It’s high summer in Cook County and the season will be launched with the beginning of the Grand Marais Playhouse’s Summer Theater Festival on Thursday night with the first performance of “Nunsense: The Mega Musical” by Dan Goggin at 7 p.m.
The play with be performed in repertory with the comedy “Nana’s Naughty Nickers,” by Katherine DiSavino, Thursday through Sunday until Aug. 10. See www.grandmaraisplayhouse.org for the complete schedule of performances.
The cast of “Nunsense” includes Rena Rogers, Karina Roth, Karen Blackburn, Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux, Micheala Peterson, Jan Healy, Gerry Grant, Don Grant, and Daniel Ditmanson.
Nunsense was originally created from a line of nun greeting cards that the playwright, Dan Groggin, developed. He expanded the concept into a musical, which opened off Broadway in New York in 1985, where it ran for 3,672 shows— one of the most commercially successful Off Broadway shows ever. By the time the show closed, it had become an international phenomenon and was translated into 21 languages with 5,000 productions worldwide.
The cast of “Nana’s Naughty Nickers” includes Yvonne Block, Jan Healy, Julie Fredlund, Karl Olson, Ron McClellan, Jane Gellner, Bill Shaffer and Tina Krauz.
Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.
This is the weekend of flower shows in Cook County. The Grand Marais Garden Club will host the 70th annual Flower Show at the Cook County Community Center on Friday, July 18, from noon to 5 p.m. The theme is “Birds, Bees and Blossoms.” Refreshments will be served. All invited.
On Saturday, the West End Garden Club will host its Flower Show at the Schroeder Town Hall from 1-5 p.m. The theme this year is “Around the World in 80 Bouquets.” The show will also include a program on minature gardens Refreshments will be served.
The Grand Marais Art Colony continues its Friday studio demonstrations with a demo in the clay studio by Natalie Sobanja at 10 a.m. The demo is free. All invited.
On Saturday, the Cook County Farm & Craft Market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center parking lot.
Also at 9 a.m. on Saturday, author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley who produced the book, “Lake Superior Flavors,” will be guests at a celebration between Drury Lane Books and the World’s Best Donuts. The Donut Shop was featured in the book.
The Bally Blacksmith Tent is open again this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is across the street from the Senior Center parking lot. The public is invited to enjoy refreshments, identify mystery artifacts from the old shop, share stories about the old days and learn about the renovation and documentation project at the Blacksmith Shop sponsored by the Cook County Historical Society.
At noon on Saturday, WTIP Community Radio will broadcast the show that Mountain Stage Radio recorded at Unplugged at North House Folk School last year. Performers include The BoDeans, Dead Man Winter, Jill & Julia (Jill Sobule & Julia Sweeney), The Pines and the Jonathan Rundman Acoustic Trio. WTIP broadcasts at 90.7 FM.
Mountain Stage Radio Show is coming back to North House again this year. Find more information on this year’s Unplugged event, Sept. 11-14 and buy tickets at
There are some great art exhibits to see this month, too. “Feels Like Home,” with beadpainting by Jo Wood and acrylic paintings by Don Lessard continues at the Johnson Heritage Post through July 20.
And the Grand Marais Art Colony is exhibiting watercolors by Tim Pearson in its Spotlight Gallery through the end of the month.
The Thunder Bay Art Gallery has a number of on-going exhibits this summer including “Nowhere is a Place,” paintings by Julie Cosgrove; “Moving Metal,” featuring 13 contemporary Canadian silversmiths, “Push: Contemporary Glassworks,” and an exhibit of Benjamin Chee Chee’s artwork from the permanent collection.
And the Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay is featuring three exhibits in its space: The Members’ Show, an exhibit of works by the Die Active Collective and a video artist.
In other art news, Threads is featuring paintings by Heidi Sobanja and Yelena Quistad and photography by David Johnson.
Great Gifts of Lutsen has cards by Betsy Bowen, Kelly Dupre, Sandi Pillsbury-Gredzens, Anna Hess and Jane Richards.
Kah Nee Tah Gallery in Lutsen is featuring watercolors by Marie Sweeney. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
July artists at the the Cross River Heritage Center include Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens, David Hahn, Travis Novitsky, Bruce Palmer, Rose Vastila, Alan and Shell Foeckler.
And here’s a great idea for writers: Shelby “Miss Guided” Gonzalez has organized a Writing Field School Oct. 3-5 at Lutsen Resort. It promises to “deepen your everyday writing skills and invite more creativity into your life.”
It also promises to:
- Demolish your writer’s block – and learn exactly what to do next time you get stuck
- Level up your writing skills
- Get key insider insights on getting published
- Write your first adventure story
Want a taste of what this 3-day event is offering? Visit www.writingfieldschool.com. You can also order a free “Writer’s Block Demolition Kit” on the site. (We ordered one.)
Thursday, July 17:
- Joe Paulik, Music on the Beach, Lutsen Resort, 6 p.m.
- Pete Kavanaugh, Sydney’s, 7 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne, Gunflint Tavern, 8 p.m.
Friday, July 18:
- Briand Morrison, The Pie Place Cafe, 6 p.m.
- Joe Paulik, Music by the Campfire, Eagle Ridge Resort Campfire, Lusten, 7:30 p.m.
- Cherry Dirt, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
- Black River Revue, Gunflint Tavnern, 9 p.m.
Saturday, July 19:
- Boyd “Bump” Blomberg & Adam Moe, Bluefin Grille, 7 p.m.
- Pete Kavanaugh, Cascade Lodge Pub, 7:30 p.m.
- Black River Revue, Gunflint Tavern, 9 p.m.
- Dance Party with DJ Beavstar, Papa Charlie’s, 9:30 p.m.
Monday, July 21:
- Joe & Jessi, Gunflint Tavern, 7 p.m.
- Pete Kavanaugh, Bluefin Grille, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, July 22:
- Timmy Haus, Gunflint Tavern, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 23:
- Eric Frost, Music on the Mountain at Moguls Grille, 9 p.m.
- Gordon Thorne and Bob Bingham, Bluefin Grille, 9 p.m.
Our favorite photographers were definitely out and about this week. Here’s a selection:
First up, taking a drink — moose-style and deer-style.
Here’s one by Nace Hagemann … he noted that the mom guarded her chick as it warmed itself on the road.
Paul Pluskwik caught this fantastic shot of a loon family on a northern Minnesota lake.
Here’s a great shot of an indigo bunting by David Brislance.
Hawkweed and a butterfly… beautiful colors by Dennis Chick.
Layne Kennedy captured this wonderful image of Minnehaha Falls in the Twin Cities.
And Bryan Hansel captured this intriguing shot with an underwater camera.
There were some wonderful skyscapes, too. Here’s a gorgeous shot by Travis Novitsky.
And here’s what is coming down the pike — very soon!
Have a great weekend, everyone!