Our dedicated reviewers offer insight on the latest in theater, music, visual arts and more.

We explore the breadth of creativity and innovation found throughout Minnesota, offering audiences a deeper understanding of the works and artists shaping our cultural landscape.

Join us as we celebrate the diversity of expression and the powerful stories told through art in our communities, brought to you by the passionate voices of the MPR News Arts Team.

New Minnesota Music Round-up: Moody noir tones from Charlie McCarron
This week: “The Fishing Hat Bandit Soundtrack” by Charlie McCarron, “River Flows Two Ways” by Paul Spring and “Live On Shuffle Function’s Pledge Drive A​-​Go​-​Go” by The Thirsty Giants.
Critical DMs: The arts team critiques the smell of Horace the corpse flower
The MPR News arts team discuss the strong, pungent smell of the yet-to-bloom corpse flower at the Como Zoo and Conservatory, comparing it to sour cheese, garlic and sweaty feet, while exploring fragrance terminology and the flower’s impact on visitors.
Review: ‘MJ the Musical,’ starting something at the Orpheum
“MJ the Musical” showcases Michael Jackson’s life through a script by Lynn Nottage, featuring flashbacks, dream sequences, and iconic songs, but carefully avoids Jackson’s most notorious controversy.
Review: ‘Blended 和 (Harmony)’ looks at a Chinese American swing group from Minnesota
“Blended 和 (Harmony)” is a play depicting the lives of the Kim Loo Sisters, a jazz vocal quartet from Minneapolis, focusing on two sisters as they navigate fame, betrayal and their heritage.
Critical DMs: Keith Haring at the Walker Art Center
Alex V. Cipolle and Max Sparber discuss “Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody” at the Walker Art Center, highlighting Haring’s unique blend of graffiti and high culture, iconic collaborations and his enduring influence.
Kings of chaos: A review of a marathon of Shakespeare at the Guthrie
The Guthrie Theater stages a compelling series of Shakespeare’s historical plays, using a turntable set to dynamically explore the turbulent reigns of three English kings across generations.
Critical DMs: McKnight Printmaking Fellowship Exhibition explores a paper version of domestic secrets
Critical DMs are lightly edited Slack conversations between members of the MPR News arts team. This week, Arts Editor Max Sparber and Senior Arts Reporter and Critic Alex V. Cipolle discuss the current show at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking.
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