Arts Orbit Weekly: 4/30/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, April 30
The Southern Theater becomes the Southern Asia Theater tonight as it welcomes Ragamala Dance with its epic Silappathikaram. (Yes, I had to cut and paste that word.)

Friday, May 1
Join the Daily Planet crew (operations manager Emily Ryan’s little son Orren is our cox) at the Bedlam Theatre for a third birthday party—for the Daily Planet, not Orren. Then head over to the Loring Pasta Bar for Fuego Friday, a fundraiser for the Minnesota Immigrant Freedom network. Music is by the Salsa Police, who hopefully will play “King of Pain.”

Saturday, May 2
It’ll be Cinco de Madness all day today on St. Paul’s West Side; at some point, take a breather and cruise down to Eagan, where Caponi Art Park (not to be confused with a sculpture park—the park itself is a work of art) is having an open house. Then, at night, there’s a hometown show by a little outfit who call themselves Cloud Cult.

Sunday, May 3
How confused can we get? We celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Dos de Mayo, and the next day we celebrate MayDay. Also, bookworms take note: there’s a warehouse sale at Half-Price Books in Roseville.

Monday, May 4
The Beat Coffeehouse used to be a comedy club, and it hosted some of the greats (Steve Martin, Jay Leno, Joel Hodgson). Tonight it returns to its roots as local comics try their damndest to make you choke on your latte.

Tuesday, May 5
Chan Poling, formerly of the Suburbs, is taking the Jimmy Buffett route and trying his hand at a musical: Venus, which opens tonight at the Ritz. Will it be better than Don’t Stop the Carnival? That’s a safe bet.

Wednesday, May 6
Think Project Runway, but faster—and with beer. It’s the Fashion Feud Finals at the 7th Street Entry. I’m betting on Laura Fulk, but who knows? Jenny Carle could pull off an upset.

Daily Planet arts roundup


In music, this was the week of the good (rappers RDM and Trama), the bad (e.p. atelier closing, Open Bones slopping it up in the studio), and the ugly (decide for yourself about Bob Dylan).


For a young adult novel about depression, Cyrus Wolff says Minnesota Book Award finalist Black Box, by St. Paul writer Julie Schumacher, is…perfectly adequate. More than adequate—unfortunately—was the hateful 1938 tract Are They Communists or Catspaws, an anti-Semitic screed so influential that Pat Coleman put it on his list of Minnesota’s most important 150 books.


Jim Brunzell visits Minneapolis’s Undertone Music Studios, a world-class facility where films including MSPIFF entry The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle have been soundtracked. Daniel Cubias discusses horror films and his relationship with his mother (you’ll have to read the essay to understand), and Jaclyn Evert writes about the horror of sheep resuscitation as depicted in Tulpan.


What is First Nations Theater, and why do the Twin Cities need more of it? Native playwright Rhiana Yazzie explains. Also, Matt Everett plugs Alan Berks’s Ringtone and I review the Guthrie’s Caroline, or Change—about as much fun as you can have with the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Speaking of the Guthrie, artistic director Joe Dowling will have his work cut out for him next month when he speaks at the University of St. Thomas only days before UST’s Foley Theater bites the dust.

Design and Style

Ellen Dahl was at Voltage! last weekend, and she has the shots to prove it.

Visual Arts

The Visual Art Critics Union of Minnesota is dissolving…but art criticism will carry on. Case in point: my review of the mindblowing new Walker exhibit The Quick and the Dead.

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

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