Views and Reviews: Theater
THEATER | In Jon Ferguson’s Animal Farm, the oinks have it
by Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet • George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a dark, cynical parable about the susceptibility of the human race (and the equine race, and the bovine race, and the ovine race) to the easy promises of corrupt but charismatic leaders. This works on the page because you don’t actually need to see the animals. The challenge of translating a dark political parable about farm animals onto the stage is that you’re going to have to have people portraying animals. Despite the purest, most despairing intentions, director Jon Ferguson and his very talented cast onstage at the Southern Theater can’t help having a conspicuous amount of fun.
THEATER | Mixed Blood smells of sandalwood for ambitious 1001
by Jon Behm, TC Daily Planet • Jason Grote’s 1001 is an ambitious piece of theater. With some sticky metaphysical glue he attempts to connect a modern-day biracial love story with that of the ancient Arabian legend of One Thousand and One Nights. Grote does this by creating a narrative that doesn’t so much challenge the linearity of storytelling as redefines it.
THEATER | Workhaus Collective’s cerebral Forgetting
by Lydia Howell, TC Daily Planet • Workhaus Collective kicks off its second season with Forgetting, a play about three grief-scarred women whose sole aim is to block pain. Or is this about one woman’s careening journey, told simultaneously from the perspective of three, seven, and ten years after her brother died? The women’s names resonate as archetypes—Blood, Bone, and Ash—and there appear to be similarities in how their brothers died.
THEATER | Broadway ladies with pizzazz to spare
by Betsy Gabler and Martha Gabler Lunde, TC Daily Planet • Attending the last 2008 performance of Broadway’s Legendary Ladies at the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre had us walking away saying, “Next year, we’re bringing friends and celebrating…ummm…something!”
Views and Reviews: Music
MUSIC | 800 people on ecstasy? Girl Talk at First Ave
by Jon Behm, TC Daily Planet • I was a bit taken aback when the audience at First Avenue started pulling themselves onstage en masse on Monday night, surrounding the security, crowding every inch of the stage, and generally flailing wildly. Surely someone was going to get hurt? Surely the interlopers would be kicked out? Surely…not.
MUSIC | A damned shame: Great bands gone away
by Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet • There’s times you wonder just what is going on and why being enormously gifted is no guarantee of getting anywhere in the music business. Specifically, why did dyed-in-the-wool rock monsters Blacktop Badge and Casual Confusion fall by the wayside?
MUSIC | At the Triple Rock, Yeasayer has it
by Jon Behm, TC Daily Planet • Brooklyn band Yeasayer brought their experimental psychedelic rock to the West Bank’s Triple Rock Social Club last week, their sixth (!) show in the Twin Cities this year. Though the band appeared to be a little road-worn from their almost constant touring, they showed that even when their energy isn’t at its peak they can still outshine most bands on the stage.
Views and Reviews: Movies
MOVIES | Taboo, the gay samurai movie
by Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet • If you liked Brokeback Mountain, you will most certainly enjoy Taboo (Gohatto), or, as it is popularly known, “The Gay Samurai Movie.” Director Nagisa Oshima explores the brewing passions of the Samurai soldiers in a lush, beautiful film Set in a Samurai training school in the mid-19th century.
MOVIES | Teenage kicks in 1960s Japan
by Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet • Nagisa Oshima’s Cruel Story of Youth is a film about rebellious youths who have lost a sense of purpose in the world. Set in the 1960s, it follows a young couple who try to break free from their society but cannot escape the pleasures that it offers.
NEW IN BLOGS
BLOG OF THE MODERATE LEFT | 8
by Jeff Fecke • It is not fair to same-sex couples who must wait their turn for equality, any more than the fifties were fair to interracial couples, or the Victorian era was fair to women.
BY THE PEOPLE | A new era of organizing?
by Harry Boyte • The election gave huge credibility and authority to organizing on an unprecedented scale.
ARTS ORBIT | Austin makes (white) hip-hop history
by Jay Gabler • Local viewers of VH1’s White Rapper Show may not have been aware that white rapper Jus Rhyme is a native of our own state. Specifically, he hails from Austin, a city best-known for being home to the Hormel meat-processing plant and its associated SPAM Museum. The artist will enjoy a homecoming tomorrow when he appears to sign his new album and host a post-election gathering at the Welcome Center, a non-profit working to build ties among members of Austin’s quickly-diversifying population.