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.
It's time again for a commercial interruption. Walker Art center's annual presentation of the cream of Britain's TV advertising opens Friday and runs through Jan. 6. As always, the spots in the 75-minute showcase display extraordinary creativity, whether they're clipped, clever info-blips or ambitious entries dripping with cinematic production values.
A few even boast movie stars, peppering the spots with the kind of smartly targeted celebrity appeal not often seen in U.S. advertising. There's Hugh Jackman getting slapped silly for Lipton Tea, Kiefer Sutherland longing for a high school crush for Axe Body Wash, and Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender, Godzilla and He-Man making cameo appearances.
Some of the commercials are riotous (a small girl's fantasy of playing house with imaginary friends on Ikea furniture), some shocking (the ambulance service advert comparing cancer and accident fatalities) and some solemnly breathtaking. The Commercial of the Year winner, "Meet the Superhumans," a tribute to the extraordinary commitment of athletes in the Channel 4 Paralympics, will make any viewer reconsider his definitions of "handicapped" and "disabled." Tickets ($12 for the public, $10 for Walker members) sell out fast. Call (612) 375-7569.
Hunter Hayes/ Star Tribune photos by Carlos Gonzalez
For a theater show, Hunter Hayes sure had a big production at the Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday. A multi-level stage, ramps, clever lighting patterns, bubble machines and a very tall live video screen.
As indicated in my review, the newcomer sure knows how to work a crowd. He’ll do it again Thursday at the Orpheum and maybe that audience will get a different cover or two. (By the way, Kansas City is the only other place on his Let’s Be Crazy Tour where he’s doing two shows.) Otherwise, he did all 17 songs from the “Encore” edition of his debut album.
For some reason, opening act Ashley Monroe didn’t join him for the encore of “What You Gonna Do,” which she did in other cities and does on the “Encore” disc.
I’m a big fan of her music (her solo album and the Pistols Annies disc – she’s a member of the trio – are among my fave country albums of 2013). But frankly, her sound is too old-school country and her lyrics too hip and, um, mature for Hayes’ tween- and teen-dominated audience.
Maybe Cassadee Pope or Danielle Bradbery (who is on tour with Brad Paisley) would have been a more fitting opening act.
Here is Hayes’ set list from Wednesday:
Storm Warning/ Can’t Say Love/ Faith To Fall Back On/ Rainy Season/ Somebody’s Heartbreak/ A Thing About You/ Love Makes Me/ Cry with You/ All You Ever/ solo acoustic In a Song/ If You Told Me To > Hey, Soul Sister (Train) > Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)/ Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me/ On Top of the World (Imagine Dragons)/ More Than I Should/ Where We Left Off/ Wanted/ Light Me Up/ Better Than This ENCORE What You Gonna Do/ I Want Crazy
Ian Leonard, left, with Bill Fish of Special Oympics Minnesota in 2012/ by Sara Glassman
If you thought Fox 9's chief meteorologist Ian Leonard's absence from the air for nearly nine weeks was due to a long vacation in the islands, you couldn't be more wrong.
Leonard has been sidelined by post-concussion syndrome, a frightening, frustrating challenge that has forced him to spend almost the entire day in a dark room, unable to watch TV or even read a book.
Leonard, who has been with the station since 2006, was playing goalie at the Minnesota United fantasy camp in October when his nose ran into another player's fist. He thought he had simply broken his nose and continued to play. But a few days later he was feeling worse. The bright lights of the studio were killing him. He felt dizzy.
His doctors, who also happen to work for the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota VIkings, diagnosed him with post-concussion syndrome, a traumatic brain injury that can haunt you from anywhere to five days to five years.
The only road to recovery: A complete relaxation of the brain, which means little to no stimulation. For weeks, Leonard sat alone in the dark, sucking on hard candy and listening to iRadio. Anything beyond that triggered massive headaches and a ringing in the ears.
"I could barely walk," Leonard said.
Then on Saturday, he woke up feeling 100 percent better. He now plans to return to work on Dec. 9. In the meantime, he's going through the hundreds of cards and emails from loyal viewers.
"The support I got from people, I can't even verbalize how I feel without tearing up a bit," he said on Wednesday.
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.
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