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.

Jeremy Messersmith to appear on 'Letterman' Wednesday

Posted by: Neal Justin under Music, Television Updated: August 19, 2014 - 12:06 PM



Jeremy Messersmith/photo by Tony Nelson

Local pop artist Jeremy Messersmith is scheduled to perform Wednesday night on "The Late Show With David Letterman." We emphasized "scheduled" because of the evening's other two guests: Kathy Griffin and Ken Burns, both of whom have a tendency to talk and talk and talk -- to the point where Messersmith could get bumped.

Unlikely, though. Letterman seems to be enjoying his Minnesota music these days. Trampled By Turtles made a triumphant appearance last month.

While Messersmith's gig has nothing to do with Robin Williams, we can't help but mention how touching it was Monday to watch Letterman pay tribute to the late comic. If you haven't seen it, check it out:


Taylor Swift, Seger, DiFranco, U2 announce new albums

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music Updated: August 18, 2014 - 5:30 PM

Today is the day to announce new albums. Taylor Swift did it. So did Bob Seger and Ani DiFranco and someone representing U2.

Taylor’s “1989” (that’s the year she was born) will be in stores on Oct. 27. It contains 13 – her favorite number – songs. A deluxe version, with three additional songs, will be marketed through Target stores. She describes it as “my very first documented, official pop album.” As if “Red” wasn’t. Swift has released a new single, “Shake It Off,” on iTunes. (See below). 

Seger’s “Ride Out,” his first album since 2006, is slated for a Oct. 14 release. The new single, “Detroit Made,” addresses America’s love of automobiles. It was one of three tracks that he previewed on his 2013 tour.

DiFranco’s “Allergic to Water” is also set to drop on Oct. 14. It was recorded in her Victorian home in New Orleans. Part of the album was recorded when she was 6 months pregnant and part of it was recorded when her baby was 6-months-old.

Rollingstone.com reports that U2’s album – first promised for this year and then postponed until next – will indeed be released this year. No dates, no details bur reports from newspapers in France and Ireland about a video being shot and a single due in September. Only Bono knows for sure. Stay tuned.

New HBO drama 'Stillwater' would make a star of Minnesota

Posted by: Neal Justin under Behind the scenes, Television Updated: August 18, 2014 - 2:56 PM

Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch

Could "Fargo" have triggered a sudden interest in Minnesota? Perhaps.

Deadline.com is reporting that HBO is considering a series called "Stillwater," in which a New York City cop's life spirals out of control once he moves to small-town Minnesota. No cast members have been announced, but the behind-the-scenes team has some strong local connections.

Howard Deutch, who will direct and executive produce the pilot, is married to Rochester native Lea Thompson, best known for playing Michael J. Fox's mom in "Back to the Future." Deutch also directed 1995's "Grumpier Old Men," which was shot in and around the Twin Cities. (He also directed a film called "The Replacements," but it has everything to do with Keanu Reeves playing football and nothing to do with our legendary band).

Mark Steven Johnson, who is writing the first episode, is from Hastings. He wrote the original "Grumpy Old Men," which remains one of the most successful films ever shot in the state.

And then there's co-executive producer Colin Farrell, who, um, may or may not have once had a drink at the Minnesota airport.

No word yet on when or where shooting will start.

Minnesota Film and TV Board executive director Lucinda Winter said Monday that she's reached out to HBO and Deutch's office, but that it's "way, way too early in the process" to know if the show is seriously considering shooting the pilot in the area.

Winter is hopeful that relatively new incentives, which could include a 25 percent rebate for local production, will have Hollywood come calling.

"We're going to make a lot of noise as things progress," she said.

Oslund firm recommended for $10 million Sculpture Garden redo

Posted by: Mary Abbe under Art, Architecture, Behind the scenes, Design + Architecture, Museums Updated: August 15, 2014 - 5:50 PM
"Spoonbridge and Cherry" sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Photo by Courtney Perry for Star Tribune

The Oslund and Associates landscape architecture firm, in association with Snow Kreilich Architects, is expected to be picked for a $10 million reconstruction of the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardenand renovation of  the Cowles Conservatory.

Money for the project came from the Minnesota State Legislature which appropriated $8.5 million in state bonding funds in May 2014, and from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) which is providing up to $1.5 million for new stormwater management systems.

The 11 acre Sculpture Garden, sited across the street from Walker Art Center near downtown Minneapolis, is built on former marshland owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). The Sculpture Garden, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, opened in 1988 and hosts 45 sculptures that are owned by the Walker.

The Oslund team was chosen from three finalists. The team will be recommended to a committee of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for action on August 20 and, if approved there, to the full MPRB for action on September 3. If approved by the MPRB, as expected in September, the team will begin getting input from community meetings starting in October. Designs will be drafted over the winter, and construction should start in summer 2015.

The project will include repair or replacement of "deteriorated and inadequate infrastructure," the MPRB said in a statement. Among those items will be irrigation, drainage and stormwater systems, walkways and retaining walls.

The garden and conservatory will be closed throughout construction which is scheduled to be finished in fall 2016.

Old BNW space at 2605 Hennepin Avenue is sold

Posted by: Graydon Royce under Theater, Behind the scenes, Minnesota artists, Theaters Updated: August 13, 2014 - 4:45 PM

The old Brave New Workshop at 2605 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis, has been sold and will be rebranded as a performance space operated by a new nonprofit.

Dudley Riggs had moved his comedy troupe into the building in the early 1960s and it served as home to shows almost continuously until 2011, when the owners of the business moved the club downtown.

Still, the Workshop was using the 2605 Hennepin space as the Brave New Institute School, where classes in improvisation and other stagecraft were held. No one from the Workshop was available to comment on the future of that program. Mike Fotis and Joe Bozic, both veterans who had performed on stage, had been co-directors of the school. They both left earlier this year for other jobs. The Brave New Workshop business is owned by John Sweeney and Jenni Lilledahl, who purchased it in 1997 from Riggs.

The theater, which had about 200 seats, will be remodeled and operated as the Phoenix Theatre. A nonprofit called The Arts’ Nest is being launched to program the space, according to the group’s executive director, Jenna Papke.

Papke said the purchase price was $485,000 and the buyer was an individual who has organized a limited liability partnership called ERK. She did not identify the person, other than to say he or she is on the Arts’ Nest board of directors. The building is being rented to The Arts’ Nest for the cost of taxes and insurance, Papke said. Records show that the 2014 tax bill was about $25,000.

Those documents also show that the previous owner was RICMAR LLC, with an address for Richard Kohn of Cumberland, Wis.

Papke said the new space will open in November. Mission Theatre Company will be the first company to use the theater, with a new work by playwright Sam Graber. The play, "Detainee," will run Nov. 6-15.

Hundreds of actors and writers found their legs in The Brave New Workshop at 2605 Hennepin. Al Franken and Tom Davis did shows there. Hollywood screenwriter Pat Proft called the theater one of best rooms for comedy because of the way laughter resounded off the walls. Sweeney and Lilledahl had moved BNW shows to Calhoun Square for about three years but moved back in 2002.


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