Mary and the monster
Outstanding local stand-up comic Mary Mack may finally get her big break. She has been cast as the voice of a 9-year-old-girl with a monster as her best friend in "Golan the Insatiable," a cartoon series that will be part of Fox's "Animation Domination High-Def" block of 15-minute shorts that will air 10-11:30 p.m. Friday nights, starting July 27. Mack, who started working on the project last week, believes it may bow in September. Minnesota native Joshua Miller wrote the pilot script. Mack described her character as a Goth kid who is constantly trying to poison the other kids at school. "It's not for kids," she told I.W. "It's really inappropriate language with a lot of words I did not want to say."
MN model Down Under
This week, Minnesota model Ashlee Walker made international waves after appearing on the June/July cover of Harper's Bazaar Australia. It was something of a crowning moment for the 20-year-old model, who was all over the runway of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in April, just weeks after walking the Minneapolis runways. While not quite as high in profile as the American, British or Paris versions, the cover of the Australian edition of the magazine is still quite the coup. The Cottage Grove native, who recently relocated to Charleston, S.C., is represented locally by Vision Management Group, whose founder, Teqen Zea-Aida, discovered and developed Walker. "We are looking towards Paris," he said. "All in all, it is the beginning of a good career — just as it should be."
MN Orch musicians live
The Minnesota Orchestra's non-season is officially over, but that doesn't mean you can't hear some of the musicians live. Concertmaster and violinist Erin Keefe and principal cellist Tony Ross will team with Carleton College faculty pianist Nicola Melville for a free performance at 3 p.m. Sunday at Carleton's concert hall in Northfield. The trio will perform Haydn's Piano Trio in E Major and the Piano Trio in C Minor by Brahms. On May 19, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will perform two concerts at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, offering Bach's "Brandenburg" Concerto No. 4 and Vivaldi and Piazzolla movements from "The Seasons." The free performances are at 2 and 4 p.m.
Not 'A Christmas Carol'
Gerald Charles Dickens will play his great-great-grandfather (yes, that Dickens) in a staged reading of "Faith" at the Music Box Theatre in Minneapolis. The one-man play, written by Jeffrey Hatcher, is based on an obscure little ditty written by Sir Charles called "The Life of Our Lord." Hatcher's play endeavors to get inside Dickens' head as he wrote the piece, which is essentially a recounting of the life of Jesus. The work was commissioned by the Daniel Group, producers of "Triple Espresso" and "Mr. Wonder Boy." The Dickens reading will be May 17-19.
Former Walker Art Center director Martin Friedman was never shy in talking about art with museum visitors, on the radio, during interviews, in the boardroom or anywhere else. He was a champion promoter of the new and the avant-garde throughout his 30-year tenure. So it's no surprise that the Walker is honoring him in June with a new sculpture on the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, whose design and construction he oversaw. But why a voiceless bell? The sculpture, by Belgian artist Kris Martin, consists of a large clapper-less bronze bell suspended from a 16-foot-tall steel sawhorse. Its name, "For Whom," alludes to English poet John Donne's famous celebration of human fellowship and mourning: "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." So maybe the Walker just wanted to avoid antagonizing nearby residents with a potentially noisy sculpture that teenagers and other art enthusiasts could ring at all hours.
A whale of a tale
Hans Weyandt, co-owner of Micawber's Bookstore in St. Paul, got things rolling Tuesday night when he introduced Ethan Rutherford, Minneapolis author of the new short-story collection "The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories." " 'Peripatetic' is a word that is not used by anyone anywhere in the United States today," Weyandt said. Rutherford is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's MFA program in creative writing. (He also reviews books for the Star Tribune.) His collection contains three sea stories, including the title story (the well-traveled coffin is a submarine), and he told the audience that it had long been his wish "to write 'Moby Dick II.' It turns out that's not a story that anybody was waiting for."
Ode to bronze
A literary giant in life, German poet and philosopher Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) stands as a bronze giant near the entrance to St. Paul's Como Park. Commissioned by a group of prominent German-Americans as a gift to the city of St. Paul, the sculpture immediately became a celebrated landmark at its dedication in 1907. Recently restored, the sculpture will be rededicated at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Minnesota Chorale will perform "Ode to Joy," from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the lyrics of which come from Schiller's 1785 poem "Ode an die Freude" (Ode to Joy). After a century in Minnesota's harsh weather, the sculpture was streaked with "green and blue copper carbonate corrosion and black, crusty sulfur-based deposits," said Public Art St. Paul, a nonprofit organization that oversaw the sculpture's restoration in 2012. Not to mention the graffiti.