Small Kahlo, big money
Nobody is saying how much the 46 Frida Kahlo paintings in Walker Art Center's current show are worth, but a lot of people in the know were murmuring about big money last week. It seems a little 7-by-9-inch painting in the show sold recently for $10 million. You do the math on the other 45. Most are on loan from Mexican museums that were extremely reluctant to lend them in 2007, which is Kahlo's birth centennial. To get 12 pictures from the Museo Dolores Olmedo, curator Betsy Carpenter put together two exhibits -- of Robert Motherwell paintings and early 20th-century masterpieces from the Walker's collection -- so the Olmedo would have something to show while its Kahlos were in Minneapolis. "Adrenaline works," Carpenter said of the hectic three years it took to assemble all those Kahlos.
The buzz among the 500 guests celebrating the opening Saturday night of Circa Gallery's new quarters in the Minneapolis Warehouse District was about the trucking drama behind the art -- serene abstractions by Chicago-area artist Kathleen Waterloo. Museum Services, the Twin Cities' premier art-delivery company, picked up Waterloo's paintings in New York two weeks ago. But outside Pittsburgh, driver Dave Brown got cold sweats and started feeling seriously dizzy. He called Museum Services founder Russ Belk to report what turned out to be a mild stroke. Then he hailed a conveniently passing tow truck that took him to a medical center in tiny Grove City, Pa. While Brown was spirited off to Pittsburgh for treatment, Grove City folks stood guard over the art-filled truck. Meanwhile, Belk flew in a backup driver. A fully-recovered Brown and his wife, Eleanor, were at the opening. "Dave's been with me for over 21 years, so we pull together, but I don't expect this much dedication," Belk said.
The little theater that could
The rejuvenated Parkway Theater has a nice coup with the local premiere of "Love in the Time of Cholera," a film adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez's landmark novel. Starring Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt, it opens in wide release Nov. 16, but you can see it at 7 p.m. Wednesday, thanks to state Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, who met the film's producer, Stillwater native Scott Steindorff, at a screening in Washington. The premiere will be a benefit to help restore the south Minneapolis theater. Filmgoers who want to see it can get vouchers next door at Pepitos, owned by the Parkway's new proprietor, Joe Minjares. In addition to classic films, he wants to show more first-run movies and even live performances. "We've got a long ways to go," he said, "but I feel really lucky that it's worked this way so far." See TheParkwayTheater.com for info.
Dancing for two
A lobby sign at the Ritz had this to say about "Le Chat Noir," the new French-themed cabaret by Ballet of the Dolls: "Performance May Include One or All of the Following ... nudity, smoking, adult situations, drug use, candy, violence, nudity, gunfire, nudity, feathers, loud music, profanity, princesses, haze, weird smells, really weird smells." While mostly accurate, the checklist failed to mention "pregnancy." Dolls veteran Heather Cadigan danced up a storm while visibly pregnant. In one number, she wore a midriff-baring lingerie get-up with heels, fishnets and a feather boa, and looked fabulous, managing somehow to be both (four months) pregnant and toned.
This note's for you
Basking in the triumph of his tour's opening night at the Fitzgerald Theater, piano man Marc Cohn was cruising through an old favorite, "Silver Thunderbird," when he couldn't hit a climactic high note. He stopped, clutched his chest and sipped some water. Then guitarist Shane Fontayne walked over and handed Cohn a shot glass. The singer downed the booze and declared, "I may sound like [bleep] this time, but I won't hear it." He then redid the ending flawlessly. After the applause, Cohn proclaimed: "It's time to retire that note."
'This is Sparta, er, Barfly!'
There are serious Halloween costumes and then there are serious Halloween costumes. When "300" became a box-office smash earlier this year, Twin Cities engineer Jacob Powell and his friends at Boston Scientific instantly knew what they would be for Halloween. Yep, ultra-buff, half-naked Spartan warriors. Authenticity was key, so they spent months shaping their armor, hand-sewing their big red capes and drilling fake arrow dents in their shields -- while working out five days a week to get those absurdly chiseled six packs seen in the movie. "Based on what we're wearing, if you weren't in shape you'd look kind of silly," Powell said. This past week, they hit several downtown Minneapolis Halloween parties. The result: Men gawked, women swooned and, luckily, no one was decapitated.