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 People

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.

Minneapolis actor Barkhad Abdi lining up next film role

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: February 27, 2014 - 4:26 PM
Barkhad Abdi, speeding ahead. Photo: John Shearer, AP

Barkhad Abdi, speeding ahead. Photo: John Shearer, AP

Barkhad Abdi may have found the follow-up to his feature film debut, "Captain Phillips."
The Minneapolis Oscar nominee is reportedly in negotiations to star as a South African marathon champion in the historical drama "The Place That Hits The Sun."

The movie is a biography of legendary Zulu distance runner Willie Mtolo, and his friendship with Ray de Vries, a white bar owner. Their unlikely relationship transcended South Africa's apartheid policy of racial separation.

Before 1991 Mtolo and other South African runners were not allowed to compete internationally because of sanctions resulting from its apartheid policies. Mtolo won the 1992 New York Marathon, outdistancing his rivals and running alone the final 3.2 miles.

Producer Noel Pearson (of the Oscar-nominated Daniel Day-Lewis drama "My Left Foot") is developing the project for his Ferndale Films. 

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

Another playwright-centered festival at the Guthrie?

Posted by: Rohan Preston Updated: February 20, 2014 - 12:07 PM

The Guthrie Theater is in the planning stages of a possible multi-play festival around the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, sources have told the Star Tribune. Nottage would be the third playwright to be so honored and the first playwright who is female or a person of color.

“We can’t confirm anything now; things are still moving around,” said Trish Santini, director of external relations at the Guthrie.

However, in a statement Thursday, Guthrie director Joe Dowling did say the theater has commissioned a play from Nottage with the support of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, and "we are in conversations with Ms. Nottage and her representatives regarding the timing of a future production and the scope of our commitment."

The Guthrie will announce its 2014-15 season April 10.

Nottage is a highly respected Yale-educated playwright who won the 2009 Pulitzer for “Ruined.” That drama is set in an African warzone and centers on the lives of women who find sanctuary in a brothel. It was memorably produced in fall 2009 at Mixed Blood Theatre.

Nottage’s latest play is “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” a comedy about the challenges of a fictional black actress in the 1930s. Sanaa Lathan was one of the stars of the New York premiere.

Nottage is completing a new drama, “Reading Play,” whose premiere at the Guthrie in fall 2015 was previously announced. That play is drawn from research into the lives of people in Reading, Penn., one of the nation’s poorest cities. The project won a coveted $50,000 Joyce Award.

The Guthrie produced Nottage’s “Intimate Apparel” in fall 2005. None of her other works have been seen in the Twin Cities. She also wrote “Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine,” a 2004 work about the social fall of a professional woman whose husband has taken her money.

In 2009, the Guthrie launched its festival idea with a celebration of Tony Kushner’s work, including the premiere of “The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures.” A festival of work by British playwright Christopher Hampton followed in 2012.

A Nottage festival would celebrate one of the nation’s leading playwrights even as it helps the Guthrie to address issues of gender and ethnic diversity that have been raised in past seasons.

 

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