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Entertainment Line-up for Charlies 2019 Announced

Carolyn Pool, left, and Shanan Custer bring their funny views on coffee, wine and whiskey to the Charlies Jan. 27 at Pantages Theater.

Richard Fleischma

The Charlies is so much more than awards—although don’t get us wrong, that’s the reason we’re all gathering at the Pantages Theater on January 27. Known as the local version of the Academy Awards for the greater Twin Cities food and beverage community, the Charlie Awards also serves as an entertaining show, and this year we’ve kicked it up another notch. (But don't take our word for it. To see past entertainment videos, check out chefs reading their bad Yelp reviews at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27dBY13xcwA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sldnLbq0uyE).

2019 Hosts Jason DeRusha (WCCO-TV and Minnesota Monthly) and Joy Summers (Eater) are returning with their witty banter, as well as the talented Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs and His All Star Band. Schwab and Fuchs always mix it up with foodcentric songs, including parodies of well-known songs, with a culinary twist.  

Last year comic actor Joey Hamburger introduced the audience to his alter-ego Chef Zac La Crème in a video spoof of all those Chef Table-styles shows, and he’ll be bringing the clueless chef back in a new video this year. 

So what else is new besides four additional award categories? Live theater. 

Carolyn Pool and Shanan Custer, the writers/actors behind the show, “2 Sugars, Room for Cream,” which won an Ivey Award in 2013, and their recent show that extended its run at the Park Square Theater, “Sometimes There’s Wine,” (also the Twin Cities Arts Reader’s Best of the 2016 MN Fringe Festival), have written three comedy sketches around the hospitality industry. Pool’s experiences as a server feature prominently in the humor of the sketches, and they are touching as well as laugh-out loud funny.

In addition to coffee and wine, whiskey, as in the new show they're working on “Bad Things, Good Whiskey,” will be the subject of the third sketch. 

Also of note is that an upstairs bar will be open at the awards ceremony, as well as the lobby and downstairs bars. While it’s not necessary to have a drink to enjoy the Charlies, we do want to offer every bit of hospitality we can.

It’s not too early to buy your tickets to the Charlie Awards, Sunday, January 27, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., followed by the Afterparty at Seven Steakhouse and Sushi next door. A secret passageway between the Pantages Theater and Seven means no one has to go out doors in January, until they leave to catch Uber or Lift ride or drive home.

Tickets are available at the website, charliesexceptionale.com, by calling 612-767-3229 or emailing info@charliesexceptionale.com. To avoid fees, tickets can also be purchased in person at the Hennepin Theater Trust Box Office at 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. 

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