Arts Orbit Radar: 10/8/09


What’s Happening This Week

Thursday, October 8

On the radar: Who’s “the world’s #1 DJ”? At least two men lay claim to that title, and they’re facing off in Minneapolis this month. Tiësto will be here in a couple of weeks, but first up is contender Armin Van Buuren at Epic.

Under the radar: The Artaria String Quartet will be on A Prairie Home Companion on October 17; tonight they’re warming up for that gig with a performance at Martha’s Gardens.

Friday, October 9

On the radar: When you think “art crawl,” you probably think Northeast Minneapolis—but this weekend that’s about the Twin Cities’ only neighborhood not having an art event. There’s the St. Paul Art Crawl, the West End Iron Pour (with music performed by Dave Thune, the Capital City’s rockingest alderman), the “Taste of Phillips” arts festival, and a bigger-than-ever Seward Arts Festival.

Under the radar: Harvard College boy Tom Rush was one of the shining stars of the Cambridge folk scene that produced Joan Baez and nurtured Bob Dylan in the early 60s, and he remains a fine representative of that scene—more historically- and academically-minded than the commercial, political New York folk scene. He’ll be at the Cedar tonight.

Saturday, October 10

On the radar: “It’s starting to stink,” warn the organizers of the Zombie Pub Crawl—about the only event in town (besides maybe a Surdyk’s cheese tasting) where those are words of praise. If your reanimated corpse has been infected by bookworms, they may compel you to lurch over to MCTC for the Twin Cities Book Festival.

Under the radar: Zombies of the Norwegian Nazi variety are onscreen at the Oak Street Cinema.

Sunday, October 11

On the radar: The only world my two-year-old niece has ever known is a world where Taylor Swift is America’s top-selling recording artist. Swift is at Target Center tonight for an extremely sold-out concert that’s the only event anyone’s ever tried to get me to work my professional connections to hook them up with tickets for. Attendees are promised “visual elements” personally designed by Swift; after Britney and Beyoncé, if she doesn’t bring glitter cannons there are going to be a lot of disappointed little girls.

Under the radar: Snappy purple polo shirts embroidered with the Gaylaxicon 2009 logo will be seen all over the Minneapolis Doubletree as the international GBLTQ sci-fi/fantasy/horror/comics convention lands in Viking country. Also, you’d better have been nice to little Zinefest, because its big brother FallCon is arriving this weekend—with pages and pages of super powers.

Monday, October 12

On the radar: Tonight a cast at the Guthrie will take place in a global reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, an epilogue to the original Laramie Project, written in response to the brutal, homophobic 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard.

Under the radar: The Midwestern gothic tent show is being revived tonight at the U. What was the Midwestern gothic tent show? Get thee to the tent to find out.

Tuesday, October 13

On the radar: Splashy new productions of family-oriented musicals are opening in both downtowns tonight: 101 Dalmatians in Minneapolis (yes, with real Dalmatians) and Little House on the Prairie in St. Paul (no, without real prairie).

Under the radar: The Twin Cities already have a 36 Hour Songwriting Contest and a 48 Hour Film Project, so why not a two-week play project? That’s how it works at Madness, where several emerging playwrights (of color, as it happens) have about that long to write five- to ten-minute plays that are performed by actors, scripts in hand, after a day of rehearsal. It’s happening tonight at the Playwrights’ Center.

Wednesday, October 14

On the radar: There are average author appearances (free, amidst the stacks in a basement bookstore), there are high-profile author appearances (free, at the Central Library), and then there are David Sedaris appearances ($42, at the State Theatre).

Under the radar: The stealth with which Peter Wolf Crier are rolling out their debut album—a live premiere at a private event in a mostly-empty theater, an album-release show that opens tonight at an undisclosed location—might make you think that it’s a lousy record. Actually, it’s pretty good.

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

Daily Planet Arts Roundup


The week spanning September and October was Banned Books Week, and Uptown Neighborhood News celebrated by recapping the most-challenged books of 2008—from Gossip Girl to The Kite Runner.


As the Sound Unseen Film Festival concluded, we published Erik McClanahan’s interviews with D-Tour director Jim Granato and Damien Chazelle, director of Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. In my Coen Brothers review series, I reached the beautiful backwater odyssey O Brother, Where Art Thou?


The names Anne Feeney and David Rovics will be familiar ones if you’re interested in the music of the labor movement; Steve Share previews their October 11 concert at the Minnesota Music Café. Also, Natalie Zett talks with harpsichordist Asako Hirabayashi—recently honored with a McKnight Fellowship—and Dwight Hobbes talks with Brihanu of Junkyard Empire. Also, I visit the newly reopened Music Box Theatre.


John Munger critiques the dance in the Minnesota Opera’s The Pearl Fishers (nice choreography, he says, but stage direction that’s just a little too symmetrical) and writes about the documentary Solo: 1 x 2, which spotlights McKnight Dance Fellows. Our reviews this week include a couple of excellent shows that have wrapped their runs—Ragamala’s Dhvee (Duality) and Chris Sullivan’s Mark The Encounter—as well as a couple of good shows that you can still catch: the Flower Shop Project’s In the Weeds and Theatre Pro Rata’s Marisol.

Visual Arts

“You should be waving this great artist out of every window,” said one commenter about Mason Riddle’s review of the Jim Denomie show at the Bockley Gallery; while another averred that “this stuff has the artistic sophistication of a fifth grade art class.”


“Used to be that if you had a Baker’s Square or Perkins in your suburb, you were supposed to consider that good enough,” writes Amy Rea, who’s glad that’s changed—and specifically is glad for Eden Prairie’s Kona Grill. Phyllis Louise Harris praised Kindee, the new Thai restaurant across from the Guthrie, while I contented myself with five Jr. Frostys for a dollar at Wendy’s. While we’re on the subject of drinking…will you be among the 5,000 undead roaming the West Bank with beers in hand this Saturday?

Not a subscriber? Click here to get Arts Orbit Radar in your inbox every Thursday-and follow ArtsOrbit on Twitter for 24/7 updates on the local arts scene. For a new video on the local arts scene every weekday, bookmark the Daily Planet’s 3-Minute Egg page.