The Guthrie Theater is showing some admirable flexibility in order to make room for more new theater in its 2010 season.
Tricycle Theatre's "The Great Game: Afghanistan" is not really a play so much as it is a cultural festival and theatrical event aimed at raising awareness of Afghan people and history. When it was originally staged in London, it included not only three different stage productions, but numerous movie screenings, post play discussions and art exhibitions. It will be interesting to see what the Guthrie arranges in conjunction with its three-week run beginning September 29 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage.
Not as ambitious, but certainly likely to resonate with Guthrie ticketholders is
the regional premiere of Steven Dietz's "Shooting Star," which will run on the McGuire Proscenium Stage from July 31 through September 5. The play focuses on a man and a woman, once young lovers, who run into each other at an airport thirty years later. The two are brought back in touch with their dreams of youth, which contrast starkly with where they've ended up.
Because of these additions to the calendar, Guthrie droping "She Stoops to Conquer" from the season line-up and is moving "A Streetcar Named Desire," originally slated to run on the McGuire Proscenium Stage to the Wurtele Thrust Stage.
Now if you're a theater buff you might know that different stages are better suited to different plays. While Shakespeare is considered a thrust stage natural, modern plays are more often shown on the proscenium stage. Not that it hasn't been done before -
Sir Tyrone Guthrie Alan Schneider directed Tennessee Williams' Glass Menagerie on the thrust stage. Let's just hope they weren't too far along in the set design when they made the change.
Patrons holding tickets to "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "She Stoops to Conquer" will be contacted by the Guthrie Theater about changes to the calendar and ticket exchanges. Tickets for "Shooting Star" and "The Great Game: Afghanistan" go on sale March 26.
As many of us are starting our seeds for our summer vegetable gardens, and are eagerly waiting the return of bountifully stocked farmers' markets, Chef and filmmaker Daniel Klein is launching a video series to inspire Minnesotans to even greater locavore heights.
Starting next week, The Perennial Plate website will offer video installments of Klein's exploration of Minnesota food culture.
Klein's well suited to the task; he has trained to cook professionally and worked in several premiere restaurants (Thomas Keller's Bouchon, for one). He's also pursued a career in film, including directing "What are we doing here?" a look at how aid has failed to help nations in Africa emerge from poverty.
I decided to make [the perennial plate] in an attempt to combine my three passions... food, film and creating positive change in this world. More and more, what we eat is of paramount importance, and as I live in the Midwest, I've decided to make this show about the way I would like to eat here.
The Perennial Plate series will take viewers not only to cheese-makers, maple syrup producers, and CSA farmers, but will also accompany wild-ricers, hunters, and ice-fishermen -- to show how one can eat conscientiously in Minnesota.
Klein will cook up some of what he harvests, too. In conjunction with the series, Klein is also hosting "Harvest Dinners," celebrating the food of the season. Proceeds from the dinners, which take place at a nearby farm or Klein's home, benefit the series.(2 Comments)
Posted at 4:19 PM on March 16, 2010
by Chris Roberts
Filed under: Music
The global pop music jamboree that is "South by Southwest" is once again overtaking the capital of the lone star state. Over the years the media have romanticized this annual music industry meet fest as the place where indie "it" bands get discovered and become famous ever after. And over the years, musicians such as Matt Locher, bass player for SXSW veterans' Solid Gold, have debunked that myth in MPR news stories.
"You're supposed to be able to break out as a band down there, but you really can't unless you've already broken months before in the press," Matt Locher said. "After being there once, you kind of realize it's not a spectators festival, and it's not really so much about your performance, but it's more about the kind of networking that you do down there," Locher said. "Kissing peoples'....."
In other words, bands do get discovered, but usually after they've already been - discovered. A more jaded view is that the musical guests merely supply the entertainment for the massive 'here's my card,' schmoozefest, drinkathon that SWSW really is.
Which makes me want to gather up my business cards and wine coolers and hit I-35 south, keeping the cruise control button depressed until I reach Austin city limits.
Because it's the unbelievable critical mass of writers, publicists, promoters, distributors, radio programmers and musicians SXSW achieves every year that's really difficult to resist for industry types and bands. For the fans, it's more live music per square block than anywhere else in the world. And chances are pretty good, especially if you're an omni-present attendee, that you'll get a glimpse of next year's break-out acts, because they'll all probably be there.
More than 30 sanctioned (SXSW is a curated festival) and un-sanctioned Minnesota bands will try their luck this year. Some of them will be familiar faces to Austinites, including "Solid Gold," "Romantica" and Grant Hart. Others, among them "Gay Witch Abortion," "We Became Actors" and, believe it or not, the longtime Duluth bluegrass band, "Trampled by Turtles," will be first time visitors.
The Current is sending the team of Program Director Jim McGuinn, DJ Jill Riley and producer Lindsay Kimball down to Austin to blog, twitter, and file live reports on all the action. They'll also tape some of the performances for a special edition of "The Current Presents" on Sunday March 21.
The University of Minnesota's Radio K will be broadcasting from SXSW March 19 and 20.
The Star Tribune's Vita.mn supplement will host a showcase of Minnesota talent, Thursday, March 18, from noon to 6pm on the roof of Austin's venerable rock club, Maggie Mae's.
Good luck to all the Minnesota participants, mind your upper midwestern manners, be sure to get a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and don't eat that spicy food right before bed.