Arts Orbit Radar 1/14/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, January 14

On the radar: The Guthrie’s Singled Out festival showcases the work of four short plays handpicked by Ben McGovern, the guy at the Guthrie whose job it is to know what’s going on in the theater world outside of Big Blue and the Big Apple.

Under the radar: Famed conductor Edo de Waart conducts the SPCO in a concert performance of The Rake’s Progress, Stravinsky’s only opera.

Friday, January 15

On the radar: As the post-holiday revival of the local theater scene continues, the Guthrie highlights its new production of Romeo and Juliet with a $35 event featuring “beer, brats, and the Bard.” Also, the Rural Alberta Advantage hit town with a sold-out show at the Cedar and a 6 p.m. instore at the Fetus; and you can see all the best new local bands on a single bill at First Ave. At $7, Radio K’s annual showcase costs just a buck a band—not bad.

Under the radar: Samantha Johns and her conspirators unleash a mysterious, theatrical Thing. Meanwhile, at the Uptown Theatre you can see The Room, the film MNDialog editor Rebecca Collins calls “the best worst movie ever.”

Saturday, January 16

On the radar: The Art Shanties hit Medicine Lake today, ensuring that even Minnesotans who don’t give a carp about fishing have a reason to shanty up with their neighbors.

Under the radar: Somehow today became the unofficial roots rock day of the month in the Twin Cities. Among the shows to see: Cadillac Kolstad and Cornbread Harris at Palmer’s, a Johnny Cash tribute at the Cabooze, the Knotwells and the Cankickers at the Hex, and rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon—whose $30 cover charge may make his show the most expensive ever presented at Lee’s.

Sunday, January 17

On the radar: To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Ordway is opening its doors for a free open house today. Besides seeing a raft of music and dance performances, you’ll have the chance to take the mainstage for 25 seconds (accompanist provided) for your shot at the big time. Whether you flower or flop, your performance will be documented for possible broadcast on the Ordway’s YouTube channel. Will the next Susan Boyle come from Coon Rapids? (No, I don’t think so either.)

Under the radar: Tegan and Sara can’t stop tweeting and blogging about the awesomeness of Astronautalis, who opened for them at several of their recent European gigs. Judge for yourself tonight at the Entry, where you can catch the rapper before he heads off on tour with P.O.S. and Dessa. Over at the BLB today, you have two chances to see a unique collaboration between choreographer Maggie Bergeron and the Orange Mighty Trio. The show is called Wednesday Feels Like Tuesday, and ain’t that the truth?

Monday, January 18

On the radar: Is it possible to go wrong with a Dolly Parton tribute? I don’t think so, and though there aren’t any big names among the artists covering Parton’s songs at her BLB birthday bash tonight, it’s likely to be a party to remember. It’s also hard to go wrong with a Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute—especially one held on his national holiday, and especially one featuring Maria Isa, the Wellstone Elementary Drumline, and Congressman Keith Ellison. (Don’t worry, he’s not planning to sing.)

Under the radar: There’s-no-time-like-the-present is usually the prevailing attitude at the Saloon, but tonight DJs Nightstalker, Nitrogen, Noise, and—I kid you not—DJ 000000000001 are promising a history lesson. “Join us,” they invite, “as we explore the fundamentals of what made industrial, goth, and electroclash what it is today.” There won’t be a test on the material, but if things get hot on the dance floor you might be inspired to administer an impromptu exam.

Tuesday, January 19

On the radar: Can Dessa do wrong? As of yet, there is no evidence that she can, and the solo debut album the Doomtree dame is releasing today is highly unlikely to constitute any such evidence. (She’ll be at the Fine Line on Friday for a release show.)

Under the radar: We’ve all seen the photo of Johnny Cash flipping the bird at Folsom enough times to get the point: the Man in Black was a punk. Underlining that point, five punk bands enact the week’s second Cash tribute show. This one’s at Lee’s, and the cover charge is only a sixth of Robert Gordon’s.

Wednesday, January 20

On the radar: Tom Arndt, the local photography legend whose retrospective Home was released to acclaim last year, makes his monthly appearance at the Minneapolis Photo Center; you’re encouraged to bring your own work to talk about with Arndt and other attendees.

Under the radar: Dreamland Faces, who provided musical accompaniment for last year’s Buster Keaton series at the Trylon Microcinema, return for an evening in which they will play behind (in front of?) a diverse series of short film clips dating from 1932 to 1965.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


This week, American Jewish World profiles Robert Fischer, a local pediatrician and Holocaust survivor who’s just published his life stories. Also, Phyllis Louise Harris reviews a new cookbook featuring more bento box lunches than you can shake a chopstick at, and Natalie Zett enthuses about the appeal of book clubs.


The Hurt Locker was one of the best-reviewed movies of 2009, but Iraq vet Chris Donlin takes issue with its depiction of American soldiers.


Jim Tarbox highlights a new disc of Irish duets, and Mordecai Specktor profiles violin whiz Adam Han-Gorski.


Appropriately for a production consisting of two distinct plays, we present two distinct perspectives on 3 AM’s Dumb/Sex: one from me and one from Matthew Everett. I also saw—er, participated in—Rimini Protokoll’s charming Call Cutta in a Box, which I then brought up in my interview with performance artist Rebecca Nagle. In reviews this week, Dwight Hobbes applauded the cast but disliked the script of Panache at Theatre in the Round, and Jon Behm enjoyed 20%’s Fresh Five at Bedlam. Dreamgirls is playing this week at the Orpheum (read my review here), and Stephani Maari Booker profiles cast member Milton Craig Nealy, who’s been with the show since its original inception.

Visual Arts

Mason Riddle reviewed The Mummy Paradox, which unfortunately you can’t see any longer; what you can still see is Chuck U’s Robozoology at Nicademus. The Art Shanties hit Medicine Lake this weekend, and you can warm up (so to speak) for a visit by reading our first-person accounts by the creators of the FantaShanty, the Art Swap Shanty, and the Nordic Immersion Shanty.


Amy Rea is a sucker for a good drive-in, and the Galaxy is no exception.

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