Arts Orbit Radar: 11/12/09


What’s Happening This Week

Thursday, November 12

On the radar: It’s hard to pass up a chance to see the dance that the Washington Post calls “one of the seven wonders of the artistic universe,” but be warned (or get excited): in costuming, notes Camille LeFevre, Martha Graham “certainly liked her men with buttocks bared.”

Under the radar: MNfashion opens its holiday boutique tonight with winin’ and snackin’. Stop by for a first look at the cool stuff Minnesota designers have created for you to tuck under the tree this year.

Friday, November 13

On the radar: The Seafarer, one of the darkest (but also, according to reports, funniest) of this season’s holiday entertainments, opens at the Jungle. Downtown at First Ave, “national treasures” (per City Pages) Solid Gold headline a show that also features The Hood Internet and, just for good measure, Lookbook.

Under the radar: Tara Yule of the much-missed Pi Restaurant & Bar is convening a “Pi Family Reunion” tonight at BarFly. Pi patrons won’t want to miss this chance to rub elbows (and, who knows, maybe more) with old friends.

Saturday, November 14

On the radar: The Minnesota Opera has been sending Maestro Leonardo Vordoni all over town to pose with various celebrities (Dave Brubeck, Lori & Julia) in a promotion for its new production of Casanova’s Homecoming, which opens tonight. If the fact that Vordoni has been arm-in-arm with Hulk Hogan isn’t enough to get you excited about the opera, rest assured that Minnesota composer Dominick Argento’s music—composed for the Ordway’s opening season in 1985—is reason enough.

Under the radar: Korean adoptee Mayda will be headlining (in fact, she’ll be completely constituting) the musical entertainment at the Minnesota TransRacial Film Festival, an event devoted to “transracial and transcultural voices from the adoption community.” Tonight, Rumba Eterna will play at a gala benefit for the Resource Center of the Americas.

Sunday, November 15

On the radar: A Pride-ful group of activists are rallying to “legalize love”—first at Hennepin County Government Center, then at Bedlam Theatre, where Guante and other performers will represent for the GBLTQ community.

Under the radar: The sellout was so swift (as in Taylor Swift swift) when Roma di Luna announced a semi-public house show tonight that the duo added a second, early, set. Spots may still be available at that set, if you jump on ’em now.

Monday, November 16

On the radar: The Asylum Street Spankers aren’t nearly as feisty as their name implies—how could they be?—but the roots rockers still put on a damn good show.

Under the radar: St. Paul’s Chatterbox Pub is a happy land, and tonight it’s especially happy for nerdy singles, who tonight are invited to an event where they can play nerdy board games, answer nerdy trivia questions, and enjoy “nerdy drink specials,” whatever that means. Pints for $3.14?

Tuesday, November 17

On the radar: First Ave is a big place for the likes of emotive indie-rocker Brendan Benson—or at least, it was until Jack White recruited him for a prime spot in the Raconteurs.

Under the radar: Grab a can of beans and spin by the Guthrie on your way to work this morning; your food shelf donation will be rewarded with a cup of coffee, a treat from Sea Change, and coupons for Sea Change and the Guthrie. And it all happens curbside—you don’t even have to get out of the darn car!

Wednesday, November 18

On the radar: Their hey-decades (the 60s and the 90s, respectively) have long passed, but everything you ever loved about J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.) and John Fogerty (of CCR) is still true—unless one of the things you loved about them was that they didn’t have gray hair. Both are in town tonight.

Under the radar: Psyched for the planned revival of Lillith Fair? Then hie thee to the Entree, where fair damsels Alela Diane, Marissa Nadler, and Lucy Michelle shalle upon their strings soulfully strum.

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

Daily Planet Arts Roundup


“He was wonderful and charming,” wrote an attendee of John Irving’s Minneapolis appearance, in a Facebook comment. “The only disappointment was his final story about clubbing a porcupine with a baseball bat—I was not impressed.”


An unusually large number of this year’s British Television Advertising Award winners—screening next month at the Walker—are “fucked up,” says my friend. (That’s not necessarily a bad thing.) Also this week, teen Deirdre McGarrity reviews Straightlaced, a film about gender pressures on adolescents that is having its regional premiere this week at the Children’s Theatre.


I had a week of musical extremes, ranging from the hushed tones of J. Tillman to the screaming frenzy of Art Brut. In profiles, Dwight Hobbes talked with Renaissance instrumentalist Matt Stevens and Nneka Onyilofor connected with Tanzanian reggae pioneer Innocent Galinoma.


In reviews this week, we covered a number of small companies mounting ambitious productions, from Sandbox Theatre’s .faust to Workhaus Collective’s The Sense of What Should Be to Prufrock Theatre’s Landscape of the Body. Of course, not every play has to be profound: Matthew Everett enjoyed Hardcover Theatre’s grandly silly She: Witch Queen of a Lost World and I laughed a lot at Four Humors’ farce Love is Blind…and Furry. Facing neo-Nazis is no laughing matter, but Doug McGill reports on Giselle Stern Hernández, a woman who took an unexpected audience at her one-woman show as an opportunity to build bridges.

Visual Arts

Mason Riddle reviews the impressive new show of Minnesota photography at CVA; and Judy Woodward profiles “regionalist” artist Dan Mackerman.


Jeremy Iggers calls the Como Park café Java Train a “hidden gem”—especially for families with children.

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