A hike for Walker visitors
Heads up, art fans. Walker Art Center will raise adult admission fees $2, to $14, on March 14, coinciding with a new show of Edward Hopper drawings and paintings. "The adult admission of $14 is modest when compared to $20 to $25 for other local museums and cultural institutions," Ryan French, Walker's director of marketing and public relations, said in an e-mail. The Walker's admission charge is the highest among Twin Cities art museums. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is free, although it often charges for special exhibits such as the current Matisse show ($16 weekdays, $20 weekends). The Museum of Russian Art charges $9 for adults while the Weisman Art Museum is free. Among non-art museums, adults pay $20 at the Science Museum of Minnesota and $11 at the Minnesota History Center. Between 60 and 65 percent of Walker visitors enter the galleries free, French said, because they come on free Thursday evenings or the first Saturday of every month — or use their ticket stubs from Walker performances or other events for gallery access. Seniors and students aren't exempt from the hike: Folks 65 and older will pay $12 (up from $10) and students with I.D. will pony up $9 (up from $8). The previous fees have been in effect only since November 2012.
Prince as chef,
Prince, we hardly knew ya. At least not like this. The Purple One answered questions from fans and Arsenio Hall — and even played advice guru and gave the official kiss-off via telephone for a fan to his out-of-town girlfriend who was seeing her ex. Prince has never seemed so normal, comfortable and un-self-conscious on television as he was Wednesday night on "The Arsenio Hall Show." Yep, that Arsenio who had Prince as a guest back in the early '90s. Except for Hall's opening monologue, Wednesday's hourlong program was devoted to Prince. He played two new songs ("FunknRoll," "Mutiny") and one old one ("She's Always in My Hair"), and Liv Warfield, one of his former backup singers, offered a tune from her new album. In conversation with Arsenio and the studio audience, Prince was quick, funny and short but to the point. I.W.'s favorite exchange: Q What household chore do you do that might surprise us? A I can cook. [Pause] Only one thing. Omelets. All my friends have high cholesterol."
Bon Iver appetit
Advertised on the venue's website as a "country covers" set by the band named Ephasis, Sunday's brunch show at Icehouse in south Minneapolis wound up being a surprise gig by 2011's best new artist Grammy winner Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver. Half the sleepy crowd didn't seem to know or care who was playing, and the other half was mostly other musicians in on the secret. The part about it being a country show wasn't a put-on, though. Sporting a wide-brimmed Hank Williams-style hat and a band of renowned local sidemen (Jeremy Ylvisaker, Mike Lewis and JT Bates), the Eau Claire star played two sets of tunes mostly written by two Nashville legends, Johnny Cash and John Prine, starting with the former's "I Still Miss Someone" and the latter's "Christmas in Prison." No falsetto here.
Friday night saw another unannounced all-star musical affair at Icehouse. Officially the finale of a three-night run by resident electro-whack-jobs Marijuana Deathsquads, it unofficially became a bon-voyage-for-now party for P.O.S., who will have his long-awaited kidney transplant next week. The Doomtree rapper weaved in and out of snippets of songs from his "We Don't Even Live Here" album while a small cavalcade of Twin Cities indie-rap stars — including Lizzo, Astronautalis, Allan Kingdom, Spyder Baybie and Rapper Hooks — took the stage to improvise lyrics and vocal effects. "You guys aren't going to see me for a while," the beaming P.O.S. told the sold-out crowd at show's end, "but then you're going to see me everywhere." Let's hold him to that.
Bare and bearing
Last weekend's run of the Bessie award-winning choreographer luciana achugar's daring "Otro Teatro" at Walker Art Center celebrated the body in so many ways it makes sense that most of the performers either bared all or came close. Zenon Dance Company member Laura Selle Virtuccio was among those dancing topless, her belly swollen with a baby boy who timed his entrance into the world perfectly — arriving Sunday morning after the show's close on Saturday night.
When I.W. last reported on Chapter2 Books, the 4-year-old independent bookstore in Hudson, Wis., had lost its lease to a dentist and was within days of closing down. But what a difference those days made. On Feb. 23, store owner Brian Roegge happened past a downtown building just as the landlord was putting up a "for rent" sign. Roegge and his wife, Sue, signed the lease Feb. 25, closed the store on Feb. 28, as planned, moved all weekend (with the help of volunteers) and opened for business in the new space on Tuesday. Seamless! Their first big event will be to host two-time Newbery-winner Kate DiCamillo on May 17. Chapter2 is now located at 226 Locust St., on the garden level, next to a florist and a chocolate shop. One-stop shopping, for sure.