Friday news and reviews

Phew! Fridays are a bit overwhelming when it comes to the “news and reviews” round-up – so many movies getting reviewed, as well as music and theater previews. If you have the time, check out the comments thread on Chris Riemenschneider’s review of the Best New Bands concert… he took some heat for not staying for BadNRad’s set, which begs the question – can you review a show if you don’t see the whole thing?


Art from the heart

A new Walker Art Center show celebrates the homespun.

– Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

A Voice for Homeless Youth

Marsha Trainer reports on a new project, “Growing Home: Ending Youth Homelessness,” featuring photography by Wing Young Huie and Cathy ten Broeke, alongside artwork and performance created by kids with first-hand experiences of homelessness.

– Marsha Trainer,


Exquisite agony: ‘Mary Stuart’ at Minnesota Opera, and a wild night at the St. Paul Grill

Ah, the pleasures of opera. Where else can we find so much bombast, so much expense, and so much genius put to the service of telling stories of such trashy human behavior?

– Max Sparber,


Barney’s rubble

Our hugely disagreeable hero has trashed whole squadrons of wives and friends. Somehow, Paul Giamatti makes Barney appealingly alive.

– Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Superb actor is unbalanced film’s saving grace

“Barney’s Version” is not a movie to be loved from start to finish. I was annoyed by it, then I liked it, then it irritated me, then I liked it a lot.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

“Tiny Furniture,” big promise

Lena Dunham wrote, directed and stars in her deadpan-hilarious first feature, which also features her real mom and sister.

– Claude Peck, Star Tribune

The thing about ‘Tiny Furniture’ is, there’s plenty of room for inspiration

There is such a thing as a 22-year-old child, and the heroine of “Tiny Furniture” is the proof.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Eek! Possessed by plodding script

Sir Anthony Hopkins has the right stuff, but “The Rite” doesn’t know what to do with him.


Perhaps the devil made him do it, but Hopkins is just wrong in ‘Rite’

Warm up the silver-dollar rolls and put together some scalloped potatoes; Anthony Hopkins is back with a big ol’ serving of ham in “The Rite.”

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Review: Updated hit-man movie is not so up to date after all

Think of Jason Statham as a beefy, bald Three Musketeers candy bar.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Docu about former Pakistani leader is a sketch, not a portrait

If you’re looking for a warts-and-all portrait of the late Benazir Bhutto, “Bhutto” is not it. But the documentary is a well-made, reverent tribute to the legacy of the former prime minister of Pakistan.

– Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press


The Jayhawks: ‘We’re not a museum piece’

Gary Louris and Mark Olson talk proudly of their newly reissued 1990s albums, but say the best is yet to come.


It’s a CD-release party without a CD, but it will still be fun

In a brilliant move, Mark Mallman’s synth-pop side project Ruby Isle created a song-by-song remake of Guns N’ Roses’ classic “Appetite for Destruction” and pulled in Har Mar Superstar as a guest on “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The problem? Someone didn’t get the proper clearance, and the tracks have been pulled from iTunes and other online outlets. So, while Mallman and company are throwing a CD-release show Saturday at the Triple Rock, there won’t be any CDs to sell.

– Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press

Drum machines, alt-country dub and Skype: a recap of the Best New Bands of 2010

A majority of the acts employed fog machines over human drummers Wednesday night at First Avenue’s Best New Bands marathon, including BNLX, BadNRad and Phantom Tails, but that was hardly the oddest thing about the annual showcase.

– Chris Riemenschneider , Star Tribune

Grant Hart of Husker Du recovering from house fire

First, the good news: Grant Hart, formerly of Husker Du and now a renowned solo artist, is in good health after only a brief stint in the hospital yesterday afternoon.

– Andrea Swensson, City Pages

Musician Grant Hart suffers house fire

The Hüsker Dü veteran is out of the hospital and sorting through the damage at his South St. Paul home.

– Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune


It’s Marvelous, it’s wonderful

Troupe America uses its new digs to get a jukebox musical ready for the Plymouth Playhouse — and a national tour.

– Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Barbra Berlovitz stars as ‘Mother Courage’

For Mother Courage and Her Children, Barbra Berlovitz teamed up with Chicago’s Bricklayers Theatre and Paris’s Collectif Masque for a production that has a distinct Jeune Lune vibe.

– Ed Huyck, City Pages

The new HA HA room

At the just-opened Huge Theater in south Minneapolis, improv actors are making up laughs as they go along.

– Tom Horgen, Star Tribune

Lili’s Burlesque Revue hosts Best of Midwest Burlesk

This weekend, Lili’s Burlesque Revue is bringing back their popular Best of Midwest Burlesk (BOMB) Festival, now in its fourth year, to the Ritz Theater for a three titillating days of live music, aerial artists, drag performers, and burlesque acts from around the country.

– Sheila Regan, City Pages

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