Some of the biggest names to ever perform at the Guthrie Theater will return, online, for a benefit. Sally Wingert will host the Aug. 1 shindig, which is free but requires reservations. She'll introduce a performance by Santino Fontana, who was a memorable "Hamlet" at the theater and is the current Tony Award-winning best actor for "Tootsie." There will also be cameos by John Carroll Lynch, a former company member whose TV and movie credits include "The Americans," "The Founder" and his directorial debut, "Lucky"; "His Girl Friday" star Courtney B. Vance; "Leon and Lena (& lenz)" actor Don Cheadle; and "Nice Fish" co-creator Mark Rylance, an Oscar and three-time Tony recipient. More recent Guthrie actors also signed up to perform, including Regina Marie Williams, Meghan Kreidler and Ryan Colbert. Funds raised will go to the theater, which plans to reopen in March with Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Sweat." To register for the benefit, which will include an auction, go to guthrietheater.org/benefit.
State Fair art show goes virtual
COVID-19 canceled the 2020 Minnesota State Fair, but the fair's beloved art exhibition will still happen through a video recording and virtual catalog. The registration deadline for artists is July 27 at 4:30 p.m. The selected artworks will be installed in the Fine Arts Building and photographed. A virtual tour may be available. "It's a service to the community to allow the art to be seen in some way," said Jim Clark, fine arts superintendent at the fair. Submissions should have been created since Jan. 1, 2018, and artists must be living residents of Minnesota. In 2019, more than 2,500 pieces were submitted, and 334 winning entries were accepted. Last year saw artwork that was less political than the previous year, along with more depictions of women, fewer animals and a lot of imagery of Native Americans. "Hopefully, artists can connect with the hearts and minds of viewers in this way, as we have for the past 110 years," said Clark. "Not having the show would leave a pretty desperate hole in a lot of people's summer, if not lives."
Orchestra downsizes for summer
Those big outdoor summer concerts that the Minnesota Orchestra was planning? They're canceled. So are August and September performances inside Orchestra Hall. But the orchestra also announced on Tuesday two dozen new concerts featuring smaller crowds and smaller ensembles. In August, the orchestra will play 24 free outdoor chamber music shows on Peavey Plaza for concertgoers who already purchased tickets to the nixed indoor concerts. A small number of tickets will be available via a lottery. The 16 canceled concerts, featuring the full orchestra, don't meet the state's guidelines for gathering safely during the pandemic, the nonprofit said in a release. The 70-minute, 7 p.m. concerts in August will feature distanced seats, face masks and health screenings. Capacity for each show, including musicians, is 250. Each show will feature a piece of music written by a Black composer. Details are at minnesotaorchestra.org.
Kmart mural removed
After sparking outrage on social media, a mural on the Kmart in south Minneapolis titled "Love Your Enemies," depicting a police officer hugging a Black protester, is now gone. The cop in the mural was reportedly supposed to represent Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo, though the image appears to be closely based on an Associated Press photo of New York City Police Chief Terence Monahan hugging an activist last month. The mural was created by artist Christina Marie (@christina.marie.g), who posted it to her Instagram account on June 26, garnering over 1,000 mostly critical comments. The mural was part of the "Let the Healing Begin: Racial Reconciliation and Restoration Mural Project," a music, art and prayer rally. The event was organized by Pastor Peter Wohler of Source MN, a faith-based organization that works with at-risk populations. "We realize that this may have been perceived as being political or insensitive," Source wrote in a statement. It noted that while 75% of the murals were created by artists of color and a third by Black artists, "we could have done much more to engage with black artists."
Find more coverage of the arts all week at our pop culture blog startribune.com/artcetera and follow us on Twitter @entertain_mn.