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.
Ralph Remington, the founder of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis and a one-time Minneapolis City Council member, is leaving his post at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Remington has been director fo theater and musical theater at the NEA since 2010. In January, he will become western regional director for Actors' Equity, the union of professional actors.
In his new job, he will "oversee the operations, collective bargaining, and contract administration in 14 states -- from Texas to Washington, including Alaska and Hawaii -- and supervise a staff of 22," Actors' Equity said in a statement.
Remington also will be assisant executive director to Mary McColl, the head of Equity and a one-time administrator at both St. Paul's Ordway and Cowles centers.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Ralph Remington to the Equity family as part of the leadership team,” said McColl. “He has a proven track record of success as a strategic planner and is a champion of cultural inclusiveness."
At the NEA, he has been a champion of theater, travelling frequently national and abroad to promote the field. He also has been responsible for oversight of the NEA's theater grant-making.
Remington was a member of the Minneapolis City Council from 2006-2009.
In 1992, he founded Pillsbury House Theatre, a company that continues to do daring work.
A Philadelphia native, Remington earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in drama from Howard University, where his classmates included Gavin Lawrence.
Make that eight shows, so far.
Funnyman Dave Chappelle, who famously quit his Comedy Central show in 2005 and has been doing stand-up gigs ever since, will do at least eight performances next week at First Avenue in Minneapolis
Chappelle, who remains hugely popular, has been doing these "pop up" concerts across the country. He last performed in the Twin Cities in Aug. 2012, a show at the State Theatre that was similarly announced at the last minute and that quickly sold out. Capacity for the First Ave shows will be capped at around 500.
The "Chappelle's Show" star was heckled recently in Hartford, Conn., which inspired a colorful reaction from the 40-year-old comic.
At First Avenue, he plans to do shows at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday -- the latter ones were announced after the first few sold out right away. Tickets for those, $55, are currently on sale.
Kate Nash, the 26-year-old, platinum-selling singer-songwriter from Great Britain, stopped at Minneapolis ad agency Carmichael Lynch in downtown Minneapolis for a three-song acoustic set on Wednesday. She and her band are due at First Avenue Wednesday night.
The agency gig included a song each from each of her three albums, including "Fri-end?" (from "Girl Talk") "Kiss that Grrrl" (from "My Best Friend is You") and "Foundations" (from "Made of Bricks").
Between songs, Nash talked about loving the songs of Harrry Nilsson as a girl growing up, and turning to music to escape a job at a fast-food restaurant. Asked about the inspiration for her song "Dickhead," she said she wrote it about being bullied by some mean girls as a teenager. Bush talked about her love of Quentin Tarantino movies (after "a terrible breakup" she watched his "Death Proof" over and over) and her work to raise awareness of a gender gap in the music industry, including time spent in schools encouraging teen girls to become songwriters.
A pair of world premiere works by composer Steve Heitzeg (pictured) will be performed in a free concert at the University of Minnesota on Nov. 12.
One of them, titled "Earthshaker," is scored for solo piano with stones and plastic water bottles, with instructions for the pianist, in this case Timothy Lovelace, "to throw a variety of plastic bottles into the piano as a protest against the pollution of the oceans." Another section of the three-movement work incorporates sounds of Lake Superior recorded at pre-dawn on a stone beach near Grand Marais. The other Heitzeg work being premiered is "Quaker Peace Waltz."
Heitzeg says in a statement that he was inspired to write "Earthshaker" in memory of Eric Stokes, who died in 1999. Stokes, a professor at the U of M's school of music for 29 years, was also a prolific composer, and the concert will include works by him, including "Circles in a Round: Music for Pianos" and "Rock and Roll" (for five players and rocks).
Heitzeg studied with Stokes at graduate school. Lovelace, who teaches at the University of Minnesota, is a proponent of new music who has performed the music of Elliott Carter, John Corigliano and Osvaldo Golijov, among others. He will be joined in the concert by soprano Maria Jette, flutist Immanuel Davis, oboist John Snow and percussionists Randall Davidson and Heitzeg.
Concert is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Ultan Recital Hall, Ferguson Hall, University of Minnesota.
Gordon Parks, 1990 portrait by Richard Sennott for the Star Tribune
Two shows of photos by legendary photographer, filmmaker, musician Gordon Parks will run simultaneously at the Mill City Museum and Juxtaposition Arts in Minneapolis. They feature photos on loan from the Gordon Parks Foundation and work by Twin Cities students enrolled in a Juxtaposition program guided by nationally known photographer Jamel Shabazz.
Panel discussions and artist talks accompany the exhibits which open October 24. The Mill City show runs through June 8, 2014; the Juxtaposition exhibit through Dec.1. Both are free.
The exhibits' title, "A Choice of Weapons: A Living Legacy," alludes to Parks' powerful autobiography in which he recalls his tough, impoverished youth in Kansas and St. Paul during eras of racial tension and strife. Rather than respond to violence with more violence, Parks (1912-2006) chose to fight injustice and ignorance with a camera. His unsparing photo essays for Life and other magazines of the time documented the appalling living conditions endured by the poor in the United States, Brazil and elsewhere. Many of his photos are recognized as classics of the Civil Rights movement. He went on to be a pioneering filmmaker, composer, poet and inspiration to generations of admirers.
The exhibits complement One Minneapolis One Read, a community endeavor in which Twin Citians are invited to read the same book, this year's selection being "A Choice of Weapons" by Parks.
Opening reception and panel: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Oct. 24, free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Mpls. Panelists: Wing Young Huie, Archie Givens, Robin Hickman and Jahliah Holloman, moderator Daniel Bergin. RSVP to email@example.com or call 612-673-2509.
Reception and artist talk: 5 p.m.-7p.m., Nov. 7, free. Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Av., N., Mpls. Speaker Jamel Shabazz. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-673-2509.