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Fashionistas attended a preview of the Italian Style show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Photo by Bre McGee.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts plans to stay open until 9 p.m. on Friday nights starting February 20. It has been open until 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings for years, so the addition of Friday doubles its evening availability. It is now open until 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Admission is always free.
In the past year the museum jazzed up its Thursday evening programming by featuring local bands, craft beer, games, retro fun, and exhibition-themed events like a fashion show that accompanied the recent "Italian Style," exhibition of post WWII Italian clothing on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
"Thursday's programming will remain lively and very participatory while Fridays will have more of an art opening theme," said Anne-Marie Wagener, the museum's director of press and public relations.
Hours starting February 20: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Av. S. 612-870-3000 or www.artsmia.org
Following ongoing online hacks and threats to attack screenings of "The Interview," the Sony Pictures conflict reached a new level of havoc Wednesday afternoon.
After afternoon cancellations of earlier agreements to screen it by four of the nation’s largest movie theater chains, Sony cancelled the film’s scheduled Christmas Day opening. Earlier in the day the studio withdrew scheduled press screenings. It appears that there are no plans for any type of theatrical exhibition.
The $42 million film, a satiric political comedy, stars James Franco and Seth Rogan as TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. It was called “an evil act of provocation against our highly dignified republic” in late November on Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean government-controlled website. While Kim announced "merciless counter-measures" if the film was released, North Korea has denied involvement in the anonymous corporate hacks.
The U.S. movie theater chain leaders AMC, Carmike, Cinemark and Regal announced earlier Wednesday that they had abandoned their bookings.
"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film ‘The Interview,’ we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release," Sony announced in a written statement Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."
The film debuted at the Ace Hotel theater in Los Angeles for press and film executives last week to uneven reaction. Online critic Jeff Wells wrote after the screening, “I never once laughed. Yes, the opening 20 or 25 minutes is mildly entertaining and yes, at heart 'The Interview’ is anti-Kim, pro-anti-Kim revolution and pre-people power and all that, but it never rises above the level of a good-enough programmer.”
Torch Theater and Gremlin Theatre – two middle-aged small troupes – are collaborating on a season of four shows in what could be the final year of the Minneapolis Theatre Garage. The corner at Lyndale and Franklin Avs. in Minneapolis has been targeted for redevelopment although the project plans are a bit unclear.
Stacia Rice and Peter Christian Hansen starred in "Sea Marks" at Gremlin Theatre in 2012.
Regardless, Torch and Gremlin will co-produce “Death and the Maiden,” by Ariel Dorfman. A reaction to Chile’s authoritarian past, the play is a taut melodrama about torture and revenge. David Mann will direct Stacia Rice, Peter Christian Hansen and Craig Johnson – all Torch/Gremlin regulars. The production runs Jan. 30-Feb. 21.
Torch then gives the regional premiere to “Boeing Boeing,” the Marc Camoletti farce that Mark Rylance sent into orbit on Broadway several years back. Zach Curtis, Rice and Mo Perry will be directed by Johnson. Lots of slamming doors, confused identities – that sort of thing. It runs March 13-April 4.
Gremlin then takes charge with “H2O,” a regional premiere of the play by Jane Martin. Ellen Fenster, who directed last spring’s “Rocket to the Moon” for Gremlin, is back for this production. The play is about callow actor who will star in “Hamlet” and meets his match in the woman who will play Ophelia. No casting news about the production, which runs June 5-28.
The fourth production will be another collaboration between the two companies. The title and dates and have not been announced. Nothing on the web sites as of this moment. Rice and Hansen -- artistic directors of each troupe -- promise that information will be forthcoming. Check back.
Give your holiday date a weekend of la dolce vita at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The museum is extending the weekend hours of its popular show "Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945." The exhibit will remain open until 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 26 and Saturday, Dec. 27 and again the following weekend, Friday, Jan. 2 and Sat. Jan. 3. The show closes Sunday, Jan. 4.
For ticket information: artsmia.org
In the aftermath of W.W.II, with its cities in ruins and industries struggling, Italy turned to fashion and design to help revive its economy. Exhibitions of sleek, efficient and stylish modern Italian housewares toured the United States, offering Americans a glimpse of Eurostyle that helped bring good design to the masses. Fashion, too, was enlisted in the revitalization program with designers in Florence, Rome and Milan turning out glorious evening wear and chic sports ensembles that brought casual glamor to Middle America.
Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, "Italian Style" features about 100 ensembles from the V&A collection. Spanning more than 70 years, it includes gowns worn on screen by film stars (Audrey Hepburn, et al) plus pieces from such prominent fashion houses as Valentino, Armani, Gucci, Fendi, Pucci, Prada, Missoni, Dolce and Gabbana and trend setters young and old. The show will travel to the Portland Art Museum in Portland, OR and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, following its Minneapolis presentation.
The Hard Rock Cafe, that institution known for music memorabilia and souvenir T-shirts, had its grand opening at Mall of America Wednesday night starring a Minnesota institution, Morris Day & the Time.
Looking dapper as always in a bright yellow suit, Day did his part, including the ceremonial smashing of a guitar and an entertaining 80-minute set filled with such hits as “Cool,” “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”
However, this Hard Rock ain’t built for live music. With so many hard surfaces in the sprawling two-story building in the midst of Nickelodeon Universe theme park, the sound recalled that of a rock concert in a high-school gym. And that’s not a good thing.
Luckily, the Hard Rock served up tasty food (granted they were appetizer portions) and alluring memorabilia.
Minnesota is well represented with an autographed Replacements guitar, a polka-dot Jesse Johnson guitar (he's no longer in the Time) and three articles of Prince clothing – a gauzy black shirt/blouse, a sparkly purple trench coat and an orange suit with “Minneapolis” sewn on the left sleeve (he wore it on the “Sign o’ the Times” Tour).
All kinds of musical eras are represented. There are a 1964 contract for bluesman Jimmy Reed, a Carl Perkins guitar, a James Brown jacket and a backstage photo of Elvis Presley in his underwear (briefs, for inquiring minds). There’s memorabilia from Jimmy Page, the Clash, the Knack, Bush and Soundgarden, and tour jackets from the Rolling Stones, Wings, Ozzy Osbourne, the Eagles and Bruce Springsteen.
Displayed in cases are outfits worn by Madonna, Linda Ronstadt, Paula Abdul, Alanis Morissette and Rihanna (her skimpy getup isn’t as impressive on a headless manikin.)
And you wanted the best, then you get an autographed Gene Simmons Kramer axe bass, number 142 out of 1,000. How rare is that?
The highlight, though, is something very contemporary. The sinks in the rest room have a touch-
free faucet that has two touch-free dryer blowers connected to it.
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