Archived Story

Arts and entertainment bloom this May

Published 9:59am Thursday, April 25, 2013

Column: Eye on the Arts, by Pat Garbisch

If April showers bring May flowers, we should have an explosion of blooms by the time the warm weather finally gets here. But regardless of the temperature, one thing you can count on is the abundance of art and entertainment options available to the community in May.

Pat Garbisch
Pat Garbisch

The Albert Lea Art Center is featuring an exhibit, “Family Heirlooms & Collectibles,” through May 24 during regular Art Center hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

At the May 16 Dorothy Godtland Lecture Series, the Art Center features Susan Joyce speaking on what it takes to be an all-American author. The lectures are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Art Center.

James Petersen is the featured artist at Art on Broadway at the Art Center. Be sure to stop in to see this local artist’s thought-provoking work.

Do you have a watercolor that you have given up on or just need some help with? Sign up for the class, Brush It Up, at the Art Center on May 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., taught by Bonnie Lee and Lu Callstrom.

Register by calling Community Ed at 370-4834 or online at Bring your own watercolor supplies.

The Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, 147 N. Broadway, will be the site of a variety of performance events during the month of May.

Albert Lea Community Theatre’s popular musical comedy “Church Basement Ladies” starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday. It will continue its run from May 1 to 4, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain time. The show features actors Lynn Berven as the minister and Nancy Lahs, Sue Wiersma, Mary Wayne and Kristi White as the kitchen ladies. Licensed by Troupe America, it plays to a full house wherever it’s performed.

On May 6, Luverne Seifert, University of Minnesota director of theater performance, will hold an acting workshop and auditions for his touring performance of “The Visit,” which received an Arts Tour grant from the Minnesota Arts Board. He is looking for local actors to join a professional company performing the play on the grounds of the Freeborn County Historical Society, July 22 through 26. The workshop will be held at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

Disco Fever by DC Music will be a tribute to disco music scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 10. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at or by calling the ACT box office at 377-4371.

Auditions for the ACT musical, “Happy Days,” will be May 22 and 23 at the theater. The major musical of the season, this delightful show takes us back to the light-hearted days of the late ’50s, when rock ’n’ roll was king. Major roles include parents, Howard and Marian Cunningham, Arnold of the malt shop, the Fonz, Richie, and many teenage friends. Director Steve Kinney encourages high school and college students from the area to audition, especially those with singing and dancing experience.

The Albert Lea High School vocal department encourages everyone to come to its annual spring vocal concert at 7 p.m. May 13 in the school auditorium. This concert will celebrate the accomplishments of the students from the past year. The senior choir members also will be honored. The concert will feature the Tiger choir, varsity choir, concert choir, chorale, and CATaclysmic show choir. The choirs are directed by Diane Heaney. Admission to the concert is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Music concert passes are also valid for this concert. Tickets are available at the door and doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

Several senior vocalists will be featured at the Albert Lea High School senior vocal recital. They will perform solos and ensembles for the public at 2 p.m. May 19 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. The seniors will present a varied repertoire of music from popular to classical solos. The public is invited to attend free of charge. Enjoy refreshments after the recital.

The Albert Lea Careyaires will hold their yearly church run on May 19. The Careyaires hope that we may all continue to hear and appreciate inspiring sacred music in our churches!

Harmony Junction Barbershop Chorus will hold its annual show June 1 at the Southwest Middle School Little Theater. The theme for this year’s show is “Applause!” Performances are at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. with guest quartet, St. Croix Crossing, from St. Croix, Wis. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased from Harmony Junction members or at the door on the day of the show. For more information call 373-3855 or 373-1708

The Lighthouse Event Center presents Mary Jane Alm at 7:30 p.m. May 4.

From Mankato, and formerly of Nobody’s Fool and City Mouse, Alm was a guest vocalist on “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Good Evening with Noah Adams.” Come hear a great performer up close and personal in the Lighthouse’s intimate setting. The ticket price is $20 in advance, or $25 at the door and are available in Albert Lea at: Marshall Street Music, Hy-Vee, Stadheim Jewelers and in Austin at Coffee House on Main.

For more information call the Lighthouse at 507-373-3144 or email

So now that winter is (hopefully) behind us, celebrate spring by attending one or more of the great art, musical or theater events taking place in Albert Lea in May.


Pat Garbisch serves on the Albert Lea Art Center board of directors.