Art Hounds: FLOW, Dumpster Duels, Deenie Nast, Red Hot Art and Hamlet

Deenie Nast will be at CAMP Bar in St. Paul Monday, July 29 and Tuesday, July 30. (Image courtesy of Deenie Nast)

Huge Theater co-founder Jill Bernard is excited that Audrey Crabtree is back in town as Deenie Nast:

There have always been waves of great Minnesota artists expatriating to the coasts. Every now and then prodigal sons and daughters return.

When Audrey Crabtree went to New York in 1997 as part of such an exodus, it was very sad for all of us theater and comedy fans. She was a familiar face from “The Bad Mamma Jammas” improv troupe, the Brave New Workshop, “Let’s Bowl,” her own Ten Directions productions, and pretty much the “it” girl for shows at the Bryant Lake Bowl and other independent spaces.

Crabtree’s journey since leaving Minnesota has been extraordinary.  She’s now a recognized expert in bouffon clown, and has toured the continent with “Clowns Without Borders.”  She has made her name as a successful director, writer and performer in New York.

Crabtree is back in town for two shows only, with a very funny character in a show called “For the Lonely, Deenie Nast.”   I got to see a preview of the show in its infant stages years ago.  Now it has grown up into a hilarious romp, with improvisational and audience participatory elements, lots of laughs, a few tears and physical comedy.  Deenie is a fading star of vaudeville and screen, think latter-day Judy Garland but even more ridiculous. You can see Deenie/Crabtree in action at CAMP Bar in St. Paul, Monday, July 29 and Tuesdsay, July 30.

Chris Cloud, publication director for MPLSzine, thinks Red Hot Art is not your average art fair:

Red Hot Art and Music Festival is easily my favorite “art fair” in the cities. I put art fair in quotes, because Red Hot is more than that. More than any other art fair, I feel like I’m a member of that community when I’m there.

The festival takes place on Saturday from 11-7 and Sunday from 11-5. This is an event where it’s worth stopping at every booth because you never know what you’re going to find. I once stumbled upon doughnut earrings that smell like doughnuts. The people behind the festival make it accessible for emerging artists to be involved. There’s even a community tent for those who couldn’t get their hands on their own tent and/or table.

There are also two stages for music throughout the weekend, so you can listen to live music while you browse and converse with the artists and festival goers. TO TOP IT OFF, Anchor Fish and Chips will be there. Saves me the trip to Northeast and I get to support local artists and music. What more can I ask for?

Stilt walker, stage manager and arts administrator Deb Ervin recommends BareBones’ Dumpster Duels:

BareBones is a punk rock, DIY, artist-activist puppetry group from right here in Minneapolis. They’re hosting Dumpster Duels (DD) this Sunday in the parking lot of Tiny Town Studios in Minneapolis (2407 Washington St NE).

DD is a competitive outdoor performance event (they tag it as “Iron Chef meets Junkyard Wars”) where three teams create shows out of the junk found in industrial dumpsters. At the end of the 18 hours,  an audience shows up, watches the performances, and determines a winner through some convoluted but hilarious method of voting where heckling and bribery are absolutely encouraged. The performance is Sunday at 6 p.m. but you’re welcome to stop by and watch any time during the build, which starts Saturday at 12 p.m. Also, there’s going to be a sweet after party from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. with live music.

Actress Billie Jo Konze is looking forward to Jeffrey Hatcher’s HAMLET:

I am looking forward to a theatrical production written and performed by one of my two favorite living playwrights, Jeffery Hatcher, who lives right here in the Twin Cities.  I’ve read almost all his published plays, and they tend to be slightly mysterious, mischievous in tone, and filled with plot twists and turns.

When Jeffrey Hatcher was a child in Ohio, he wrote an adaptation of Hamlet which he directed and starred in with his entire class to a sold-out audience.  This may be pretty heavy stuff for the fifth grade. But for this year’s Fresh Ink series at the Illusion Theater, Mr. Hatcher wrote a play called, appropriately, “Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet” where he revisits the play and his previous experience with it, playing himself telling the story and relating it to his childhood in a steel town in Ohio.  The Illusion’s Fresh Ink series always serves up new and exciting work, and Hatcher’s Hamlet is sure to be nothing less than a revelation.

Glass artist and North Minneapolis resident Connie Beckers will be at FLOW this weekend:

What do you mean there’s an art crawl in North Minneapolis? Well, yeah!  I know, art is not usually the first thing that pops into the mind of non-Northsiders when our community is mentioned. However, there has been a steadily growing and organized community of artists living and working in North Minneapolis since the late 1990s  making a difference with art.

Running practically the full length of West Broadway from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue, this self-guided tour features nearly 350 artists and performers. Shuttle buses help get guests from one site to the next and Open Streets Minneapolis will close off North 2nd Street on Saturday to offer an exclusive area for biking, walking, skating and even hula hooping. There’s also the Carifest Masquerade Parade and music stages, with headliners including Big Daddy Kane and Sha Cage.

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