MN Zoo dedicating amphitheater stage to Sue McLean

MN Zoo dedicating amphitheater stage to Sue McLean

Before Wednesday's Lyle Lovett show at the Minnesota Zoo's Weesner Family Amphitheater, the stage will be dedicated to the woman who made it a premiere concert destination. For almost 20 years, independent concert promoter Sue McLean nurtured Music in the Zoo into a diverse series that revamped the site of bird shows into that of breathtaking live concerts.

From Feist to Carly Rae Jepsen to Brian Wilson, these shows have taken place in one of the most beautiful outdoor performance locations the state has to offer. And now the zoo will pay tribute to the ingenuity of Twin Cities concert titan McLean, who died in May after a battle with cancer at the age of 62.

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At a private ceremony before Lyle Lovett's performance, McLean's family and Minnesota Zoo officials will name the performance space at the Weesner Family Amphitheater -- where she'd often be hanging out herself -- the "Sue McLean Stage." Then, a short public dedication of the stage will take place at 7:30 p.m. -- immediately prior to Lyle Lovett & His Large Band's show.

"Sue McLean was known to say, 'Live music is good for your soul,' and so it's fitting that we honor her with this namesake," zoo director/CEO Lee Ehmke said in a press release.

The choice of the Lovett show makes sense because the entertainer knew McLean personally all the way back to when she was booking shows at the Guthrie Theater, and he's played the zoo a few times. "She was there for me in the beginning of my career and was such a loyal person and business partner," Lovett told Jon Bream earlier this year. "Minneapolis won't feel the same without her."

Lyle Lovett & His Large Band. 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 21, at the Weesner Family Amphitheater, Minnesota Zoo. Info here.

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