Friday news and reviews

Here’s a round-up of the arts stories making headlines…

Art

Altered Esthetics makes art, not ads for ‘Adverti$ing’

- Coco Mault, City Pages

During a month in which many of us consume more than usual, especially when it comes to eating scrumptious food or buying the perfect gift, Altered Esthetics has created an exhibition that uses ironic imagery to point out the deluge of advertising we are subjected to, and often succumb to.

Of Pastries and Paintings

- Maggie Ryan Sandford, mnartists.org

Maggie Ryan Sandford continues her ongoing artists’ guide to coffee house galleries and alternative art exhibition venues in Minnesota with this tour of notable hotspots in the arts-rich neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis.

Mother Russia’s fine china

- Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

History and beauty are both served in an exhibition of tsarist porcelain at the Museum of Russian Art.

Dance

Dance without reservation

- Lightsey Darst, mnartists.org

Lightsey Darst saw Zenon’s ambitious fall season performance recently, and she came away wowed – by the dancers’ passionate performances, by the moving choreography, and by the company’s sheer voltage on stage.

Movies

When bad scripts happen to good actresses

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Kristin Scott Thomas’ 2008 French film “I’ve Loved You So Long” showed what she can do with a great script. “Leaving,” her new French film, shows what she can do with a not-great one.

Two locally shot films earning recognition

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

“The Convincer” and “Ana’s Playground” are both getting attention.

Twin Citians have an excellent selection of small films from which to choose

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

This week, movie fans are probably wondering, “Hey, where are all the movies starring people I’ve heard of doing stuff that’s awesome?” Those fans will have to wait until next week.

Reviewed in brief: “Dogtooth,” “Leaving,” and “Marwencol”

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Review: ‘Dogtooth’ is going to leave you with a lot to chew on

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

I love that Greece submitted “Dogtooth” in the foreign-language Oscar race, even though it has no chance of winning or even being nominated.

Music

Gospel choir’s sister act

- Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

Sandy Robinson took the reins of the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir from her brother in time for its 20th anniversary.

Now’s a good time to be chasin’ Mason

By Ross Raihala

Singer/songwriter Mason Jennings has yet to release an official follow-up to his last studio album, “Blood of Man,” but that doesn’t mean he has been slacking.

Local music notes: Dead Man Winter lives

- Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

Also, a preview of the New Standards’ holiday shows, and Roster McCabe’s new fan-funded CD.

Mozart, Miami, Carnegie Hall and ‘Common Chords’ Minnesota Orchestra has all this plus opera superstars and January with Brahms before Orchestra Hall closes for renovation

- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Carnegie Hall and Miami … Grand Rapids and Willmar. A January with Brahms and some studio time with Sibelius and Mozart. And concerts that feature an opera superstar and some of classical music’s top violinists and pianists. Those are some of the highlights of the Minnesota Orchestra’s next season, its final at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall before the building closes for renovation and expansion.

Grammy nod (vicariously) goes to Low

- Chris Riemenschneider

Robert Plant’s cover version of “Silver Rider” — one of two he recorded off the Duluth trio’s 2005 album “The Great Destroyer” — has been nominated for best solo rock performance.

Jazz Grammy nominations, and this week’s jazz picks

- Pamela Espeland, MinnPost.com

Best jazz bets for the weekend and into the week.

Television

TV’s not-so-secret Santas

- Neal Justin, Star Tribune

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for very special episodes.

British ad awards back in town

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Even in a down economy, they’re are less hard-sell than in the United States.

Under-the-radar movies get their own fest

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Low-fi, low-budget, high-concept and alternative filmmakers screen their work at MCAD this weekend.

Theater

Popular shows enjoying extended runs on stages of the Twin Cities

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Live theater in the Twin Cities must be suffering in this economy, right? Wrong. Don’t cry for Theater Latte Da, which just had its biggest hit with “Evita.” Or for the Guthrie’s “The 39 Steps,” which just announced its second extension. And there’s no need to break out the hankies for at least two other recent smashes.

A Christmas sampler

- Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

The holiday season gets up to speed with three more options for small-theater aficionados seeking something slightly different.

Santaland Diaries delivers a new perspective on yuletide traditions

- Michelle Alimoradi, Examiner.com

When you’re wee little tike, going to see the mall Santa can be a number of things, mysterious, curious, or even horrifying. But as you get closer to those delightful pre-teen years, it can become very enlightening.

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