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Football Al Fresco

For 27 years, the Gophers schlepped over to the Metrodome to play football, like some recreational extension program—adjunct athletes. No more. Starting this month, the University of Minnesota welcomes the prodigal pigskinners back to campus, having constructed for them the gorgeous shrine that is TCF Bank Stadium. Here, they will play on real grass. They’ll get real stains on their jerseys. They’ll have real fanatics, shirtless in the stands, speaking in the tongues of true believers: “Ski-U-Mah!” This is real football. Season opens Sept. 12, 6 p.m., Minnesota vs. Air Force.


Call Him…Puke

Mark Sieve, of the long-running Renaissance Festival comedy duo Puke & Snot, talks tights, geeks, and his new memoir, Call Me Puke

Before you got into comedy, you modeled Hanes underwear. How’d that go? I hadn’t been working out all that much, and I found myself standing at the end of a ramp facing a bunch of people holding clipboards and looking up at my crotch. Never again.

Puke & Snot seem to sometimes poke fun of die-hard RennFest fans. Anybody take offense? Back in the ’80s, we did the San Diego fest [with comics Penn & Teller] and the West Coast performers were just appalled. A woman in full period costume commented about our clothing being totally unsuitable. Penn said, “Possibly, madame. But if you look around, nobody gives a crap.”

You’re famous for eating some 66 pounds of carrots onstage in the course of a season. Are you getting a little yellowish? Tell you what, when I get out of the shower later, I’ll check and let you know.

Your father was once the mayor of Ellsworth. Ever thought about running for office yourself? No. I’ve got a spotty past and it would be discovered immediately.

You discuss in your book the idea that prop comics are regarded as unsophisticated. Will you say something funny yet intellectual for the record?
I’ll give you the classic line from Puke & Snot: He who shall, so shall he who.


Ivey Love

Theater couples singled out at this year’s Ivey Awards

When the Ivey Awards are given out on September 21 at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, honoring the best of the past year’s local theatrical productions, there will be love in the air. And not just because actors are touchy-feely folks.

This year, the fourth annual event will focus on real-life couples working in the theater—like frequent Guthrie Theater actors Claudia Wilkins and Richard Ooms, who will emcee the presentation. Who else will be recognized? Ivey coordinators aren’t saying. But several couples come to mind: Jenny Lilledahl and John Sweeney, who run the Brave New Workshop; Jason Petersen and Jessica Lind, who run Yellow Tree Theatre; Jon Ferguson, the freelance director and actor, and Megan Odell, the dancer-actor with Live Action Set.

To learn more, you’ll have to pay attention to the gossip at the posh pre-party at the W Hotel, where—who knows?—next year’s couples may be in the making.


Friend Me

The “friendliest” Minnesota icons on Facebook


Minnesotans aren’t known as social butterflies. But social networkers—that’s another story. Both Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak and KARE-11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard, for instance, have lobbied Facebook to increase the number of friends one can accumulate on the popular social-networking site after hitting the 5,000-friend ceiling. Here’s how some familiar faces are faring on Facebook.

Sven Sundgaard, KARE-11 Meteorologist

Friends/fans: 4,995 friends, 448 fans
Spinoff pages: I Named a Pet (Child) After Sven Sundgaard (3 fans)

Sample post: “Could tell something wasn’t quite right yesterday. Abigail passed away peacefully this morning: 1998-2009.” (Abigail was a goat.)

R. T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis

Friends/fans: 4,992 friends and 5,640 supporters
Spinoff pages: Draft R. T. Rybak for Governor (631)

Sample post: “Violent crime in Minneapolis dwn 17% from last year, dwn 28% from two years ago, and dwn 39% from three years ago.”

Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul

Friends/fans: 1,003 friends and 421 supporters
Spinoff pages: Chris Coleman for St. Paul (534)

Sample post: “Going to Barrio to bartend tonight at 8:30, then on to the jazz festival. This is one of the best nights in the year in St. Paul….”

Betty Crocker, Baking Icon

Friends/fans: 40,426 fans
Spinoff pages: I Love Betty Crocker Icing! (33), Betty Crocker Rockers (3)

Sample post: ”Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes are arriving this summer to a grocery store near you!”

Brock Lesnar, Ultimate Fighting Champion

Friends/fans: 25,080 fans
Spinoff pages: Bring Back Brock Lesnar (558), Brock Lesnar Haterssss!!!! (40)

Sample post: “Brock Lesnar is the New UFC Heavyweight Champion”


Getting down and dirty with fall grape stomps

Want wine? Those grapes aren’t going to stomp themselves. So here’s your chance to get in on the action, Minnesota, and put on a show. “It’s as much fun for the participants as it is for the crowds to watch them,” says Tami Bredeson, president of Carlos Creek Winery. Ready to hitch up your pants?

What: Saint Croix Vineyards and Winery Grape Stomp
Pack a picnic and enjoy live music and wine sampling. Prizes are awarded for the best grape-stomping style.
When: Sept. 12–13
Where: 6428 Manning Ave., Stillwater, 651-430-3310,

What: Carlos Creek Winery Grape Stomp & Fall Festival
Come to the Friday night barn dance and check out eight live bands throughout the weekend. Watch the I Love Lucy reenactment or enter the stomping contest. Pre-register online.
When: Sept. 11–13
Where: 6693 County Rd. 34 NW, Alexandria, 320-846-5443,

What: Crofut Family Winery Grape Stomp
There’s a flea market for antiques here, as well as craft vendors and the vineyard’s famous wine and chocolates.
When: Sept. 11–12 and Sept. 19–20
Where: 21646 Langford Ave. S., Jordan, 952-492-3227,

What: Morgan Creek Vineyards Great Grape Stomp
Enjoy English folk dancing, belly-dancing, vineyard tours, winetasting, brick-oven pizza, and Swiss raclette cheese. Stompers with the best costumes receive free wine. Pre-registration required.
When: Oct. 3
Where: 23707 478th Ave., New Ulm, 507-947-3547,

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