Arts Orbit Radar: 10/22/09


What’s Happening This Week

Thursday, October 22

On the radar: When Theatre de la Jeune Lune closed last year, company leaders Dominique Serrand and Steve Epp promised they’d be back—tonight, they keep that promise with The House Can’t Stand, a one-man show starring Epp (in drag) and directed by Serrand.

Under the radar: Combined music/art/film festivals are all the rage these days, and just because it’s getting a little nippy to do them outdoors doesn’t mean they’re going to stop happening. This weekend, OX-OP and the SooVAC bring you (take a deep breath) Non Consensual Post Dada Constructivist Cerebral Warts, “a multi-media onslaught” featuring bands playing in a room where no one else is allowed to go. (Art!) Tonight’s opening event also features the short films of local hero Chris Mars.

Friday, October 23

On the radar: Ten Thousand Things brings Othello to life in a production co-directed by Michelle Hensley and the actress Sonja Parks—who brought down the house with her performance at the Ivey Awards. The casting of Ansa Akyea (Kirby) as the Moor and the often-exuberant Luverne Seifert as Iago suggest that this may be a lighter take than most; but a team this talented can probably pull off just about any kind of take they want. Meanwhile, the Weisman opens its new show To Have It About You, a collection of 1/50th of the artworks collectors Dorothy and Herbert Vogel have donated to U.S. museums. (Each state gets an equal share.)

Under the radar: Open Eye Figure Theatre has made its name for mysterious, beautiful, and strange work with the kind of productions epitomized by Elijah’s Wake, a 2003 “visual poem” by master puppeteer Michael Sommers that is being revived for a three-week run starting tonight.

Saturday, October 24

On the radar: As a tribute to playwright Brian Friel, Guthrie Theater artistic director Joe Dowling is stepping onstage for his American acting debut in a production of Friel’s masterpiece Faith Healer.

Under the radar: One of the Twin Cities’ most unique and eerie Halloween events is the annual BareBones Halloween Show at St. Paul’s Hidden Falls Park. Experience Halloween the way it was meant to be experienced: outdoors, chilly, on hay bales, and both charming and frightening. (This year’s theme: werewolves!)

Sunday, October 25

On the radar: Emmylou Harris has been called the world’s greatest backup singer, and while that’s hard to argue with, she’s also compelling when she’s up front; throughout her career, she’s been attracted to strong collaborators and strong material. She’s not apt to show up at the Cedar any time soon, so best make the road trip to see her tonight at Mystic Lake.

Under the radar: The recently-renovated Capri Theater is a cool place to see hot jazz, and that’s what’s on the menu for this afternoon, with Capri institutions Charmin Michelle and Dennis Spears leading an eight-piece ensemble.

Monday, October 26

On the radar: “I see us as an extremely good rock ‘n’ roll band,” says Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes, who will be at First Ave tonight. To quote King Joseph II: “Well. There it is.”

Under the radar: According to Artforum, Amy Sillman is in “tenacious pursuit of a painting that might accurately register the discomfort, incoherence, and absurdity that can characterize painterly experience—and experience in general.” Has she found it in Mankato? Learn the answer when the artist—whose work is in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Whitney in New York, the MFA in Boston, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others, and who is currently in residence at MSU Mankato—presents a talk at Ostrander Auditorium.

Tuesday, October 27

On the radar: Longtime Fringe favorite Joseph Scrimshaw collaborates with Bill Corbett—a Mystery Science Theater 3000 vet who played Crow T. Robot and “Brain Guy” during the show’s Sci-Fi Channel run—on My Monster, a show they describe as “Frankenstein meets Mamet with fewer swear words.” The production’s destined for the San Francisco Sketchfest, but it’s premiering with two preview performances at the BLB.

Under the radar: The National Trust for Historic Preservation is sponsoring an event at the Saarinens’ landmark Christ Church Lutheran. A panel of experts will discuss the state of 20th century architecture in Minnesota, and then DJ Jake Rudh—a modern architecture buff—will provide the soundtrack for snacking and chatting.

Wednesday, October 28

On the radar: Halloween’s almost here, so it’s the perfect time to indulge your creepiest, most disturbing fascinations. Opening today: Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Under the radar: Documentarian Chérif Keita, a Carleton professor, will be at the Oak Street Cinema to present his two hour-long films telling the story of John L. Dube, the first president of the African National Congress.

Have an event you’d like to put on our readers’ radar? Submit it directly to our calendar.

Daily Planet Arts Roundup


Economy schmeconomy, Kelly Schaub decided that the Twin Cities needed a theater bookstore, and she’s secured a spot in St. Paul within haunting distance of the ghosts of the Hungry Mind. Also launching is a new project by Rainbow Rumpus, an online magazine for kids with GBLT parents: printable picture books.


Jim Brunzell talked with Cherian Dabis, director of Amreeka, a moving family film about Palestinian immigrants to the U.S.


The letters of the Hebrew alphabet, realized Joe Vass, are things you could make music out of—and he has. He hasn’t given a demo disc to Dwight Hobbes yet, but he oughta! Dwight was at the Acadia on Friday to catch a scorching set by Kymara’s Shannon Johnson, and he talked with premier acoustic axeman Tim Sparks as well as frighteningly (really, actually frighteningly) good vocalist Tabatha Predovich of UZZA. Continuing his record of catching high-quality but sparsely attended shows at the Turf Club, Jon Behm saw a sterling set by Stars’ Amy Millan; while his Culture Bully buddy Chris DeLine weighed in with a very favorable review of Special Party Time for Everybody, the sophomore disc by Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles. Chris also found worthy of praise Reasons, the debut disc by new hotness Red Pens. Looking forward to the weekend, Dwight tips you off to two Saturday shows by the Duluth bluegrassers Old Knifey and the Cutthroats. It’s too late, though, if you wanted to cut a record on the John Lennon tour bus: it’s already rolled off.


We reviewed shows all along the emotional continuum this week: first the unexceptional but sweet-hearted musical Little House on the Prairie, then the searing Ruined, and finally the enjoyable thriller Rebecca and the Mayhem Poets onstage at CTC. Last week the Twin Cities had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a reading of a new epilogue to The Laramie Project—Ten Years Later; Matthew Everett was there to report on the reading and the subsequent Q&A session. Matthew was personally involved in an event at the Playwrights’ Center that he saw as a welcome sign of increasing support for local playwrights. Looking forward to December, we’re compiling a list of holiday shows. It’s a long list—but we know it’s not complete! What are we missing?

Visual Arts

Remember cigarette machines? Several of them have been reconfigured as art machines; Jennifer Thomsen has the story. Meanwhile, Jennifer Kotting reports on a recent Twin Cities visit by Steve Kurtz, one of the only artists who’s been accused of bioterrorism; and Erik McClanahan has behind-the-scenes video from the Soap Factory’s spooky Haunted Basement.


Amy Rea checked out Burger Jones “for grins and giggles” (hey, this is a family publication); she and her family decided the burgers were good, but not fifteen dollars good. At the north end of Uptown, Ona Knoxsah visited the Native-owned Tillie’s Bean, which just opened up in the long-vacant former home of the Acadia Cafe.

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