Mr. and Mrs. Minnesota Orchestra
On Easter Sunday, Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä and concertmaster Erin Keefe were married in a private ceremony. Their engagement was announced, via Facebook, in January. The two orchestra VIPs have not released any details or photos from their nuptials. The orchestra released a brief statement acknowledging the wedding and adding, "We wish them all the very best." While the newlyweds kept their plans quiet, a few hundred music lovers got advance notice following Saturday night's Minnesota Orchestra concert. While introducing a post-show bonus performance of Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time," featuring Keefe and Vänskä (on clarinet) in Orchestra Hall's atrium, principal cellist Tony Ross casually mentioned that the couple were to be wed the next day. The pair reacted with reserve, but earlier in the night Keefe's husband-to-be gave her a decorous smooch on the cheek after her mesmerizing solo work on Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending," the highlight of the first concert in the orchestra's monthlong "Spirit and Spring" series.
Louis loves Acme
Louis C.K. may be one of comedy's hottest artists right now, but he hasn't forgotten the leaner years. During an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Tuesday, he mentioned Minneapolis' Acme Comedy Club and gave high praise to owner Louis Lee. C.K. referred back to six shows he did there in 2006. During that period, he was used to earning $100 a night. After a string of sold-out shows in Minneapolis, Lee handed him an envelope. Inside was $10,000. "No one had ever done that before," C.K. told Fallon. "Louis said, 'This is where you're at now.' I started crying like a baby." At the time, Lee said that C.K. was one of the country's top five standups. He's still a major fan. "That was extremely nice of him to mention me," Lee told I.W. Wednesday. "The first couple times he came to the club, he was writing for Chris Rock and I don't think stand-up was his top priority. But he just kept getting better and better."
We're No. 3
Fans of the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum rejoiced at the news that it has been ranked No. 3 in a list of "The 50 Most Amazing College Museums." Weisman director Lyndel King, who has led the museum for more than 30 years and masterminded the move into its distinctive Frank Gehry-designed building, responded with typical aplomb, telling supporters, "As my mom said, it's an amazing journey from three rooms in the attic of old Northrop [Auditorium] to being ranked No. 3 university museum in the nation — and No. 1 art museum, as the first two are both natural history." The ratings come from CollegeRank.net, based in Columbus, Ohio. The 50 museums in its rankings are a hodgepodge of natural history, anthropology, art and miscellaneous subjects. Harvard's Museum of Natural History is No. 1, followed by Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural Science at No. 2. Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, ranked No. 5, is a public nonprofit with no college or university affiliation. The Harvard Art Museum complex, which encompasses the legendary Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Sackler museums, isn't even listed. The CollegeRank.net site abounds with lists of everything from "50 Best College Campus Hospitals" to "25 Must Follow Pinterest Accounts for College Students."
If you don't run into Roxane Gay somewhere in the Twin Cities this weekend, you're not trying. Gay, author of "Bad Feminist" and "An Untamed State," is in town for AWP, the big three-day writers gathering at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Her panel discussion on failure (go figure!) with novelist Rebecca Makkai, will be Friday afternoon, open to conventioneers only. But Gay is wholeheartedly embracing the multitude of off-site events, which everyone — convention-goers and non-goers alike — can attend. On Wednesday, she took part in the Literary Death Match along with Susan Orlean, Ben Percy, Claire Vaye Watkins and others. On Thursday, she was at Central Library at a reading to raise awareness of youth homelessness. On Friday night, she'll be at the Loft Literary Center with Patricia Smith, Margaret Cho, Amber Tamblyn and others. (Go early. This will be packed.) And on Saturday she'll do a solo reading at Common Good Books in St. Paul. Still upright, still enthusiastic. That's the AWP spirit.
Cook's new kid
It's a boy for Minneapolis-born actress Rachael Leigh Cook, a South High alum, and actor/director Daniel Gillies. Theodore Vigo Sullivan Gillies was born Saturday in Los Angeles. His big sister, Charlotte Easton Gillies, is a year and a half. I.W. would like to congratulate E! News for its exclusive scoop on the birth announcement.
MN Music Summit
A beloved folkie turned reputable author and professor will give the keynote speech. A onetime E.L.O. tribute band leader and late-night DJ will be honored with the MN Music Champion Award. And lawyers will be treated like rock stars by wannabe rock stars. Those are some of the things you can expect at this weekend's Minnesota Music Summit in St. Paul, which kicks off with Dar Williams' keynote Friday at 11 a.m. at the History Theatre. David Campbell of 89.3 the Current (and ex-E.L.nO.) is the deserved award recipient Saturday at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall amid local music video screenings and live sets by MaLLy and Tiny Deaths (Chastity Brown and Fathom Lane also play there Friday). Career panels for musicians take place Friday and Saturday afternoon at McNally Smith College of Music, including a free legal advice session. See the full and entirely free schedule at MNMusicCoalition.org.