Arts Orbit Weekly: 1/21/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, January 22
If you think your ass is up to it, settle in at the Uptown Theatre for both parts of Steven Soderbergh’s epic Che, now showing back-to-back for a limited time. If you’re not willing to sacrifice your circulation for cinema, then live it up at the Red Stag, where METRO is celebrating the local artists who are the recipients of its first-annual Keeper Awards.

Friday, January 23
Tonight, you have a choice of three sides of the musical mushroom. To get crazier, head north to be assaulted by Frances Gumm at the re-release show for their classic Scorch the Earth. To get calmer, turn south to the BLB for a triple bill featuring Alicia Wiley, Aria Souder, and Breanne Düren. To get crunk with a conscience, look east to the Nomad for Hip-Hop Against Homophobia.

Saturday, January 24
It’s a little less frigid than last week, so spring is in the air! Right? Keep telling yourself that and head to TwinsFest 2009 at the Dome. Then cross 35W to Cedar-Riverside, where the drama-minded can enjoy some Fringe Favorites at the Southern Theater and the musically-minded can catch Aby Wolf’s CD release show at the Cedar, featuring Black Blondie and the übercute Lucy Michelle with her obnoxiously hip Velvet Lapelles.

Sunday, January 25
The world doesn’t need any more two-word combinations squished into one with a capital letter in the middle…but we need all the free ice skating we can get. Thus, we welcome WinterSkate in downtown St. Paul. It’s free to hit the rink, two bucks to rent skates—unless you have a Wells Fargo card to flash, in which case even the skates are free.

Monday, January 26
If you like Frisbee sports, the Ivy League, Juno, the Wedge Co-op, and Barack Obama, check your mirror—you might just be white. So observes Christian Lander, author of a blog that could well go on Lander’s own list. At the U of M Bookstore today, you can meet Lander—who’s just published a book based on the blog—and a lot of other white people. (Of course, truth be told, you’ll have absolutely no problem meeting lots of white people at any of the events in this newsletter.)

Tuesday, January 27
Another thing white people like…glitter! And lots of it, please. You’ll find it at the Chambers Hotel, where Andréa Stanislav’s new exhibit Holiday in the Sun is on display through February 2. (Stanislav is not only the recipient of one of the aforementioned Keeper Awards, she designed the trophy!) If you prefer gritty to glittery, pop into the Minneapolis Central Library for the opening of 32X4, a show of documentary images of Twin Cities neighborhoods.

Wednesday, January 28
“In the past I’ve urged readers to support small, adventurous companies rather than shelling out to attend the Guthrie just because it’s there,” I wrote in my review of Henry V, which is playing tonight. “For this riveting show, however, the $18-$34 tickets are a genuine bargain. Don’t miss it.”

Daily Planet arts roundup


This week’s music coverage featured two veterans of the local scene and two up-and-comers. The vets are Frances Gumm (Cyn Collins talks with sardonic frontman Paul D) and the “dynamite-every-time-out” Barbara Meyer (reviewed by Dwight Hobbes). The relative newbies are Victory Ship, Sika, and Joey Ryan and the Inks (they shared a bill I reviewed) and Via Tania, “a post-pop Pocahontas.”


If you’ve kept your new year’s resolution to date, you’ve beat Matt Everett—but that’s okay, he’s been keeping busy with important things besides writing for us, and we have the theater beat covered by Rebecca Mitchell (who reviews Torch Theater’s “vivid” production of The Miracle Worker), Dwight Hobbes (who calls Mixed Blood’s Pure Confidence a “triumph” despite some hammy acting), and me (the Guthrie’s “lively, compelling” Henry V and uneven, stagy A Delicate Balance).


Jim Brunzell III reports from the Sundance Film Festival, describing a few of his favorite films he’s seen there—including a documentary profile of a wine-swilling Slovenian man who sets out to swim the Amazon. Jim’s Movie Talk co-host Erik McClanahan calls Steven Soderbergh’s epic Che “a grand cinematic experience…easily the most ambitious film by an American filmmaker this decade,” and Steve Young offers a personal perspective on Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. Finally, Cyn Collins praises the “indelible” film Of Time and the City, director Terence Davies’s look back at the Liverpool of his youth.

Visual Arts

I filed an update on the situation at the more-or-less-shuttered Intermedia Arts, and Sheila Regan reviews two new shows in Minneapolis: Andréa Stanislav’s eye-catching Holiday in the Sun and Past + Present, Caitlin Karolczak’s deconstruction of medical illustrations.


Timing is everything when it comes to dim sum, writes Jeremy Iggers, who recounts a pleasant visit to Bloomington’s Mandarin Kitchen.

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