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Best Bets: From Mountain Tops to Daily Dalas




In “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall, it is April 3, 1968 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel. It’s the day before his murder, and he just gave the “I’ve been to the Top of the Mountain” speech at a Mason temple in Memphis.

(Courtesy of Duluth Playhouse)

(Courtesy of Duluth Playhouse)

The Duluth Playhouse is hosting a staged virtual reading of the play, which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett when she performed on Broadway, to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.

Actor Gabriel Mayfield is king in this read, and Daysha Ramsey is Camae, a maid who visits him.

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“The Mountaintop” will premiere at 7 p.m. on January 15 and will be available to stream at ShowTix4U until January 18. Tickets cost $ 10 per household. Once the ticket is purchased, you have 48 hours to watch the show.

Superior Mermaid (Image courtesy of Laura Sellner)

Superior Mermaid (Image courtesy of Laura Sellner)

Don’t underestimate

On the first day of the year, deep-dark folk band Superior Siren posted a new video for Try too hard a song from their self-titled 2018 album. New Year, New Anthem, the group wrote on social media. Cut to singer-guitarist Laura Sellner with a strong gaze, repeating, Don’t underestimate me.

The video is by Killy Kay, who creates videos for many bands, including others for Superior Siren. This one, along with Alison Peluso, has an aesthetic that matches the band’s sound: dark, serious, powerful. It’s fascinating.

If don’t underestimate me resonates: Superior siren sells T-shirts with the message, and 20% of sales go to Safe Haven.

Paula Gudmundson (file 2020 / News Tribune)

Paula Gudmundson (file 2020 / News Tribune)

Traveling flute show

In mid-September, flautist Paula Gudmundson performed a series of short concerts in a handful of places around Duluth, starting at the balcony of Glensheen Mansion and ending at the Northland Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“I could have played five more,” she said after her last salute that day.

University of Minnesota music teacher Duluth was one of a group of musicians from the Bach Society of Minnesota who performed mobile concerts as part of their “Vagabond Season.”

DanSan Creative followed that day and created a video set of Bach’s Partita in A minor BWV 1013. The 10-minute portion of the day includes aerial footage of views of Duluth with the engaging style of Gudmundson.

The video is available on Gudmundson’s YouTube channel.

Speed ​​theater

Twenty-eight local artists take part in a fast-paced theater project: a single day to write, memorize and perform a monologue which will then be posted on the Renegade Theater Company’s The Facebook page.

“The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues Duluth” was scheduled to begin Monday night when 14 writers were told where their actor would be recording the monologue, their costume and if they had a particular skill.

The actors were to receive their original monologue at 10 a.m. the next morning. Later on Tuesday, videos were to be posted in 15-minute increments, starting at 6 p.m.

Dala horses (courtesy Nordic Center)

Dala horses (courtesy Nordic Center)

Another day another dala

Graphic designer Teri Glembin started doodling dala horses, which turned into a project in its own right: A Dala a Day.

Its 31 brightly colored dalas, some with birds, others without, are available on the Nordic Center website,

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