It’s TWELFTH NIGHT at Anoka-Ramsey!


William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was first performed over 400 years ago on Candlemas night, 2 February 1602, in England. Some of the greatest names in 20th century English and American theatre have since performed in the play – Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, and Helen Hayes, to name a few.

Twelfth Night, one of the Bard’s most accomplished comedies, is currently being performed on the stage of the Performing Arts Center at Anoka-Ramsey Commmunity College in Coon Rapids.

I was delighted to attend opening night on April 16th. Scott Ford’s inspired direction, the stark yet effective scenic design, and the striking costuming made for a memorable evening.

The young actors, by and large, did a commendable job of interpreting Shakespeare’s intricate and complex prose. A few struggled, others should remember that they must react to action and other actors on the stage, but Marcus Coker (Sir Toby Belch), Jacob Budnick (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), and Emily Moulds (Feste) gave diverting and entertaining performances in their comic roles. Neal Skoy was outstanding as Malvolio.

Mr. Skoy is a remarkably talented young man, and the audience was captivated by his exceptional performance from the moment he first appeared on stage. Malvolio is a complex and fascinating character that he handled with assurance and aplomb, especially through the use of his rich and eloquent voice – which filled every corner of the auditorium, seemingly without effort.

The actors cavorted about the stage in some of the most intriguing, if not startling, costumes I’ve ever seen in a Shakespeare production. Special kudos to Costume Designer Barb Portinga for combining vintage evening gowns, fright wigs, and red high-top sneakers with more conventional ensembles recalling the 16th century. Lauren Haven was lovely in everything she wore, Mr. Skoy bore a striking resemblance to the young F. Scott Fitzgerald in many of his scenes, and Mr. Budnick looked like an escapee from the Court of Versailles throughout. It was all very strange, but it worked.

The public can enjoy upcoming performances of Twelfth Night at 7:30 pm on April 22, 23, and 24. Tickets are $8.00 at the box office.

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

82nd ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS

On the evening of March 7, 2010, the 82nd annual Academy Awards were presented at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was officially organized on May 4, 1927, but the first “Oscars” were not awarded until May 16, 1929. That evening, in the ballroom of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, “Wings” was named “Best Picture” of the year. Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor took home the acting prizes.
Fast forward 81 years. On March 7th the following winners were announced:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz in “Inglorious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique in “Precious”
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”

It was a night of firsts! Bullock, Waltz, and Mo’Nique were all first-time nominees, and Bigelow was the first woman in the history of the Academy Awards to receive the “Best Director” prize. Also, for the first time since 1943, ten films were nominated for “Best Picture”.
Here are some fascinating facts about the Oscars:
Most Awards (11): “Ben-Hur“, “Titanic”, and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Most Nominations (14): “All About Eve”, “Titanic”
Most Awards – Acting (4): Katharine Hepburn
Most Nominations – Acting (16): Meryl Streep

East Central Regional Library has many Oscar-winning films on DVD and more are being added to the collection on a regular basis. Check our catalog!
The best book ever written about the Academy Awards is probably “80 Years of the Oscar” by Robert Osborne. It’s located in the central reference collection at the Cambridge library for your enjoyment and perusal.
Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

LOOKING FOR RELIABLE HEALTH INFO?

Did you know that East Central Regional Library maintains an extensive list of web sites that we use on a daily basis? Just check our “Reference Desk” page and click on “Web Links”. There are many different categories! One of the most popular is Health & Medicine.

Here you’ll find links to the American Medical Association, Medline Plus, WebMD, and the Mayo Clinic, among other reliable online resources. You can easily locate information on diseases, medical conditions, drugs, and specific health-related topics pertaining to children, men, women, and seniors.

The library also maintains outstanding print resources for your use, including:

“Mayo Clinic Family Health Book”
“Complete Guide to Prescription & Non-Prescription Drugs”
“American Medical Association Complete Medical Encyclopedia”

Please contact your nearest ECRL branch library for assistance with these and other library resources!

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

2010 STATE ONE-ACT PLAY FESTIVAL


On Friday, January 29, 2010, it was my privilege to attend the evening performance of “4 A.M.”, presented by the Cambridge-Isanti High School Theatre Department as part of the 2010 State One-Act Play Festival.

An ensemble piece written by Jonathan Dorf, the play explores the question, “What’s it like to be awake when the rest of your world is asleep?” Teen characters examine themselves, their relationships, and their place in the world through a series of vignettes and monologues tied together by the character of Frankie, a lonely and somewhat isolated radio DJ.

“4 A.M.” premiered at a similar festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in April 2009. It is one of many plays and monologues written by Dorf, who holds a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from UCLA.

While the entire cast is commendable, special kudos go to Jake Budnick and Tylinn Fahrni. As Frankie, Mr. Budnick transcends the stationary nature of the part through the use of his very expressive voice, while Ms. Fahrni is remarkably natural and unaffected as Jane.

The Cambridge-Isanti High School Theatre Department hope to bring their interpretation of the play to the State Tournament, which will be held in the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine’s University on February 11, 2010.

“4 A.M.” is directed by Kelly Fahrni.

Bob Gray, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian

NOVELIST – Your Guide to Fiction !

As we move into the chilly, dark days and nights of January, there’s nothing more rewarding than relaxing with a good book.

Many people come to the library to request the latest bestsellers or to browse the new books recently added to the collection. Others like to discuss their favorite authors with library staff and make recommendations.

Did you know that the NOVELIST database is available to all East Central Regional Library cardholders? It is your complete guide to fiction and can be used in the library, at home, or wherever you have access to a computer!

With NoveList you can search for books by author, title, or series. You may also limit your results to adults, teens, or children.

On the left side of the home page, you’ll find links to “Author Read-alikes”, “Award Winners”, and “Recommended Reads”. Are you interested in books similar to “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown”? Locate his entry under “Author Read-alikes”. Who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction? You’ll find the answer under “Award Winners”. Would you like a list of historical fiction novels? Check “Recommended Reads”!

To access NoveList go to the ECRL homepage: http://www.ecrlib.org/
Then:
—Click on “Magazines & Databases” on the left
—Scroll down and click on the “NoveList” link.
You’re in and can begin looking for that perfect novel!

Please feel free to contact your nearest ECRL branch library if you have questions or comments about NoveList. Staff are happy to assist!

Bob Gray
Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian