Tad Simons

Tad Simons

Contributing editor Tad Simons is an award-winning journalist whose writing on the local arts scene has appeared in the Twin Cities Reader, City Pages, St. Paul Pioneer Press, American Theatre magazine, BackStage, Variety and the Washington Post. Over his 25 year career, Tad has covered theater, books, music, visual arts, dance, film, and performance art (including politics). Tad’s articles and essays on these and other subjects have won more than 30 local and national awards for editorial excellence.

12.28.06: The Bad Plus at the Dakota

Thirty-five bucks is a steep ticket price for a jazz band.


4.5.07: Dérive at the Northwestern Casket Company

Flaneur Productions’ short works showcase, Dérive, began with two constraints: a fragment of text—apocalyptic, bizarre—and a location—a windowy room on the top floor of the now-defunct Northwestern Casket Company. 


1.31.07: The Glass Menagerie at the Guthrie

After watching Bill McCallum’s Tom Wingfield smoke a pack of Chesterfields through the opening monologue of The Glass Menagerie at the Guthrie, I can almost forgive Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston for rhetorically asking if this play has any relevance for today’s audience. 


4.29.07: MicroCon 2007 Comic Convention

The easy recap of the MicroCon 2007, the comic book convention put on by the Midwest Comic Book Association at the State Fairgrounds last weekend, would open with a pat description of the pudgy Batman in full costume, the goth girl with red contact lenses, and the middle-aged guy in green corduroys with Captain America’s shield slung over his back.


4.16.07: Ivey Awards Ramps Up at the Orpheum

The Ivey Awards popped up three years ago as a way to honor the Twin Cities theater community.


Don't be Fooled, More Real: Art in the Age of Truthiness is brilliant

Some years ago, in a report that may or may not be credible, it was asserted that young people supposedly get more of their news now from fake news shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report than they do from real news shows or newspapers—which the kiddies don’t watch or read, in any case, and certainly don’t trust.


4.27.07: Next Opens in Theaters

Like most everyone else in this Us Weekly, Access Hollywood–ized world of ours, I know more than I’d like about the assorted catfights and chemical dependencies of the Paris, Lindsay, and Britney set. 


4.14:07: Low at First Ave. and Halloween, Alaska at the 400 Bar

I hate to admit this, but I've never seen Duluth folk singer/guitarist Charlie Parr perform live.


4.7.07: K2 at the Jungle Theater

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing K2 at the Jungle Theater.


6.14.07: TU Dance at the Southern Theater

After TU Dance’s spring concert is over and the dancers have gone, the Southern Theater stage seems bereft, empty, orphaned—but the dance goes on in the viewer’s eyes, afterimages of motion flickering over the ordinary world outside.


6.6.07: Shojo Manga! Girl Power! East and West at MCAD

When I lived in San Francisco, I would sometimes visit a certain bookstore in “Japantown,” a neighborhood of Japanese shops and restaurants in the middle of the city.


6.28.07: Such Sweet Thunder at Orchestra Hall

This weekend's lineup of Twin Cities Jazz Festival events got off to a rollicking start last night when, over the dinner hour, Chicago bluesman extraordinaire Big George Jackson and his band slung their gutbucket blues at a jovial crowd on Peavey Plaza. 


6.29.07: Emigrant Theater's Hunger at Mixed Blood

Who hasn’t wanted to occasionally drown their fears? In Hunger, a new play by Sheri Wilner and produced by Emigrant Theater, the lead character does it not with alcohol, but with the Atlantic Ocean.


7.6.07: Girl Friday's Our Town at Minneapolis Theatre Garage

Girl Friday Productions' Our Town is as unadorned and lovely as its characters.


8.4.07: New Photography: McKnight Fellows 2006/2007 at MCP

Openings are the best kind of parties—free food and wine (even if it is served in plastic cups), interesting people, and good atmosphere. 


8.25.07: Girls Rock! at the Ritz

A couple of nights ago I was at the local premiere of Dirty Country, a hilarious documentary about Larry Pierce, a singer-songwriter who performs raunchy country music only the ill-informed would call misogynistic—his songs are so juvenile that you gotta believe Pierce is the only one being oppressed.


9.9.07: Average Family at Children’s Theatre Company

There’s a moment in the beginning of the Children Theater Company’s Average Family when you think, Hmm, maybe this isn’t going to be another one of those preachy, warm-hearted, message-driven plays about the joys and rewards of rediscovering one’s lost Native American heritage.


10.25.07: Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation at the Weisman Art Museum

Changing Hands fills four rooms—about half of the Weisman’s gallery space.


10.17.08: Jimmy Pardo at Acme Comedy Co.

Jimmy Pardo is an animal—a small, five-foot-three-inch male who grew up in Chicago and migrated to Los Angeles. 


10.6.07: Georgia O’Keeffe: Circling Around Abstraction at the MIA

Waiting in lines ranks high on my list of un-fun activities. But if you're going to wait, you could do worse than standing feet away from ancient Roman marble sculptures and mosaics. 


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