Blog Archives

Brave New Workshop: Highlights and notable careers launched

Dudley Riggs, an acrobat who became a comedy impresario by founding the Brave New Workshop comedy theater, died Tuesday morning at age 88. Here’s a Workshop timeline, along with a list of notable careers Riggs helped launch.

1932: Dudley Riggs is born into a show-business family in Little Rock, Ark.

1958: Riggs opens the Cafe Espresso on University Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, where performers of various stripes are presented.

1961: In collaboration with a pair of St. Paul Pioneer Press staffers, Riggs forms the improvisation and sketch comedy troupe, Brave New Workshop.

1965: Brave New Workshop moves to 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., its home (most of the time) until 2011.

1971: A second stage, Dudley Riggs’ ETC, opens in the Seven Corners neighborhood and houses performances until 1991...

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Dave Feschuk: If the Maple Leafs are smart, they’ll copy the Lightning blueprint instead of trying to reinvent the wheel

The Stanley Cup final is taking place in a mostly empty arena in Edmonton featuring two teams based in the southern United States. But if you’re a fan of Toronto’s NHL franchise, you can only hope the lessons of the championship series are hitting home in Leafland.

There’s plenty to be learned from the journey of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who, after deadlocking the series at one game apiece with Monday’s win, find themselves three wins away from hoisting the big trophy in their series against the Dallas Stars. And the teaching moments that apply to Toronto go well beyond the obvious — specifically, how the Lightning put the pieces back together after an historically disappointing opening-round exit at the hands of an inferior but undeniably dogged Columbus franchise.

An April ag...

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100 years ago in Spokane: Jiu jitsu artist flings policemen all over the mat – Tue, 22 Sep 2020 PST

Taro Miyaku, a local “ju jitsu artist,” staged a demonstration for Spokane police officers in how to “make much bigger men beg for mercy.”

The result?

He threw the big officers “all over the gym.”

Miyaku cajoled some of the wary officers into stepping onto the mat with him by saying, “Come, I do it easy – not hurt you.”

But then, “some big officer would step up, get ready,” and before he knew what had happened, bystanders would have to pick the officer up from “a corner of the gym where Taro had ‘gently’ placed him.”

The Spokane police chief summed it up by saying, “Taro handled those men as if they were schoolboys.”

After all of the officers had tried their luck, Taro and a local wrestler, Tom Grant, demonstrated some of the moves that the officers coul...

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Loons’ Adrian Heath, Kei Kamara believe they can strike simpatico partnership

Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath likes his side to deliver plentiful crosses into the opposing box, and striker Kei Kamara has made a living on getting on the end of those kinds of passes to score goals.

These compatibilities have converged with Kamara’s trade from Colorado Rapids last week, and it could be deployed for the first time when the Loons face Columbus Crew at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“I remember a game in the last year that we played Kei’s team,” Loons manager Adrian Heath said Tuesday. “… He said to me after the game, ‘I would have scored five if I were to play for you.’ ”

Kamara, who is fifth all time in MLS history with 129 career goals, said Heath’s system is “really attractive.”

“Hopefully I’m able to adapt to the system really fast, so I can b...

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Heat say they’ve got to be better at the start versus Celtics

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA.—The formula that the Miami Heat had backed themselves into using throughout this post-season wasn’t exactly ideal.

They were losing almost every first quarter, and winning almost every game anyway.

It’s not a sustainable plan, and the Boston Celtics finally showed that in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals when they pulled off a wire-to-wire win over Miami, not letting the Heat put together their typical comeback. Game 4 of the East title series — with Miami still leading 2-1 — is Wednesday, and the Heat are insisting that there will be more urgency at the beginning.

“I think we’ve just got to start off better,” Heat forward Jimmy Butler said. “I don’t think we started off anywhere near where we’re capable of...

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Mariners' Dylan Moore placed on concussion list, out for season – Tue, 22 Sep 2020 PST

SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners second baseman Dylan Moore’s season is over after he was placed on the seven-day concussion list Tuesday.

Moore was hit in the head for the second time in a week, taking a 92-mph fastball from Houston Astros reliever Brandon Bielak off the helmet in a 6-1 win over Houston on Monday night. Moore remained in the game, but began to feel effects afterward, Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Moore also briefly stayed in the game after taking a 99-mph pitch to the head from San Francisco Giants reliever Sam Coonrod last Wednesday. He was pulled before taking the field the next inning. Moore returned to the lineup the next day.

Ty France will take Moore’s place at second base and the Mariners called up outfielder Jake Fraley to take his roster spot against the A...

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Vikings sign linebacker Hardy Nickerson off practice squad

A day after placing linebacker Anthony Barr on injured reserve with a season-ending shoulder injury, the Vikings added depth at the position Tuesday by signing Hardy Nickerson off the practice squad.

The Vikings also signed signed defensive back Nate Meadors, who was waived last Friday, to the practice squad, and protected kicker Chase McLaughlin on the practice squad.

Nickerson, a fourth-year veteran who is the son of former NFL star linebacker Hardy Nickerson Sr., made the Vikings’ initial 53-player roster on Sept. 5 before being waived on Sept. 6 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 7. He was elevated off the practice squad for the Sept. 13 opener against Green Bay and was on the field for 14 players on special teams.

Nickerson will provide depth after Barr, a four-time Pro...

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Toronto FC learns rest of rejigged MLS schedule, with a busy October ahead

Toronto FC learned Tuesday what lies ahead in the rest of the pandemic-rejigged MLS regular season.

Seven matches in October and two in November. Six “home” games in East Hartford, Conn. A steady diet of Eastern Conference opponents.

On the plus side, coach Greg Vanney gave a thumbs-up to the facilities in their Hartford home away from home, talking up the team’s hotel and food as well as Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, where TFC will play home games due to border restrictions limiting U.S. teams from coming north.

“The setup’s been great … No complaints,” Vanney said Tuesday. “We’re just obviously away from family and all that, which we have to manage and work through while we’re on the road.”

As Toronto (6-2-4) prepared for its third meeting with New Yo...

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Gonzaga continues residency at or near top of preseason polls – Tue, 22 Sep 2020 PST

No matter what poll one looks at, it’s clear Gonzaga is going to be at or near the top when the college basketball season begins in late November.’s Andy Katz has Gonzaga at No. 1 in his latest Power 36, the same spot as his initial rankings five months ago that came out shortly after the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Zags have been No. 1 since March in Gary Parrish’s daily Top 25 and 1 poll on for the 2020-21 season.

That opinion isn’t unanimous.’s poll in August, after stay-or-go decisions by college players that declared for the NBA draft, has Gonzaga at No. 3, behind Villanova and Baylor.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein puts the Zags at No. 6, behind Villanova, Baylor, Iowa, Virginia and Wisconsin.

It’s also...

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Was NFL’s injury-riddled weekend tied to lack of preseason games?

In the aftermath of Monday’s devastating news that star linebacker Anthony Barr is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, former Vikings linebackers Ben Leber and Chad Greenway brought some levity to the situation with a brief exchange on Twitter.

“Looks like our guys need some depth,” Leber tweeted. “How about we lace ’em back up for another year?”

“I am ready when needed,” Greenway replied. “Haven’t changed my number.”

“I still have my mouthpiece,” Leber concluded. “Which is really disgusting.”

While the former teammates were clearly joking, and neither plans to make a potential comeback, if the NFL has another Sunday like this past weekend, there soon will be some open roster spots across the league.

In a span of a few hours, Giants running ...

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