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The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have added a performance to their concert at Northrop Auditorium next May. Osmo Vanska previously had agreed to conduct the orchestra in a program marking the reopening of the auditorium, which was once the home of the Minneapolis Symphony.
That concert, on Friday, May 2, sold out within 48 hours so the musicians have added the second performance, on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Featuring Dvorak's New World Symphony, the 1812 Overture and Liszt's Concerto No. 1 for Piano, the program replicates the first Northrop concert of the old Symphony.
Tickets go on sale at noon, Dec. 16.
A scene from "Dear White People," a movie shot in the Twin Cities that will screen at Sundance in early 2014.
Two indie films shot in Minnesota have been accepted by the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for screening in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, the prestigious fest's most prominent category.
The social satire "Dear White People," about a group of black students at an Ivy League school, and "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter," based on the true story of a Japanese woman who came to search for the money buried in snow by Steve Buscemi's character in the Coen Brothers' fictional "Fargo," will both be shown at the fest held each January in Park City, Utah.
"Kumiko," which one of its producers, Edina native Jim Burke, characterized as "a teeny-weeny little movie" before shooting began in late 2012, is already being buzzed about on film websites. It stars Rinko Kikuchi ("Pacific Rim," "Babel") and was made by another pair of writing/directing brothers, David and Nathan Zellner.
"Dear White People," directed by first-timer Justin Simien and starring Tessa Thompson and Tyler Williams, was shot just a few months ago at locations including the University of MInnesota, the Woman's Club of Minneapolis and Summit Ave. in St. Paul. It is the first film to have been certifed by the latest version of the Snowbate incentive intended to attract more moviemaking to the state. The Minnesota Film & TV Board got $10 million in Legacy funds for Snowbate earlier this year.
The two Minnesota-made movies will be keeping some lofty company. Stars featured in the 14 other films in the U.S. Dramatic category include Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, Lena Dunham and Mark Ruffalo.
Out of more than 4,000 films submitted, 67 will be shown in Sundance's four competition categories, part of 117 to be screened overall. Sundance is drawing out the announcements of the rest of the films through Dec. 10, so there may be more with Minnesota connections to come.
Fox 9 has finally landed on its replacement for Heidi Collins.
Kelcey Carlson, who has spent the past decade manning the desk at WRAL in Raleigh-Durham, NC, will join Jeff Passolt in early February as anchors of "Fox 9 News at 5PM" and "Fox 9 News at 9PM."
She takes over for Heidi Collins who left under mysterious circumstances in July after a somewhat rocky three-year stint at the station.
"This opportunity is like winning the jackpot," Carlson said in a statement. "I have fond memories of my summer vacations in the Midwest and I'm so excited to move back here with my family and be a part of the talented Fox 9 news team."
At the final Talking Volumes event of the 2013 season, crime novelist (and jazz lover) Michael Connelly said he was co-producing a documentary about Minneapolis-born jazz saxophonist Frank Morgan, who died in 2007. Connelly said he often listens to jazz when he writes, especially when he's writing about his popular detective hero Harry ("Hieronymous") Bosch.
Connelly said that Morgan's family members, some of whom were in the audience at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on Tuesday, had been very helpful in making the documentary, "Sound of Redemption," which Connelly said is likely to be released in spring 2014.
Morgan was born in Minneapolis in 1933, raised mostly in Milwaukee and then moved to Los Angeles, where drugs soon led him to an adult life spent in and out of prison. His late-in-life comeback began in the mid-1980s, and included gigs at the Dakota in Minneapolis, after he moved back to Minneapolis in 2005. The Morgan documentary is being directed by N.C. Heikin, and includes interviews as well as archival footage. James Egan is another producer.
Connelly has written about his love of Morgan's music, and how he came to the idea that detective Bosch would love it, too.
POST BY CAROLINE PALMER, SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE
Childhood dreams can come true. Just ask Alexa Maxwell. While growing up in Minnetonka she wore out a VHS tape of New York City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” determined that someday she would dance with the world-class troupe. Last week the 19-year-old signed a contract to join the NYCB corps de ballet.
But dreams do differ from reality. Maxwell wasn’t just handed this big gig. It’s the result of years filled with body-busting effort and personal sacrifice. After studying locally at small dance schools as well as Minnesota Dance Theatre she left home at age 14 to join the prestigious Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet where she worked on her skills intensively and graduated from high school through online courses.
In June 2012 Maxwell traveled to Manhattan for the summer program at The School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official training program founded by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. She was asked to stay on and by December earned a coveted apprenticeship plus an opportunity to prove herself worthy of a spot with the company. “They see how you perform, your work ethic,” Maxwell said by phone. “You have one year to try out and then [Ballet Master in Chief] Peter Martins either decides to take you on or you find another job.”
So now the newest member of NYCB will be performing in the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” and the “Waltz of the Flowers” sections of Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” with other exceptionally talented young dancers throughout this month at Lincoln Center. “It’s really exciting, almost all of the shows are sold out,” she said, adding some awe at the large audience she sees when sneaking a peek from backstage.
After “The Nutcracker” Maxwell will prepare for NYCB’s 2014 winter season by learning the “Diamonds” section of Balanchine’s “Jewels” among other signature repertory works. And while Maxwell is thrilled with her new role in the corps she still has goals, including one day ascending to the level of soloist or even principal dancer. But in the meantime, she said, “I’m just going to keep working hard. I’m so happy to be here and I’m feeling very grateful.”