Talking ‘Bout The Revolution with Lisa Coleman

By Jay S. Jacobs

– Pop Entertainment

The Revolution love what they are doing, but they hate the reason that they have to do it.

The group, made up of Wendy Melvoin (guitar, vocals), BrownMark (bass, vocals), Lisa Coleman (keyboards, vocals), Matt Fink (aka Dr. Fink, keyboards) and Bobby Z. (drums), is still best known as Prince’s band during arguably the musical icon’s most fertile period. They played on such classic albums as 1999, Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade. They also played themselves in the film Purple Rain.

The Revolution was disbanded in 1987 when Prince decided he wanted to work with other musicians and make the Sign ‘O’ the Times album a solo platter. (The Revolution had recorded quite a few of the songs that ended up on that two-record set in the unreleased Dream Factory project.) Melvoin and Coleman started recording together under the group name Wendy & Lisa, doing five albums together, as well as a lot of movie and television soundtrack work. The other guys have had long careers as songwriters, producers and musicians-for-hire.

In the decades since The Revolution played together as a band occasionally but mostly went their own ways musically. However, everything changed on April 21, 2016, when Prince died way too young, due to an accidental opioid overdose. As a way of dealing with the loss of a friend, they started playing together. It felt right, so they decided to do some shows as a tribute to Prince. That reunion has stretched out for over a year now, including an upcoming show on March 9 at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia.

We caught up with Lisa Coleman to discuss the band’s place in music history and the reunion shows.

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Sculpture Walk St. Cloud is a year-long outdoor exhibit featuring 6 temporary large-scale sculptures on loan to the St. Cloud community for one year, and 3 permanent sculptures located in St. Cloud’s historic downtown.  The 2017-8 Sculpture Walk includes the work of accomplished artists from the St. Cloud area and across Minnesota.  This project is managed by Paramount Center for the Arts in collaboration with the St. Cloud Arts Commission. 

Art Sparks, Paramount’s very special program for those living with memory loss and their care partners, completed the second of four 5-week sessions last Thursday.  Teaching-artist Linda Addicott led delightful conversations about artworks and taught participants watercolor technique that several said they would continue to enjoy at home. 
Add a bit of coffee, a treat or two and time for good conversation and sessions proved a valuable and enjoyable outing for all involved. 
Funding was provided by CentraCare Health Foundation, with volunteers provided through RSVP along with the College of St. Benedict. 
The next session will begin on April 5.  Those interested can register online at

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre performed today, January 10, on the Paramount stage for the very first time to a rapt audience of 453 middle and high school students from throughout Central Minnesota. The Story of Crow Boy shared the life of artist/author Taro Yashima who lived during WWII as both a Japanese and American citizen. His gentle spirit knew love, pain, imprisonment, torture, adventure, separation, prejudice all before writing his children’s book about bullying. But it was a book he could never have written were it not for his complex life experiences. The play captures his life’s journey along with his books with power, grace, surprise, humor, creativity and passion. The stage setting, puppetry, lighting, projection, powerful acting, incredible singing and intriguing music wove the play into an unforgettable experience.

After the play, 100 art students, twenty each from Foley, Sauk Rapids, Becker, Tech and Apollo, worked with Sandra Spieler, HOB Artistic Director and Masanari Kawahara, lead actor, to explore puppetry and create mini-plays that capture the trials experienced when we judge and are judged.

This internationally acclaimed company produces original plays and tour productions, creates specially commissioned pageants throughout Minnesota and beyond, and teaches puppetry and pageantry through residencies and workshops to youth, students and teachers, and communities. Today’s performance of The Story of Crow Boy was made possible with grants from both the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Central Minnesota Arts Board because the voters of Minnesota approved a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The company arrived on Tuesday and spent an entire day setting the stage. Artistic Director Sandra Spieler shared the company’s past work with other communities, especially around the valuable resource of water. The Paramount hopes to explore other options with In the Heart of the Beast to provide our community with access to this amazing resource.

It’s time for one of our fabulous employees at the Paramount Center for the Arts to step into the spotlight! Meet Derick Segerstrom, Manager of the Visual Arts Department. Derick has been with The Paramount for 13 years, where he says we are one big family! On a regular basis, you can find Derick in Gallery St. Germain, giving tours (one of his FAVORITE things to do), and planning art classes for the Studios.

Derick says that the best part of his job is the people. “I get to meet and work with so many amazing people all the time! It is fun to introduce people to our space and see them explore and discover new talents or expand and develop their techniques! Central Minnesota is full of extremely brilliant people, and I am fortunate to know many and always excited to meet more of you!”

Outside of work you will find him researching genealogy, traveling across the country, enjoying time with friends, taking adventures to museums and concerts or just spending the day at home playing games or watching movies!

Support your Paramount by giving
this Thursday, November 16th for Give the Max Day!

Donate round button 3d

On Wednesday, November 8, our new Director of Performing Arts, Gretchen Boulka, sat down with KVSC’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Producer, Jeff Carmack, to talk about the wide variety of events happening at the Paramount from now through the New Year. The segment is about 30 minutes and covers everything from The Texas Tenors to New Year’s Eve comedy to the latest art exhibit in the Gallery St. Germain. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in, or listen on your way to work. There’s something for everyone at the Paramount this holiday season!

Click to listen.


Paramount Education and Outreach has been hosting arts classes in three facilities this year as part of a national grant from Aroha Philanthropies!  The goal of the grant is to identify the most effective ways of building skill-building arts programs for those over 55.  Here’s a peek inside each of these classes, where magic is happening.  Teaching artists Ken Ferber and Sandy Fabian are guiding fifteen new clay artisans at Good Shepherd Apartments, Marcelyn Smale and Garrett Lathe are lifting choral voices with over thirty at Benedict Village, and David DeBlieck and Leigh Dillard are leading creative dance at Whitney.  These classes are helping Aroha identify best practices and will impact programs nationwide!

The Paramount, along with project partner, SCSU, were forced to cancel a week-long residency with esteemed Somali performer Aar Maanta.  His residency was to be in St. Cloud from October 14 – 21 and was part of a 30-month Building Bridges grant that is shared in a consortium with Cedar Cultural Center and the University of Minnesota Mankato called Midnimo (Somali word for unity).  This half-million-dollar grant to the three consortium members from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) seeks to use the power of the arts to inform attitudes toward cultures that are new to us.  Aar Maanta was the third performer to come to St. Cloud as a part of the grant and all was ready to receive him. 

Cancelling has had a drastic impact on several grant components.  There is the research segment with 24 cohort students that needed to begin their work this fall to meet the requirements of the proposal.  There is an education impact, as residency activities had to be canceled at all three area colleges, BGC, and Tech High School, along with a major concert.  There is an economic impact as hotel rooms, caterers, venues, performers, technicians, photographer and advertising contracts all had to be canceled as well.  The table had been set but the feast was no longer available. 

Aar Maanta left his homeland, Somalia, as a result of the war there, a war that also attempted to obliterate a rich tradition of cultural arts.  He’s now a citizen of London.  His band, Urban Legends, and he had visited Cedar Cultural Center twice before with positive impact and had now gone through the complex process of again securing the proper paperwork to make this trip. All were approved by an American consulate. With no explanation, all the band members received their paperwork but Aar Maanta, who is Muslim, did not. The consulate simply said there was a delay.  But the delay went on too long, despite the best efforts of visa/immigration lawyers and Congressional Representative Keith Ellison’s office advocacy, and finally, the consortium had to cancel what was a full month of income for the artist and his band, and three powerful residencies – a week in each site.  In St. Cloud alone, a thousand students would have had the opportunity to learn more, perhaps understand in a new way, heighten their curiosity, raise the level of questioning, and to enjoy some powerful music. 

Ahmed Abdi, a member of the local steering committee, and Jane Oxton, Director of Education and Outreach at the Paramount, are making visits to several of the scheduled classes.  Together they will tell Aar Maanta’s story and share his music, along with the amazing story of Somali cultural arts.  They will also share the story of this significant grant and the power of the arts to help us learn about life, each other, and what makes humanity tick.  A program in another Building Bridges site is being accessed for our cohort to help reduce the impact the cancellation has had on the research component.  While the residency is canceled, creative adaptations will still provide an opportunity to learn and grow and build understanding in our community. 

The Paramount and St. Cloud State University are committed to harvesting all we can with what we have, and begin to plan for the next residency in April, hopeful that wisdom and peace prevail.   


Join us for Autumn Moon 2017 – A Night in New York featuring

American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis!

Friday, September 29
6:00 Pre-Show Reception
8:00 Main Stage Show
Main Floor, Front & Side Balcony: $85
Upper Balcony: $75
When checking out please include in the comments the names of your guests. Your tickets will be at Will Call for pick up the night of the event.
Plus $2 handling/facility fee per ticket.

We are thrilled to share Constantine’s proposed set list for the evening! 



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