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, Aimee Blanchette, 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.
A couple weeks in advance of the happy chaos that the opening of the Green Line will create, Bedlam Theatre opens the door on its new digs in Lowertown St. Paul (213 4th St. E.) on Saturday with a day-long party from noon till after midnight. The festivities begin with kid-friendly puppet activities, followed by cabaret performances, live bands and wee-hours dancing to vinyl spun by KFAI music director Miguel Vargas.
In keeping with Bedlam's philosophy of putting the community in community-based theater, the space will serve food and drink daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to encourage residents and visitors to stop in, share ideas and be part of whatever creative process might be going down at the moment. The same concept was behind their popular happy hour at the former West Bank location in Minneapolis, but they're opting for midday this time around because the lunch hour is more of a peak activity time in downtown St. Paul, said director John Bueche.
Bedlam's first Lowertown show opens June 13, the night before the new Green Line brings thousands of Minneapolitans who hate driving on 94 pouring into St. Paul's streets. Titled "The Beast," the play written by Ryan Underbakke follows events leading up to a fictional massacre of an immigrant family in northern Minnesota.
For now, the theater's website is calling for deep-pocketed beer drinkers to fork over $1,000 to help them stock up for tomorrow's party, with the payback being free beer through 2020. Good luck with that, guys -- we're guessing there might be a few takers. See more info here.
Palmer's Bar/ photo by Tom Wallace
When it comes to toasting great pubs and restaurants, national magazines tend to overlook the Twin Cities. Esquire magazine broke that tradition in 2006 when it named Nye's Polonaise as the best bar in America. Now they've dared to it again.
Palmer's Bar, a war-horse hangout best known for its hootenannys and generous pours, has made the list of "Best Bars in America." The mag praises the West Bank establishment's "dive" persona and recommends having a bourbon neat with a beer back.
The June/July issue, featuring Mark Wahlberg on the cover, is now available on newstands.
"Time, time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook," mutters Peter Lorre apropos of absolutely nothing in "Beat the Devil," John Huston's brilliant 1953 parody of crime-sex-comedy-adventure films.
With an all star cast (Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Jennifer Jones, Robert Morley and others too numerous to mention), the movie is a cult classic that deserves its own little Northern Spark revival just for the delicious pleasure of hearing Lorre's daffy riff on time.
It would be the perfect accompaniment to Christian Marclay's "The Clock," a 24-hour-long work of genius that Walker Art Center plans to run June 14 -15 as part of Northern Spark, the dusk-to-dawn art festival that this year bounces back to Minneapolis after a season in St. Paul.
In "The Clock," Marclay splices together 24 hours of second-by-second images of clocks clipped from other movies, each of them moving inexorably and sequentially through a day and a night and a day again as time passes. There are wrist watches, digital alarms, tower clocks, train-station clocks and more snipped from murder mysteries, romantic comedies, adventure tales and every other type of cinematic encounter in which someone, somewhere glanced at a timepiece while marking time waiting for something to happen.
As "Beat the Devil" screen-writer Truman Capote said, through the lips of Lorre, "Time is a crook."
Walker has booked "The Clock" from 11 a.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday. That's a long 24 hours, perhaps broken up by popcorn and bathroom breaks?
A "Paint the Pavement" project drew lots of neighborhood participation during last year's first Arts on Chicago program. It's coming back this summer. Photo by David Joles.
After a successful first run last summer, Pillsbury House Theatre and other partners are bringing back the Arts on Chicago program, featuring artists engaged in interactive work designed to draw in people who live in, work in or pass through a ten-block stretch of Chicago Avenue (32nd St. S. to 42nd St. S.) in south Minneapolis.
Three new artists who live or work in the area have received $5,000 each for their ideas. Ester Ouray is going to get giggly, hosting a series of "laugh-ins" as well as random appearances by a laughter flash mob. Peter Haakon Thompson is going to cart around a pop-up ping-pong park (aka temporary table tennis trailer -- say that fast three times) to different yards and public spaces in the neighborhood to encourage spontaneous games and conversation. David Luke will animate poems -- created by participants in the Upstream Arts program for people with disabilities -- into short movies.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is funding the program,which focuses on stimulating physical activity as well as art appreciation.
Jason Alexander, the actor best known for playing a balding George Costanza on “Seinfeld,” now has a full head of hair that he’s bringing to the Twin Cities.
Alexander will do a solo show, “An Evening with Jason Alexander and His Hair” – that’s the real title — on a Monday, Jan. 27. It will be a benefit for the family of Carl Lee, who died on Nov. 5 at 52.
Lee was the director of marketing and theatrical programming at Hennepin Theatre Trust, which runs the State, Orpheum and Pantages theaters.
A one-time actor and singer, he also was the husband of Emmy-winning Broadway performer Linda Talcott Lee, whose 15-year Broadway career included nine years in “Beauty and the Beast.” Talcott Lee won an Emmy for her choreography on NBC’s “The Comedy Hall of Fame Show,” where she reunited with Alexander, with whom she had worked, pre-“Seinfeld.”
"We're thankful to Jason for his generosity in helping secure the future of our children," said Talcott Lee.
Alexander will deliver stand-up comedy, music and improv in his show. Tickets to “Jason Alexander and His Hair”, $45-$125, go on sale on Wednesday. Call 1-800-982-2787.
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