Friday news and reviews

It’s FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY!! Enjoy a hot steaming plate of arts news…

Art

A Bella Naughty evening at the MIA

Bella Naughty will be an evening full of enticing inspiration from the city of Venice and its notorious carnival.

- Shelby Meyers, City Pages

Goddess of Glass: A place for arts on the North Side

It’s been a winding road for glass artist Connie Beckers, who opened Goddess of Glass last June. As a former executive director of the Northside Arts Collective (NAC), Beckers is passionate about providing opportunities for artists in the area.

- Sheila Regan, City Pages

Movie

Edge of night

In a dark, gorgeous film, a dying man seeks to balance the books of a life that includes much wrongdoing.

- COLIN COVERT, Star Tribune

Far too grim to be beautiful

Javier Bardem is dying of cancer in “Biutiful,” and that’s the perkiest news in this grim Mexican film.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Astonishing performance shines through sad story

If you see just one foreign film that opens this week and that features an astonishing performer in an incredibly sad story, make it “Secret Sunshine.”

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Little magic

From the “Triplets of Belleville” creator, the story of a man at the end of his career.

- COLIN COVERT, Star Tribune

What you get is not what you see

My favorite image in “The Illusionist” is of a chugging train. It’s beautiful, and it’s a fine metaphor for the movie, which settles lightly on the screen to charm and move us but then vanishes like a wisp of smoke.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

No-frills restored docu is history lessonA no-frills 1946 documentary that has been restored recently, “Nuremberg” does not put its best foot forward.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

All wet suits

As scuba divers face peril in a vast New Guinea cavern, moviegoers will pray for better acting.

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Underwater survival story is so hokey, it will take your breath awayTwo underwater experts wrote the script for the adventure film “Sanctum,” and as screenwriters, they make excellent divers.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Two bad films and new-wave nostalgia

This week, I saw both “The Mechanic,” an action film starring Jason Statham, which is a redundant sentence nowadays, and “The Rite,” starring Anthony Hopkins, who seemingly misses playing a bad guy and figured you can’t get much badder than the devil.

- Max Sparber, MinnPost.com

Music

Rock the tabla

Facing the worst, guitar guru Dean Magraw reunited with one of his best collaborators.

- CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, Star Tribune

The spirit of St. Louis

Now’s the time for tenor sax master Willie Akins, making his Twin Cities debut at age 71.

- TOM SUROWICZ, Star Tribune

Minnesota Orchestra review: Alteration of ‘Goldberg Variations’ could have been more adventurous

Thursday’s performance clearly didn’t garner much pooh-poohing from purists, judging from the standing ovation it received at Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall. But the response may have been inspired more by Bach’s genius than this particular conduit for it.

- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Famed Bach pieces rearranged

Dmitry Sitkovetsky reworked the “Goldberg Variations” for string orchestra, and also plays violin in it.

- WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD, Star Tribune

Low returns from slumber with “Sleep”

Titled “Try to Sleep,” it’s a lovely, soft and truly sleepy-eyed song that serves as a great reminder of Alan Sparhawk’s and Mimi Parker’s intimate harmonizing talent.

- Chris Riemenschneider

Prince drummer Bobby Z recovering from heart attack

The 55-year-old underwent heart surgery to clear two of his three blocked arteries on Sunday and will have another surgery in the coming days.

- Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press

Zacc Harris of the Atlantis Quartet on jazz, leaving wiggle room, and the future of the Clown Lounge

For wild and crazy jazz that is all that–from the swinging to the serene, missing nothing in between–put your last money, honey, on Atlantis Quartet.

- Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet

TC Women’s Choir sings with traditional Irish band in St. Paul February 5

From the brief sneak preview I head earlier this week, the groups have succeeded in creating a sound so powerful you can feel it throughout your body and yet so intimate that it draws on your heart strings.

- Ann Treacy, TC Daily Planet

Stage

The Steele deal

How Jevetta Steele overcame her August Wilson objections and took on blues great Ma Rainey.

- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

‘Doubt:’ Thought-provoking take on a modern parable

Director Peter Rothstein’s staging takes advantage of the up-close, lights-up, fourth-wall-shattering style for which Ten Thousand Things productions are known.

- Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press

Cheryl Willis channels her Liverpudlian roots for ‘Shirley Valentine’At first, Jungle Theater’s Bain Boehlke didn’t think he’d like the one-woman play Shirley Valentine. That was until local actor–and Liverpool native–Cheryl Willis convinced him to give it a listen.

- Ed Huyck, City Pages

10 Reasons to Love the BOMB

Lightsey Darst reports back from this year’s 4th annual Best of Midwest Burlesk Festival, on stage last weekend at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis, an annual event which she says has truly come into its own.

- Lightsey Darst, mnartists.org

“Helen” by 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities: Hold on to your hat

Playwright Ellen McLaughlin is asking you to forget what you learned in tenth grade World Literature.

- Christopher Kehoe, TC Daily Planet

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