Jeanne Arland Peterson hangs it up; James Franco published by Graywolf
This year ends on a sad note for the Twin Cities jazz community, as 92-year-old pianist/singer Jeanne Arland Peterson, matriarch of the mighty and omnipresent Peterson musical clan, plays a farewell show Saturday at Hopkins Center for the Arts. It'll be a family affair, of course, with children Linda, Billy, Patty, Ricky and Paul and grandson Jason Peterson DeLaire all on board. The Peterson siblings will do the lion's share of the concertizing, bringing Jeanne out for a few songs, one last star turn tickling of the ivories. Tickets include a "good luck buffet," plus post-concert dancing and party favors, as there will be an early New Year's celebration at midnight. Peterson's remarkable career included 22 years at WCCO Radio, a swingin' stint as the Minnesota Twins organist at Met Stadium, induction into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame alongside Judy Garland, a long friendship with admirer Peggy Lee, a couple of appearances on the "Donny & Marie" TV show, and live gigs with everybody from Roy Eldridge to George Benson. (8 p.m. Sat., $45, hopkinsartscenter.com) TOM SUROWICZGraywolf gets Franco
Actor James Franco is also, you might know, a director, musician, model, MFA degree holder -- make that double-MFA holder -- and, yes, a poet. Graywolf Press of Minneapolis will publish Franco's debut collection, "Directing Herbert White," in April 2014. Graywolf poetry editor Jeffrey Shotts -- who helped the small press score a Pulitzer this year with Tracy K. Smith's poetry book "Life on Mars" -- said in a news release that Franco's poems are, in part, "a series of portraits of American successes and failures from within Hollywood. ... But they are also smart and highly aware notes of caution of what can happen when the filmed self becomes fixed and duplicated, while the ongoing self must continue living and watching." Franco, who earned an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College, has previously published "Palo Alto," a collection of stories, and "Strongest of the Litter," a poetry chapbook.
LAURIE HERTZELA year without Christmas Day
Known internationally for his photos of Antarctic icebergs and snow fields, Minneapolis photographer Stuart Klipper has spent a lot of time in cold climates -- including a year that had no Christmas Day. In a nostalgic holiday e-mail this year, he remembered 1993-94, when he spent three months on the Nathaniel B. Palmer, a National Science Foundation ship that spent the season running back and forth between research stations "in a grid of transects in the Amundsen Sea off the Ross Ice Shelf." The route involved crossing the International Dateline again and again. Rather than add or subtract a day each time, "the skipper opted not to mess with the calendar until the ship was set to lay eastward and depart from those waters," Klipper said. "It was then that he decided which day would be skipped: Dec. 25."
MARY ABBEEveryone's a critic
If you have a theater critic yearning to be free, consider signing on as a volunteer evaluator for the Ivey Awards, an annual theater recognition event for the Twin Cities. The Iveys rely on about 120 volunteers who get free tickets for shows in exchange for writing up their responses to help identify honorees at the annual ceremony in Minneapolis. Iveys founder Scott Mayer is looking for new evaluators. The sole requirements: You must attend a training meeting on either Jan. 8 or 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., then agree to watch and write about at least five shows in 2013, before the awards gala is held Sept. 23. After each play or musical, Ivey critics log on to a website and fill out a form that includes a numerical rating as well as written comments. E-mail your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-870-1234.