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Balls open mic cabaret has been a late-night staple of the Minneapolis scene for over 20 years now. The midnight event, hosted by creator Leslie Ba...
Festish fashions runway show followed by a late-night dance party. Event kicks off the leather community's annual Pride celebration.
Over the past few years, Wendy Knox has become quite familiar with David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries. She has directed the stage adaptation in three cities, at five different venues, and with four... More »
There's a new place to get your spook on for Halloween, one that offers seven varieties of chills in one easy -- if a bit scary -- location.The Twin Cities Horror Festival features seven pieces presen... More »
Event Review: Balls
Balls is a Minneapolis-must-see for any lover of theater, vaudeville, or just simple spontaneity. Leslie Ball is a local treasure + her cabaret provides an incredibly positive + hilarious environment for artists and audiences of all kinds. In the several years I've gone, I've seen glow-in-the-dark jugglers doing routines to Weezer, I've seen couples dance while peeling root vegetables all over the stage, I've even seen Maria Bamfam and Tay Zonday! They even let me read poetry in my underwear ;-) As was noted, Balls is an uneven blend of pros+amateurs...but that's the way it should be. Never predictable and never boring. Even if there wasn't a good performance in the lot it would be worth going just to hear Ochen DJ + watch Leslie dance. P.S. -- it's been going for over 20 years! (not just 18)
The Saturday night after the presidential election, we were in need of a soul-balm. We needed to be with people. Not even people we knew or people just like us, just people. So we had a cookie and a cup of coffee and went to the Southern at midnight and saw a couple of guys do a scary-spare version of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday"; a state representative read a timely poem about baseball (!); a local newspaper writer do a naked-voiced version of a Leonard Cohen song; and a first-timer do a... More »
One of the best things about Balls is that it takes place at midnight every Saturday on a real stage in a real theater, though the dark recesses of the stage do bear a swampy likeness to a missing molar. As you enter the playhouse, someone will ask you if you're going to perform, and there's almost always pressure to get onstage even if you don't have material. This is just how things work at the cabaret, and Leslie Ball--the show's founder and jovial emcee--has been making sure of that for... More »
Oh, if those walls could talk! For more than 90 years the Southern Theater has anchored the Seven Corners intersection on the West Bank, evolving from a Swedish-themed vaudeville venue into a porno-movie playhouse, a heavy-equipment garage, the swanky Gaslight Restaurant, a Guthrie Theater outpost, and finally, in 1981, the headquarters for the Twin Cities dance scene. Unlike your typical, minimalist black-box theater, the Southern has carefully cultivated its bohemian sensibility to suit... More »
After another year of bringing the best in experimental dance, music, theater, and what-have-you to the Southern Theater in Minneapolis, this perennial favorite again wins the golden mic award. Hosted by charming chanteuse and ubiquitous local-arts activist Leslie Ball, Balls gives five to seven minutes of stage time to anyone with something to say, play, express, show, or prove. Acts over the past nine years have ranged from 13-year-old standup comics and semi-nude pyrotechnics experts to... More »
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