Arts Orbit Radar 11/25/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, November 25

On the radar: When my brother was a teenager, he and his friends drove around the upper Midwest in my parents’ giant conversion van (mood lights? yes. curtains? yes. built-in CB radio? OBVIOUSLY), attending regional jam-rock shows. The van was adorned with a bumper sticker: where the heck is the big wu? If I were a better brother, I’d suggest that Joe and I go to see the Big Wu tonight at the Cabooze. But I’m not, because…

Under the radar: …invitations to Thanksgiving Day parties have been flying in like Angry Birds. I don’t know why, but the Twin Cities seem to have collectively decided that this year, the thing to do on Thanksgiving is to throw and/or go to a house party. So go to one if you’ve been invited, or just wander around until you find one to crash. It won’t take long.

Friday, November 26

On the radar: The Goliath of local holiday theater, the Guthrie Theater’s Christmas Carol, officially opens today with a new script (by Crispin Whittell) and a new director (Joe Dowling). Over at First Ave, the annual Replacements tribute party celebrates the 25th anniversary of Tim, the band’s major-label debut, with an all-star cast of local musicians. (Tip: The Depot has been distributing $1 admission coupons to this show with the purchase of tickets for First Avenue events. No promises that will continue, but if you were going to swing by the venue to pick up a ticket to that Girl Talk show, now might be the time.)

Under the radar: At the Fitzgerald Theater, Kevin Kling presents Scarecrow on Fire, a comtemplative and humorous take on The Wizard of Oz. At Cause Spirits & Soundbar—still, in the wake of its summertime name change, known to many as “(S)cause”—the Arms Akimbo celebrate the release of their thrashing, melodic, and very enjoyable eponymous CD.

Saturday, November 27

On the radar: It’s one of the biggest nights of the year for the local dance scene: Choreographers’ Evening at the Walker, spotlighting several of the best and brightest local dancemakers. Potential audience members are being informed that this year’s show, culled by Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater’s Susana di Palma from 56 submissions, contains “joyous nudity.” Is that a euphemism?

Under the radar: St. Paul’s RiverCentre is hosting a big three-day bash celebrating the Hmong New Year.

Sunday, November 28

On the radar: We just can’t get enough of that “Sunshine”: Atmosphere wrap up a two-night stand at First Ave with the second of two sold-out shows.

Under the radar: The Harty Boys, a satirical duo created and portrayed by Joshua Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen, were so successful solving The Case of the Limping Platypus at the 2009 Fringe Festival that the family-friendly show was revived for a run at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. As of tonight, the Boys are back in town—and “this time, it’s seasonal.”

Monday, November 29

On the radar: Many Twin Cities music fans find themselves wondering why world-class string wizard Leo Kottke, who got his start in the 1960s in Cedar-Riverside coffeehouses, isn’t routinely mentioned among the state’s greats. The guitarist will return tonight, trailing clouds of glory, for a gig at the Guthrie.

Under the radar: The first Southern Songbook concert was my introduction to the remarkable vocalist Bethany Larson, and it left me wanting more. More is available—for free!—tonight at the Kitty Cat Klub.

Tuesday, November 30

On the radar: Is Paul Taylor “the greatest living American choreographer”? (San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle) The “greatest living force in modern dance”? (Northrop Auditorium publicity blurb) “A genius, a legend, and a cultural icon”? (San Francisco Ballet) Decide for yourself tonight at Northrop Auditorium.

Under the radar: In Minnesota, we like to think there’s something special and precious about our arts scene—but are we just fooling ourselves? Are we just another midsize Midwestern state, or do we have a unique identity that’s somehow tied to the art we make and consume? It’s a much-discussed question, and tonight a panel of arts-scene people at Intermedia Arts are going to have a go at it. With Andy Sturdevant moderating and guests including Wing Young Huie, Ananya Chatterjea, Adam Levy, and Chuck Olsen, the evening certainly won’t be boring.

Wednesday, December 1

On the radar: After 21 years, most bands are doing well if they just keep their core fan base happy—but indie rock vets Superchunk are doing a lot better than that. Not only has Majesty Shredding, the album they’ve just released after a nine-year hiatus, thrilled longtime fans, it’s won the group new fans—some of whom weren’t even alive when the band came together in 1989. They’re at First Ave tonight.

Under the radar: Pillsbury House Theatre’s Naked Stages series has featured a significant number of cutting-edge theater artists who have kept right on cutting, hewing a wide aesthetic swath through…okay, this metaphor is getting out of control. The point is, the new Naked Stages showcase begins today.

Daily Planet arts roundup


Local lit: Dogs and the authors who love them (blog entry by Meredeth Barzen)
The woman from Beijing (blog entry by Emilio DeGrazia)


Journey to the Fallen Skies (feature by Tom Laventure)
15 documentary features advance in 2010 Oscar race (feature by Barb Teed)
Home movie: Mark Wojahn’s Trampoline is a raw portrait of a Twin Cities family (feature by Colleen Powers)


Free Energy’s Paul Sprangers: “We see ourselves as being a Minnesota band” (interview by Leslie Kruempel)
Southern Songbook gets off to a swingin’ start (review by Jay Gabler, photos by Erik Hess)
At First Avenue, Cloud Cult are welcomed warmly home (review by Natalie Gallagher, photos by Erik Hess)
KT Tunstall plays a solid show to a chatty crowd at Epic (review by Kate Gallagher)
Jazz balladeer Mina Agossi: Inspirational nights and unforgettable days (interview by Dwight Hobbes)
Free Energy cause the 400 Bar to collapse upon them (almost) (review by Leslie Kruempel, photos by Erik Hess)

Theater and Dance

Student drama confronts hard realities in North Minneapolis (feature by Margo Ashmore)
Tim & Eric Awesome Tour, Great Job! Chrimbus Spectacular 2010 changed my life (review by Jay Gabler)
Emily Johnson breaks boundaries and wins hearts at Northrop (review by Jay Gabler)
Theatre in the Round’s Born Yesterday is a good alternative to holiday fare (review by Kate Gallagher)
Reversing the gaze: Heid Erdrich’s Curiosities (review by Sheila Regan)
Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells at Stages Theatre Company: “Wow!” (review by Tammy Rose)
Zenon Dance Company falls into fall (review by Sheila Regan)

Food and Dining

Sisters’ Camelot: Feeding Minneapolis, one bus at a time (feature by Jeanette Fordyce)
The all-American cranberry goes international (feature by Phyllis Louise Harris)
Kelly: “It’s time to make the sandwiches,” she said angrily (blog entry by Kelly McManus)
Lady Elegant’s Tea Room (blog entry by Amanda Baden)
Sha Sha Resort (blog entry by Amy Rea)
Hmong New Year: A celebration of harvest, romance, and food! (feature by Phyllis Louise Harris)
Kelly: SNAP—or snap! (blog entry by Kelly McManus)
Kevin: SNAP Challenge, day 2 (blog entry by Kevin Winge)


Induction of labor…naturally (blog entry by Amy Doeun)
Check out “Soul of the Community” to see how Minnesotans love their amenties, aesthetics, and public stuff (blog entry by Dane Smith)
Lives of the homeless: Their stories told with photos (feature by Cynthia Boyd)
On turning 65 (blog entry by Dick Bernard)
Spending A Day in the Life of an Elf, with Mom, at Macy’s in Minneapolis (feature by Jay Gabler)
Hmong daughter and mother struggle to understand each other’s different cultures (feature by Pa Houa Thao)
“I’m not from China! I’m from Pakistan!” (feature by Iman Jafri)
Exchange student says Pakistan and America share morals (feature by Falak Sher Marri)
What 75,000 poinsettias look like: Bachman’s stocks up for the holidays (photos by Jay Gabler)
Postpartum survival (blog entry by Amy Doeun)
About Twitter, guacamole, and parenting (blog entry by Galit Breen)

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