Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

RN: Hey Mister Glass-Half-Empty, I'm guessing that there might be something — or, better yet, someone — that you currently adore above all others.

CP: Why yes, Julie Andrews, since you ask. The artist William Kentridge brings so much artistry to his designs for "The Nose" at the Metropolitan Opera. In an interview shown in theaters here last weekend on a national live-cast, he said the giant papier-mâché nose used in the production is modeled on his own ample honker. Gotta love that.

RN: How about James Sewell? He's marking 20 years with the company that bears his name, and during those two decades he has crafted dozens and dozens of propulsive, highly musical ballets while nurturing the careers of some of the Twin Cities' most watchable dancers. He's amazing.

CP: Keeping things artsy, I love Wendy Knox, the driving force/mensch behind Frank Theatre for, hi, a quarter-century. I've always been heartened when I see her driving around town in a vintage Volvo station wagon stuffed with what looks like every prop ever used by her feisty theater.

RN: Then there's the unprecedented design trifecta that architect Tim Carl of HGA is currently enjoying, with his concert hall at the Ordway Center and innovative remakes of Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota and the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center at Macalester College. Is there a more influential architect working in Minnesota?

CP: And that's not even mentioning Carl's Scandi-cool addition at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

RN: All hail Joe Spencer, director of arts and culture for the city of St. Paul, for masterminding the proposed revival of the long-shuttered Palace Theater. Maybe they'll book the Scissor Sisters as the inaugural act.

CP: Better yet, and keeping it local, the Replacements. In the day, I was more of a Hüsker Dü guy, but Paul Westerberg & Gang were so great in their recent three-festival reunion tour, even if I only got to see it via some guerrilla video.

RN: I can't help but feel reassured when I encounter the sonorous voice of Minnesota Public Radio newscaster John Wanamaker. He's so good that he manages to make pledge week sound riveting.

CP: In the sometimes deadly realm of social media, Dylan Hicks. He's maybe the most consistently hilarious local Tweeter and Facebooker.

RN: I know you don't watch it, but CBS' "The Good Wife" is on fire this season, its fifth. Hand Christine Baranski the Emmy, now.

CP: I call that show "The Good Nap."

RN: Surely we can agree on the Claes Oldenburg exhibition at the Walker; the best, right?

CP: Lemme get back to you after I've seen it, Tinkerbell.

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib