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.

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. 


12.7.07: Ethnic Dance Theatre's Nutcracker! at E. M. Pearson Theatre

The simple premise of Ethnic Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker! is that all the various characters and nationalities in the story are represented by authentic folk dances.


11.11.07: Hip Hop Live at First Avenue

We’ll get to the Hip Hop Live review in a second, but first, let’s pour a forty for our homey, Norman Mailer.


11.3.07: PhotoBravo at Minnesota Center for Photography

From the look of things, the Minnesota Center for Photography is attracting not only photography enthusiasts, but those with dollars to indulge their affinity.


2.15.08: Chek It, Baby at Bryant-Lake Bowl

Reviewing theater on The Morning After is ruining my life.


2.3.08: Anxiety Dreams at Altered Aesthetics

Altered Aesthetics has picked an irresistible premise for one of two shows currently up at the gallery. Who hasn't had dreams that the universe may be more malevolent than you thought? 


3.21.08: Bob Weir & Ratdog at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium

Since Jerry Garcia died in 1995 and the Grateful Dead disbanded, the living members of the Dead have splintered off to pursue other projects and form groups of their own.


5.6.08: Cabaret at Ordway Center

Taken on its own terms, Ordway Center’s production of Cabaret is dazzling. 


5.1.08: Ragamala’s "Sva (Vital Force)" at the Southern Theater

Ragamala’s Minneapolis concert marking the company’s fifteenth season opens with “Ardhanareeshwara Stotram,” a dance of the dual creation divinity, Shakti/Shiva.


4.25.08: Gem of the Ocean at The Guthrie

The last time I saw August Wilson alive was in the bathroom of the old Guthrie, minutes before the premiere of Fences, which until last night was the first and only production of Wilson’s work the Guthrie had ever done. 


6.3.08: Barack Obama at Xcel Energy Center

“Is your line moving yet?” It was after 7 p.m. and my buddy Mark was texting me from further back in the line—he was on Kellogg and Wabasha.


6.30.08: RZA as Bobby Digital at First Avenue

Trust me, white people wrote about black people before we wrote about Barack Obama.


7.07.08: George Michael @ Xcel Energy Center

Wow. I haven’t danced that long in years. If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of George Michael is Wham!, then please stop reading this. You’re not in the club. 


8.28.08: The Listening Project at the Walker Art Center

As Barack Obama delivered a rock star moment last night in Denver, a Minnesota-made documentary screened at the Walker that I suspect was also simulcast from Obama Command Central. David Axelrod, are you responsible for this?


8.1.08: Circus Juventas @ Highland Park in St. Paul

Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of the traditional circus. Sad clowns, stupid human tricks, animals in tutus—it’s the sort of entertainment I imagine would be effective at Guantanamo Bay.


10.20.08 TV on the Radio @ First Avenue

As the TV on the Radio show let out last night, and the First Avenue crowd spilled onto the corner of Seventh and First, a short fat dude with a beard held up a sticker of the Grateful Dead’s “Steal Your Face” skull, the red white and blue one with the electric bolt.


10.8.08: The Mattoid and Silver Jews @ The Triple Rock

Rock ’n’ roll has a humor problem. There have been funny videos, and funny rock-star presenters at award shows, and even funny reality television shows starring rock stars. But when it comes to rock stars actually making funny music, historically, there's been a deficit.


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