I AM MPLS in Mpls, First Avenue Mainroom 12/04/14

Greycoats at First Avenue

Becca Martin

Photo Credit Tony Nelson

I AM MPLS creator Sarah Edwards wears a lot of hats these days. The self described “Content Maker, Innovative Event Producer and Creative Strategist”has made it her mission to promote the creative arts community of the Twin Cities. The first of her three upcoming events-I AM MPLS was held December 4th in the mainroom of Minneapolis’s acclaimed First Avenue. The MC was 89.3 The Current’s Barb Abney who ironically proclaimed herself as the “least fashionable person ever” but as usual was full of charm as she introduced Greg Coleman and Jeff Pfoser, who performed entertaining back to back routines.

The catwalk was stalked by “non” models who were representative of the wide range of creativity that Minneapolis is home to. Local food industry stars to yarn artists all sashayed, biked, yoga’d, and knitted down the runway in fashions that you can pick up for yourself at local boutiques including Cliché, Atmosfere, B.Resale, StevenBe Knits, Proper & Prim, and Roe Wolfe. The only misstep on the runway was that it was over far too soon.

Choreographer John Mark outdid himself with interludes of gorgeous dance routines. A style athletic and modern, it was quite beautiful to behold. In fact, beauty was all around-the audience was decked out in high style. At times the crowd was downright distracting-great people watching.

The evening concluded with musical sets by The Greycoats and Tickle Torture. The Greycoats put on a a dramatic performance, filling the mainroom with their brand of dreamy indie pop. A miscue was that the band played a long set followed by dead time while the stage was being reset. It seems that a smoother transition could have occurred had a dance or comedy sketch filled that time. A momentarily disengaged audience perked up when Tickle Torture and crew took the stage. Eyes were glued to the churning, gold covered, and nearly naked bodies of the provocative dancers. Tickle Torture himself shed clothing as he slithered along the stage and catwalk, concluding the night in a bejeweled codpiece that left little to the imagination.

Sarah Edwards has an easy smile that evokes a calm in the midst of the madness of producing such an event. She has given up her day job to not only take on I AM MPLS, but this year has added I AM ST PAUL and I AM KINDNESS to her workload. She is to be applauded, without people like herself the artistic community we sometimes take for granted would face even more challenges sustaining itself.

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