February has a lot of entertainment

Published 8:48 am Monday, January 30, 2012

Column: Pat Garbisch, Eye on the Arts

So we’ve almost made it to February pretty much unscathed by Old Man Winter, but we still have a few more months until spring arrives. In the meantime, we could just hibernate and while away the hours looking through seed catalogs and planning our summer vacation, or we could get out and enjoy the many concerts, plays, exhibits and special events being offered through our local arts community this month.

Pat Garbisch

For instance, the Albert Lea Civic Music Series has a concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Albert Lea High School, featuring the Bottom Line Duo (www.bottomlineduo.com). Billed as “social chamber music” this duo combines humor and wit with fast fingers and bows.

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If you’re looking for an event for the whole family, Albert Lea Community Theatre will present “A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail,” directed by Sue Jorgensen. This play will be performed at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center in downtown Albert Lea on Feb. 16, 17 and 18. Shows begin each evening at 7 p.m., with an additional Saturday matinee on Feb. 18, starting at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $8 and are general admission seating. Tickets may be purchased at the box office which opens Monday the week of the show’s opening or online at www.actonbroadway.com. Patrons can call the box office at 507-377-4371 or visit the box office at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center to purchase tickets. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 3:30-6 p.m., and 6-7:30 p.m. on performance nights. On Saturday evenings the box office is open 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Another event for the whole family is the Electrifying Minnesota exhibit at the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library & Village, currently exhibiting until Feb. 12. Learn about the pioneering efforts that brought electricity to our area. An open house for this show will be held on from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 12, and your donation will go for the Freeborn County Historical Museum building expansion.

We certainly can’t forget about Valentine’s Day! This year, how about something sweet for your sweetie? The United Methodist Church is hosting its Sweetheart and Chocolates Dinner on Feb. 12 at noon, featuring a Western theme with cowboy songs and music from “Oklahoma.” Tickets are $8.50 for adults and are available through Feb. 5 by calling the church office at 507-373-8233. Cowboy hats and boots are encouraged!

Looking for a way to surprise your honey on Valentine’s Day? Harmony Junction has available a singing Valentine. For $30, your loved one will receive a short song, a card and a long-stemmed rose. Extra roses are $2.50 per rose.

The Harmony Junction quartet will sing at schools, the hospital and most places of businesses in the area, and are also available to deliver their sweet harmony in Freeborn County and surrounding areas. For more information contact Adrian Hestness at 507-373-1708 or 507-383-2641.

Finding the right gift for your sweetheart isn’t always easy. For something different, Art on Broadway at the Albert Lea Art Center has a large variety of beautiful, original artwork created by local artisans including jewelry, paintings, textiles, pottery, copper paintings and glasswork — just to name a few. Art makes the perfect gift for any occasion.

While you are shopping at Art on Broadway, be sure to stop in the galleries to view the Albert Lea Art Center’s annual All Members Show, featuring art from our very talented membership. This exhibit runs through Feb. 18, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact the Art Center at 507-373-5665.

To round out the month, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 the Lighthouse Event Center presents the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra. Described as sounding “like Bela Fleck meets Rush, goes out to breakfast with John Coltrane, and gets home in time to go golfing the Jeff Beck,” this concert is sure to entertain.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 for students and are available in Albert Lea at Marshall Street Music, Stadheim Jewelers, HyVee, or at Coffee House on Main in Austin. Contact the Lighthouse Event Center for more information at 507-373-3144.

Don’t let the cold weather keep you from attending these fantastic events. Hang in there, spring is not far away, and while you are waiting, enjoy everything your local arts community has to offer!


Pat Garbisch is the arts administrator at the Albert Lea Art Center.