Arts Orbit Radar 9/16/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, September 16

On the radar: In the regional premiere of Adam and Adrienne Kennedy’s Sleep Deprivation Chamber, Penumbra Theatre takes on issues of race and authority that will surely resonate in the Twin Cities, which have seen their share of controversial police actions in recent years. Look for CakeIn15‘s Carl Atiya Swanson, last seen in this spring’s rapturous Awakening, as a brutal cop.

Under the radar: The brilliant and gregarious Wisconsinite Neil Gaiman gets all the press around here when it comes to sci-fi writers, but today a living legend of the genre comes to Magers & Quinn. William Gibson coined the term “cyberspace” and has done more than any other writer to bring speculative fiction into the computer era. The writer, now 62, will be presenting his new novel Zero History.

Friday, September 17

On the radar: Minneapolis’s Children’s Theatre is the only company in world permitted to stage productions of Dr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, and since 1979, kids from the tail end of Generation X on down have enjoyed the company’s multiple productions of the show. After a week of previews, the most recent production officially opens tonight.

Under the radar: In general, I can’t get enough of ambiguous multimedia events held in unofficial venues. The same may not be true of you, but how many opportunities will you have to see a performance by Moonstone Continuum, art by Isa Gagarin, and a film by Richard Serra—among dozens of other pieces and performances—all under one bare-beamed roof?

Saturday, September 18

On the radar: F. Scott Fitzgerald was the greatest writer ever to emerge from Minnesota, but he had a conflicted relationship with the North Star State and its capital, St. Paul. Patricia Hampl tells Fitzgerald’s story in a new essay, The Big Time, which is receiving a staged reading today at—where else?—the Fitzgerald Theater, with two of the writer’s direct descendents pitching in.

Under the radar: Babes in Bikeland, the wildly popular all-grrrl road race, starts today at the Soap Factory and ends in a big party. This could be the day you get your Foursquare Swarm badge for #30daysofbiking.

Sunday, September 19

On the radar: In a one-two best-of-the-00s indie-rock punch, the Flaming Lips play Roy Wilkins and Dirty Projectors are at First Ave.

Under the radar: The Shoebox Gallery will have “a hard closing” for its exhibit of the classic Minneapolis art zine Artpolice, with Artpolice founder Frank Gaard (whose paintings will also be on display) autographing reproductions and punk poet Paul D hosting an edition of his Riot Act Reading Series.

Monday, September 20

On the radar: It was probably a bit of a stretch for the Ivey Awards to tweet that “theatre fans from all over will be glamming up the red carpet,” but if past experience is any guide, the State Theatre will be full of theater-makers from all over the Twin Cities, and the balcony will be full of extremely sparkly teenagers. This year’s ceremony is hosted by the Jungle Theater’s ever-quotable founder Bain Boehlke and co-scripted by Joseph Scrimshaw and Zach Curtis, so expect a seriously entertaining evening.

Under the radar: There’s been lots of debate over the way The Scottsboro Boys, the musical currently playing at the Guthrie, handles the Depression-era miscarriage of justice that kept nine young men mouldering in jail for years. Get the straight facts tonight at St. Anthony Main, where documentarian Barak Goodman will be on hand to present a free screening of his film Scottsboro: An American Tragedy.

Tuesday, September 21

On the radar: National Book Award winner Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom, is set in St. Paul—and predictably, not everyone in the Capital City is thrilled about that. Franzen will take the stage tonight at the Fitzgerald Theater for a sold-out appearance at which he will talk about himself, his new novel, himself, St. Paul, and himself.

Under the radar: I’ve been threatening to write a play to submit to next year’s Fringe Festival, and if I do, I won’t be the first guy who’s juggled theater criticism and playwriting. Tonight, Max Sparber—formerly theater critic for City Pages—and critic Janet Preus present themselves and their work at the Playwrights’ Center.

Wednesday, September 22

On the radar: When the first decade of the century ended, the Arcade Fire were at or near the top of most lists of the decade’s defining bands—but with the strong reviews their new disc The Suburbs has been earning, they’re not quite ready for the nostalgia bin. Tonight, they play the Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

Under the radar: You know something, right? And there’s something you want to know, right? And you’re reading this, so obviously you care at least some fraction of a damn about what I have to say. Thus, you should come to tonight’s edition of Give & Take, at which I’ll be making a presentation on the subject of how to make a perfect mix CD.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


Plots (blog entry by Eleanor Arnason)


Vinnie and the Stardusters have a hoot with David Daniels and…Duluth? (review by Dwight Hobbes)
• Nikki Schultz’s Lost and Found (and Lost Again) is an excellent offering by a strong performer (review by Dwight Hobbes)
Marina and the Diamonds turn the Triple Rock into Wembley Stadium (review by Jay Gabler, photos by Meredith Westin)
Ludacris at First Avenue (photos by Meredith Westin)

Theater and Dance

Savage Umbrella’s Leaves: A superb Whitman sampler (review by Matthew A. Everett)
Pillsbury House Theatre presents dark Vigil (review by Sheila Regan)
Jungle Theater presents a delicate Glass Menagerie (review by Jay Gabler)
The Taming of the Shrew, against all odds, gets a near-perfect production courtesy of Theatre Pro Rata (review by Matthew A. Everett)
From sweet to scary: My First Time with Actors Theater of Minnesota (review by Sheila Regan)
Theatre in the Round’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern aren’t dead, they’re just dying (review by Jay Gabler)

Visual Arts

Holy Maury Mother of God: The best outsider art on the Web (feature by Jay Gabler)
Water fountain sculpture to be revealed at the Midtown YWCA (feature by Sheila Regan)
A Shot in the Dark showcases new acquisitions at the Walker Art Center (review by Jay Gabler)
Holy Maury Mother of God creator: “I’m a huge fan of all manner of exploitation, humbuggery, and ballyhoo” (interview by Jay Gabler)
A journey From Here to There with Alec Soth at the Walker Art Center (review by Jay Gabler)

Food and Dining

Banana Blossom restaurant on Lowry Avenue (blog entry by Megan Goodmundson)
Getting cheesy with Duchess the farm dog (blog entry by Meredeth Barzen)
America’s industrial drug (blog entry by Brian Devore)
Richville’s Rockin’ Horse Café (blog entry by Amy Rea)
Tofu restaurant finds home near U (feature by Jennifer Bissell)


St. Paul and St. Thomas: Good neighbors make good neighbors (feature by Jennifer Thomsen)
Minneapolis dog park proposal divides blacks, whites (feature by Charles Hallman)
This Saturday: The mother of all dog days (blog entry by Meredeth Barzen)

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