Show Time

You may remember me best for my early work on the stage. In kindergarten, I starred in Anatole the Mouse, a delightful romp about a beret-wearing rodent who secretly tastes and grades the fromage in a French cheese-making factory. This was quickly followed by lead roles in Rumplestiltskin, wherein I spun fistfuls of straw into sprays of gold construction-paper coins, and Moses, who, in our adaptation of the biblical tale, parted the Red Sea while wearing a fire engine-red bathrobe. It wasn’t exactly Shakespeare, but I don’t remember any tomatoes either.

Of course, some people still rave about my musical accomplishments—that year in the alto section of the Northfield Boys’ Chorus or, later, my bassoon solo in Dvorak’s “New World” symphony (improvisation was always my strong suit). Or perhaps you recall my contributions to the visual arts: the pen-and-ink sketch on the cover of that literary-arts magazine? You know, the one that contained a short story authored by yours truly?

This month’s issue of Minnesota Monthly celebrates real talent—the performers, writers, and artists who make the Twin Cities’ cultural scene the envy of the Midwest, if not the country. For decades, Minneapolis-St. Paul has been a magnet for creatives of all stripes, and our community’s support of their work—through underwriting and even venue construction—continues to result in plays, books, paintings, and compositions that are homegrown in content yet astonishingly universal in appeal.

This fall is no exception. Check out “Hot Tickets,” and you’ll find a smorgasbord of amazing arts offerings—from the opening of the Cowles Center for Dance and the unveiling of five new galleries at the Weisman Art Museum to former WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby making his debut in a stage version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Writers Tim Gihring and Gregory J. Scott sorted through dozens of options to select 40 shows from the cultural calendar, no easy feat in a place that is home to two nationally acclaimed orchestras, dozens of theater companies, several book publishers, and—well, you get the idea.

So order your tickets and get ready for some entertainment. I’ll see you at the theater. No doubt, you’ll recognize me from my early work….


Shannon Olson Shannon Olson, who writes about lawn care in this month’s “Last Word,” is the author of the bestselling novels Welcome to My Planet and Children of God Go Bowling. An associate professor of English at St. Cloud State University, she has written for publications ranging from to InStyle to The Guardian of London. She spent the summer battling rabbits by planting mothballs in her flowerbeds.
Kevin RedmonMinneapolis native Kevin Redmon, who wrote “The Good Seed,” first learned about wild-ricing traditions while working as a camp counselor near Ely. His interest was further piqued after completing a fellowship in environmental journalism while attending Middlebury College. Currently a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C., Redmon returned to Minnesota last fall to witness the wild-rice harvest.
Joe TrelevenIn “Hot Tickets,” Twin Cities-based photographer Joe Treleven artfully uses his surroundings to enhance his storytelling. “I worked with the artists to choose settings that allowed each subject to pose with genuine expressions and body language,” he says. Trevelen then took clues from the locations to add detail, creating unique compositions with meticulously edited hints. “It looks easy,” he says, “but it’s all about control.”

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