1 Say hello to Cameron Crowe’s “Aloha,” an original and risky mixtape of a movie. The story belongs to Bradley Cooper, playing a former Air Force hero recruited to oversee a private satellite launch in Honolulu by a tycoon (Bill Murray). Cooper’s old flame (Rachel McAdams) and new one (Emma Stone) enter the picture. Everyone in the film collides together like billiard balls, enchanting us with the wisecracks or spitting anger each contact triggers. The true focus of the film is the way the folks in satellite culture explore possibility and self-discovery.
2 Tyler Michaels, as Peter Pan, and Alanna Saunders, as Wendy, deliver with effortless chemistry and oodles of charm in director Peter Rothstein’s magical production of “Peter Pan: the Musical” at Children’s Theatre. Michaels never loses touch with Peter’s innocence and energy. He flies with glee, doing flips and landing on furniture while singing. Saunders telegraphs a similar innocence and wholesomeness. There’s no doubt she has that “It” factor. childrenstheatre.org
5 The St. Paul Saints’ new downtown ballpark, CHS Field, is both arty and entertaining and deserves a hearty standing ovation from us. The wood ceiling and steelwork architecture — inspired by the warehouse buildings around Lowertown — are sights to behold. The Craft Beer Corner above left field, with 32 mostly local taps for a steal price of $6.50, makes Target Field’s beer offerings look minor-league. And the many roomy viewing and gathering areas and between-inning on-field antics make for a fun night out even if the game itself is a strikeout.
4 New restaurant trend we love: high-end chefs applying their sophisticated skills to blue-collar diner food. The latest is Landon Schoenefeld’s brand-new Nighthawks. This “postmodern diner” in south Minneapolis is a gorgeous stage for the chef’s fun takes on the classic burger, foot-long hot dog, meatloaf, pastrami and other blue plate specials. What other top chef has a Frito Pie on the menu? nighthawksmpls.com
3 A passionate fan, disappointed by his favorite mystery writer’s latest book, kills the author and steals his unpublished manuscripts. And Stephen King is off and running with “Finders Keepers,” the follow-up to his Edgar-winning “Mr. Mercedes” and the second book in a planned trilogy. This isn’t “Misery” (which also centered on an obsessed reader), but King is in fine form here, crafting a cool thriller packed with literary allusions and the theme that reading literature can change a reader’s heart – for good or bad.