Saturday news and reviews

Art

Franklin Art Works presents art that’s alive (sort of)

Whether it be amoeba-looking sloth creatures, other-worldly bodily organs, or ominous twin shapes on partially ripped paper, Mendenhall’s abstract organism-like dark figures seem to literally breathe on the gray-ish paper.

- Sheila Regan, City Pages

Walker Art Center’s Olga Viso on Ai Weiwei’s arrest

More figures in art and government are speaking out about the arrest and detention without official charge of China’s most famous artist, Ai Weiwei. The latest is Olga Viso, director of Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center and former deputy director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

- Paul Schmelzer, Eyeteeth

Books

A doodle a day online for kids

Children’s book illustrator Nancy Carlson sketches out a new venue by doing fanciful drawings to post on her blog every day.

- JEFF STRICKLER , Star Tribune

Dance

‘Dance’ from 1979: This ain’t no disco

Review: Walker Art Center hosts revival of an early minimalist work by Lucinda Childs set to music of Philip Glass.

- CAROLINE PALMER , Star Tribune

Lucinda Childs flashes back with “Dance” at the Walker Art Center

Dance remains a stiff drink for those who like their movement to come with a little narrative.

- Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Review: Chinese troupe shows indie spirit

China’s first independent modern troupe displays passion and power in its Minnesota debut.

- CAROLINE PALMER , Star Tribune

Art inspires half of MDT program

Review: Frida Kahlo and Auguste Rodin inform two dances, alongside a world premiere by Hope Boykin.

- CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune

General

Three Minnesotans win Guggenheim Awards

Three artists with Minnesota ties are among the 180 winners of 2011 awards from New York’s John Simon Guggenheim MemoriaL Foundation.

- Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

Movies

“Your Highness” gets low with swords and sorcery

Great quests have been launched on weaker grounds than the promise of seeing Natalie Portman in a leather thong, and I won’t deceive you or myself by pretending that I had any more noble motivation for steering my not-so-trusty 1994 Infiniti steed north to Roseville for a preview screening of Your Highness.

- Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

“Hanna”: Big girls don’t die

From Hanna’s first frame to its last, Wright keeps the film fast-paced and easy on the eyes. The best thing about the film is that nothing except the plot feels out-of-the-box: every shot feels fresh and inventive.

- Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Music

Among his peers, Mozart is still the master

REVIEW: Christian Zacharias deftly leads, as conductor and pianist, in a program of music from the year 1784.

- WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD , Star Tribune

Review: VocalEssence, Lyra Baroque express Bach’s majesty

This was a performance at which the chorus stole the show, especially when the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers wrapped their lovely voices around something as exhilarating as the “Cum Sancto Spiritu” that closed the first half or the grief-drenched “Et incarnatus.”

- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Bob Dylan in Beijing: Photos, videos, and set list

Dylan was just happy to do what he does best at this point in his career and that’s to bring the music to the people.

- Danny Sigelman, City Pages

Cut Copy talks Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, and why you shouldn’t read your own reviews

Now on their third album, Zonoscope, the boys from down-under have invaded U.S. territory for their North American tour. The buzz that’s emerged around Cut Copy seems to be growing quickly, and not losing any sign of momentum.

- Cindal Lee Heart, City Pages

The Joy Formidable leave a sell-out crowd at the 7th Street Entry gasping for air

The chemistry between the bleached blonde front woman Ritzy Bryan and the other two members, bassist Rhydian Dafydd and especially drummer Matt Thomas was just pure joy to watch.

- Kyle Matteson, TC Daily Planet

Leno’s sidekick is back on the music scene

Ever-smiling Kevin Eubanks returns to the Twin Cities to do what he loves best: play guitar.

- RICK MASON , Star Tribune

Philip Glass plays a once-in-a-lifetime solo show at the Dakota Jazz Club

Though I doubt whether Wednesday’s performance would have converted any members of what Glass calls his “very strong, solid hate faction,” it did hold revelations even for those of us who have spent untold hours listening to recordings and performances of Glass’s music.

- Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Stage

“To Kill a Mockingbird”: Park Square Theatre preaches the gospel of civil rights

While it’s hard to get past Gregory Peck’s career-defining performance as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, Fred Wagner does an admirable job of portraying Finch as a man struggling to raise his two children to know what is right while living in a town filled with prejudice and unjustice.

- Jean Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Review: Park Square’s Mockingbird compels with compassion

More than a half century after To Kill a Mockingbird’s publication, the work has lost none of its social relevance or emotional impact, as evidenced by Christopher Sergel’s affectionate adaptation now running at Park Square Theatre.

- Brad Richason, Examiner.com

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