Arts Orbit Weekly: 11/27/08


This week’s picks

Thursday, November 27
If the blindly patriotic, crassly commercial nature of Thanksgiving is just too much for you, head to First Ave, where you can really stick it to ’em by enjoying free turkey and music by a Soviet panda.

Friday, November 28
After battling the Black Friday crowds to score that discount Oreck, take Sanctuary with a delicious and—most importantly—leftover-free meal downtown.

Saturday, November 29
Tonight the Kitty Cat Klub turns into a “multimedia playground” with Project, Project. What’s Project, Project? Obviously you haven’t learned the first rule of Project, Project—which is that you don’t ask questions about Project, Project. In the immortal words of Paula Abdul, shut up and dance.

Sunday, November 30
Tonight is your last opportunity to watch Zenon Dance Company—one of the top dance companies in a town full of top dance companies—bust a move at its annual fall program, onstage at the Southern.

Monday, December 1
As though to torment us further at the Oak Street Cinema’s impending destruction, Minnesota Film Arts has been scheduling one winning ticket there after another. Today it’s the locally-made documentary Pond Hockey, a crowd favorite at the 2008 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

Tuesday, December 2
Did you know that the Twin Cities are home to America’s oldest independent science fiction bookstore? And that it’s right next door to one of our two top-notch independent mystery bookstores? True. Stop by Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s today—the stores are named after the top awards in the sci-fi and mystery fields, respectively—to pick up some genre fiction at a discount during the stores’ annual anniversary sale.

Wednesday, December 3
The Christmas music will be hitting you hard by this point, and it ain’t getting any warmer out, so take a balmy breather. Park Square Theatre is reviving its 2006 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for two shows only—now with Kate Eifrig, winner of a 2008 Ivey Award.

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

Daily Planet arts roundup


Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva tells the story of the upcoming Clint Eastwood film Gran Torino, which features several local Hmong actors profiled by Louisa Schein.

Erik McClanahan writes about Magnet’s Six Shooter Film Series, which features genre pictures from around the world—including Let the Right One In, now playing at the Lagoon. Also, I praise the witty poster for The Swedish Experience and Brian Moen recommends you wait for Mysteries of the Great Lakes—now at the Omnitheater—to show up on PBS.


I was surprised at how few people who I told about my interview this week even remembered who Richard Marx is. Do you? If not, it may be because instead of the soft rock of the 80s you’ve been listening to hot local bands like Mighty Fairly, Western Fifth, and Cloud Cult—the last of which Dustin Nelson caught at their recent NYC gig.


I review CTC’s new production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—a “martyrific holiday spectacular” that may be fun for the kids, but will make you want to cover your ears. Jon Behm reviews another holiday spectacular—Zenon Dance Company’s 26th fall season—and David de Young presents video of Lamb Lays With Lion‘s edgy The Little Skeleton That Could Not.


At the top of the local literary news this week is the announcement that, with the help of digital printing technology, the University of Minnesota Press will be restoring to print virtually every book it’s ever published. For once, though, our reviews do not include a title from the U of M; I roll my eyes at two Minnesota-centric children’s books by returning heroine Kathy-jo Wargin and Connie Wanek praises the “penetrating insight” of St. Paul poet Margaret Hasse‘s new collection Milk and Tides.

Visual Arts

Alberto Rios de la Rosa writes about Celeste Nelms‘s “playful realms of the discarded,” now on view at Macalester; and Kara Nesvig describes the probing new exhibit of photography and video from India, now at the MIA.


Take Sanctuary, recommends Patricia Webb-de la Cadena, at the downtown Minneapolis restaurant of that name.

Not a subscriber? Click here to get Arts Orbit Weekly in your inbox every Thursday. Cyn Collins is on holiday break this week.

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