MinnRoast 2015: Oh, what a night!

MinnPost photo by Jana Freiband
Lynn Smith, Joe Kimball, director Ashleigh Swenson, Brian "BT" Turner, Mugsy, Lee Lynch and Amy Buchanan performing at MinnRoast 2015.

About 1,250 newsmakers, news junkies and friends gathered Friday, April 24, at the Historic State Theatre for MinnRoast 2015.

Thanks to all who came to entertain or be entertained, to socialize, and to support MinnPost on the biggest day of our year.

We’ll post photos and video selections as soon as we can. In the meantime, here are a few highlights.

    • Well-honed talents for comedy (both stand-up and sit-down) were displayed on stage by Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and 6th District Rep. Tom Emmer. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota’s 5th District sang original lyrics and played the guitar with style. And Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges recited hilarious Haiku poetry constructed from nasty Tweets. Who knew?
  • The mid-show special appeal raised more than $23,000 to launch a New Americans beat covering refugee and immigrant communities. In just a few minutes, audience members used smartphones to build on the $8,000 we’d raised in advance. Additional donations to this important campaign are welcome.
  • The musical numbers were a huge hit thanks to Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Maria Jette, Amy Buchanan, Mugsy, VocalEssence with Philip Brunelle, Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret & Burlesque Show Band, and the MinnRoast Singers & Dancers. Artistic director Ashleigh Swenson and choreographer DeAnne Sherman wreaked their magic again. Check out the lyrics by our crackerjack writing team here. Extra thanks to Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows for their pre-show musical performance from the MinnRoast stage.

In days and weeks to come, MinnRoast co-chairs Jill Field, Kim Kieves, Barbara Klaas, Jennifer Martin, Kandace Olsen and Susan Plimpton will analyze post-event surveys to figure out what we can do to make MinnRoast 2016 even better. We’ve received 100 surveys already and encourage other attendees to complete the brief survey.

We’ll give the last word to this commenter. Thank you, whoever you are:

“A wonderful evening – everything about this event rings with intelligence and thoughtfulness and sense of shared commitment to civic community and vitality – and even joy.”

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