Carolyn Pool and Shanan Wexler rehearse their show "2 Sugars, Room for Cream" for the Minnesota Fringe.(Picture Euan Kerr)
The summer arts scene explodes tonight with the opening of the Minnesota Fringe. Fringe Executive Director Robin Gillette can provide the numbers off the top of her head.
"There are 162 different companies, doing a total of 847 performances," she says.
Other important numbers: 11 days, 22 venues (including one in St Paul!) We'll have a piece on the air later today on ATC.
Also how about some laugh-out-loud cinematic satire? Armando Iannucci's "In the Loop," (not to be confused, as some have, with the fine MPR podcast of the same name,) pokes fun at the political relationship between the US and the UK in the fun-up to an invasion of an un-named Middle Eastern country. The film opened to strong reviews on the coasts last week and now comes to the Twin Cities.
The readings at local bookstores are always of interest to the MPR newsroom, because it allows tremendous access to writers who have interesting things to say. Case in point is next Tuesday evening Common Good Books in Cathedral Hill in St Paul is hosting a reading by retired Macalester professor Mahmoud El-Kati of his new book "The Hiptionary: A Survey of African American Speech Patterns with A Digest of Key Words and Phrases." It's a fascinating work on the origins and usage of words and phrases, backed with history and insight.
Many years ago I watched a crew from the Dale Chihuly studio hang the hundreds of blown glass spirals which make up the sunburst which hangs high above the entrance hall at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
As a result I have always had a soft spot for the piece, even though given its weight and fragility I have always found it a little scary too.
So it was a delight to see the MIA posted pictures of the annual sunburst cleaning. You can find it here, but here is a sample:
My colleagues at Classical MPR and at APM's Performance Today have gathered interviews and other pieces from over the years marking the long and creative relationship MPR had with writer and educator Michael Steinberg, who passed away at the weekend.
You can find it here.
There is also the opportunity to share your own memories of Steinberg.