Arts Orbit Radar 3/11/10


What’s happening this week

Thursday, March 11

On the radar: In a sterling hip-hop double bill, the Twin Cities’ own Muja Messiah opens for the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA at the Triple Rock.

Under the radar: As part of its 100th birthday celebration, the Southern Theater pays tribute to the vaudeville performers who filled its stage in the early years.

Friday, March 12

On the radar: Dave King isn’t a household name outside the world of jazz aficionados, but over the past decade and a half the percussionist has quietly become one of the Twin Cities’ most widely esteemed musicians. The Walker is paying tribute to King in a two-day event that begins tonight with a concert featuring King’s two greatest bands, Happy Apple and the Bad Plus. They’ll also be joining together in an unusual appearance as supergroup Bad Apple.

Under the radar: The mad minds of Four Humors Theater have concocted a new play called Welcome to Dystopia, which premieres tonight at Bedlam. It’s a dark sci-fi premise, but given that this is Four Humors, you can reasonably expect a little levity as well…and you can definitely expect some partying, as the theater turns into a dance club after the curtain drops.

Saturday, March 13

On the radar: FEAST stands for Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics. The concept came to Minnesota in 2009, but one of the funded projects hit the rocks when a planned art drop ran afoul of the Minneapolis Graffiti Task Force. Find out what came next—and what is coming next—at the second FEAST MPLS dinner, taking place tonight at the Seward Eagles Club.

Under the radar: In the wake of Jeff Bridges’s Oscar win, it’s the perfect time to pay tribute to the Dude, Bridges’s beloved character from The Big Lebowski. Tonight at Memory Lanes, guitar wizard Javier Trejo will be playing music from the film’s soundtrack…and if you don’t know why the show is being held at a bowling alley, you’re out of your element.

Sunday, March 14

On the radar: Joe Henry is one of those sharp but hitless singer-songwriters you’ve never heard of until one day he gets sick or dies and then all your favorite bands appear on a tribute album, saying what a big influence he was on their work. Fortunately he’s neither sick nor dead, and tonight he’s playing at the Dakota.

Under the radar: Kathryn Bigelow may have been the first woman to win an Oscar for directing, but she won’t be the last—not if the members of Women in Film & Television have anything to say about it. The annual short-film showcase presented by the organization’s Minnesota chapter is screening this afternoon at the Walker, featuring the work of Minnesota filmmakers alongside that of their international peers.

Monday, March 15

On the radar: RJD2 is a Jedi of the turntables, but he hasn’t stopped there—like Moby and Timbaland, he’s also started singing and playing instruments, and his critical (if not commercial) success at that endeavor has surpassed that of either of those two artists. Maybe next Ant will go all Barry White on us, but in the meantime, RJD2 is at the Triple Rock tonight.

Under the radar: Many people who are enjoying Brief Encounter at the Guthrie have probably, like me, never seen the 1945 film on which it’s based. There’s no better time or place to do so than tonight at the Riverview, a theater that opened just three years too late to show Brief Encounter in its original run. The cast of the stage production will be on hand, and if you bring your Guthrie ticket stub you get $3 off the $8 ticket price.

Tuesday, March 16

On the radar: One of the most acclaimed plays of the past decade, August: Osage County, arrives at the Ordway in a touring production.

Under the radar: We use media to frame and shape our daily experiences—a fact that photographers Kristin Heykants and Evan Baden put a frame around. They’ll be at IFP Media Arts today to talk about their work on display there: Heykants poses domestic scenes set in “a Technicolor dream world,” and Baden photographs young people lit by the glow of electronic devices. Baden’s also recently shown portraits of girls in bedrooms capturing revealing images of themselves via cell phone or Webcam. Sketchy? On whose part? Theirs? His? Ours?

Wednesday, March 17

On the radar: The O’Shaughnessy seems an oddly small venue for a woman whose worldwide sales total eight albums for every man, woman, and child in the state of Minnesota—but it should be a great place to hear Norah Jones perform, if you’re into that stuff.

Under the radar: Beer’s not just for breakfast any more, and Ike Reilly’s not just for Thanksgiving. The Chicago rocker will begin his “Hard Luck Residency of the Twin Cities” tonight at the Turf Club.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


This week, Sheila Regan raved about Beth Chaplin’s The Acting Biz: A Career Guide to the Twin Cities and my uncle Bill was bowled over by Gophers Illustrated, an incredibly comprehensive history of University of Minnesota football. Meanwhile, I was introduced to Vice Magazine via their anthology News, Nudity & Nonsense. Boy, did I ever learn a lot about pooping.


It was Oscar week, and our mother-daughter reporter team Barb and Lindsay Teed were on the scene. Their reports:
• Barb reported on the first-ever documentarians’ reception.
Makers of nominated short films gathered, and Barb was there.
• Barb and Lindsay toured the venue where the post-awards Governors Ball was held.
• Ranked choice voting was used to select the Best Picture winner. Barb explains how.
• At the screening of selections from animated films nominated for Oscars, eventual winner Up silenced the crowd (in a good way). Barb talked with Up filmmaker Pete Docter.
• On Oscar night, Lindsay was on the red carpet. Here’s her story, and photos.
• Meanwhile, Barb was backstage talking with the winners—including Sandra Bullock, Mo’Nique, Pete Docter, Jeff Bridges, Kathryn Bigelow, and the producers of The Cove.
• Oscar winner (and lawsuit target) Mark Boal found him defending his Hurt Locker script backstage after receiving his statuette. Barb has the story.
The Hurt Locker‘s editors were influenced by horror films, they told Barb and other members of the press.
• Barb talked with the guys who install the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and discovered that the next star who will be honored is Dennis Hopper.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Lydia Howell previewed Mizna’s annual Arab Film Festival and the Walker’s Women With Vision series.


Becca Mitchell reviews the Minnesota Opera’s dark, moving La Bohème; Dwight Hobbes praises Frank Brownstone and Associates‘ rousing performance at Lee’s; and Susan Budig eagerly anticipates an upcoming visit from Malian musician Habib Koité.


Two pieces from our media partner American Jewish World: Doris Rubenstein reviews the History Theatre’s Hiding in the Open and Mordecai Specktor previews SteppingStone’s collaboration with Stuart Pimsler, My Grandmother’s Tsotchkes: Tales of a Gambling Grandma. Also, Dwight Hobbes talks with Nancy A. Lee, musical director of Washburn High School’s upcooming production of Once On This Island.

Visual Arts

Mason Riddle reviews Common Sense: Art of the Quotidian at the Weisman. Also, David Chong reports from the opening of With Our Eyes, an exhibit of Karen community high schoolers’ photographs at Augsburg.


Amy Rea visits Campiello for Restaurant Week, while Phyllis Louise Harris warms up with Thai and Hmong offerings at St. Paul’s Thai Grocery.

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