Arts Orbit Radar: 10/15/09


What’s Happening This Week

Thursday, October 15

On the radar: Boy, was everyone too busy editing Fringe blogs to actually go to the Fringe, or…oh. I guess that was just me. Well, this weekend a few of the best shows from the 2009 Fringe Festival are returning to the Minneapolis Theatre Garage in a series called Nights of the Living Fringe, so whatever your reason for missing them, you can now correct that omission.

Under the radar: Michael Jackson was a weird, theatrical guy with substance abuse problems and strange hobbies…so obviously, the Bryant-Lake Bowl is the perfect venue at which to pay him tribute. Audra Tracy leads a group of performers in a multimedia tribute, and Paul Anka will be there to break a Martini glass over Tracy’s head if he’s not given proper credit.

Friday, October 16

On the radar: Fans of adventurous but accessible art and music are not going to know what to do with themselves tonight. The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement opens for business (early word is that it’s as frighteningly brilliant as ever); Spike Jonze’s much-anticipated adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are arrives at movie theaters; and Bella Koshka leads a “Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus” at the recently rebooted Music Box Theatre.

Under the radar: Soft and cuddly puppets move to the cutting edge as In the Heart of the Beast hosts puppeteers Janaki Ranpura and Bart Buch; and at the Germanic-American Institute, Waterbear will be providing a live musical score for the creepy Expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Saturday, October 17

On the radar: The real official original Moulin Rouge cabaret in Paris has authorized a real official original ballet inspired by their shows. Why the French would select a troupe of Canadians for this endeavor, and why the resulting ballet would make its world premiere in Minneapolis, is beyond me—but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Under the radar: The Seward Cafe celebrates 35 years of cooperative cookin’ with a party featuring music by Bouncer Fighter, Chokecherry, Apocalypse Meow, and other rad bands.

Sunday, October 18

On the radar: John Mellencamp’s superfunky duet partner is playing the Dakota tonight. No, not Travis Tritt…Meshell Ndegeocello. Also, multimillion-selling author Mitch Albom is appearing at Temple Israel. (If you go, I dare you to ask him about the song he wrote for the TV movie Christmas in Connecticut, directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

Under the radar: The Playwrights’ Center is convening a panel to discuss trends in theater; prior to the discussion, two short plays will be read, including one by our own Matthew Everett.

Monday, October 19

On the radar: Last week it was Tom Rush at the Cedar; this week’s visiting folk legend is Maria Muldaur, who’s playing the Dakota with her Garden of Joy Jug Band featuring—wait for it—Kit Stovepipe.

Under the radar: At exactly 11:59 p.m., a person wearing a backpack will relieve an itch outside the Red Stag Supperclub. It’s art.

Tuesday, October 20

On the radar: Bay Area cult heroes the Dodos are touring the world behind their new disc Time to Die, and tonight they’ll be at the Turf Club with the Ruby Suns.

Under the radar: The MCBA is screening twelve poems—by Robert Bly, Jane Hirshfield, and Marvin Bell, among others—that have been set to animation. Some of the poets and artists will be on hand to talk about their work.

Wednesday, October 21

On the radar: Shonen Knife have been badass Japanese girls with guitars since before being badass Japanese girls with guitars was cool. They’re at the Entry tonight, with Picked To Click runaway winners Red Pens opening.

Under the radar: I can never believe it when I tell people the Daily Planet office is next to Zipp’s Liquors and they say, “Where’s that?” Zipp’s is a whopping warehouse of fine wine and other wonderments, and tonight its very well-informed staff are toting over a hundred different wines across 94 to the Cedar for a jumbo tasting event.

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Daily Planet Arts Roundup


What Elizabeth Paulsen likes best about local mystery author John Sandford is what he lacks: Minnesota Nice.

Design and Style

Mason Riddle visited the CVA exhibit showcasing 50 years of premier graphic design magazine Communication Arts, and Jamie Thomas profiled Minneapolis’s most eco-conscious fashon boutique: Birch Clothing.


We were all over the musical map this week. When a world-class Dutch DJ books a Minneapolis stop, we call him up. When a lovably eccentric Chicago singer-songwriter releases a pretty album, we get the story. When two of the Twin Cities’ least diva-like divas team up at the Acadia, we give you the heads-up. And when a decade wraps up, we highlight its best albums.


It was a week of ups and down in theater this week. On the up-side, I attended a remarkable album-release event orchestrated by Lamb Lays With Lion’s Jeremey Catterton and a very funny “Lady Gaga remix” of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest; and Dwight Hobbes talked with top playmaker Aditi Kapil about her new production of Lynn Nottage’s Ruined. On the downside, there were 101—excuse me, 12 or 13—uninspired Dalmatians onstage at the Orpheum, and an unsatisfyingly episodic new Stuart Pimsler production at the Guthrie. Looking to the future, Matthew Everett plugged a vaudeville extravaganza that benefits an ailing mime.

Visual Arts

The Highpoint Center for Printmaking opened a grand new home on Lake Street, and Mason Riddle was there to get the inside scoop.


The buzz of the town is the opening of The Anchor Fish & Chips in Excelsior, and no one’s buzzing more than Cyn Collins. Meanwhile, Amy Rea has kind words for Excelsior’s Biella and Jeremy Iggers wants to hear about your favorite church suppers.

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