The Walker Art Museum’s name frequently appears in the press because of its catalyzing role in producing, exhibiting, and discussing innovative and boundary-pushing art. Over the course of its 89-year history, the celebrated contemporary art museum has served as the primer for all sorts of artistic bangs, including the starts of Minnesota Opera and many other performing arts organizations. Yesterday, however, it was in the news for a more literally explosive reason, after construction crews working mid-morning sliced through a major gas line right between the Walker and Loring Park.
The Walker, I-94, the Lowry Tunnel, and part of the surrounding neighborhood were evacuated as a precaution as the 16-inch gas line was repaired. By mid-afternoon, I-94 and the Lowry Tunnel had both reopened, and the Walker flung its doors open again at 5 PM, in time for its weekly Free Thursday showing.
While the leaked gas near the Walker was allowed to dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere, the gas is burning hot further down the Mississippi, where the Minnesota Showboat is plowing towards the end of its final season. Tickets to the Showboat’s critically lauded final production, Under the Gaslight, have sold like hotcakes, with the 225-seat house selling out for evening and matinee performances.
In a statement, Dennis Behl of the University of Minnesota noted, “Ticket sales have been good from the outset. Strong word of mouth about this fine performance by the Showboat Players (all U of M students), plus strong press response with positive to rave reviews published in the first weeks all contributed. It was a snowballing effect. We opened July 7 and [just] 21 days later [the] remaining weekends were completely sold…soon, the balance of the weekday (Tuesday –Thursday) performances filled in rapid succession by August 8. I’m proud to say, it’s a hit in this final season.”
If you haven’t bought a ticket yet, you might want to start looking for a friend with a spare plus-one; Under the Gaslight goes out August 27.
Augustin Daly’s classic Under the Gaslight, complete with olios, plays at the Minnesota Centennial Showboat through August 27, 2016. 2:30 pm matinees run every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, with Wednesday-Saturday evening performances at 8:00 pm.