Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
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The Sheldon Theatre is transforming into the Paris Opera House as Red Wing High School prepares to bring "The Phantom of the Opera" to life next weekend. After three-plus months of non-stop rehearsals led by Director Sean Dowse, cast members said they are confidently excited about their production. With a recent move to the Sheldon stage after inhabiting the old gymnasium at Jefferson School, the transitions from atmospheres was challenging.
A simple line from a living will form inspired Minnesotan musician Neal Topliff's eighth solo piano CD title, "My Hopes and Wishes." Faced with challenges both physical and emotional, Topliff found strength to create a collection of pieces surrounding challenging times. A majority of the songs were composed within the last six months after Topliff was battling his own life. Last October he found himself in the hospital with severe abdominal pains, later diagnosed as diverticulitis. The disease caused a pin-hole rupture in his intestine.
Lori Horsic of Red Wing decided to pursue her lifelong passion of photography after 20 years of working as a local mental health counselor. Horsic's distinctive photographs are created by applying computer-generated special effects to original photos to produce unique interpretations of the image. Her most recent collection of photographs is on display at Fairview Red Wing Medical Center.
Ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes have been busy with a variety of birds, ducks, geese and swans with the budding new season. Swans are rare to the area and are either migrating through or nesting, according to Red Wing local Shannon Walker. The self-proclaimed "swaner" has had an infatuation with the family of birds known for their elegance, iconic beauty and pristine cultural value her entire life. "It's so strange to see them here," Walker said, who recently spotted the pure white male swan near the waters of Pottery Pond.
As the sounds of spring blossom outdoors, the Sheldon Theatre welcomes in the new season with the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band and its spring concert, "Brass Fantasy." Heading into its 21st season of brassy music-making excellence, the band will produce its trademark traditional British-style brass music and play a broad variety of musical styles. "There will be two big pieces," said John Mundy, Wabasha. Mundy, who plays the B-flat cornet in the band, described the two largest ballads of the show.
From portraits to wildlife, from eclectic to everyday scenes, Red Wing Photography Club members will showcase selected works this spring at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. "Undiscovered: A Collection of Works from the Red Wing Photography Club" also will be a visual representation of one of Minnesota's largest photography clubs. The exhibition's opening will begin with a public reception in the center's historic residence at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Fifteen local restaurants showcasing their signature food items will be featured at the fifth annual Taste Buds & Business, the major spring networking event held by the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce. The mouth-watering exhibition, held in the Summit at the St. James Hotel, will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Attendees go around and sample food while networking with chamber members. Tickets cost $15 and are available at the chamber and from ambassadors. This year the event will include a drive for the Red Wing Area Food Shelf, so donations of a canned goods or money will be accepted.
The Phoenix Theatre's latest production showcases "Morning's at Seven" at the Sheldon Theatre. The 1980 Tony Award-winning show has brought together a pool of local talent heavy on comedy. A portrait of small Midwestern-town America, the story is about growing old, growing up and letting go. Authentic relationships between cast and crew are evident, even at an afternoon dress rehearsal. Giggles, hearty laughs and small improvisations on stage add to charm emitting from the talent of the group.
Signs of spring can be heard from the old gymnasium of Jefferson School as Red Wing High Schools students start their rigorous rehearsals for this year's spring musical, "The Phantom of the Opera." What has been called the world's most haunting love story, the musical has got the kids buzzing with excitement. Director Sean Dowse, who enjoys the process, said their goal is to achieve "artistic merit." The famed piece stands as the longest running show on Broadway and will have its RWHS debut performance with a vocally embellished show.
Nearly 2,000 pawn-enthused fans flocked to the Event Center at Treasure Island Resort & Casino despite snow-blanketed highways Sunday. The commotion revolved around the History Channel's "Pawn Stars," several of whom graced the local stage during their debut tour. The dealmakers of the show, including the Harrison clan of Rick, Corey and Chumlee, answered questions and demonstrated their expertise at offering money for hundreds of treasures and gems. Randy Ernst of Hastings sat with Chumlee as he pondered over some rare Hamm's Beer collectibles.