Arts Orbit Radar: 8/6/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, August 6

On the radar: The Walker looks back to the 1971 unveiling of its old new space by reinstalling Robert Irwin’s massive Slant/Light/Volume. It goes on display as part of tonight’s Free Thursday event—which also features a workshop with the devilishly clever toy manipulator Asia Ward.

Under the radar: Kevin Kling’s new work Flight opens at the Open Eye Theatre, and Studio 145 screens Woody Allen’s hilarious early film Sleeper.

Friday, August 7

On the radar: It’s a great day for the Irish…and also for the indie, as Passion Pit play a very sold-out Triple Rock, Bat For Lashes hit the Varsity, and former Of-Montreal-er Jason NeSmith brings his power-pop project Casper and the Cookies to the Nomad.

Under the radar: It’s an unusually fun night for art openings, as the Big Funny—a collection of comics printed on broadside newsprint—is released at Altered Esthetics and the latest three-person show opens at Sellout, complete with a game arena!

Saturday, August 8

On the radar: Maria Isa headlines the Pizza Luce Block Party, while Overproof turns three abandoned downtown buildings into one huge art installation.

Under the radar: Is it too soon to throw a Michael Jackson tribute party featuring “thriller drink specials” and a moonwalk/costume contest? Maybe, but no one ever accused Bar Fly of having an excess of tact and discretion. Alternately: I can’t ethically recommend that you crash the Wayzata High Class of ’89 reunion at the Wayzata Country Club, bust a move to “Wild Thing,” and steal a bottle of Grey Goose to pass around while lounging on the 15th green…but I can bring the event to your attention and let you wrestle with your own conscience.

Sunday, August 9

On the radar: Today’s your last day to enjoy (if that’s the word) Minneapolis’s annual art fair orgy.

Under the radar: The mad, mad Mark Mallman is the guest of honor at tonight’s Riot Act Reading.

Monday, August 10

On the radar: The Silverspun Pickups are at the State, with support from Manchester Orchestra and Cage the Elephant. Not bad for under thirty bucks!

Under the radar: There’ll be an assload of brass at the Lake Harriet Band Shell.

Tuesday, August 11

On the radar: The Lemonheads fumbled the 90s nostalgia ball last month at the Triple Rock, but don’t expect the Breeders to make the same mistake tonight at the Fine Line.

Under the radar: Just when you thought that sci-fi buffs had exploited every possible CONcept…here comes Diversicon! That’s right, a Con devoted to multicultural fantastic fiction. (Apparently the white guys who write most sci-fi and fantasy are a little more ready to accept Wookies, Vulcans, and Daleks than members of Earthly minority groups.)

Wednesday, August 12

On the radar: Students at MCAD put their art on display at the Chambers Hotel, hoping to attract some buyers looking to diversify their holdings with work by up-and-comers.

Under the radar: After making a purchase downtown, head to Bedlam to brag about your score at the monthly Art Happy Hour. (If you find any of our Fringe bloggers passed out under a table, slap them awake and buy them a coffee.)

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


I made two musical connections this week: between Chris Brown and Elvis Presley and between Ben Gibbard and James Taylor.


Erik McClanahan reviews three new comedies: In the Loop, Humpday, and Funny People.


The Fringe Festival is in full swing, and our Fringe bloggers are trying their damndest to contract RSI before it’s over. Luckily for us, I think they’ll all succeed! Here’s what they’ve been writing this week:

Matt Everett has been reviewing just about everything worth seeing, rating plays on a five-star scale.
That Chair Was My Wife (Four stars)
Parry Hotter and the Half-Drunk Twins (Five stars)
Jurassic Dork (Five stars)
Needs Wants Desires (Four and a half stars)
Winnemucca (Three Days in the Belly) (Five stars)
Food Shelf Follies (Five stars)
Fearsome Critter (Four stars)
The Gayer Show (Five stars)
Tragedy of You (Five stars)
The Harty Boys in the Case of the Limping Platypus (Five stars)
The Rise of General Arthur (Five stars)
Every Pastie Tells a Story (Five stars)
Storm Still (Two and a half stars)
Applesauce Fiction (Four and a half stars)
Livelihood (Three and a half stars)
Slow Jobs, Four and a half stars
Axed (The Rockstars Remix), Five stars

Wendy Gennaula has been following the (more or less) family-friendly Fringe.
In Another’s Size
Mutant Squad
Silent Poetry 2 and Jurassic Dork
Hogg and the Humors
The Frog Prince and the Harty Boys
A Mother for Choco, The Nightingale, and two short operas
The Comedy Hypnosis Show

Kate Hoff has been filing daily dispatches.
Happy Fringe opening!
Fringe Friday: An alien, a baby, and a cop walk into a whale…
Saturday: Dance, discovery, hypnosis, Lieutenant Penguin, and one of the funniest guys around
Sunday: Perfection. Dinosaurs, a hanging, dumb jobs, talking dancers, real girls, and Irish songbirds
Monday: A walkout, the worst job interview ever, and my boys Jimmy and Noah. With guest appearance by chocolate
Tired Tuesday: Hit men, snake oil, homelessness, and a colorful chorus

Phillip Andrew Bennett Low has been shaking hands and seeing shows.
Rorschach Theatre
Spermalot: The Musical (Rehearsal Edition)
Out-of-Towner Showcase
Riding the synchronicity highway
Aunt Dicey Channel Moms Mabey
Winnemucca (Three Days in the Belly)
The William Williams Effect
Minnesotans to the rescue
Opening weekend party
Quick thoughts about opening weekend
Casebolt and smith: Speaking out!
Buyer’s Remorse
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Mansion of Dust
Alice Unwrapped
My Sinking Ship
Animal Cracker Genocide

John Munger has been on top of the Fringe’s dance scene.
Thrower of Light
Another opening
Re:Trace at Colonial Warehouse
Mansion of Dust at the Southern
Stray Pieces at the Ritz Theater
Passage at Mixed Blood
Holding Patterns at the Southern
Casebolt and smith: Speaking Out at the Southern

Rachel Reiva has been exploring the teen Fringe.
Friday show reviews
Saturday show reviews

And John Shea presents a video chat with Fringe director Robin Gillette.

Is there anything else happening on local stages? In fact, yes! I attended the annual Circus Juventas spectacular (which I guess isn’t technically on a stage).

Design and style

Charles Locks tells the story of Cass Gilbert’s sojourn in New York City, where he worked for Louis Comfort Tiffany—a man he revered.


“This much is sure,” writes Jeremy Iggers. “The Hot Plate Diner at 52nd and Bloomington has the most impressive collection of paint-by-numbers art I have ever seen. At least five different images of Jesus, two of the Virgin Mary, and oodles of poodles, cocker spaniels and sad-eyed clowns.” Also, “the buttermilk pancakes with caramelized pecans were just about perfect.”


For those who love Larry Millett’s AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, two updated excerpts are now available to guide you through Uptown and down Summit.

Visual Arts

I visited the Sellout art gallery and learned how to play Quan Nu. As of tomorrow, you’ll be able to play too!

Not a subscriber? Click here to get Arts Orbit Radar in your inbox every Thursday—and follow ArtsOrbit on Twitter for 24/7 updates on the local arts scene. For a new video on the local arts scene every weekday, bookmark the Daily Planet’s 3-Minute Egg page.

Jay Gabler ( is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.

Support people-powered non-profit journalism! Volunteer, contribute news, or become a member to keep the Daily Planet in orbit.