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John Lamb, Published March 21 2012

Weekend watch: Annual El Zagal circus returns to Fargo this weekend

If you go

What: El Zagal Shrine Circus

When: 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.,

2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday; and noon and 4 p.m. Sunday. Doors open one hour before showtime.

Where: Fargodome, 1800 N. University Drive

Info: Advanced tickets: $11 for general admission, $14 for reserved; day of the show,

$13 for general admission, $16 for reserved. Tickets available at inforumtix.com or (701) 241-9100.


FARGO – Sometimes circuses just get a bad name.

When a political race turns into a sideshow of characters and outlandish claims, it’s called a circus.

When a child’s birthday party spins out of control, it’s a circus.

When Britney Spears half-heartedly attempted a comeback, she released a record called “Circus,” though it was far from the greatest show on Earth.

The Shrine Circus’ annual trip to Fargo will reclaim the word when it sets up shop in the Fargodome this weekend, producing daring acts and amazing animal tricks.

With so many spectacles happening in the rings, here are a few things to keep your eyes on:

• The Cannon Lady, Jennifer Schneider, returns to take another shot in the dome. The 35-year-old mom will crawl into a 28-foot barrel, only to come blasting out, traveling 180 feet in about four seconds before landing in a net. Keep your eyes peeled (and your ears covered), because her act is over in a flash.

• There have to be some death-defying acts among three rings, right? That’s where The Vitals come in. The dangerous duo performs frightening feats of bow and arrow accuracy and crossbow skills.

• There are a few things circuses can’t seem to do without: animal acts, clowns and girls who fly through the air with the greatest of ease. You can see animals at a zoo and clowns all over town, but where else will you see trapeze artists somersaulting from swing to swing a couple of stories off the ground?

• That said, the biggest thrill for kids might be seeing the animals. Bengal tigers and elephants are both scheduled to perform tricks.

• And who could forget the clowns? People have different reactions to funny folks in face paint who take pratfalls. Some find the humor in them; others, not so much. Some won’t want to miss a comical move, others will keep an uneasy eye on them.


Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

Kevin Zepper

Tonight

When local poet Kevin Zepper refers to Moorhead as “Sugartown” in his new collection of verse, it’s not a swipe at the ongoing American Crystal Sugar labor dispute, but rather a nod to how big the sweet industry is to the community. Influenced by another kind of beats (the poets, not of the sugar variety), Zepper has always crafted everyday objects into snappy verse with sharp twists and potent puns to roll around your mouth. “Zepper is the bard of the beet fields, the psalmist of potato salad,” proclaims fellow author Lin Enger in a book blurb. Zepper reads from the new book from 7 to 9 tonight at DK Custom Framing at Gallery 14, 14 Roberts St., Fargo. (701) 239-0063.

Molly Maher and her Disbelievers

Tonight

Minneapolis continues to turn out quality Americana acts and the most recent, Molly Maher and her Disbelievers, is the strongest in a while. The singer’s country-tinged take on rock (or is it the other way around?) is a welcome makeover, even if it won’t find its way onto mainstream radio any time soon. Her weekly sets at Nye’s have become a Twin Cities staple for both fans, other musicians and both – Trampled by Turtles and 4ontheFloor are followers. The singer/guitarist and her backing Disbelievers, featuring Eric Koskinen, a talented singer/songwriter producer in his own right, play a 8:30 set tonight at the HoDo Lounge, 101 Broadway, Fargo. There is no cover for this ID-only show. (701) 478-1000

‘Nunsense’

Tonight - Sunday

Musicals are often light, but few are as downright silly as the 1985 hit “Nunsense.” The shenanigans start right away with the revelation that a convent has been decimated by the foul cooking of St Julia, Child of God. The survivors conspire to raise funds for the 52 burials with a series of misadventures, including a variety show at Mount Saint Helen’s School. The set-up may not be sophisticated, but the characters – and voices – of the five central sisters – shine in sacra-larious songs like “The Dying Nun Ballet” and “Turn up the Spotlight.” Music Theatre Fargo-Moorhead takes on the holy rollers at The Stage at Island Park, 333 4th St. S., Fargo, starting at 7:30 tonight through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets range from $10 for students to $15 for adults. (701) 235-6778

Vince Gill

Friday

When Vince Gill started making his name in country music, it was as a singer, particularly in romantic duets. Lately, however, his guitar chops are getting their due. Always a player, the 54-year-old put his pickin’ upfront with last year’s “Guitar Slinger,” his first disc in five years. The CD produced the Grammy-nominated “Threaten Me with Heaven.” Gill plays that and other favorites when he takes the stage at 8 p.m. Friday at Shooting Star Casino, Mahnomen, Minn. Tickets are sold out. (800) 313-7469

Woodland and High Plains Powwow

Saturday

The Bison Sports Arena, the corner of 17th Ave. N. and University Drive, Fargo, will be rumbling with something other than the NDSU Bison this Saturday. The Annual Woodland and High Plains Powwow opens with Walk with Purpose, the grand entry at 1 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. A meal will be served during supper break. Tickets are free for kids 5 and younger and adults 55 and older. Kids 6 – 18 are $2 and $3 for those 19 – 54. (701) 231-1029

Cappadonna

Saturday

The beat of a very different drummer – and culture – kicks in starting at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Nestor Tavern, 1001 NP Ave., N., Fargo. Cappadonna first started popping up on Wu Tang Clan albums like 1997’s “Wu Tang Forever,” and eventually became full Wu. He’ll bring his rhymes to the Nasty for a night of hip-hop that also features locals The Lost Angel Crew, J Sauce and more. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. (701) 232-2485.