Best Bets: Fun theater, comedy at local bars and lots of music

See the Araboolies on Liberty Street Every house is the same, rules rule, and fun is frowned upon on Liberty Street. This is just the way residents General Pinch and his wife like it. Things get shaken up when the Araboolies move in. They dress c...

The Araboolies
General Pinch (Nick Elias) and his wife, Mrs. Pinch (Kimberly Stromgren), aren't happy when the Araboolies move to their carefully regimented Liberty Street. The children are Bea Dornfeld (from left), Bailey Stender, Lillia Fremling, Sam Anderson and Nickolas Giuliani. Submitted photo

See the Araboolies on Liberty Street

Every house is the same, rules rule, and fun is frowned upon on Liberty Street. This is just the way residents General Pinch and his wife like it. Things get shaken up when the Araboolies move in. They dress colorfully, make a lot of noise and talk funny. The neighborhood children begin to see there is more to life than having the same house as the neighbors and regimented morning and afternoon calisthenics.

The children's musical "The Araboolies of Liberty Street" -- based on a picture book written by Sam Swope and illustrated by Barry Root -- opens at

7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Playhouse performance is the Midwest debut. It is a large cast, with more than 30 children involved.


"The message is irresistible," director Jean Sramek said. "It's not only OK to be different, but it's more fun. Being a weirdo is a good thing."

Expect to see colorful costumes and hear 14 fun songs, including the up-tempo "I Want to Be a Weirdo" and a tango called "The Strike Song," which the Pinches sing to a boy who has

broken two rules and is in danger of getting his third strike.

Go see it

Time: Opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday and runs through Jan. 25, with 7:30 p.m. shows Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Place: Duluth Playhouse, 506 W. Michigan St.

Tix: $9 adults; $7 children younger than 17. Group rates available.

Call: 733-7555.


At the Shack: Meet Hefty and his little friend

Ventriloquist Peter Hefty and his little friend, Justin, return for a comedy show at the Shack, 3301 Belknap St., Superior. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $7 in advance, $9 at the door.

The "duo" performed at the Orpheum Nightclub in mid-December.

Over the past 30 years, Peter Hefty and Justin have opened for Jay Leno, Sinbad, Dennis Miller and Howie Mandel.

For more information, call 392-3463.

At Dubh Linn's: Find humor in bachelorhood

Comedian Ward Anderson will perform at Dubh Linn Irish Pub as part of the weekly Pro Comedy night. Ward is author of "The Ultimate Bachelor's Guide" -- a humor book that includes items on how a bachelor knows it's time to clean his home (the fast food bags are advertising movies that are already out on DVD) and commentaries on his living space (cinder block shelves with a large-screen TV, sleeping on an air mattress).

He tours around the country and performs for college-age audiences. William Alexander, described as having high-energy, rapid-fire antics, also performs.


Shows are at 6:30 and 9 p.m., and reservations are recommended. Call 727-1559. Tickets cost $10.

Music inspired by a local visionary

The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and Vanessa Perez, a Venezuelan-American pianist who has toured internationally, present "The Visionary: Julia Marshall," inspired by the local philanthropist with an energetic community involvement in projects such as Bayfront Festival Park and the DSSO. Marshall's father founded Marshall-Wells and other Duluth


The concert includes music by Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann.

Go see it

Time: 8 p.m. Saturday

Place: Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium


Tix: Start at $24

Celebrate youth, gather at Beaner's

Mentor Duluth's fifth annual Omniumgatherum, "A Gathering in Celebration of Youth" fundraiser, is Friday and Saturday at Beaner's Central. The two-day benefit opens with a night of reggae at 8 p.m., featuring Jason Wussow, Uprising and Max Dakota. Cost is $5 in advance, $7 at the door.

There are free family activities including storytelling, magic and art starting at 3 p.m. Saturday. Tommy Ryamn, Cy Amundson, LeAnn Diller and Dar the Star will perform comedy starting at 8 p.m. The event also includes a raffle.

Let Starship take you back at Black Bear

Remember that winter day in 1985 when you took your pink boom box, hit record and held it up to the TV speakers so you could tape the Starship song "We Built This City." Or a year later when you slow-danced to "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" at your first mixer?

Relive those awkward Aquanet years at 7 p.m. Saturday at Black Bear Casino in Carlton with the totally awesome lineup: Starship starring Mickey Thomas and America, the band that brought you "Horse with No Name" and "Sister Golden Hair Surprise."

Tickets start at $35. Go to www.ticket


Call: 623-3776 or go to

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