Cory at the quarry

Singer-songwriter Cory Coffman’s “Midnight Callin’” is a tale of where-we-thought-we’d-be versus where-we-are-now. “You were meant to be,” he sings, “the biggest of them all. Even the sun next to you would seem small.” The video for the sweet and wistful song from his 2020 release “Canvas and Color” is set firmly in West Duluth with scenes from some of the neighborhood’s best vistas: train tracks, Denfeld High School, the Superior Hiking Trail, the quarry. Check it out on his YouTube channel.

Bock, brats and polka

Earth Rider Bockfest is a mix of beer, brat geekery and Dance Attic, a witty and charming accordion+uke duo that finds meaning in everyday moments and surreal scenarios.

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Suzi Ludwig and Jimi Cooper of Dance Attic (2017 file / News Tribune)
Suzi Ludwig and Jimi Cooper of Dance Attic (2017 file / News Tribune)

In brat news: The day includes beer poking, an old-fashioned tradition involving red hot metal and the caramelization of sugar. Chef Jonathan Berthel of Penokee Mountain Foods will make Earth Rider Helles Lager Precious Material bratwursts and North Tower Stout bratwursts from Stocke’s meat. Release The Bock is noon-9 p.m. March 13 at Cedar Lounge and Earth Rider Festival Grounds, which will be bonfired up for the occasion.

Raven McMillon (Photo submitted by Lyric Opera of the North)
Raven McMillon (Photo submitted by Lyric Opera of the North)

Better days ahead

If you missed “Tales from a Safe Distance,” a collaborative and episodic opera project that brought together nearly a dozen companies from around the country, including Duluth based Lyric Opera of the North, the Decameron Opera Coalition project is available on IDAGIO, a newish streaming app for classical music. The four-episode series is available for streaming through Dec. 31 for $15. The local company is featured in the first episode. “Everything Comes to a Head” (composed by Rachel J. Peters with the libretto by Margi Preus and Jean Sramek) is the story of Rosemary’s missing boyfriend, Basil — and the responses from her roommates. It’s set against a gorgeous animated backdrop by Ann Gumpper. Meanwhile, the Library of Congress is into it. The coalition’s work was included in its Performing Arts Covid-19 Response Collection alongside other internationally known creators who made art during the pandemic.

Anne Labovitz art
Anne Labovitz art

Airport art

You might not be sky-traveling as much these days, but put this in your airport knowledge pocket for the future times: Anne Labovitz, an artist with strong local ties, has installed two new mosaics, commissioned by the Metropolitan Airports Commission, at MSP Airport. “Bon Voyage!” and “Happy Travels!” are based on paintings by the artist, Labovitz said in her newsletter, and are roughly 9.5 feet-by-10 feet-ish, made of smalti and assembled in Italy. Labovitz, who was raised in Duluth, previously showed her international and interactive “122 Conversations” at the same airport, a temporary installation. That project connected Labovitz with residents in Duluth’s sister cities — Thunder Bay, Canada; Vaxjo, Sweden; Petrozavodsk, Russia; Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan; and Ohara-Isumi, Japan. The paintings and videos that came from it eventually toured back to these places.

Kaylee Peck as Charlotte, Pen Peter as Wilbur, Azalea Mae as Fern. (Duluth Playhouse Facebook)
Kaylee Peck as Charlotte, Pen Peter as Wilbur, Azalea Mae as Fern. (Duluth Playhouse Facebook)

'Web' on the web

With its Family Theatre production of ”Charlotte’s Web,” the Duluth Playhouse tested spacing real-live human beings within a theater for the first time since the pandemic ended indoor performances. But they also offered the streaming option we’ve all come to know and love. This show of farm friendships, starring Kaylee Peck in the role of the title spider, is available for on-demand streaming. Tickets are $12 per household starting March 13 at duluthplayhouse.org, and you have 48 hours to watch the play as many times as you can. According to News Tribune theater reviewer Lawrance Bernabo, “When Wilbur turns to the audience and tells us that ‘not often someone comes along who’s a true friend,’ we know that is the moral of the tale we should take home with us.” Or, maybe, enjoy from home.