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Star Tribune photo by Leah Millis
Elvis Costello is finally bringing his solo tour to the Twin Cities, on June 9 at the O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has been doing a series of regional solo tours for the past several years even though he’s been releasing ambitious recording projects, such as last year’s collaboration with the Roots, “Wise Up Ghost.” In April, Costello and his band, the Imposters, will gig in Australia and New Zealand.
His 10-show solo tour will kick off with the St. Kate’s performance. He’ll also perform in Milwaukee, Chicago, Nashville and Toronto, among other cities. Tickets for St. Paul will go on sale Friday.
Costello last performed in the Twin Cities in 2011 with his so-called "Spectacular Spinning Songbook" for which he used a Wheel of Fortune-like wheel to determine the set. He last appeared at the O’Shaughnessy in 2006 with New Orleans stalwart Allen Toussaint.
Bedlam Theatre held its first performance Saturday night at its new Lowertown space in St. Paul and what good fortune to kick things off with the premiere of Morgan Thorson’s “YOU.” Thorson and her crew showed off some of the many possibilities for the big, airy refurbished room with a view of the Union Depot and waiting-to-be-used light rail tracks right outside the window. After the curtain call Bedlam co-founder Maren Ward thanked everyone for attending the “soft opening” (bigger festivities are planned for later this spring, when the space will open its accompanying bar and restaurant).
“YOU” explores the dynamics of a dance ensemble as well as the different personalities that emerge over the course of the creative process. This particular work delves into the positive aspects of interplay and how individuality sparks a collective goal. Joined by the terrific cast of Jessica Cressey, Genevieve Muench, Max Wirsing and special guest Emma Barber, Thorson (a two-time Sage Award-winner) has once again illustrated how a simple concept like collaboration can lead to a much deeper exploration of relationships and movement.
The audience is seated at each end of the space, so some of the experience depends on your location. Thorson plays with this dynamic, running the dancers around the space (and even some of the back rooms) but also experimenting with perspective, constantly shifting the front of the work so that it no longer seems necessary. The movement is pedestrian but when set to everything from Michael Jackson, Bee Gees and experimental harpist Zeena Parkins it acquires an extra level of confidence and showmanship.
Thorson injects several eclectic references to the work. There is a tiny twerk here and there, coupled with a skittering shuffle. All of the dancers don red velvet costumes with gold brocade, as if they ripped down the curtains from a Summit Avenue mansion (Cressey still wears the rod across her shoulders). They dance with determination and a high level of physical propulsion while looking like outcasts from a very peculiar marching band. It’s an excellent visual.
Midway through “YOU” the dancers chant “We trust that things are coming together,” reminding us that they are good dancers, we are “good lookers” and they look good in their costumes, too (created by Merrill Stringer and Thorson). As in many moments throughout the evening, Thorson uses self-reference to shift the perspective again. She and the other dancers work with such focus and commitment, that even the most lighthearted moments unfold with the same sort of care. This is a fine example of how five people can truly become one – or even one another.
Who: Morgan Thorson
When: 8 p.m. Mon. & Thu.-Sat. Ends Mar. 29
Where: Bedlam Lowertown, 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul.
Tickets: $12-$18 (Mar. 24 pay-as-able). 612-341-1038 or www.bedlamtheatre.org
Dan Wilson/ Star Tribune photo by Renee Jones Schneider
Grammy-winning songwriter Dan Wilson will roll out his second solo album with three nights of concerts in different formats at the Cedar Cultural Center in June.
“Love Without Fear” drops on April 15 but the homecoming shows are set for June 4-6. Wilson, who grew up in St. Louis Park and moved to Los Angeles a few years ago to pursue his songwriting career, released his solo debut, “Free Life,” in 2007.
June 4 will be Dan Wilson Words & Music. He’ll talk about tunes he’s written withk Adele, Taylor Swift, Pink, the Dixie Chicks and others. Plus he’ll talk about songs he’s recorded.
June 5 is billed as Dan Wilson & Friends. He’s not naming names but you know that some of his friends include members of Semisonic, Trip Shakespeare and other Twin Cities groups. Do not expect Adele or Taylor.
June 6 is what Wilson is calling “chef’s surprise.” It could be a mixture of Nights 1 and 2 as well as some covers.
Tickets, priced at $33 and $45, will go on sale at noon Friday at the Cedar box office, 612-338-2674 and thecedar.org.
Mary Lambert/ Photo by Matt Sayles Associated Press
Kiss and Def Leppard aren’t the only acts that believe in the two-for-one concept.
Other shows just announced:
Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson, with Mary Lambert (who sang the hook on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love”) July 6 at the Myth. Tickets, priced at $39.50, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Myth and Mill City Nights box offices and axs.com.
Backstreet Boys and Avril Lavigne June 10 at Xcel Energy Center. Tickets, priced from $29.50 to $150, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Xcel box office and Ticketmaster outlets. Citi Card holders will have special access to tickets starting 10 a.m. Tuesday at citiprivatepass.com.
Counting Crows and Toad the Wet Sprocket July 25 at the Myth. Ticket details will be announced later.
Rodriguez, the mystery man featured in the Oscar-winning movie “Searching for Sugar Man,” will perform May 17 at the State Theatre. Tickets, priced from $39 to $69, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the State box office and at hennepintheatretrust.org.
Los Lonely Boys, longtime favorites at the Minnesota Zoo, will rock the Cabooze on June 29. Tickets, priced at $25, will go on sale at 11 a.m. Wednesday at cabooze.com
In case you missed the info on Kiss/Def Leppard: Aug. 17 at Target Center; tickets, $49 to $151, will go on sale at noon Friday at Target Center box office and axs.com.
The opening night feature of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival will be “Belle,” a costume production with a stranger-than-fiction plot. It’s based on the true story of Dido Belle, an 18th century English-African girl adopted into an aristocratic family during the dying days of British slave trade. She’s introduced to society where she encounters prejudice but has the singular advantage of tremendous wealth. As she blossoms into a young woman, she develops a relationship with a vicar's son, an advocate for slave emancipation.
The entertainment trade paper Variety praised the film’s “polished craftsmanship and disarming comedy-of-manners approach, [and] its fascinating insights into the conflicted mindset of British society, particularly in response to the poised and exquisite dark-skinned woman who suddenly appears in their midst.” It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miranda Richardson, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Tom Felton, and Matthew Goode.
MSPIFF will screen “Belle” Thursday, April 3 at 9 p.m. Opening night festivities include entertainment, music, celebrities, drink specials, food by Create Catering, raffle items, and more at the Festival Pavilion, under the Third Avenue Bridge. Tickets for the event are $75 for members and $65 for students, including food, entertainment, open bar privileges and admission to the opening night screening.
The festival, running through April 19, also announced a score of last-minute additions as well. Among the new features are Richard Linklater's 12-years-in-the-making "Boyhood," the locally filmes race-clash comedy "Dear White People" and "Blue Ruin," a character-driven, offbeat suspense thriller.
Ticketing, mambership and schedule information is at http://mspfilm.org .
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