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Thanks for the MinnRoast memories

Photo by Amy Koch
Former state Sen. Amy Koch's selfie, taken during MinnRoast 2014. Left to right: U.S. congressional candidate Tom Emmer, Koch, lieutenant governor candidate Tina Smith, House Speaker Paul Thissen, Franni Franken and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Before MinnRoast 2014 recedes into history, we want to recognize those who made it possible.

    • Our 57 generous sponsors, especially Stinson Leonard Street as Reception Host, and equally generous in-kind donors. Thank you all.
    • The cast and crew, led by first-time MinnRoast director Ashleigh Swenson and seven-time MinnRoast choreographer DeAnne Sherman.
    • Well-known Minnesotans who took the stage with style: political comedian Lizz Winstead, Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Al Franken, U of M President Eric Kaler, former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, and many other political and media personalities.
  • Our talented guest musicians: Music director Eric Edwalds and Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret & Burlesque Show Band. First-time MinnRoast vocalists Mugsy, Erin Schwab and Jim Graves. Singers from VocalEssence, led by assistant artistic director Tesfa Wondemagegnehu and accompanied on piano by artistic director Philip Brunelle. Tesfa as Tevye? Spine-tingling. Ask anyone who was there.
  • Our lyricists: Head writer Al Sicherman created almost enough song parodies for two whole shows. Jill Field, Marlys Harris, Joe Kimball, Lee Lynch, Corey Anderson (and I) chipped in one song apiece. 
  • The staff and volunteers who worked for months to promote the event and make it run smoothly. Special thanks to MinnPost office manager Bethany Hollenkamp and creative director Corey Anderson.
  • The audience, almost 1,400 strong, who bought tickets, hooted at the jokes, and opened their wallets when the baskets were passed. $17,369 came in the night of the show, on top of $140,945 in sponsorship and ticket revenues. All three numbers are up significantly from last year.

If you were unable to join us, there’s still time to add your name as a MinnRoast 2014 donor. Make a donation here by Friday, May 2, and put MinnRoast in the comments box. All MinnRoast proceeds support the year-round independent journalism provided by MinnPost. 

Thanks to returning cast member Amy Koch, who took the selfie published above at the start of her Stage Right remarks.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Joe Duffy on 04/28/2014 - 06:37 pm.

    MinnRoast 2014

    The day after MinnRoast, a participant and friend asked my opinion. I cautiously replied I thought the eveninig was “uneven”. On the plus side, the choice of venues was great. Laurie’s smile and friendly welcome were a perfect start for the evening. The food was tasty, creative and plentiful. Unfortunately, the quality of the entertainment was mixed and, overall, a disappointment. The music and dancing were well done and a delight to hear and watch. Betsey Hodges, however, was the winner of the evening for a well-crafted performance that elicited lots of laughs. Some performances were tedious and ranged from dull to dreadful – I won’t name names. Finally, I felt too much of the content was pitched to a politically liberal base. Some people seated near my wife and me were clearly uncomfortable and not amused. In sum, MinnRoast didn’t match MinnPost quality.

  2. Submitted by Laurie Kramer on 04/29/2014 - 09:49 am.

    MinnRoast 2014

    Joe,

    Thanks very much for your comment. The content of the MinnRoast show is not intentionally pitched to any base. Through skits and songs and speakers, we strive to make gentle fun of politics and policies of all types. We invite Minnesota’s top officeholders and legislative majority and minority leaders to write their own material and deliver it from the stage. We’re also happy to present willing celebrities in skits and songs. The French bistro skit written and performed by gubernatorial candidates Tom Emmer and Tom Horner a few years ago was a huge hit with the MinnRoast audience. So was the Western-style musical number ‘DFLers and Republicans Should Be Friends’ which featured then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch doing a d0-si-do with Sen. John Marty. We invited Gov. Pawlenty to participate every year he was Governor and again after he left office. We hope more Republicans will accept our invitations to participate in the future. We’ll keep asking.  

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