1 In "Laggies," Keira Knightley plays a twenty-something underemployed Seattleite whose current life seems to be a nonstop contest of Truth or Dare. In director Lynn Shelton's little gem of an amiable comedy, both paths are tough. Should the woman simply accept the truth, that her female friends and clingy boyfriend are humorless downers who don't get her lighthearted attitude? Or follow the dare, and hang out with those sweet high school wackos who politely asked her to buy them booze? This is a hilarious yet poignant movie where potentially sorrowful incidents trigger wry humor.
2 In the 1908 drama "Ghost Sonata," August Strindberg wrestles with disillusionment over the prevalence of human cruelty. Nimbus Theatre in northeast Minneapolis is premiering a captivating original translation of the play by Danielle Blackbird. Those accustomed to the image of the Swedish playwright as a misogynist will be struck by this play's blistering attack on male hypocrisy and how women, a girl and a young man are its victims. Right from the start, director Zach Morgan's staging creates a dreamlike atmosphere. nimbustheatre.com.
4 The best 120 seconds on TV are "Fast Money" on "Family Feud." Host Steve Harvey gives the winning team a chance to grab $20,000 by trying to name the top answers to five questions. It's incredibly simple, but you'd be surprised how rarely a team reaches 200 points. Harvey seems genuinely interested in the family's fate, although he's not above ribbing them if they come up with a dud.
3 The book is called "Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History," but there is plenty of back story here, too. Award-winning author Andrew Cohen has mined interviews, Kennedy's own unpublished speech, a long-forgotten White House documentary film and other sources to present a tick-tock of two seminal days in the JFK presidency. In June of 1963, Kennedy was grappling with civil rights, Vietnam and nuclear proliferation. The book is a great read, intimate and novelistic, a worthy insight into the life and thoughts of one of our most romanticized presidents.
5 For his commissioned murals for the St. Paul Union Depot, Atlanta painter Ralph Gilbert had to reference such topics as the railroads' impact on the Dakota tribes, the importance of railroad jobs for African-Americans and the "orphan trains" that carried 250,000 homeless New York kids to new lives on Midwestern farms. The murals are realistic but not overly detailed. Vignettes suggest places, times and moods without documenting specific events.