Wednesday news and reviews

Theater

Minnesota playwrights join the 35th annual Humana Festival of New Plays

– Ed Huyck, City Pages

Several playwrights with Minnesota ties will be featured in the 35th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, to be held in February through April in 2011 at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Interact’s “Life is Sweet” depicts a journey helped along by people with Down Syndrome

– Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet

Director Tod Peterson came up with the idea for the production when he discovered the shocking statistic that 90% of expectant parents who discover their unborn babies have Down Syndrome terminate the pregnancy. He realized that those with Down Syndrome, many who have qualities he strives for such as self confidence, love, humor, and honesty, will become much fewer in future decades.

Thriller goes slapstick – Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

The Guthrie’s staging of “The 39 Steps” goes cheek to chic with a deftly comic style.

Sisters threatened by outside world- William Randall Beard, Star Tribune

In “10 Virgins,” Theatre Unbound finds a modern parable in a feminist fairy tale.

’10 Virgins’ offers puppetry, plus a look into the depths of the human soul

– Ed Huyck, City Pages

There’s a lot going on in 10 Virgins, Theatre Unbound’s latest work now playing at the Lowry Lab Theater.

Take this job and love it – Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Nathan Keepers plays a restaurant reservation clerk balancing impossible demands and impossible characters in this frenetic, fun tour de force.

Dance

Stars named for Moscow Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker,’ coming here next month- Joe Kimball, minnpost.com

The Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” is coming to Rochester and Minneapolis in early December and will feature the company’s award-winning couple Cristina and Alexei Terentiev.

Dancing with elephants at the Southern

– Camille LeFevre, MinnPost.com

No, you aren’t dreaming. Yes, there will be an elephant in a dance performance this weekend, or rather, a dancer in a plush pachyderm costume.

Movies

Omnimax Theater in Duluth to close in April

– Peter Passi, Duluth News Tribune

Dan Russell, director of the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, said he has notified the IMAX Corp. that the DECC will let its IMAX equipment lease expire in April, which will signal the end of the theater’s 15-year run.

Good ‘Morning’ America – Colin Covert, Star Tribune

The glory here is seeing a snappy, well-made comedy in which stars and story are beautifully matched.

What’s the story, ‘Morning Glory’? – Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

It’s the same story that was done better in ‘Prada’ and ‘Broadcast News’

Midnight movies, from “Rocky Horror” to “Nightmare on Elm Street” to “The Room”- Jim Brunzell III, TC Daily Planet

The midnight movie is a great experience, especially when you go with a group of friends, get popcorn and soda, and go into the theater to grab a seat and enjoy the “witching” hour.

Art

Alex Kuno: 100 Creatives – Jessica Armbruster, City Pages

Alex Kuno’s prolific series The Miscreants of Tiny Town features children, but they are hardly the saccharine representations of youth we so often see. Kuno has less in common with Disney, and more with the Grimm Brothers, Edward Gorey, and other macabre storytellers.

Architecture

Philadelphia Art Museum breaks ground on Frank Gehry-designed underground expansion project – – Joann Loviglio , Associated Press

It’s not typical for a loading dock to be the celebrated subject of a groundbreaking ceremony, but Frank Gehry is not your typical architect.

Music

At First Avenue, a community says good-bye to Mikey “Eyedea” Larsen

– Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Micheal Larsen, known as “Mikey” to his friends, died in his sleep on October 16, and the cause of death is not yet known, so there wasn’t even an explanation for Larsen’s tragically untimely demise. There was no disease to fight, no violence to decry. Eyedea is simply not with us any longer, and the First Ave event was a surprisingly intimate, brave acknowledgement of that fact.

Cloud Cult’s incredible journey brings them back home – Jeff Gage, City Pages

First Avenue to host nationally acclaimed local band

Talented trumpeter shows Ordway audience around the repertoire

By Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

If a friend is visiting your town for the first time, you’d naturally want to show them around, hitting all of the best places along the way. Alison Balsom seemed intent on doing something similar at the Ordway Center on Tuesday night.

Books

Lightsey Darst gets dark with her new book ‘Find the Girl’- Coco Mault, City Pages

Lightsey Darst is a busy woman. An artist recently featured on the local television show MN Original, she is not only a poet, but a dance critic, English instructor, and a ballet dancer (not professionally). This past April, Coffee House Press published Darst’s first full-length book of poetry–and it’s dark.

Historian’s look at China’s great famine is groundbreaking – Frank Bures, Star Tribune

Historian Frank Dikötter uncovers cannibalism and staggering death numbers in his new look at China’s famine.

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