A scruffy, affable Woody Harrelson allowed several selfies to be taken by fellow Rock the Garden attendees last weekend. Then it was back to work on “Wilson,” the biggest movie to be shot in Minnesota since the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man” in 2009. “The MPLS PD were actually really nice to Woody Harrelson despite his choice in socks,” tweeted concertgoer Walt Dizzo, of KUWS in Superior, Wis., at Rock the Garden, along with a snap of Harrelson yukking it up with cops while sporting anklets adorned with a marijuana-leaf motif. Locations for the six-week shoot of “Wilson,” which began last week, include Lake Minnetonka, Como Zoo, the St. Paul Farmers Market in Lowertown, Woodbury, Stillwater and E. Lake Street in Minneapolis. Based on a book-length series of comic strips by Daniel Clowes, “Wilson” is about a middle-aged misanthrope who reconnects with his ex-wife (played by Laura Dern) and discovers he has a daughter.
Even as Cubans welcomed the Minnesota Orchestra this past spring, their government was apparently roughing up a dissident artist who had staged a reading that offended official sensibilities. Walker Art Center director Olga Viso witnessed the artist, Tania Bruguera, being “whisked away in a police car” as neighbors and international visitors watched. Viso and the others were in Havana for an art biennial when Bruguera was arrested May 24. The artist and others had spent the previous 100 hours doing an “open-studio” reading of Hannah Arendt’s 1951 book “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” After the performance, Bruguera came out of her home carrying the Arendt book and a white dove. Suddenly three cars drove up, uniformed officials hopped out and confronted her. She freed the dove and tossed the book into the air, and she was whisked away. In a report on the Walker’s blog, Viso, whose parents were Cuban émigrés, said the events were disturbing but seemed “staged.” It turns out they were “a classic piece of ‘revolutionary theater’ staged by the Cuban government for the benefit of visiting art world tourists,” Viso wrote.
The son also rises
Seun Kuti received a special Father’s Day gift Sunday before performing at Rock the Garden — a recording of himself at age 8, singing at a 1991 First Avenue concert by his dad, the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Walker Art Center publicist Rachel Joyce, who had gotten the tape from Fela’s band members, gave Seun a thumb drive with the recording along with a Father’s Day card. Reported Joyce: “His eyes were a little teary; he was clearly overwhelmed. He said, ‘You have no idea what this means to me. I can’t wait to hear it.’ ” Seun seemed just as excited, though, about a report that Minnesota is legalizing medical marijuana. “It’s a good thing I’m sick,” he told Joyce.
Drinkin’ but not thinkin’
“I need some tequila to the stage,” Luke Bryan announced to 43,000 fans Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium, and someone in particular, after singing a few songs. With drink in hand, the country superstar declared: “Let’s do a shot to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.” Bottoms up. I.W. knows what he was drinking but what was Luke thinking when he next asked: “Got any Packer fans?” He got served a round of boos.
Warp it good
As if patrons wouldn’t recognize Mark Mothersbaugh without his Energy Dome hat at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts last week, the Devo frontman gave himself away by wearing a referee’s outfit and playing songs on a roomful of musical birdcalls and doorbells. At the opening party for his summer-long art exhibit, “Myopia,” Mothersbaugh offered a limited-edition colored vinyl LP of rare recordings. First Avenue general manager Nate Kranz got the most personalized edition: The artist took a big bite out of the corner of the LP jacket. “Better than an autograph,” Kranz declared to I.W.
Sister can sing
Regina Marie Williams is slated to play Deloris Van Cartier in “Sister Act” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. Williams takes on a role originated by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1992 film. The musical followed in 2006, landing on Broadway five years later. Williams is now playing a character called Sister in “Damn Yankees” at the Ordway. Regarded as one of the best actors and singers in town, she’s been on nearly every major stage in the Twin Cities — except the Chan. “Sister Act” starts previews Oct. 30.
I.W. was saddened to hear of the passing of Heinz Hutter, the former Cargill executive. He was a legend for his decades with the Minnesota Opera board of directors, helping build a company that is now nationally recognized for its new works program and quality of productions. “He always stressed that the company could never achieve greatness by cutting,” said artistic director Dale Johnson. “He and I would joust about things, he’d challenge me but he liked that [former president] Kevin Smith and I were practical in solving issues. He was so lovable in that gruff kind of way.”