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.
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.
Here’s what’s oozing down the movie pipeline for next weekend.
Opening Thursday is the much-delayed sequel so eagerly awaited by Hasbro action figure fans, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” Starring Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum and, reprising his signature role as Old Bald Guy in T-shirt with a Machine Gun, Bruce Willis.
Friday It’s Ryan Gosling (easy there ladies) and Bradley Cooper (settle down, now) as a motorbike-riding bank robber and relentless cop. But since “The Place Beyond the Pines” is a film by art house darling Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine”), it’s guaranteed to veer off into uncharted territory.
Those suffering “Twilight” withdrawal will be relieved can look forward to another blast of paranormal romance from Stephenie Meyer. In “The Host” Saoirse Ronan plays an earth girl sharing her body with an alien consciousness. We’ve all known one or two, amiright men?
Elle Fanning and Alice Englert give smashing performances as girls growing up too fast in 1962 London in “Ginger & Rosa.”
Animation fans revere the Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki for such weird and wonderful Studio Ghibli films as “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away.” His son, Goro Miyazaki, brings us the adventures of a group of Yokohama high schoolers aiming to save their school's clubhouse from the bulldozers clearing land for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in “From Up on Poppy Hill.”
It’s been weeks since the last Tyler Perry movie, but don’t worry, he’s okay. “Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor” stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross and the inexplicable Kim Kardashian. It’s about, y’know, infidelity and stuff.
The German police procedural “The Silence” delves into the decades-long repercussions of a pre-teen girl’s murder in the 1980s.
“Starbuck” is a French-Canadian artificial insemination comedy about a likable goof-off dealing with the consequences of his past as a massively prolific sperm donor. See it now before the inevitable Paul Rudd remake.
Jim Sturgess (“Across the Universe”) and Kristen Dunst (“Spider-Man”) play lovers from neighboring worlds with opposite gravity in “Upside Down.” Luckily she has some experience in inverted smooching from her Mary Jane/Peter Parker days.
Everyone who's thankful Disney assigned its Oz spinoff to Sam Raimi rather than Tim Burton, raise your hand.
Wow. That's a lot of hands.
"Oz the Great and Powerful"
How can one movie contain so much crazy awesomeness? Earthlings, drink heavily in preparation for Don ("Bubba Ho Tep") Coscareli's "John Dies at the End." Paul Giamatti not only costars, he produced irt because he's a huge horror geek. Who knew?
It takes a big actor like Tommy Lee Jones to play a big figure like Gen. Douglas MacArthur. In "Emperor," Matthew Fox costars as the military man put in charge of investigating Hirohito's responsibility for Japan's attack on, and surrender to, allied forces.
"Mad Men" meets "All the President's Men" in the Oscar-nominated political dramedy "No." Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a politically noncommittal 1980s advertising whiz who's drafted to sell democracy like soap flakes in Chile's first election since the 1973 Pinochet coup. Kind of a big week for deposed despots.
In "Dead Man Down," Noomi Rapace blackmails Colin Farrell to knock off the crime overlord who abused her, Terrence Howard. It's directed by Niels Arden Oplev, who did the original Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. Standard action thriller + overqualified cast and crew = ?
"West of Memphis" is a documentary detective story that tackles a horrendous crime -- the murder of three 8-year-old boys -- and a horrendous miscarriage of justice. Facts are re-examined, new evidence is revealed and new suspects arise in this Peter Jackson-produced true crime shocker.
See you at the movies.
Everyone loves photographer Cindy Sherman it seems, so much so that Walker Art Center is adding hours on the Sherman show's final weekend. (It ends Sunday, February 17).
Here's the deal: The popular show will open to Walker members one hour early, i.e. at 10 a.m., on Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17. And it will remain open for everyone two hours longer at the end of those days, i.e. until 7 p.m. General adult admission to the Walker is $12 and includes the Sherman show.
But, wait, there's more! Savvy art shopers know that the Walker is always free on Thursday evenings and that it always stays open 'til 9 p.m. Thursdays. Couple those fab facts with Valentine's Day, which just happens to fall on Thursday this year, and you've got a huge February 14 bonanza for your sweetie.
Other Valentine nite fun stuff:
5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Valentine's Day three-course prix fixe menu at Gather by D'Amico, plus Love Potion cocktails.
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Party People Pictures photo booth (dress up in Sherman drag, please)
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.: Social/Brief: The Love Version (share your own Hallmark-style love poems in 20 seconds or less)
8 p.m.: Take a "Love and Heartbreak" tour of Cindy's show.
"Tales from Hollywood" stars, from left, Lee Sellars, Allison Daugherty and Keir Dullea. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.
The Guthrie Theater opened its 50th season -- and its festival of works by British writer Christopher Hampton -- Friday night in Minneapolis. Post-play festivities were chock-a-block with local actors. We spotted Tracey Maloney, Sarah Agnew, Mo Perry, Barbara Bryne, Richard Ooms, and many more. Also present were "Tales" stars, both local and out-of-town.
Go here for Rohan Preston's play review.
Immediately following the show, Guthrie director Joe Dowling brought St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on stage with the show's cast to proclaim it Christopher Hampton day in both cities.
From left at the post-show party were "Tales from Hollywood" director Ethan McSweeny, Lee Sellars (Odon von Horvath) and playwright Christopher Hampton.
|Books (192)||Architecture (55)|
|Movies (187)||Music (2598)|
|Classical (237)||Theater (617)|
|Culture (296)||Minnesota History (30)|
|Tickets (376)||People (695)|
|Style (11)||Holidays (17)|
|Openings + closings (53)||Awards (232)|
|Behind the scenes (803)||Book news (107)|
|Casting news (70)||Celebrities (332)|
|Clubs (96)||Concert news (873)|
|Dance (131)||Design + Architechture (53)|
|Funding and grants (53)||Galleries (78)|
|Late-night TV (36)||Local TV and radio (186)|
|Minnesota artists (269)||Minnesota authors (88)|
|Minnesota musicians (996)||Museums (142)|
|Orchestras (111)||Red hot (60)|
|Seen elsewhere: Neat stuff (117)||Theaters (121)|
|Culture wars (28)||Entertainment (4)|
|Movies (243)||Television (463)|
|Art (267)||Photography (65)|
|Nightlife (238)||Comedy (1)|
|SXSW music festival (62)||Author events (1)|