Arts Orbit Radar 4/1/10


Thursday, April 1

On the radar: The name of Four Humors Theater refers to an ancient theory about the basic substances contained in the human body (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood, if you must know), but the company also happens to have four artistic directors who are all funny. Coincidence? No, nor is it by accident that the company’s annual fundraising performance—at $20, the best deal in town for a benefit gala—takes place on April 1.

Under the radar: After weeks of competition, Nye’s has winnowed the talent down to only true lounge legends for tonight’s finals, at which hopefuls take the mic while Sweet Lou tickles the ivories. Who will be the next Polish Idol?

Friday, April 2

On the radar: Leaving the Phil Spector homages to every other indie-rock band, Spoon‘s precise and spacious arrangements prove that you don’t need a wall of sound to pack a wallop. They’re opening a two-night stand at First Ave tonight, with support from Deerhoof and Micachu & The Shapes.

Under the radar: Still a year from his 40th birthday, Thomas Adés is perhaps the most acclaimed composer of his generation. Tonight, Donato Cabrera leads the SPCO in performances of the British wunderkind’s Chamber Symphony Op. 2 and Three Studies after Couperin. Rounding out the evening’s Gallic lineup are pieces by Berlioz and Milhaud.

Saturday, April 3

On the radar: Chelsea Handler is playing two shows at Northrop tonight—that’s over 9,000 tickets—but I’m not sure whether I should be proud or embarrassed to admit that I had to Google her to find out what she actually does. She’s a TV host, writer, and all-around “personality,” it turns out, who characterizes her style by saying, “It’s not so much humor as it is comments that actually aren’t funny.” In other words, it’s Twitter.

Under the radar: Has anyone told Har Mar Superstar that the Weisman selects artists for its WAMplified! series in relation to the art on display, and that the current exhibit is called “The Art of the Quotidian”?

Sunday, April 4

On the radar: Following Vampire Weekend’s sell-out-the-Triple-Rock-to-sell-out-First-Ave trajectory, Passion Pit are in town tonight. Bring your extra-special Peeps to the afterparty, which officially launches the new VIP Room, rechristened “the Record Room.”

Under the radar: Around the corner at the Entry, the “Bonfire Ball” features three tuneful folk-pop acts from north of the border: Jason Collett (of Broken Social Scene), Zeus, and Bahamas. Instead of taking the stage in turn, the acts will collaborate onstage. As Sara Quin might say, how cute and Canadian and socialist.

Monday, April 5

On the radar: Lowertown is jammin’ as Desdamona curates a night of spoken word at the Black Dog. The event will feature Tish Jones, IBé, and Reggie Harris, who will also talk about their work taking poetry out into the world beyond coffee shops, bars, and bookstores.

Under the radar: If your commute to work takes you anywhere near Seward, your morning coffee stop will have to be reevaluated as the much-anticipated Cake Eater Bakery opens its doors. Supplying its joe will be Intelligentsia, a Chicago roaster that’s one of the best in the country.

Tuesday, April 6

On the radar: It’s not easy making money in music, but rising stars Miike Snow have done well enough to buy themselves an extra vowel. They’re at the Varsity tonight.

Under the radar: In the four corners of Club Jäger will be writers John Jodzio, Darci Schummer, Brian Beatty, John Gordon, facing off in a Literary Death Match hosted by Steve Marsh and Todd Zuniga, judged by a panel whose members will include Dessa Darling. Appropriately, the bloody event will be followed by a screening of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Wednesday, April 7

On the radar: Bon Jovi’s in town, and they’re sharing the love. The band’s opening acts will be local bands chosen by vote of KQRS listeners, and when the Jersey boys play “Livin’ on a Prayer,” they’ll show a mashup of tribute videos by local fans. Visit the band’s Web site to see the videos fans have submitted, including an epic clip directed by MTN’s Hamil Griffin-Cassidy, producer of Freaky Deeky and Philo. (It’s the one with the purple-haired lady.)

Under the radar: Legendary choreographer (and Daily Planet blogger) John Munger presents an international dance spectacular including “African Diaspora, Appalachian Clogging, Armenian Traditional, Greek, Middle Eastern Folkloric, Ojibwe, Russian Gypsy, Venezuelan Folkloric and West African Drum and Dance.” Somehow, this is all going to fit into the BLB Theater.

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Daily Planet arts roundup


Dwight Hobbes talked with local poets Greg Hewett and Lightsey Darst, both of whom have new collections out from Coffee House Press.


Erik McClanahan looks back on the best (and worst) films of the year so far, and Barb Teed looks forward to the 2011 Academy Awards, which will return to their longtime February slot. Also this week, Jim Brunzell talked with director Atom Egoyan about his kinky new film Chloe and Jim and Erik together talked with MSPIFF coordinator Ryan Oestreich.


I talked with Now, Now Every Children’s Cacie Dalager about life between tours, Carl Atiya Swanson reviewed Tegan and Sara‘s performance at the MPR studios, and Dwight Hobbes helped himself to a heapin’ helpin’ of Pop Wagner. Meanwhile, Crystal Erickson wondered at the small turnout for the legendary Afrika Bambaataa at Epic and Anne Holzman talked with premier cellist Soo Bae.


Sheila Regan reviewed Table Salt’s Spring of Freedom, Summer of Fear and Dan Reiva marveled at the dance company Diavolo, while I headed down the Yellow Brick Road for a mediocre production of The Wizard of Oz at the Orpheum and then enjoyed a perfectly nice revue of Noel Coward songs at the Guthrie. Photographer Meredith Westin and I took a glimpse at choreographer Morgan Thorson’s new composition for Zenon Dance Company, and Sheila caught video of playwright Danai Gurira’s residency at her alma mater Macalester College. Meanwhile, Betsy Mowry profiled the SOS Players, who use theater to connect with youth, and Dwight Hobbes got a preview of the 20 10 Fest from Bedlam Theatre’s Maren Ward. Finally, Dwight sat down with Bill Borea—the actor and wrestler who’s ensuring the versimilitude of Mixed Blood’s new show—and the tireless Sheila talked with members of the Unseen Ghost Brigade, performance artists who plan to raft down the Mississippi (in character as ghosts) to raise ecological awareness.


Amy Rea had “a lovely meal” at Lurcat, while Phyllis Louise Harris talked with TeaSource teamaster Bill Waddington.

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