John Waters peaks out of one of the works that are included in "Absentee Landlord," an exhibit he curated at Walker Art Center.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson
John Waters - filmmaker, performer, art collector - has let his creative spirit flow freely, bringing several disparate works of art together in a show called "Absentee Landlord" at the Walker Art Center.
He even offers you his own personal invitation to the show:
Speaking of the "flooding MacDonalds" video - Euan Kerr interviewed Waters late last week, during which he came up with another performance video idea:
"Maybe if this is the success that I hope it will be they could do 'Flooding the Walker,'" he smiles. Standing behind him a Walker staff member looks mildly distressed.
For now the museum appears to be much more comfortable flooded with Waters than with water.
Have you ever thought about just how bizarre our online relationships are? I mean, really, are you actually "friends" with all those people on Facebook? What if you really "followed" people over the course of days, or years?
Composer Nico Muhly has been pondering these questions, and it's the inspiration for a charming - albeit slightly disturbing video - promoting his upcoming opera "Two Boys," which gets its premiere later this month by the English National Opera.
However, according to The Guardian's Tom Service, the film is nothing like the actual opera.
If the wit of the film gets people to turn up to ENO for the show, so much the better, but anyone who buys their ticket based on the film is in for a shock. If Two Boys lives up to the potential of its music and its story, it will be a searing night at the theatre that will do more than make you delete a few friends on Facebook. It should force you to think about the complexities of human identity and relationships, on- and offline, as well as confront you with some of the freshest music in the opera house in the 21st century.
And truly, to read the opera's description on the ENO website, viewers are in for something quite dark:
A teenage boy is stabbed. An older boy is caught on CCTV leaving the scene. An open-and-shut case, it would seem. But, as Detective Inspector Anne Strawson investigates the older boy's story, she uncovers a bizarre nexus of chatroom meetings, mysterious internet identities, supposed spy rings and disturbing cybersex, leading to a stunning conclusion.
Loosely inspired by actual events that occured in an English industrial city, Nico Muhly's new opera is a cautionary tale of the dark side of the internet.
If you were out and about enjoying the fabulous weather Sunday night instead of watching the Tony Awards, well, you're forgiven.
But there's nothing stopping you from taking a moment to enjoy some of the finest moments of the ceremony, featuring the amazing talents of Neil Patrick Harris, who started the evening making sure everyone knew just how welcome they were:
Throughout the evening Harris entertained the audience by wowing them at their own business, including a lovingly competitive duo with Hugh Jackman.
Meanwhile, backstage, writers were working like crazy to create a rap of all the evening's events, with Harris checking in during commercial breaks:
And here are the results of their work:
Talk about live theater!
The Basilica of St. Mary, in Minneapolis, host to the annual summer music event "Basilica Block Party."
MPR Photo/Tom Weber
When Minneapolis photographer Jason Wermager sent out a Facebook "invite" to 200 or so of his friends to "Say NO to the Basilica Block Party" his goal was simply to raise awareness. On the event description he writes:
This was created to take a stand and let organizations, businesses and other groups know that it is NOT OK to support those that do not support equality and want to change the MN State Constitution to ban gay marriage. To make a real change, we need to start taking action now. Do not wait until you vote in 2012.
The Minnesota Catholic Church has made it their number 1 priority to define marriage in the State Constitution between one man and one woman, in tern, banning gay marriage.
The Catholic Church has already spent millions of dollars in the production of Anti-Gay DVDs and lobbying the State Legislature to add this hateful amendment to the Minnesota Constitution.
Please do not attend the Basilica Block Party this year. Please do not contribute money to a Catholic Church fundraiser while they are spending millions of dollars to write discrimination into the MN constitution.
I also encourage you to contact the bands and stage sponsors. This is the time to get peoples attention, sponsors and businesses attention.
Cities 97 is the main co-sponsor of the event, contact them as well.
Since Wermager posted the invite to his virtual event, more than 3,500 people have signed up to "attend" - although in this case, "attending" is really about being anywhere other than the annual summer block party.
Wermager says he's been amazed by his Facebook page's popularity.
Because of the overwhelming support from the Facebook event and people of Minnesota this has become way more than I could have ever imaged. I am hoping this inspires others to share their voice and start dialogue with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. A lot of people have been sending communication to the bands, promoters and sponsors. Many folks have shared the contact information and I continue to encourage people to contact these bands and sponsors directly as well.
In recent days the facebook page ("Say NO to the Basilica Block Party") has also become host to some very heated debate on the issue. But when asked if it worries him that his "awareness-raising" event has spun out of control, Wermager responds:
My only worry is that November 2012 election day comes and Minnesota did not share their voice. November 2012 will be the day Minnesotans cast their votes in regards to a Ban on Gay Marriage, there is a lot of work to do and awareness to get out there before that day.(8 Comments)
The Minnesota State Arts Board is preparing for a shutdown.
While it's not yet sure whether the state will have to shut down on July 1 over a budget stalemate, the Arts Board - which oversees grants to artists and organizations across the state - has begun looking at what might happen in a worse case scenario. The key message is this: No Arts Board grant payments would be made during a shutdown.
Here's what the state agency has posted on its website:
Will the Arts Board continue to operate if there is a shutdown?
The State is in the process of determining which critical functions might continue to operate if there is a shutdown. It is likely that only those State services concerning life, health, safety, and personal custodial activities would continue to operate during a shutdown. That determination will ultimately be made by the Courts.
Because the Arts Board does not provide those kinds of services, it is likely that the Arts Board will not continue to operate during a shutdown.
Will the regional arts councils continue to operate if there is a shutdown?
Some might, some might not.
Regional arts councils are independent nonprofit organizations. They are not required to close if a shutdown occurs. However, the State of Minnesota is their principal source of funding. Since the legislature has not approved either the State general fund appropriations, or the arts and cultural heritage fund Legacy Amendment appropriations for fiscal year 2012-13, regional arts councils may not have the resources to operate during a shutdown.
Please contact the regional arts council in your area for information about its specific plans for operating if there is a shutdown.
How might Minnesota State Arts Board applicants and grantees be affected if there is a state government shutdown?
Grant payments--Much of the State's financial systems and supporting personnel would not be operating after June 30, if there is a shutdown.
No Arts Board grant payments would be made during a shutdown.
Contracts and contract amendments--If the Arts Board is not operating during a shutdown, it will not be able to execute contracts or contract amendments.
Review and approval of grant applications--The Arts Board would postpone any scheduled meetings, grant application review panels, any other programs or services that are scheduled to take place during a shutdown.
Fiscal year 2012 Operating Support grants are scheduled to be approved at the Arts Board's July 12-13 meeting. If a shutdown occurs during or prior to those dates, the meeting might be postponed.
Contact with the Arts Board--The Arts Board office would likely be closed. Staff would likely not be available to return calls or e-mails while a shutdown is underway.
The Minnesota State Arts Board promises to update its website with the latest details.
Kelly Schaub standing at the counter of the original Play by Play Theatre Bookstore, before it was forced to move. On the wall behind her are designs for stage costumes by local artist Sonya Berlovitz.
When I first wrote about Play by Play Theatre Bookstore, it was December of 2009, and the store was in a cute little building on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. I admit I was thrilled, because I love to read plays almost as much as I love seeing them.
But just two months later the landlord sold the building, and Play by Play's owner Kelly Schaub was forced to pack up her things and find a new home. Eventually she moved to a new location in Lowertown (the warehouse district of St. Paul), and attempted to pick up where she left off.
Sadly the new location has not worked out either.
During some kind of community hubbub time - I can't remember if it was an art crawl or Fringe or some clever new works reading series or workshop that Kelly put together - but one of those times when theater folks were coming and going and the space was buzzing with clever creative minds contemplating new ideas, I ran into four different colleagues I'd been meaning to get in touch with anyway. And I thought, "Yes, this place is actually going to expand and diversify the work we do, because we're going to read. And think. And talk to each other about new ideas about making art."
By this time, my breathless announcements that we had our very own theater bookstore were generally greeted by, "I know, I know, it's so exciting, I really need to go check it out." And by this time, Kelly was putting all kinds of stuff on the shelves hoping to widen her shopper base, she was pumping out the newsletters, and she was running every kind of discount offer any retailer has ever thought of. And she was inviting the community in for just about every kind of event they ever said they wanted: new play readings, lectures by exotic guest speakers, book signings, book clubs, workshops, parties, fundraisers, board meetings, forums, talk-backs, ... you name it. And I thought, "Wow, this theater community is so lucky. I hope people are buying books."
Well, as it turned out, they weren't. And entirely too few of those who kept meaning to check it out never did. And for all our grantspeak and mission statements talking about building community, apparently we weren't interested in supporting this kind of community within our own industry. And though many of us argue vehemently that if you don't pay artists you won't get art, we didn't seem to think that having our own theater bookstore was worth buying our theater books locally.
You can read Cooper's entire piece here.
Meanwhile, Play by Play Theatre Bookstore will be having a 50% off sale on Thursday, starting at 10am. The store is located at 308 Prince Street, Suite 234 in St. Paul.