The eyes of the arts world are upon us. This weekend PBS will feature our fair cities with "The Guthrie Theater Presents 'H.M.S. Pinafore,'" starring local actors Christina Baldwin and Robert Berdahl.
Filmed during its summer run at the Guthrie, the Gilbert & Sullivan opera will be preceded by a short film introducing national viewers to the local arts scene. Actor Blair Brown narrates this Twin Cities Public Television-produced travelogue, which notes that there are 40,000 artists of all backgrounds in Minnesota.
"Pinafore" director Joe Dowling gets things started, saying that one reason he loves the Guthrie so much is the community in which it exists. And then we're off, flashing through dozens of building fronts and stopping to grab a few comments from the artmakers themselves.
Chan Poling gets in a couple of lines on the pop music scene. Aparna Ramaswamy and Philip Bither talk dance. There's a nice clip from Brady Kiernan's film "Stuck Between Stations" and a shout-out from Osmo Vänskä, who suggests "this place compares to many places in Europe." Brother Ali and Dessa remind us that young musical artists are pushing the scene, even if Dylan and Prince have left town.
And then the national audience can watch "Pinafore" and make its own judgment about our quality of art.