Nightlife in the Twin Cities

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The best place to find out what's happening in the Twin Cities is the free newsweekly City Pages, which lists all events. Other good sources of information are the local papers (Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press), the calendar in Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine, and the monthly Twin Cities Directory. On the Web, check out for the most up-to-date information.

The Performing Arts -- There are more theater seats per capita in Minneapolis than anywhere outside New York City. The famous Guthrie Theater, 725 Vineland Place (tel. 877/44-STAGE or 612/377-2224;, born in 1964, is one of the nation's premier classical repertory companies. Théâtre de la Jeune Lune, N. 105 1st St. (tel. 612/333-6200;, in the Warehouse District, is a strong and innovative acting company with a varied performance repertoire. Three historic, renovated theaters, State, 805 Hennepin (tel. 612/339-7007), Orpheum, 910 Hennepin (tel. 612/339-7007), and Pantages, 710 Hennepin (tel. 612/339-7007), feature a variety of entertainment, from pop music to comedy to adult and children's theater. Information for all three can be found at

For more than 20 years, Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall (tel. 800/292-4141 or 612/371-5656;, has been home to the internationally acclaimed Minnesota Orchestra. The annual Sommerfest features 3 weeks of classical performances beginning in early July, drawing large audiences to a range of concerts, from jazz to orchestral masterworks.

In St. Paul, the Schubert Club, 302 Landmark Center (tel. 651/292-3268;, brings celebrated artists to perform, provides music lessons, and commissions new works. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (tel. 651/291-1144; makes its home in the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St. (tel. 651/224-4222; Opera, recitals, pop and classical concerts, and dance are also presented here.

Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul (tel. 651/290-1221), is the home base of Garrison Keillor's wildly popular radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." Touring companies also perform at this beautifully restored historic building.

The Club & Music Scene -- The Warehouse District has always been considered the heart of Minneapolis nightlife, but Block E, bordered by 6th and 7th streets and by Hennepin and 1st avenues, has its fair share of dining and dancing. First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N. (tel. 612/338-8388;, is where Prince got his start (Purple Rain was filmed here). Connected to it is 7th Street Entry, a small, loud venue for local music. At the three-story Tabu, 323 1st Ave. N. (tel. 612/204-0790), hip-hop and techno rule in an utterly all-red lounge. Empire, 319 1st Ave. N. (tel. 612/659-9192), is an upscale gay-friendly dance club, but straights won't feel out of place. The interior is Cuban-inspired, features lots of plants and candles, and offers a good mix of techno and pop.

For interesting music and great food to boot, try Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Mall (tel. 612/332-1010;, a mainstay club considered the Twin Cities' jazz leader that is now in a hot new location. The restaurant serves up top-notch steaks and seafood along with drinks and jazz. Babalú, 800 Washington Ave. N. (tel. 612/746-3158), serves up Latin American and Spanish music (think bossa nova, Afro-Cuban jazz, even flamenco) and food along with a classy, pre-Castro, Cuban decor.

St. Paul has a big Irish neighborhood, and many Irish bars and clubs. Chang O'Hara's Bistro, 498 Selby Ave. (tel. 651/290-2338), is a bar/restaurant popular with the locals. There's live music almost every night and Dixieland jazz on Sunday. For great seafood, music memorabilia, and live music late into the night, visit Rockin Lobster, where there's never a cover charge.

For more on what to see and do in Minneapolis, visit our complete guide online at .

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