Not Rapp-ed up
CBS Films is moving ahead with plans to make a movie out of "American Assassin" by Vince Flynn, the St. Paulite who wrote a string of bestselling political thrillers before dying of prostate cancer in 2013. Director Michael Cuesta ("Homeland," "Dexter") and writer Stephen Schiff ("The Americans," "True Crime") both have serious cred, but which Hollywood hunk will play counterterrorism CIA operative Mitch Rapp? Chris Hemsworth's name has been bandied about, but I.W. votes for Jason Statham or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, both of whom have previously starred in CBS Films ("The Mechanic" and "Faster," respectively).
Ozzy bites into Crow
Just in the nick of time — since Monday's Target Center show is billed as their final Twin Cities gig — members of Black Sabbath finally explained a footnote in the band's history that's related to Minnesota music: how their first single way back in 1970 wound up being a cover of "Evil Woman (Don't You Play Your Games With Me)," originally recorded a year earlier by Twin Cities rockers Crow. "As I remember, we were kind of semi-forced into doing it," frontman Ozzy Osbourne recalled in interview last week (see Monday's Variety or at startribune.com/music). Bassist Geezer Butler added, "People from the record companies thought [it] was more commercial sounding than the stuff that we'd written. So it was just a good way to get a record deal without totally selling out." The bandmates didn't remember ever playing the tune again after recording it. Guess we'll have to wait for the next Crow gig.
Duluth gets Current
With its 11th anniversary parties this week, 89.3 the Current just announced another reason to celebrate: Minnesota Public Radio's hip modern music station will broadcast in Duluth starting Feb. 1 on 90.9 FM and 100.5 WSCN HD-2. A network of stations statewide broadcasts the Current, including a recent addition in Ely as well as outlets in Rochester, Mankato, Grand Rapids and elsewhere. However, the Duluth station will hire a "local music host" to produce a weekly show and helm events there. A good candidate might be ex-Duluth Mayor Don Ness.C.R.
Will the doc survive?
Twin Cities ER physician Dr. Peter Baggenstos will be among the contestants in the 32nd season of "Survivor." The 34-year-old doctor from Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park is competing on an island in Cambodia against 17 other castaways, including a bounty hunter, a pro poker player, former NBA forward Scot Pollard and evicted "Big Brother" roommate Caleb Reynolds. The new season premieres Feb. 17.
"Sister Act" is still running and "Beauty and the Beast" doesn't open until March 11, but word is that Chanhassen Dinner Theatres will follow the Disney show with "Camelot" in October. The Chan last staged the Lerner and Loewe classic in 2002 with Steve Hendrickson in a soulful performance as King Arthur and Norah Long as Guenevere. No casting has been announced. As for "Beauty," Ruthanne Heyward ("Bye Bye Birdie," "Fiddler on the Roof") will play the lead with Robert O. Berdahl (several Guthrie roles recently) as the Beast. Berdahl was chosen after Jared Oxborough had to drop out.
Instinct to extinct
Instinct Art Gallery, a classy little space on Nicollet Mall, will close in March, following the December demise of nearby Burnet Gallery. Instinct has staged smart, thoughtful shows of mostly Minnesota art since September 2013. They've dealt with everything from the United States' overmedicated culture, to mutant taxidermy, the texture of time, and the size of the sky. Nature was a recurrent theme, but the art was seldom representional. The final show, featuring graphic art by animal welfare activist Sue Coe and satirical feminist paintings by Minneapolis' own Nancy Robinson, runs Jan. 23 through March 12. "The gallery has been successful in many ways," director John Schuerman told I.W. "But the financial side of the equation just never came around to making sense."
Even though she doesn't live here anymore, Alicia Bognanno of the Nashville rock band Bully called her grunge-flavored group's nearly sold-out gig Monday at the Fine Line "a homecoming show." The Rosemount native recruited her sister to helm the merch table and made light of the fact that her band performed in town so many times (four) last year. "I love the [7th Street] Entry," she said in an exasperated tone, "but I'm glad we sold it out last time and got to play here." Bully will make a much bigger step up next time, opening two sold-out First Avenue shows April 26-27 with Courtney Barnett. C.R.
'Dinner' will be served
Minnesota Opera keeps up its new works initiative in the coming season. "Dinner at Eight," based on the Kaufman-Ferber play, is the centerpiece of the 2016-17 schedule. Composer William Bolcom and librettist Mark Campbell — who wrote the words for "The Shining," which will have its world premiere at the Ordway in May — are at work on that piece, slated for March 2017. The rest of the season: "Romeo and Juliet" Sept. 24-Oct. 2; Wagner's "Das Rheingold" Nov. 12-20; the American premiere of "Diana's Garden" by Vicente Martín Y Soler in January 2017, and the ever-popular "La Bohème" May 6-21, 2017.G.R.