Friday news and reviews

Here’s a look at the arts stories making headlines…


Old friends, new combinations

Minneapolis painter Leon Hushcha and 15 artist/writer/friends collaborate on a show.

– Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

Laura Stack juxtaposes organic and synthetic at Rosalux Gallery

Mixed media artist Laura Stack pulls from her background as a drawer and painter, as well as a graphic design artist, to create a jarring body of work that forces together worlds that are fundamentally opposite.

– Sheila Regan, City Pages


Ballet meets noir in ‘Black Swan’

“Swan” is a thoughtful work of art with the giddy urgency of a slasher flick.

– Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Unbalanced ballerina will keep audiences on their toes

Nina in “Black Swan” is paranoid, malnourished, skittish and frightened. In other words, she is a ballerina.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Star power can’t prevent death in Venice

“The Tourist” throws Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie together in an Italo-caper with few laughs.

– Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Pretty people, pretty places, pretty aggravating

Angelina Jolie wears a spectacular dress in “The Tourist.” It’s a creamy, knee-length, boatnecked number that clings to all of her curves. Oh, and there’s also a movie going on around her.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Mane attraction

Sunnier than “Prince Caspian,” this third Narnia movie is a razzle-dazzle high-seas romp. Plus, Aslan the lion is back. Roar.

– Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Narnia finally gets the beautiful film it deserves

…The third time is the charm for the “Narnia” series. In addition to being the scariest and loudest, “Dawn Treader” is the best of the “Narnia” films, an action-packed adventure with, unlike its two predecessors, a beginning, a middle and an end.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

O, come all ye unfaithful

David Sedaris used to do a bit about how evil some countries’ Christmas traditions sound. He’d love “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.”

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Here’s looking at ewwww, kid

The sequel nobody wanted to the movie nobody saw (“Hollywood Dreams”), “Queen of the Lot” again stars overly eager open-mouthed Tanna Frederick as an actress trying to make it in Hollywood.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press


St. Paul Chamber Orchestra needs no conductor, even for StravinskyAre conductors overrated? The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has shown that it can shape its sound to the interpretive ideas of a baton-wielding leader or do without, the musicians taking their cues from one another through gestures and eye contact.

– Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Twice as fab: ‘MN Beatle Project, Vol. 2’

A guide to the second annual charity CD from the musicians who gave it all their loving.

– Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

Stand at ease for Minnesota Opera’s boot camp

The Minnesota Opera Company may not start their performances with “Reveille,” but they are a dedicated and disciplined bunch taking military queues with their latest program, Opera Boot Camp.

– Coco Mault, City Pages

Basic training for future opera patrons; Fitzgerald with sound effects

The Minnesota Opera offered something that they called an “Opera Boot Camp” Thursday night. I have never experienced an actual boot camp — I suspect the Venn diagram where “military professional” and “art critic” cross over is relatively small.

– Max Sparber,

Grab your checkbook: Dylan manuscript bidding opens at $200k-plus

Can you say stocking stuffer? Just in time for Christmas, Sotheby’s is putting up for auction on Friday morning Bob Dylan’s handwritten “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” lyrics.

– Paul Walsh, Star Tribune

Prince storms “The View”

You can say one thing about Prince: The guy still generates a lot of excitement whenever he walks into a room. Or at least he does when it’s a room full of AARP-card-carrying women.

– Chris Riemenschneider


Pals at the Piano

Peter Vitale and Michael Pearce Donley are uniquely qualified for this show with music about the triumphs and trials of learning the piano.

– Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Kira Obolensky looks at the Holocaust from the inside

During World War II, prisoners of the Theresienstadt ghetto–used as a transit camp for Auschwitz–were given space and time dedicated to pursuing the arts. An adaptation of one of those works, Laugh With Us will be presented at a staged reading Monday at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

– Ed Huyck, City Pages

“Fezziwig’s Feast”: It’s about the family, not the food

Fezziwig’s Feast is indeed a “different” telling of A Christmas Carol–“different” in the sense that most adaptations don’t have the Fezziwigs personally serving Christmas dinner to you in your seat. In most other respects, though, Fezziwig’s Feast is stolidly traditional, which in the case of this production is very much a virtue.

– Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

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