we're so blessed to have here in Minnesota.”

The season finale is Sunday.

People play instruments
The Bakken Ensemble will perform their season finale April 16 at Antonello Hall at MacPhail Center for Music.
Courtesy of Nate Ryan

Stillwater-born Patrick Hicks is the writer in residence at Augustana University. He’s looking forward to a pair of readings by author Christopher Vondracek, who will be reading from his latest book, “Dancing With Welk: Music, Memory, and Prairie Troubadours.”

“This book engages with Lawrence Welk, that cheesy and inescapably popular television bandleader of the 1960s and ’70s,” Hicks said, but also describes the book as “a funny and poignant coming of age story.” 

Vondracek will read at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing and Paperback and Pieces in Winona on Saturday.

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.