Monday news and reviews

With yesterday morning being taken up with snow storm coverage, and related closings, today’s round-up features not one, but two days worth of arts stories. Enjoy!



Letters between Julia Child and the woman who would change her life provide a glimpse into history, and the depth of a friendship.

– Kim Ode, Star Tribune

Essays focus on strange misfirings of the human brain

The 11th collection of medical essays by Dr. Sacks focuses on the many ways the brain can let us down.

– Brigitte Frase, Star Tribune

Debut filled with disturbing twists, quirky characters

Minnesota author Ostlund’s stories are not pretty or predictable, but they are excellent.

– Pamela Miller, Star Tribune


The biographer of Edith Wharton and cousin by marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy recalls the privilege and odd social customs of his aristocratic class.

– Eric Hanson, Star Tribune

An anonymous act of compassion

Ted Gup discovered a trove of Depression-era letters asking his grandfather for help, and tracked down the writers years later.

– SUSAN AGER, Star Tribune

Dark and troubling but gorgeous fables

Imaginative tales have no answers, but gorgeously ask the question.

– Ryan Vine, Star Tribune


Doomtree spreads its wings for Blowout VI (Night 1)

Sort of like the snowfall today in the Twin Cities, the music on opening night of Doomtree’s Blowout VI refused to let up.

– Chris Riemenschneider

Doomtree Blowout VI: Shaking it all night long at First Avenue

In the case of Doomtree’s annual concert at First Ave, the term “blowout” is justified hyperbole.

– Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Hall & Oates deliver hits on your Yule list

The Philadelphia duo sounded soulfully timeless on their oldies and some holiday bonuses.

– Jon Bream, Star Tribune

Darry Hall and John Oates at the State Theatre, 12/10/10

The power pair has changed seemingly very little since their heyday of hit Billboard 100 songs.

– Natalie Gallagher, City Pages

‘Black Swan’s’ cinematic madness — and a Scandinavian Christmas

There was a fairly good-sized crowd at Orchestra Hall for Minnesota Orchestra’s Sunday night performance of “A Scandinavian Christmas.” It was a lively show, especially as Christmas music gives the percussionist an opportunity to really go to town on the chimes, banging away with mallets like a church tower bell-ringer.

– Max Sparber, City Pages


Children are true stars of Ordway s Joseph’

Anthony Federov has the dazzling look and sound, but the heart of “Joseph” rests with the children.

– Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ is definitely a big show. But is it TOO big?

Rocco crams his stage with no fewer than 41 local schoolchildren in addition to a cast of two dozen grown-ups. He leaves none of the musical jokes in the score unexplained or unexploited and adds in some original gags of his own creation.

– Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press

Director’s movie debut lives on as musical

“Billy Elliot,” the story of a coal miner’s son who chases an unorthodox dream, has been a hit on both stage and screen.

– Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

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