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.

Posts about Culture

Bringing the war home: Tom Hiddleston onscreen as Shakespeare's tragic hero Coriolanus

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: March 6, 2014 - 10:31 AM

Attention Tom Hiddleston fans! If you can't wait for Loki's next appearance in the Marvel universe, maybe some live theater will tide you over. He stars as the noble yet reckless general fighting a private war between personal integrity and popular acclaim in the National Theatre Live production of Shakespeare's Roman epic "Coriolanus." The performance, recorded live in late January, shows at 11:00am on Sunday, March 9th at the Edina Cinema.

Courtney Lewis named assistant conductor at New York Philharmonic

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: February 26, 2014 - 7:15 PM

Courtney Lewis, who joined Minnesota Orchestra as associate conductor in 2009, has been named assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic.

Lewis will depart the Minnesota Orchestra after his current contract ends this summer. He will conduct Mahler here on June 12 and will lead two Sommerfest concerts before leaving, said Gwen Pappas, orchestra spokesperson.

His New York post begins in the 2014-15 season, it was announced by the Philharmonic on Feb. 26. Lewis and associate conductor Case Scaglione will assist Alan Gilbert, music director, as well as guest conductors, and will lead educational events and Young People's Concerts.

“We discovered Courtney Lewis after an extensive audition process, and he emerged as a very promising future colleague as our next Assistant Conductor,” said Gilbert in a statement.

Lewis, 29 and born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, made his subscription debut with Minnesota Orchestra with a fully staged production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel during the 2011–12 season.

He has also served as a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; he made his debut there in the fall of 2011.

Mr. Lewis is the founder and music director of Boston’s Discovery Ensemble, a chamber orchestra dedicated not only to giving concerts of contemporary and established repertoire but also to bringing live music into the least privileged parts of Boston with workshops in local schools.

Best Picture nominees reviewed

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: February 26, 2014 - 11:34 AM
Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave," nominated for nine Academy Awards. Photo by Francois Duhamel/Fox Searchlight.

All nine movies up for a Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday night got 4-star reviews from Star Tribune movie critic Colin Covert, except for "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Her," which each received 3.5-star ratings. Click titles below to read Covert's original reviews. Complete Oscars coverage is here. Best Picture poll is here.

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

Philomena

12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

Arts on Chicago to return this summer

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 18, 2014 - 5:36 PM

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.

City Center hosts lively doses of dance

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 13, 2014 - 5:54 PM

Arwen Wilder, left, and Kristin Van Loon of the Minneapolis dance company HIJACK performed excerpts from"redundant, ready, radish, reading, Red Eye" in the atrium at City Center on Thursday.

Lunchers and shoppers at City Center are gettng an eyeful this week, as the main-floor atrium, usually a dead space that gets little traffic, became the site of some noon performances by local dance companies. Titled "Luncheon: Mid-day Modern Dance Series," the performances are intended in part as an ode to Valentine's Day week and also "to show people City Center is still alive,"  said Jaime Carrera, who curated the series and will perform a jazz dance on Friday. "Putting art in unconventional spaces is a goal of mine. People who haven't been exposed to modern dance can see some, free and accessible."

On Tuesday, Laurie Van Wieren raised a few brows by costuming herself in a mattress. On Wednesday, Sally Rousse showed off something more traditional, a bit of ballet. On Thursday, the two-dancer company HIJACK performed a piece they premiered at Walker Art Center in December, now and then turning heads by creating unusual movement up and down the escalators.

Some people glanced toward the dancers as they rolled, spun and interacted with chairs, then looked away, quickening their steps as they passed. Others stopped, with a range of expressions from consternation to befuddlement to smiles.

"It's a little weird, but that's good," said Target employee Kelly Gray

"It's awesome," said Michael Flora from his perch looking down from the railing at skyway level, where most observers were congregated."A public space like this is so transitory, most people are only seeing it for about 30 seconds, but they are seeing it."

The program was paid for for by City Center and facilitated by Hennepin Theatre Trust, which operates its administrative offices and the New Century Theatre just off the atrium.

Melissa Ferlaak, director of education and community engagement for HTT, called it "an experiment. It gets people out of their comfort zone, which is what City Center needs."

Asked what he thought was going on in HIJACK's piece, Nathan Reed, the center's general manager, said "I'm not sure, but we like bringing the arts downtown."

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