Everyone’s a Critic

You’re nobody, the song goes, until somebody comments on your website. Or something like that. And since we live in an age where everyone has both a website and an opinion, we’re in better touch than ever, right? Swapping ideas, keeping each other honest? Maybe.

On this website, you can now leave comments not just on the blogs but on the magazine stories, as well. And I’ve already received a couple on the Commonweal Theatre piece I did, one alleging falsities and errors. Nay, ERRORS. I beg to differ. Here’s the thing: Certainly Lanesboro existed before the theater, and it would certainly continue to exist without the theater should it someday close–but would Lanesboro be what it is today without tourism? And would tourism there be what it is without the theater? I don’t think so. Now, whether touristy Lanesboro is the town you know and love, or if you prefer to focus on its scenic small-town charms, its tight community of families, its agricultural bedrock, that’s up to you. What’s clear is that the arts, especially when artists are invested in their community’s well-being, can be a powerful force for change. See for yourself, when the Commonweal re-opens July 7 in its new space with “Wait Until Dark.”

Speaking of powerful forces, Coach Said Not To plays tonight at the Minnesota Museum of American Art’s Patio Night, and is anyone as integrated into all things locally cool than the Mohn sisters? Eva, the singer and guitarist, also dances with the hottest troupes in town, TU Dance and Black Label Movement, and Linnea also acts (in local films as well as writing and starring in the joyously smart local TV show Nate on Drums) and does voiceover work, recently quitting her cool boutique marketing gig to focus on her creative endeavors. It’s a Mohn’s world, you should just be so lucky as to bop your head to it.

Elsewhere, Illusion Theater opens its Fresh Ink series tonight, June 28, with “Mrs. Mannerly” by the cultured, comedic Jeffrey Hatcher, this play focusing on a manners class he took in the 1960s.

And this weekend, July 1, the Cedar Cultural Center holds a thank-you celebration, “Grateful for the Cedar,” with the Brass Kings, The Big Wu (wu-hoo, are they still around?), Eight Head, and God Johnson (I don’t even want to know what that name means).

(Photos: Coach Said Not To (above), Brass Kings)

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