Arthounds: things to consider


Carolyn Pool and Shanan Wexler rehearse their show "2 Sugars, Room for Cream" for the Minnesota Fringe.(Picture Euan Kerr)

The summer arts scene explodes tonight with the opening of the Minnesota Fringe. Fringe Executive Director Robin Gillette can provide the numbers off the top of her head.

"There are 162 different companies, doing a total of 847 performances," she says.

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Other important numbers: 11 days, 22 venues (including one in St Paul!) We'll have a piece on the air later today on ATC.

Also how about some laugh-out-loud cinematic satire? Armando Iannucci's "In the Loop," (not to be confused, as some have, with the fine MPR podcast of the same name,) pokes fun at the political relationship between the US and the UK in the fun-up to an invasion of an un-named Middle Eastern country. The film opened to strong reviews on the coasts last week and now comes to the Twin Cities.

The readings at local bookstores are always of interest to the MPR newsroom, because it allows tremendous access to writers who have interesting things to say. Case in point is next Tuesday evening Common Good Books in Cathedral Hill in St Paul is hosting a reading by retired Macalester professor Mahmoud El-Kati of his new book "The Hiptionary: A Survey of African American Speech Patterns with A Digest of Key Words and Phrases." It's a fascinating work on the origins and usage of words and phrases, backed with history and insight.

Also check out the recommendations of the Art Hounds, as told to Chris Roberts. And remember we are always looking for more Hounds. Want to try?