Posted at 9:42 AM on March 24, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: News and reviews
'Drawings For the New Century' at the MIA
In "Drawings for the New Century," which runs through September 11 in Gallery 263, 16 drawings created in the last century are displayed, ranging in style and scope.
- Sheila Regan, City Pages
Crocodile rock: Jesper Löfvenborg at the American Swedish Institute
There's a mischievousness to Jesper Löfvenborg's paintings. His cast of characters mostly consist of humanized animals; his favorite of which seems to be a chunky-snouted crocodile that wears jeans and a t-shirt.
- Coco Mault, City Pages
The Midwest's got talent
And it's on display at Minneapolis auditions for the sixth season of 'America's Got Talent'
- Amy Carlson Gustafson, Pioneer PRess
FYI Sade is coming to Target Center on August 9...
Minnesota musicians line up to help JapanTwo very different but equally commendable Minneapolis concerts have been hastily put together to raise money for Japan's relief efforts.
- Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune
Sony Holland's "Sanssouci" improves upon perfection
Twin-Cities-spawned ace chanteuse Sony Holland is back at it, keeping the airwaves safe for smooth, cool jazz ballads with her new album Sanssouci.
- Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet
Bon Iver set to release new record in June
Here are eight things we know about Bon Iver's next record so far, cobbled together from a quick chat with Vernon, some recent press, and some things we've gleaned from social media.
- Andrea Swensson, City Pages
'Avenue Q' returns to its roots at Mixed Blood
The show's popularity and legs are more than just about puppets who have sex and who bad words, the director contends.
- Ed Huyck, City Pages
Buy, buy, buy a ticket to Swandive Theatre's "Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake)"
Seeing a show that's kind of about Justin Timberlake at the Cedar Riverside People's Center Theater is a lot like seeing an 'N Sync concert at Target Center, only without 99% of the people and with the addition of free snacks.
- Morgan Halaska, TC Daily Planet
Posted at 12:04 PM on March 24, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Arts management
Jim Lichtscheidl (Captain Bluntschli) and Mariko Nakasone (Raina Petkoff) in the Guthrie Theater production of ARMS AND THE MAN by George Bernard Shaw.
Photo by Michal Daniel
In the war between idealism and pragmatism, it's clear which side George Bernard Shaw is rooting for. "Arms and the Man" at the Guthrie Theater finds a self-important soldier up against a self-professed coward who carries chocolate in his gun holster; guess which one works his way into the heart of the beautiful girl? Performances run through May 8.
Following a critically acclaimed world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Ragamala brings "Yathra" to The O'Shaughnessy stage. A visual meditation of the human experience, "Yathra" represents the cycle of one day, metaphoricallytracing a human being's journey from the dawn of birth to the twilight of life. Performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Minnesota Chorale presents a performance of Johannes Brahms' "Ein Deutsches Requiem" this Friday and Saturday at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul, with a twist; It's combined with poetry by visiting Macalester Professor Juanita Garciagodoy.
Socrates' Oedipus Rex becomes Oedipus El Rey in Luis Alfaro's modern spin on the ancient Greek Tragedy. The time is the present; the place is a California prison system and a Los Angeles barrio. Oedipus makes his epic journey along Highway 99, venturing from San Francisco to Los Angeles. In this collaboration between Pangea World Theater and Teatro del Pueblo, Oedipus struggles against his tragic fate, all the while accompanied by a chorus of prison inmates. Performances run through March 27 at the Lab Theater.
Banfill-Lock Center for the Arts presents "Geographies." Together with four guest artists, BLCA Artist-in-Residence Curt Lund plays with ideas of place. Installation, maps, screened prints, altered books and more offer surprising and provocative observations of how we experience where we are on this planet Earth. Exhibition open through April 30.
So, what are you doing this weekend?
The hounds lead us to a veteran experimental music group that was multimedia before it was mainstream, a transformative piece from a pioneering South African puppeteer, and an original public television series that makes you proud to be a Minnesotan.
(Want to be an Art Hound? Sign up!)
Freelance arts journalist Christopher Jensen anxiously awaits a rare visit from the avant garde music/theater group The Residents, which is performing at the Cedar Cultural Center on Friday, March 25th. Christopher says to expect weird masks and costumes (after touring and recording for well over 40 years, band members have yet to reveal their identities) bizarre stage antics and undefinable music.
Talk about patience. Minneapolis sculptor and theater artist Irve Dell has been waiting a decade and a half to see his hero, South African puppeteer William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company perform "Woyzeck on the Highveld." "Woyzeck" is an interpretation set in South Africa of a famous 19th-century German play about jealousy and murder in an indifferent society. Irve's wife, noted playwright Kira Obolenski, saw it 15 years ago and her perception of theater was forever changed.
After eight years in the state, New York transplant, musician and composer Christopher Cunningham (aka Neverwas) is starting to identify as a Minnesotan. Christopher credits the weekly Twin Cities Public Television artist profile series MN Original with moving that process along. He says he's been introduced to dozens of artists and feels closer to the local art scene thanks to the series' portrayal of the state's most creative people in startlingly vivid video and audio. By the way, Christopher will be glued to his couch this Sunday night at 10:00 for TPT 2's "Dessa: A Minnesota Original Special," a concert featuring Doomtree rapper Dessa.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
Art Hounds is powered by the Public Insight Network.
Brad Mehldau's live performance at the Marciac Jazz Festival in southwest France is captured in his new album "Live in Marciac," put out by Nonesuch Records. David Cazares has this review.
We all live to our own soundtrack. From the politics we follow, to the books we read and the music we listen to, many of us seem to be pursuing a singular course, sticking to what's comfortable.
Breaking the boundaries that we impose on ourselves and listening to the other - while incorporating different perspectives into our own point of view - is rare. That's just as unusual in music.
It's refreshing to encounter a musician who explores other genres and styles as the pianist Brad Mehldau does on Live in Marciac. The album, released last month by Nonesuch Records, is his third solo recording.
Mehldau, a classically trained jazz pianist who usually plays with a trio, plays with precision and imagination on the CD, recorded at Marciac Jazz Festival in southwest France.
It's a rare musician who shines in a solo performance, even on piano an instrument that offers the broadest pallet. But the 40-year-old does so remarkably on a diverse collection of tunes that include his original compositions, jazz standards and rock tunes. From Cole Porter's It's All Right With Me to the Lennon/McCartney tune Martha My Dear and Radiohead's Exit Music (for a film), he takes the listener on a ride that spans several decades, telling stories along the way.
In a virtuoso performance, Mehldau builds on architecture and melody, delivering intimate, complex and intense interpretations of each song. He employs abrupt changes in tempo, gradual mood shifts, thunderous runs and repeated notes.
On some tunes, among them his composition Unrequited, Mehldau uses the structure as a base of creative exploration, powering through the numbers with a percussive left hand and multi-layered melodic lines with his right.
On others, he plays a short mini essay before touching on the melody, as he does on the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic My Favorite Things. But instead of evoking John Coltrane's masterful interpretation, Mehldau gives the tune a light and airy touch.
He can also be lively, as he is on an intricate rendition of the Kurt Cobain song Lithium, pairing a rolling base line with an improvised theme. Though not a traditional jazz artist by any means, Mehldau is faithful to its roots, particularly on Dat Dere by Bobby Timmons, first recorded by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. It is a bluesy finale to a fine performance.
I first listened to Mehldau on his two dynamic recordings with guitarist Pat Metheny. On both, it seemed to me that Metheny brought out the best in Mehldau by expanding the pianist's orbit -- sometimes electrically so.
Though I think his playing still is a bit restrained, Mehldau clearly is turning up the juice. In bringing different influences to his work, he is evolving as a player and adding something to jazz, an art form rooted in improvisation that sometimes needs a push.
The music has its gatekeepers, purists who insist on allegiance to bebop, a style born of experimentation that is loved only by the most devoted fans.
Ironically, art that is meant to set our minds free so often relegates artists -- and listeners -- to categories. We are rock n' rollers, country music buffs, pop music fans, practitioners of hip-hop's lifestyle and salseros. We make only occasional attempts to integrate our musical tastes.
We bebop fans are guilty too.
As the trumpeter Nicholas Payton wrote on Twitter, "those fast tempos and flurries of notes alienated listeners and what was once American pop music became jazz."
Mehldau shows that jazz need not be just for the artist and the connoisseur. By offering a varied palate, he's opening the door for the curious to enter -- and listen.
Editor's Note: David Cazares is an editor for MPR News who happens to love both jazz and reading; he occasionally contributes his thoughts to State of the Arts. Brad Mehldau performs at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis on April 10.(1 Comments)
Posted at 2:35 PM on March 24, 2011
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Events
Frank Theatre's production of "Cabaret" may have to cancel its Sunday permormance on the Centennial Showboat due to rising water levels.
They say a rising tide lifts all boats... but in this case, that's not necessarily a good thing.
An e-mail sent out this afternoon put it this way:
News from the Padelford folks today was not good. We are no longer selling any tickets for Sunday as it looks like the river is gonna trump Frank. We anticipate an official announcement of cancellation of Sunday's matinee tomorrow, after the water level projections are released.
The staff at Frank Theatre encourage people who already have tickets for Sunday's show to call the Showboat ticket office to reschedule - (651) 227 1100. The best availabilities are for tonight's performance.
Meanwhile, this morning MPR's Laura Yuen reported that flood preparations are the prime concern of artists in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul. Here's an excerpt:
The Mississippi in St. Paul has been rising about two feet a day. Crews are assembling an earthen levee along Shepard Road. And large pumps in Lowertown -- one of the lowest-lying neighborhoods in the city -- have been diverting floodwater out of the sewer system.
Artists who live in one residential building have built sandbag turrets around the drainage holes in their parking lot. That way, they hope to keep floodwaters from backing out of the drains and into their living spaces.
Sol Squire, the president of the Tilsner Artists Cooperative, calls this area "Sandbaghdad."
"The three drains that are here, this is the place where the flood will come up for the first time, when it happens," he said. "To build an appropriate barrier, 3-4 feet high, broad at the base, is a serious undertaking, especially for us arty types, who aren't accustomed to that much strain."
Constructing a barrierSquire says sandbagging is an annual ritual for Lowertown residents. The city is preparing for a deluge next week that could be on par with the flood of 2001, the third-highest on record.
That kind of flooding would easily submerge riverfront parks and force the downtown airport to deploy its floodwalls.
And of course, flooding in southeastern Minnesota is also likely to be dire for riverfront communities.
Is flooding having an impact on your production or other artistic activity/livelihood? Let us know in the comments section.