Arts Orbit Radar 7/22/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, July 22

On the radar: A summertime Madras plaid party at a swank Indian restaurant—why didn’t anyone think of this before? Well, actually, they probably did…but not recently!

Under the radar: It’s almost too good to be true. A children’s play directed by Four Humors artistic director Jason Ballweber and starring acclaimed local actresses Elise Langer and Liz Schachterle? With participatory sidewalk chalk drawing? For free? What else you possibly want, besides ice cream cones? Wait…they’ve got those too! And you don’t need rugrats to enjoy the show—Ballweber compares the tone of Milly and Tillie to that of Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

Friday, July 23

On the radar: TPT’s MN Original is one of the most visible products of Legacy Amendment funding, and in its first season it’s proved a valuable showcase for local artists of every description. The producers are throwing a party tonight in Mears Park to celebrate the program in particular, and Minnesota artists in general. With music by Caroline Smith, Nachito Herrera, and the Mad Ripple Hootenanny, it’s sure to be a jubilant affair.

Under the radar: The final summer of programming at the Nicollet Avenue home of Art of This has proved to epitomize the gallery’s spirit: a loose and unpredictable celebration of everything high-concept and low-maintenance. On the docket for tonight, Matt Lawler and Ben Moren will sit around with cold beverages. “Sit down and play some video games,” invites the press release about the event, in its entirety. “Or not.” (Disclosure: I am advising Art of This about media relations, on a volunteer basis.)

Saturday, July 24

On the radar: Now that you’ve figured out what loppets and kubb are, it’s time to learn about flugtags. Even Leonardo da Vinci couldn’t figure out how to achieve human-powered flight—but then, he didn’t have Red Bull.

Under the radar: Continuing today’s theme of whimsical vehicles, the annual Minnesota ArtCar Parade circles Lake Harriet—with ArtBikes and ArtBoats tagging along for the ride. Afterwards, join the artists as they convoy to the Mississippi to watch the Aquatennial fireworks.

Sunday, July 25

On the radar: Besides its addictive plot, Mad Men is distinctive for its loving depiction of mid-century style; for viewers who aren’t complete design geeks (and some who are), “Mad Men style” has become the default description for the sleek look favored in the early 1960s. The show’s fourth season kicks off tonight with an appropriately lavish party at Jax Cafe.

Under the radar: Normally, sculptor Aldo Caponi plays God at the eponymous art park he carved out of the Eagan wilderness, but today, he steps aside to let the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir lift their voices to the O.G. Himself.

Monday, July 26

On the radar: Is this the 2010 Jon Landau envisioned when he famously declared, in 1974, “I have seen rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen”? Probably not, but somehow the Jersey boys in Gaslight Anthem have turned being Boss wannabes from a perceived liability into a perceived asset. Tonight at First Ave, you can decide for yourself whether their songwriting has caught up with their swagger.

Under the radar: In the person of Andrew Dinwiddie, Jimmy Swaggart visits the Bryant-Lake Bowl tonight to reprise—verbatim—one of his vintage sermons railing against pretty much everything else that ever happens at the BLB besides bowling and the consumption of grass-fed beef (though if that had been prevalent in Swaggart’s prime, he might have had his suspicions about it).

Tuesday, July 27

On the radar: Just when everyone was getting excited about Play by Play, a new independent theater-oriented bookstore, it had the rug pulled out from under it as its landlord yanked the lease to pursue other plans for the space. This week, Play by Play’s Kelly Schaub turns the Lyndale Avenue Storefront-in-a-Box into “Theatreopolis” for a week of theater-related events. At tonight’s preview party, she’ll announce a new permanent location for the bookstore.

Under the radar: Tipsy Trotskys will abound tonight at the BLB (“We’re trying to book a 40-person Red Army Chorus, too, so hopefully that will come together”) as Salon Saloon takes communism under intellectual and aesthetic consideration. The event’s promotional text calls communism a “bankrupt economic and political ideology,” but does event coordinator Andy Sturdevant’s beard speak louder than his words? Let’s just say that the Little Red Book he’s been reading wasn’t written by Harvey Penick.

Wednesday, July 28

On the radar: Every once in a while (that is, all the time), a performer who’s well-established as a solo artist or a member of a particular group decides to shake things up and start making music with a new bunch of people, hoping that fertile creative alchemy will result. Remember Tin Machine? No? White 1, Bowie 0.

Under the radar: I know it doesn’t look good for me to recommend events at the Bryant-Lake Bowl three nights in a row. It makes me look like a boring hipster who has no idea of the vast cultural riches to be found by those who dare to venture out further than the back of an Uptown bowling alley. I’m aware of this. Still, I’m going to stick my neck out and tell you that tonight’s 9×22 Dance/Lab—featuring Jamey Leonard; Zenon’s Leslie O’Neill; and Maggie Bergeron in collaboration with bassist/composer Nicholas Gaudette—is going to be pretty awesome. (And that’s coming from a guy whose feelings about “talkbacks” are like cats’ feelings about bubble baths.)

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


Full-throttle spoken word: National Poetry Slam coming to St. Paul (feature by Sheila Regan)


Bicycle Film Festival rolls into Minneapolis for the weekend (feature and photos by Karen Hollish)


Solid Gold and Lookbook at the Weisman: Museum pieces (review by Jay Gabler, photos by Meredith Westin)
The magic that is P-Square (feature by Eva Githina)

Theater and Dance

Fringe 2010: Fringe-For-All #1—A show that hands out those red plastic cups for your beer (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Incubator: Leave—A picture’s worth a thousand words (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Code 21‘s take on a sick mental health system (blog entry by Rachel Reiva)
Fringe 2010: Fringe-For-All #1—An actor I’ve seen pretty much everywhere but the Fringe (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Fringe 2010: Fringe-For-All #1—Sex, Soap, Torture, Weather (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Pangea’s Ady: A dry draught of Surrealism (review by Jay Gabler)
Fringe 2010: Fringe-For-All #1—Shows with a big helping of gay you knew I’d like (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Fringe 2010: Fringe-For-All #1—When Minnesota kitsch meets Bible study bitch (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Eclectic Edge gives the Ritz a workout For Sport’s Sake (review by Jay Gabler)
Bedlam Theatre’s West Bank story: The next chapter (feature by Sheila Regan)
Fringe 2010: Fringe-For-All #1—Shows with funny guys you knew I’d like (blog entry by Matthew A. Everett)
Circus Juventas gathers Sawdust (photos by Jay Gabler)

Food and Dining

Joe’s Garage (blog entry by Amy Rea)

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