Arts Orbit Weekly: 5/7/09


This week’s picks

Thursday, May 7
The world needs more barn-burning cover bands…especially barn-burning cover bands like the Detroit Cobras (yes, they’re actually from Detroit), who turn under-the-radar nuggets of classic R&B into garage rock rave-ups. They’re at the Varsity tonight.

Friday, May 8
Murder, betrayal, and revenge: just another night on Franklin Avenue.

Saturday, May 9
Thelonius Monk won’t be playing Minneapolis any time soon, but the next best thing is catching Jason Moran’s multimedia performance at the Walker inspired by Monk’s 1959 performance at Town Hall. Your event ticket will also get you into the galleries—while you’re there, don’t miss The Quick and the Dead.

Sunday, May 10
Start the day with a dim sum adventure at the Pagoda, then play it safe at Legally Blonde: The Musical—which closes today at the Ordway.

Monday, May 11
Barbette’s front window archly promises AMUSEMENTS…and they ain’t whistlin’ “Dixie.” I don’t know if Aria Souder plans to do any whistling at her set there tonight, but she’ll definitely sing, and that’s more than good enough.

Tuesday, May 12
What would Oprah say? Tonight at the BLB, the Books and Bars book club discusses Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Wednesday, May 13
With the Visual Art Critics Union of Minnesota dissolving, local art critics can get back to what they do best: writing. And pontificating. And drinking. Sometimes all at once. You’re bound to meet some interesting characters—critics, artists, and the inevitable (?) groupies—tonight at the monthly Art Happy Hour.

Daily Planet arts roundup


Max Becker and his video camera sat down with hot new hotness Bouncer Fighter to talk about the Minneapolis music scene (it’s all love, no rivalries, they report) and catch a performance.


Stephani Maari Booker reports on poet/playwright Ntozake Shange’s appearance at the U, where Shange revealed that her “seminal” (Shange’s word) play For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf is going to be made into a movie. In other happy news, Dwight Hobbes mended fences with his longtime bicker buddy Mahmoud El-Kati and interviewed El-Kati about his new book The Hiptionary. Our coverage of Minnesota Book Award finalists continued with Lydia Howell’s review of Ray Gonzalez’s Renaming the Earth, and Kara Nesvig reviewed Jay McInerney’s short story collection How It Ended.


You can’t go far in the Twin Cities’ independent theater scene without stumbling into Bedlam Theatre or the Bryant-Lake Bowl (and stumbling out, if you’ve succumbed to the temptation of Two Hearted)—but you may not be aware of a surprising connection between the two. I told that story, while sending my Aunt Betsy to the Ordway to review Legally Blonde: The Musical. She loved it, but both Betsy and I were disappointed in Chan Poling’s new musical Venus.

Matt Everett is still plugging away…specifically, this week he plugged two plays by female Pulitzer winners and Five Fifths of the Brothers Grimm. He also reviewed Starting Gate’s Miss Firecracker Contest, noting that the production is spirited though the script hasn’t aged well.


This week, food blogger Jeremy Iggers feasted like a Greek at Gardens of Salonica and discovered the Twin Cities’ largest selection of dim sum delights.

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

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