Queer As Folks

OutFront Minnesota justFair Lobby Day Dialogues with Legislators

On April 21, OutFront Minnesota joined with hundreds of supporters for its annual justFair Lobby Day, converging on the Minnesota State Capitol to discuss issues facing the GLBT community. The motto was “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality in 2011 Begins with Action in 2010.” Speakers enlightened fellow Minnesotans about marriage, safe schools, comprehensive sex education, and GLBT equality. OutFront Minnesota also met with select legislators to talk about these issues, and laws that need to be changed. To learn more about OutFront Minnesota or justFair Lobby Day, visit www.outfront.org.

Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus Presents ExtrABBAganza!

With the movie Mamma Mia one of the highest-grossing musicals ever, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus (TCGMC) has put together Extrabbaganza!, a fabulous show featuring the rest of the music from the band ABBA. Singing, dancing, mirror balls, and lots of dancing queens promise to be the perfect way to spend part of Pride Weekend, June 25-26, 8 PM, at Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. TCGMC Artistic Director Dr. Stan Hill says, “All anyone could ever want in one concert is here in this incredible performance of music, by the writers of all of ABBA’s music: Benny Andersson and Björn Alvaeus. I can’t think of a better way to close our 29th season of entertainment worth coming out for.” For tickets, call (612) 624-2345, or visit www.northrop.umn.edu.

Goldstar Internet Company Launches in Twin Cities

Goldstar has launched its services in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Offering half-price tickets, the state-of-the-art Internet company is helping people see live entertainment at more affordable rates. Started eight years ago, it has partnered with nearly 4,000 venues; boasts a million members; and offers anywhere from 900 to 1,200 events at any given time. Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy said in a press release, “The more we learned about the Twin Cities, the more convinced we became that this is one of the best cities in the country for arts and entertainment. Once we’ve launched here, we’ll be committed to bringing new audiences to our venue partners, and making it easier for Minneapolitans to get out for a night of great live entertainment more often.” Many local organizations already have already signed on with Goldstar, including Children’s Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Orchestra, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Guthrie External Relations Director Trish Santini, said, “Goldstar is a terrific resource for matching new audiences with cultural organizations and events. For venues, this is a unique channel for selling tickets to seats that may have otherwise gone empty. This is a win-win for both Minneapolis venues and residents alike.”

Guthrie Theater 2010-2011 Season Includes World Premieres

The 2010-2011 Guthrie Theater season includes world premieres, a new holiday classic, and an epic theatrical event direct from London. Among many great selections, the world premiere of The Master Butchers Singing Club, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman, hits the Wurtele Thrust Stage on September 19. Switching up the annual Christmas classic is another world premiere, A Christmas Carol, by British playwright Crispin Whittell, starting November 26. Guthrie Director Joe Dowling said, “Our subscription season is one we’re terribly proud of. I’m particularly excited to have such a wide range of comedies on our stages this coming season, from one of the greatest American comedies ever written in Arsenic and Old Lace to one of the best recent comedies from France, via London and Broadway, with God of Carnage.” For a full list of plays and musicals at the Guthrie, visit <www.guthrietheatre.org>.

Minnesota Opera President and CEO Kevin Smith Retiring

The Minnesota Opera announced that Kevin Smith, its President and Chief Executive Office since 1986, will be retiring once a successor has been found. After joining the company in 1981 as a production stage manager, he quickly rose to the leadership post. Smith said, “I love this organization: the people, the mission, the art form, and the artistic process. However, as I approach my 30th season with the company and my 60th birthday, I am simply ready for a change in my professional life. I don’t know what this change will bring, but I’m excited to find out. Minnesota Opera has never been stronger artistically and financially, which makes this an excellent time to transition to new leadership that will take the opera to the next level of accomplishment.”

Project 515 Commends Minnesota House and Senate, But Excoriates Governor

On May 11, Project 515 commended the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate for the passage of the Final Wishes/Wrongful Death bill. It provided surviving same-sex partners an equal opportunity to honor the final wishes of their deceased partners, and to seek restitution following a wrongful death. However, Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed the legislation. Project 515 Executive Director Ann Kaner-Roth, said, “It’s concerning that the Governor is short-sighted on what businesses already know is good for our state: equality and fairness for all Minnesotans.”

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