Arts Orbit Weekly: 11/13/08

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This week’s picks

Thursday, November 13
“Anthony Bourdain has met his match,” writes our own Jeremy Iggers about Steve Lerach, who is at the University of Minnesota Bookstore today discussing his book Fried: Surviving Two Centuries in Restaurants. Jeremy calls the book “a feast for foodies, a fast and funny ride through Twin Cities restaurant kitchens in the heyday of meat and potatoes.”

Friday, November 14
Puppeteer Laura Heit will be performing in matchbox theaters (really! literally!) and presenting a series of short films featuring puppetry—a collection curated by Jim Henson’s daughter Heather—at In the Heart of the Beast.

Saturday, November 15
Do it all day! Specifically, do it green…at the Green Gifts Fair at the Midtown Global Market. The event features workshops on winter composting (!?) and gift-bag-making. Live entertainment includes Doctor Doc and the Johnny Heartbreaker Band.

Sunday, November 16
Dwight Hobbes loves him some Junkyard Empire, and so will you. Head down to Lowertown tonight to catch the jazz/hip-hop band at the Black Dog Café.

Monday, November 17
Bali, the newest hot spot on Eat Street, has just opened…“softly.” Stop by to try it out before the “hard” opening brings the crowds.

Tuesday, November 18
Enjoy two brands of visual treat at the Soo Visual Arts Center: the retrospective exhibit by the Kulture Klub Collaborative and Toys on ‘Roids, a show of Polaroid photography by Sean Tubridy.

Wednesday, November 19
Tonight is your annual chance to see the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special without spending $200 on eBay. Grab a toy for a tot and head to the Bryant-Lake Bowl.

For more weekend picks, see the Weekend What’s What from l’etoile magazine.

Daily Planet arts roundup

Theater

“What am I missing?” wondered Jenny Hierlinger at the intermission of Wicked, which she and Jean Gabler say is fun but overhyped. I review the Guthrie’s new production of Shadowlands, the tender emotions of which are lost on the grand McGuire Proscenium Stage. Jon Behm reports on two new productions at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum: Nimbus’s dark and disorienting Death and the Maiden and Starting Gate’s blithe, featherweight Barefoot in the Park.

Dining

Sheila Regan reports on the demise of the Pi Restaurant and Bar, the beloved Longfellow institution for queer women—and everyone else—that’s become the latest victim of the economic downturn. In happier news, Jeremy Iggers tips readers off to the “soft” opening of Bali, a “very impressive” new spot replacing Safari on Eat Street. Jeremy also praises the bold decision by the proprietors of Moto-i, a new Japanese brewpub at Lake and Lyndale, to forgo sushi. “That’s right—no rainbow rolls, no tiger rolls, no maguro, no hamachi. Also no soggy tempura, no sticky steak teriyaki, no fake Japanese chefs cooking up fake Japanese teppanyaki.” Finally, Nick and Natasha Laul relish the “swanky” Chambers Kitchen.

Music

At the top of the music news this week was the death of Miriam Makeba; Mshale pays tribute to the folk icon affectionately known as “Mama Afrika.” Also, I review the Minnesota Opera’s sumptuous production of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Dwight Hobbes talks with Red House Records spokeswoman Ellen Stanley about the label’s 25th anniversary concert tour.

Visual Arts

The tumult continues, I report, at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, which is now slated to close the doors of its public exhibition space as of January. Meanwhile, Sheila Regan writes about Kulture Klub Collaborative, a non-profit pairing artists with homeless youth—now celebrating its 15th anniversary with a show at the SooVAC.

Movies

I write about two collections of short films screening in Minneapolis: A series of short films featuring puppets, curated by Jim Henson’s daughter Heather; and the annual mini-marathon of British Television Advertising Award winners at the Walker.

Books

Pat Coleman picks #33 on his list of the 150 best Minnesota books: a beautiful but never-realized 1917 design plan for the City of Minneapolis. Theresa Bernard tells the story of Minnesotan Jenny Pavlovic, who saved a dog named Kate from Hurricane Katrina and lived to write the tale.

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Jay Gabler is the Daily Planet’s arts editor.