Features staff picks top arts and entertainment stories of 2014
FARGO - While New Year's Day is a great time to think about the future, it's also important to look back. With so much going on locally and nationally in the arts and entertainment world in 2014, there's a lot to reflect on. The Forum's features ...
FARGO – While New Year’s Day is a great time to think about the future, it’s also important to look back.
With so much going on locally and nationally in the arts and entertainment world in 2014, there’s a lot to reflect on. The Forum’s features staff sorted through the highs and lows, selecting the 14 stories that stood out most.
Goodbye to Robin.
He made us laugh and showcased a wide acting range in beloved films and shows. But generations of fans turned to mourning on Aug. 11 as news spread that Robin Williams had died by suicide at the age of 63.
“Fargo?” You betcha!
Eighteen years after the Coen brothers’ dark comedy “Fargo” put the spotlight on our fair city (at least in name), a new FX miniseries inspired by the film drew critical acclaim.
The second season begins filming early this year and will air this fall.
Shortly after playable pianos were stationed around downtown Fargo, vandals struck. One piano was pushed over, while another was damaged when someone removed a tarp before a storm.
A large painted bison statue was pushed over and broken Dec. 13 at the corner of Main Avenue and Broadway.
One fewer concert venue.
After hosting hundreds of live concerts, the 2,200-person concert hall The Venue at The Hub held its last show Dec. 27 when Hairball took the stage.
The Hub closed bar operations earlier in the year when the owner of the Avalon Events Center took over. It has since been rebranded as Avalon West.
Bill Cosby disgraced.
Bill Cosby’s 2014 ended in disgrace as more than 20 women came forward to accuse “The Cosby Show” star of drugging, sexual assault and rape.
While rumors had circulated for years, the scandal erupted when comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a “rapist.”
“The Interview” canceled, then rescheduled.
James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview” almost didn’t see the light of day after a hacking and threats of terrorism to any theater showing the comedy depicting the attempted assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Sony Pictures canceled the film’s premiere a week before its release, but later let select theaters, including the Fargo Theatre, open it on Christmas Day. It also was released to stream online Dec. 24.
Local foodies had no shortage of new eateries.
Downtown Fargo gained Würst Bier Hall, Romo’s Tacos, Bun Appetit, Boiler Room, Blackbird Woodfire, D’Vine, Stumbeano’s Coffee Bar, Scratch Sandwich and Deli Co. and The Toasted Frog, while downtown Moorhead got Rustica Eatery and Tavern.
Fargo’s first Sonic Drive-In opened in August, while the Blarney Stone in West Fargo and Hennessy’s Irish Pub in Fargo brought more pubs to town. Beer lovers weren’t left out with Drekker Brewing Co. in Fargo and Junkyard Brewing Co. in Moorhead.
Luna neared completion of its evolution from a coffee shop to a restaurant, cheese counter and wine and beer lounge, while the Blue Goose Café moved to the Plains Art Museum.
2015 could be a big year, too, with many more restaurants on tap, including Fargo’s first Chipotle.
Sweet new seats.
Going to the movies has never been more comfortable since Marcus Theatres, which operates two theaters in Fargo, added reclining “Dream Loungers” at many of its screens here.
2014 was a busy year for concerts at the Fargodome.
Pink and Lady Antebellum concerts originally scheduled for October 2013 were pushed back to January, while regularly scheduled performances by Justin Timberlake, Luke Bryan, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry and M'tley Crüe drew thousands more.
While Cher’s concert was postponed from October and ultimately canceled due to illness, the venue is expecting another big show when Taylor Swift performs Sept. 9.
An icy challenge.
One cold dare became a hot trend as the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge took off, getting numerous celebrities and regular people to dump a bucket of ice water over their head to raise awareness and funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
More than $115 million was raised by The ALS Association, and the group made an initial contribution of $21.7 million for research in early October.
Death of Joan Rivers.
The raunchy and hilarious Joan Rivers died unexpectedly Sept. 4 at the age of 81. An autopsy revealed she died from cardiac arrest as she underwent a biopsy on her vocal cords.
Celebrity photo leak.
Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and more than 100 others were the victims of a photo hack on Apple’s cloud service iCloud. The images were posted to 4chan Aug. 31 and circulated online, raising questions of the security of our private information as online storage becomes more common.
Singing for the stars.
West Fargo native Andrina Brogden came one step closer to her dreams of performing professionally when she advanced through several rounds of “American Idol,” eventually getting cut after making it to the singing competition’s Top 30. Kat Perkins, a Scranton, N.D., native who now lives in the Twin Cities, was a semifinalist on “The Voice.”
Duhamel promotes North Dakota.
Minot native and actor Josh Duhamel lent his voice to a new ad campaign for North Dakota’s tourism division, giving a celebrity boost to his home state.