Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.
Gremlin Theatre has turned lemons into lemonade for a production of "A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur." The small company had to shut down its run of the Tennessee Williams play last week at a St. Paul house rented from St. Clement's Episcopal church. Turns out the occupancy status of the house did not allow a theatrical production and negotiations with the city proved futile.
However, the show will go on, at Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis. Susan Haas, Open Eye's producing artistic director, offered Peter Hansen's company the use of an apartment space that is in the same building as Open Eye's theater. Hansen said the room, which Haas and Michael Sommers use as a workshop studio, will work perfectly. There's even a working kitchen in the back.
Jef Hall-Flavin directed the show, with a cast of Suzanne Warmanen, Sara Richardson, Jane Froiland and Noe Tallen. "Creve Coeur" is a late work from Williams that re-explores many of the themes of earlier plays. It's a one-act set in 1930's St. Louis.Hall-Flavin's production will move to the Williams festival in Provincetown, Mass., in September.
Gremlin's production opens at 7:30 Thursday and runs through the weekend (4 p.m. Sunday). The second week's performances run Wednesday through Sunday, with the same curtain times.
Go to gremlin-theatre.org for more information.
Last summer, a group of young actors/singers/musicians cobbled together their enthusiasm and put on a great production of "Hair" that captured the spirit of togetherness, community, comity so much intended by that show.
"The Last Five Years" is about as far from "Hair" as you can get, but the youngsters at Flip Theatre fill me with the same sense of hope and admiration. The poignant musical by Jason Robert Brown concludes this weekend at the Minneapolis Theatre Garage and it is worth seeing. Britta Ollmann and Bobby Gardner play Cathy and Jamie, who relate the ups and downs of their relationship from different angles. Jamie starts his story on the first day she shows up at Cathy's house with a bouquet of flowers. She starts by sitting on moving boxes as they are splitting up. Their paths only cross once, on the day of their wedding.
Flip's production rides on the shoulders of Jason Hansen's five-piece band and the big expressive voices of Ollmann and Gardner. John Lynn directs with a very clear eye toward the state of the relationship, the position of each character and how they intersect (or don't). Gardner and Ollman really express the youth and joy of these young lovers -- an innocence that we hope never sours. Of course, it does and that is aching point of Brown's lovely little two-hander. I have seen this musical before, but it really landed here with young singers and a larger band.
I wish I would have seen this production earlier. It closes Sunday, but you can still get tickets. Go to http://www.fliptheatre.org
Internationally known Minnesota wildlife artists Joe, Bob and Jim Hautman have proved so popular that the Minnetonka Center for the Arts is extending its show of their work through Tuesday, October 29. This adds three days to the exhibit which was originally scheduled to close October 26.
The brothers will also sign reproductions of their artwork at a public reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 24. Prints of their images will be available for purchase that evening.
Organized by architect Jim Dayton, the exhibit is the first in which the guys have shown their work together. It features about 100 paintings of birds, game animals (deer, bear, lions) and even pets plus sketches and photos of work in progress. Fans of their meticulously observed nature studies have an unprecedented opportunity to see original paintings that have been reproduced on thousands of popular duck stamps over more than 20 years. Read a Star Tribune review of the show here.
Together the three brothers have won an unprecedented 10 Federal Duck Stamp competitions. Sales of duck stamps, which are essentially federal hunting licenses for migratory waterfowl, raise about $25 million annually for the preservation of marshes and watersheds for migratory birds and human enjoyment.
AP photo: Alex Brandon
Colin Hanks has signed on to costar in the FX cable network's reboot of "Fargo," executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. It's a move that might stir a bit of envy from his dad.
While in Chicago Wednesday publicizing "Captain Phillips," the piracy drama opening Oct. 11, Tom Hanks reminisced about playing a mad southern criminal with the glib tongue of a poet in the Coens' 2004 comedy "The Ladykillers." It was exhausting fun to play a character who unspools reams of florid dialog, he said, though he found himself envying his costars, who merely had to go through the motions of doing something silently in the background while he fillibustered his way through take after take.
Hanks praised the Coen's Minneapolis-lensed "A Serious Man," declaring he'd love to work with them again. But after their only film together -- not a success -- it hasn't come up, he said.
"Joel came to see the play I did in New York," the late Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy," which earned Hanks his first Tony nomination.
"When he came backstage, I said, "What did I do? C'mon! Let me back. I want to come back in! I was in the ensemble company -- for one movie. Let me back!' Have you seen their new movie ['Inside Llewyn Davis'] about the folk singer? I could do that. I could fake my way through the same five guitar chords everyone else can."
Cat Brindisi and David Darrow, seen here in "Spring Awakening," are the prime movers behind 7th House Theater Collective. Photo/Michal Daniel.
Will the 7th House Theater Collective ever do another production? This group of really talented young actors, singers and dancers just staged a "Hair" that perfectly captured the musical's spirit and heart. To sound hopelessly old, "It was a happening," which is exactly what Gerry Ragni intended when he created "Hair" with Galt MacDermot back in 1968.
I caught the show Monday, closing night, and the 514 Studios was packed to standing room. Lead singers Cat Brindisi, David Darrow, Brianna Graham, Matt Riehle and Caroline Innerbichler sounded great -- the sound bounced around the space with a lot of juice. The intimacy, the interaction, the joy and honesty (most of the time) drew out the small human tragedy that makes the story timeless, even while it is relentlessly of its time.
Because it was industry night, there were a number of actors and directors in the house -- several Chanhassen vets, and Latte Da's Peter Rothstein and Denise Prosek, for example. I was curious to know the reaction of a couple of youngsters who are currently working over at the Guthrie (not enough to ask, though). These good, young actors are making real salaries on the biggest stage in town -- the gold standard! -- but were they at all tempted by the thrill that must come when you scratch out your own artistic freedom and then win over full (140ish people) houses? Even if you're only making gas money and maybe this month's rent? Just a stray thought.
But it brings me back to the future of the 7th House Collective. Was "Hair" the result of serendipity -- of a talented "tribe" that found the right piece for the right time and the right place? Did they pull off a small, one-time miracle? They raised money through Kickstarter, worked social media like demons, filled the house, benefitted from generous donors, overcame unexpected costs and made the summer of 2013 a little more memorable, theatrically.
Brindisi said at the end of the night that the group was so heartened by the response that they hope to strike again sometime and Darrow was holding a tub at the exit, collecting donations. It's easy to do that in the heady afterglow, but as anyone who has tried to maintain a theater company knows, it's the institutional stuff that can kill you -- exactly the stuff against which the kids in "Hair" were rebelling.
Anyway. Here's hoping they can pull something off. It doesn't have to last forever. Gotta love these kids.
|Books (191)||Architecture (55)|
|Movies (187)||Music (2542)|
|Classical (237)||Theater (607)|
|Culture (291)||Minnesota History (30)|
|Tickets (364)||People (683)|
|Style (11)||Holidays (17)|
|Openings + closings (52)||Awards (230)|
|Behind the scenes (795)||Book news (107)|
|Casting news (68)||Celebrities (330)|
|Clubs (94)||Concert news (849)|
|Dance (126)||Design + Architechture (53)|
|Funding and grants (53)||Galleries (76)|
|Late-night TV (35)||Local TV and radio (185)|
|Minnesota artists (265)||Minnesota authors (86)|
|Minnesota musicians (963)||Museums (139)|
|Orchestras (108)||Red hot (60)|
|Seen elsewhere: Neat stuff (117)||Theaters (120)|
|Culture wars (28)||Entertainment (4)|
|Movies (238)||Television (455)|
|Art (265)||Photography (65)|
|Nightlife (237)||Comedy (1)|
|SXSW music festival (56)||Author events (2)|