Showers come in a variety of shapes and forms.
There are bridal, baby and bachelor showers. In Minot in April there will be cultural showers. Umbrellas may be needed but they are optional. They are so varied and special that you will literally kick yourself should you miss them.
A trio of Minot stages will be awash with theatrical productions in April.
Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer who lives in Minot.
At the Mouse River Players, some 36 thespians-in-training, ranging in age from 5 to 14, directed by Jennifer Brant, will show you some of the finer points of acting which they have been learning under her direction on the first Saturdays of the month in workshops for youth called FAME.
"Once Upon A Fairy Tale" is not your usual fairy tale. You'll see a smashup between "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty" in this family show put on by a shower of kids. On April 1 and 2 and April 8 and 9 the doors of the theater will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. Afternoon shows are at 2 p.m., April 3 and 10. Tickets at the door will cost you $5 unless you have a season ticket. This will be a good showery show and the fairy-talers will be happy to see you.
A different sort of theatrical shower will be taking place at the Vegas Motel, presented by the Minot Area Theatrical Society, April 7-10. This two and a half hour dramatic show for mature audiences, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" is unique in that the seasoned cast of four is self-directed. The expertise of Christine Morse was gratefully accepted as an assistant director. However another bit of uniqueness will please, and be very apparent to you in the audience. Some people can learn lines. Terry J. Aman as George, Ceecy Nucker as his wife Martha, and Honey, portrayed by Nicolette Nelson, and Nick, portrayed by Jon Placak, leave Terry, Ceecy, Nicolette and Jon at home as they become stage couples for real. As audiences know, Terry J. Aman is highly proficient at leaving Terry at home because he relishes assuming a variety of characters.
The story of these two couples could easily be that of any two couples. It is a detailed window on the lives of two couples, four troubled souls, brokenness, redemption, and, in the end, a sort of reconciliation. And, when you leave the theater, you can go home -- the couples will remain "trapped." As a modern fable, as a cautionary tale, and a waking nightmare, you will feel there is power.
What it is about Virginia Woolf and who could be afraid of her, you will simply have to be in the audience for this theatrical shower to discover. Show time on Thursday is 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday is 7:30 p.m., with dinner service at 7 p.m. for a ticket price of $20 for dinner and a show. The Sunday show at 1 p.m. includes lunch at $15. Reservations are needed for the dinner shows, and you can call 509-5535 for those.
The third theatrical shower in April will take you out to the Aleshire Theater on the MSU Campus. Ali Davidson Smith and her seasoned cast will present "Much Ado About Nothing."
Show dates are April 14-17. Weeknight shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show is at 2 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 858-3159.
In Minot in April, showers will arrive in a variety of ways. They'll range from the dunder and blitzen of the brass and gentlemanly bass to the gentle serenity of symphonic string music for all ages waiting in the April "wings." For the dunder and blitzen musical shower be sure to be in your safe seats at 4 p.m. on April 10 when Gordon Troxel wields, gently, and Minot's Brass Band blows, rousingly. Because you have really enjoyed the band's "oompahs," you will willingly deposit your coins in the well-placed, visible free-will receptacles.
Maestro Dennis Simons possesses a special talent which has resulted in excellent symphonic music and excellent attendances for the Minot Symphony Orchestra. On April 16 at 7:30 p.m. one could reliably predict for the last concert of this season, the MSU Ann Nicole Nelson Hall will have a full-blown crowd, and, likewise at the special annual "pops" concert. The maestro's selections of old and new are geared for the whole family.
The Minot State University alumni have once again arranged a Gala. Pronounce it anyway you choose, just be there at the Grand International Inn on April 29. This grand event will begin with 5:30 p.m. socializing. The "sit down and eat" is set for 6:45 p.m. in the elegantly appointed dining room. A shower of silent auctions will whet your appetites with the proceeds to go for MSU scholarships and a variety of alumni activities.
A string quartet will play during the socializing and Troy Guttormson's piano music will help make the dinnertime pleasant. As always, talented auctioneers will be luring your money as they pit one of you eager bidders against another in the live auction after you've dined and feel generous. Reservations for this April shower should be made right now by calling the MSU Alumni office. For $50 you will have a Gala evening you'll savor forever, the Alumni committee promises.
The Minot Nodakords know how to have a good time singing barbershop style and know how to put together their Good Time Music Show. On April 30 the doors of the Sleep Inn and Suites will swing open at 6:30 p.m. You'll have a half hour of "happiness" to enjoy sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and beverages with the show of singing and skits to begin at 7:30 p.m. Popcorn and beverages, Marty Graner promises, will be complimentary during the evening. Along with the usual blend of male voices as a group, a select foursome called Dakota Blend are also performing. Three special musical showers include performances by the Dakota Rose Band and vocalists McKenzie and Macey Jo Larson. It's for sure that popular Gordon Troxel will be using his directorial baton but what is a secret is just who will be serving as emcee. The ever ebullient emceer Bill Kolb is not available and will be missed. He and Marian now call Surprise, Ariz., home. Tickets for this show are $15 and will be available at the door or can be purchased at Nite Train Pizza, Jacobsen Music, Minot Area Council of the Arts or from any Nodakord-er.
A really big cultural shower will come to Minot's Holiday Inn-Riverside, slated for arrival at 7:30 p.m. on April 15. For the sixth year, Lowell Latimer and his committee members, representing the Minot Public School Foundation, will host their "Swing Into Spring Concert" as a fundraiser.
This event's proceeds will be used for Minot's teacher incentives and special educational activities benefiting Minot's school youth. There will be an absolutely wonderful evening of music by the Minot Community Band directed by Tim Wollenzien. Watching Tim direct is a musical shower all its own. Featured during the program is the piccolo solo by Amy Hall during the band's rendition of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."
You'll have a variety of nibbling goodies and beverages if you wish and an opportunity to see a display of artwork done by some talented Minot students who have been helped professionally by Joan Hansen. Tickets at $10 will be available at Minot Public School Administrative Building, Jacobsen Music, or at the door.
There will be time for dancing too. The Joe Alme directed Jazz Band will strike up the tune "New York, New York" and it will be announced the Lowell Latimer and his perennial partner will "take the floor" for the first dance.
This year, due to an awkward fall by his partner, this part of the evening could be different, but she's promising herself that the broken fibula will be back in shape for "New York, New York." Dr. J promised that it would be and thanks to the wonderfully patient, professional guidance of youthful Josh Foss, she's absolutely promised herself and Lowell that, to the tunes of "New York, New York," this year's dance will go on.
Determination will determine the dance. When you spend the evening of April 15 at the Holiday Inn, you'll be helping many of Minot's youth and enjoy rousing music and dancing, too.
Here's to an April full of cultural "showers."