Downtown art

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November 8, 2004 // UPDATED 4:35 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

'Lion King' fanfare begins

The "on sale" date for Disney's "The Lion King" shows how theater actually leaks out of auditoriums into lobby entrances, box offices and even the street (it's certainly not confined to stages with curtains).

An elaborate play of puppets and masks with music from Elton John and Tim Rice, "The Lion King" has accrued countless awards, and according to the Downtown Council, the show's 1997 debut spurred as much as $9 million of additional Downtown spending.

Tickets for the spring 2005 show go on sale this week -- but not without some fanfare.

Before Ticketmaster opens its doors (OK, phone lines and Web site), an early-hours presale will take place at the State Theatre box office, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7-10 a.m. While early bird ticket seekers wait for their chance at the best seats, they'll be treated to a show in its own right.

Radio personalities from KQQL 108, Cities 97 and KJZI Smooth Jazz will quiz the crowd, and Bloomington-based Groth Music Co. will lead karaoke contests and "loudest roar" competitions. Stilted dancers "Chicks on Sticks" are also on the performance roster.

Then there's the emergency food crew -- the Starbucks Cheer Patrol, along with folks from Land O'Lakes, Krispy Kreme and Subway with their various for-sale offerings -- and a chef from Bellanotte in Block E will be available to cook breakfast on-site.

If this gets to be a little too much, Countryside Chiropractic will relax weary visitors with chair massages.

"The Lion King" will run April 8-May 29 at the Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S. Ticketmaster begins selling tickets at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7-10 a.m. State Theatre box office, 805 Hennepin Ave. S. $25-$128. 651-989-5151.

It's your line

Comics Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood tag-team with quick sketches that draw audience members on stage.

This quirky duo doesn't mind embarrassing themselves, or anyone else. Viewers aren't just props, they impact the shape of the show as the comics collect audience input to incorporate into their silly scenarios.

Mochrie and Sherwood hail from ABC's Emmy-nominated screwball improvisational show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Mochrie, who also starred in the British version of "Whose Line" was nearly cut off from the American brand when the network worried that the staid-looking comedian wasn't fashionable enough. But Mochrie retained his spot by proving that his quick wit more than makes up for his supposedly low hip-ness factor.

Sherwood was also a frequent guest on the Brit front prior to his regular spotlight on the Americanization. His background includes gigs with "The Drew Carey Show," "L.A. Law," "To Tell the Truth," and other shows.

When this pair hits the road they still can't decide, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Friday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S. $40-$45. 651-989-5151.

Red goes 'Underwater'

Red restaurant will host a film-premier party for, "Underwater Projection," from local filmmakers Tristan Hertz and Douglas Somers' newly formed I-Soar Productions. Calling the film a "subconscious narrative about television, isolation and form overload," event organizers will accessorize the screening with paintings from Hertz and Somers, and Steven Grady, as well as sculptures by Patrick Tierney and Sarah Paul.

Jason Hertz (Tristan's twin brother) will also perform poetry and prose while Tierney accompanies with music -- all in Red's new event center and art gallery.

Thursday, Nov. 11 7 p.m. (film premiers at 9 p.m.) Red's Grand Kaeola Event Center, 821 Marquette Ave. $5. 436-8888.

Anna Pratt can be reached at