Best bets: Staging, streaming, festing

This week's top picks in local arts and entertainment.

Phillip Hoelscher is Lancelot in the Duluth Playhouse's "Spamalot." Contributed / Wes Drummond

And finally, 'Spamalot'

The Duluth Playhouse's production of Monty Python's "Spamalot" will finally, finally get its long-delayed opening. The Tony Award-winning musical, taken from the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," is a parody of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and a cult classic with a host of memorable moments.

The show was originally scheduled to open in March 2020, but didn't. Rather, the cast posted a version of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" on Facebook.

The cast includes Chris Nollet as King Arthur and Christina Stroup as Lady of the Lake.

The Duluth Playhouse's production of "Spamalot" runs Sept. 17-Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 and 2 p.m. Sept. 18 at the NorShor Theatre, 211 E. Superior St. Tickets at theater box office and .

See Central grad in 'Come from Away'


Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley, Emily Walton, De’Lon Grant, Paul Whitty, Q. Smith and Tony LePage in “Come From Away,” which premiered Sept. 10 on Apple TV+. Contributed / Apple TV+

"Come From Away," an award-winning Broadway musical with a Duluth Central grad in the cast, is now available for streaming on Apple TV+. It's based on the story of the thousands of travelers who landed in Gander, Newfoundland, when all flights into the United States were grounded following the Sept. 11 attacks.

De'Lon Grant, a 2002 graduate of the former local high school, has been in the role of Bob since 2017 when he made his Broadway debut. He told the News Tribune at the time that he got the role following his seventh callback for "Hamilton." Before that, he was in a touring production of "Jersey Boys" and was "The Scottsboro Boys" in Boston. He had been juggling jobs in New York City in the leadup to getting the part.

The live performance was filmed in front of an audience of 9/11 survivors and front-line workers, according to a news release from Apple TV+.

"Come from Away" returns to Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Sept. 21 with Grant still in the cast.

Get Oktober-festive, sing

"Bring the Sing," the fifth annual event for Classical MPR, is bringing the Twin Cities Beer Choir for a free Oktoberfest sing-along at noon Sept. 25 at Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in Duluth.

Word on the street: You don't have to be able to sing or drink beer to join the fun.

The first 150 people who sign up or show up will get a free "YourClassical MPR" pint glass.


Register at .

You made what?

The Duluth Art Institute's Annual Membership Show is Sept. 21 at the Depot's Great Hall. 2021 file / Duluth News Tribune

The Duluth Art Institute's annual Member Show is a Great Hall's worth of pieces by literal members of the art institute, ranging from well-established creatives to the next-door neighbor with a secret talent. The paintings, drawings, wall hangings and sculptures have been available for viewing since mid-August, but get a reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 in the Depot's Great Hall. It's free and open to the public, but attendees must wear masks and have proof of vaccination.

One of the artists will win the People's Choice Award, as voted on by gallery-goers. For info, go to

Fall festing

Chester Bowl's annual Fall Fest is Sept. 18. Steve Kuchera / 2019 file / Duluth News Tribune

The cozy sweater and gourd season kicks off with Chester Bowl Fall Fest, with its more than 130 vendors selling local and hand-made items, vendors, live music, a farmer's market and the park's improvement club selling gear and offering info about its seasonal programming.


In its 36th year, this is one of Duluth's most charming, family friendly, "hello, neighbor" events.

There are free shuttle buses running from Parking Lot B at the University of Minnesota Duluth (intersection of College Street and University Drive). Masks are required on the bus.

The musical lineup includes Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners (10-11:30 a.m.), Ingeborg von Agassiz (noon-1:30 p.m.) and Eira (2-3:30 p.m.)

There is a suggested $5-per-person, $10-per-family donation at the gate.

Chester Bowl Fall Fest is 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Chester Bowl, 1801 East Skyline Parkway.

'Glensheen' musical coming to NorShor

"Glensheen: The Musical" will play at the NorShor Theatre in summer 2022. Contributed / Scott Pakudaitis

While no immediate action is required, fire up your Google Calendar for this one: "Glensheen: The Musical" is scheduled to play June 3-12 at the NorShor Theatre.

This is the story of the 1977 murders of heiress Elizabeth Congdon and her night nurse, Velma Pietila. Roger Caldwell, the husband of Elizabeth's adopted daughter, Marjorie Caldwell, was arrested for the murder. The much buzzed-about case has gotten a lot of attention in the 40-plus years since it happened. The musical is billed as being about human behavior, the justice system and the two lives that were taken.

"Glensheen: The Musical" is by Jeffrey Hatcher, with music and lyrics by Chan Poling.

Christa Lawler is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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