Arts Orbit Radar 2/11/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, February 11

On the radar: For one night only, Bruno Beltrão and his contemporary hip-hop (no, those words aren’t necessarily synonymous any more) dance troupe are at the Walker, where we are promised they will krump, pop, collide, and floor-spin on a stage wired to the sound system. Get there early and you might be able to catch the beginning of tonight’s installment of the Inquisition.

Under the radar: It’s not like you never get to see Caroline Smith, Roma di Luna, or Black Blondie perform—but to have them all on one bill, at the Turf Club no less, is a little piece of hometown heaven. This show could sell out, so plan accordingly.

Friday, February 12

On the radar: Passion! Daring! Inadvisable stunts that send lifelong dreams of glory up in flames! I’m talking, of course, about both the Winter Olympics and Tom Arnold. The former arrive today at the Olympic Centre in Vancouver, the latter at the Holiday Inn East in St. Paul.

Under the radar: Pillsbury House Theatre opens a welcome revival of No Child…, featuring an Ivey-winning multi-character performance by Sonja Parks. Looking for something messy and romantic? Try the “Wheel” You Be Mine couples’ pottery night at Fired Up Studios. They supply the champagne, chocolates, and clay; you supply the boom box playing “Unchained Melody.” Cleanup, presumably, is also your responsibility.

Saturday, February 13

On the radar: With Valentine’s Day coming up, the erotic entertainment is coming out of the (so to speak) woodwork. Foxy Tann—who needs no seasonal excuse to whip ’em out—will be at the Ritz performing a tribute to the history of local burlesque (she notes that her revue might also be considered a celebration of Black History Month), and Kieran’s is hosting an erotic poetry slam for the people whose tongues are at their most stimulating when forming syllables. At the BLB, Joshua Scrimshaw will be reviving his comedy From Here to Maternity and TransAtlantic Theatre Company is presenting a late-night erotic shadow show. “Let your erotica free this Valentine’s. Eat, drink, and listen to the smooth, sensual voices of faceless beings whispering stories of love, passion and obsession in a darkened room lit only by soft colored lights.” And when someone out on the lanes gets a strike…whoa. Just whoa.

Under the radar: There’s fungus among us at the U, where the dance troupe Pilobolus are performing at Northrop and the Bell Museum is hosting a pre-show Family Fungi Fest. Yes, this is your chance to meet members of the Minnesota Mycological Society!

Sunday, February 14

On the radar: Billing itself as “the oldest jug band gathering in the known universe,” the 28th annual Battle of the Jug Bands takes place this afternoon at the Cabooze. Later on, l’etoile magazine is inviting all of its friends (that means you)—whether single or, in Flickr parlance, “taken”—to party at the Rogue Buddha. Yes, you will be able to send that anonymous mash note!

Under the radar: The Minnesota Zoo is inviting couples to get intimate with its permanent guests, learning about mating rituals and enjoying “a sumptuous dinner in Discovery Bay.” If you’re over 21 and agree with the zoo that this is “a perfect way to spend a romantic evening out,” pony up your $175 (proceeds benefit conservation programs) and get horny with the toads. Bonus: You get to bring a “special keepsake” home with you. I don’t even want to know.

Monday, February 15

On the radar: Robert Robinson, a powerhouse vocalist normally seen fronting choirs in churches and auditoriums, presents his annual Christmas show (hey, he was busy, all right?) in the intimate confines of the Dakota. The unmistakably round performer proudly cites the Star Tribune‘s characterization of him as “the Pavarotti of Gospel.”

Under the radar: I’ll be taking a turn at the tables (to be precise, at my laptop) DJing Minnesota Music Monday at Grumpy’s. I’m lining up some rarely-heard nuggets from local legends including the Underbeats, Sherwin Linton, Walker Kong, and Ray McParlen.

Tuesday, February 16

On the radar: Whether or not you’re giving anything up for Lent (say, parking on the even side of the street), there’s nothing wrong with taking Fat Tuesday as an excuse to party. Tonight’s best fête is likely to be the one taking place at the Nomad, featuring the Southside Aces, the Brass Messengers, and Paddy and the Buttons.

Under the radar: The latest installment of the Two Chairs Telling story jam at Open Eye Theatre features Rockstar Storyteller (and naughtybilly songstress) Courtney McLean vs. folklorist John Berquist. For her part, McLean promises she’ll take the occasion to tell the true story behind her song about having the hots for her cousin.

Wednesday, February 17

On the radar: All eyes in the local theater scene will be on the bouncing balls at Bedlam tonight as the Minnesota Fringe Festival holds its annual public lottery for its numerous, but limited, slots.

Under the radar: Britrock sensations Wild Beasts will be sharing a bill with Still Life Still at the Entry.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


Claire Light has a new chapbook, and Bryan Thao Worra has the story. Meanwhile, teen Franny Alfano notes the increasing popularity of graphic novels, which now have designated shelf spave at all Hennepin County libraries.


Barb Teed is on the Oscar beat, filing stories about this year’s nominees, about the special exception made for The Hurt Locker, and about the Academy’s perennial Francophilia. Meanwhile, Jim Brunzell is back from Sundance; he weighs in with a report on the winners and the woofers.


Anne Holzman and Dave Healy argue for the importance of music in schools, with which I can’t argue—but I can argue that classical music shouldn’t be given any special priority there. Dwight Hobbes, for his part, stayed out of the fray and enjoyed some sweet music from the Bitter Roots at the Fine Line.


In reviews this week:
• Sheila Regan watched YPC’s But My Soul is Rested with an audience of middle-schoolers and found it to be a mixed success; more successful, she found, was Mu’s production of David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face at the Guthrie.
• I loved Rent at The Lab; Young Frankenstein at the Orpheum, not so much.
• Matthew Everett was happily horrified by Gremlin Theatre’s production of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming.
Jon Behm enjoyed Ballet Works, the new show by the James Sewell Ballet.
• Rebecca Mitchell had her eyes opened to the glories (and inglories) of dinner theater with the Chanhassen’s Footloose.

Also this week, Dwight Hobbes talked with playwright Christina Ham about her new piece Henry’s Freedom Box—now playing at SteppingStone—and Keith Pederson previewed MCTC’s production of Mother Courage and Her Children.

Visual Arts

The annual Art Sled Rally was held this week at Powderhorn Park, and Alan Wilfahrt was there with camera in hand.


Amy Rea pops by the new local franchise of Five Guys Burgers, and Tom Laventure checks out the new look at St. Paul’s Lagoon Restaurant. Also this week, Phyllis Louise Harris highlights multiple ways to celebrate the lunar new year with tasty food from Shuang Cheng for under $15.

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