The battles of World War I, which ended 100 years ago tomorrow, were fought abroad, but that does not mean there was no hostile activity on American soil. Minnesota — and in particular Red Wing and other Goodhue County communities — was a hotbed of political and social unrest in 1917-1918. People of German ancestry were harassed, leading citizens assumed powers normally given to elected officials, and all citizens were vulnerable to arrest for the simple act of speaking their minds.
One hundred years ago today, Red Wing's Daily Republican newspaper rushed to print a one-page Extra edition announcing that the World War would end at 2 p.m. that day. But wait. Today is Nov. 7. World War I did not end until 11-11-11 — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. A copy of that Nov. 7 press run survives — perhaps the only copy that was not destroyed by the newspaper when word came that the announcement was premature.
If you grew up watching Marx Brothers movies and the quiz show "You Bet Your Life" on television, you have an idea what kind of craziness to expect when Frank Ferrante brings "An Evening with Groucho" to the Sheldon Theatre for two shows on Nov. 9. But Ferrante has discovered that even young people who have never heard of Groucho Marx make great audiences for his interactive performance. For them, it's an opportunity to discover a rule-breaking, wildly funny man whose legacy is very much alive — thanks in large part to Ferrante.
It's a toss-up: Who is the star of the Silent Film Horror Fest coming up Halloween Night at the Sheldon Theatre? Lon Chaney, known as "the man with a thousand faces," starred in the 1925 silent film "The Phantom of the Opera," which will be shown on the big screen at 6 p.m. John Barrymore, once called "the greatest living American tragedian" for his portrayal of Hamlet, starred in Paramount's 1920 silent version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," which will be shown at 9 p.m.
Who would have thought that after 40 years in his career, Louie Anderson would love it as much now as he did Oct. 10, 1978, when he first stepped on stage at Mickey Finn's in Northeast Minneapolis? Anderson, who will perform Oct. 26 and 27 at Red Wing's historic Sheldon Theatre, waxed a bit nostalgic as he prepared for a return visit to his home state, Minnesota. He grew up in the Twin Cities, the second youngest of 11 children. Long before he decided to be a comedian, others seemed to recognize his innate talents.
Musicians from the Stone Forest province of southwestern China will arrive in Red Wing Monday for the final stop on their Arts Midwest World Fest tour. Manhu will be in residence for a week, culminating in a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Sheldon Theatre. Manhu is one of four international performing groups on the tour. Two performed at the Sheldon Theatre last year and the other two are scheduled this season. Each group spends a week in a selected city in nine participating states.
A Harvest Tea complete with sandwiches and treats, a silent auction, live music and a published author is planned for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in the fellowship hall at Christ Episcopal Church, 321 West Ave. The tea is a fundraiser for Friends of the Red Wing Public Library, who are trying to complete and publish a history of one of the city's most valued resources: the library.
Fresh from appearances in Seattle, at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood and the Sheldon Theatre's grand reopening party, Chan Poling returns to Red Wing at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 with the legendary band The Suburbs. Poling was on the Sheldon stage last weekend with his jazz trio The New Standards. He also takes the lead in the Suburbs, an alternative rock band he founded in 1977 when he was just 19.