Friday news and reviews

Holy bumper crop! There's almost TOO MUCH arts news to read today. Almost, but not quite...


A bigger canvas

Colorful paintings by Frank Big Bear inaugurate a new American Indian gallery in Minneapolis.

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- Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

Tut's first 'treasure' is revealed

The Science Museum in St. Paul expects big things from Tut, even if the legendary ruler's body isn't on display.

- Mary Abbe, Star Tribune

Magic is Important

Writer and West Bank Social Center co-founder Miranda Trimmier reflects on the recent retrospective of the Parisian art space, castillo/corrales, at Midway Contemporary Art, and on the necessarily slippery nature of experimental art spaces.

- Miranda Trimmier,

Explore the 'Nature of Romance' at SSCA

Minneapolis-based community arts center Stevens Square Center for the Arts (SSCA) can help you avoid the expected with its new Valentine-inspired group exhibition, "The Nature of Romance."

- Shelby Meyers, City Pages


Carol Connolly wins Kay Sexton Award

St. Paul's first and only poet laureate receives honor

- Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune

mnLIT presents: Steven Lang

Read Steven Lang's 2010 miniStories finalist, "The Scarecrow," selected by our full panel of jurors: Alexander Chee, Daniel Handler, Heather McElhatton, Kevin Larimer, and Dennis Cass.



Meet the Bieber: Idol hits big screen

A mix of 3-D concert footage, childhood videos and offstage closeups will thrill Justin Bieber fans.

- Jon Bream, Star Tribune

Teeny-popper's movie is a scream"Never Say Never" includes interviews with dozens and dozens of fans, exactly none of whom is a boy.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

"Signing On" advance screening on Saturday

"Signing On" is a documentary featuring the unrecognized healthcare needs of the deaf community in a predominantly hearing world.

- Sara Chars, TC Daily Planet

Just leave it alone

Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and a swimsuit model pursue the preposterous in scene after scene.

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

'Cactus Flower' remake has a few sticking points

Producers of "Just Go With It" were wise not to give it the same title as the movie of which it's a remake, "Cactus Flower," because the three Oscar winners who starred in "Cactus" have been replaced by non-Oscar winners: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and someone you've never heard of.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

This year's shorts are long on originality

If there's a common element in this year's Oscar-nominated animated shorts, it's combining computer animation with hand-drawn. And if there's a theme in this year's nominated live-action shorts, it's kids dealing with adversity.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Tarred and feathered

Self-important allegory about Romans in northern Britain is all phony bloodfest, no gusto.

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune

Plot so tightly organized, 'The Eagle's' wings are clipped

A lot of careful decision-making went into "The Eagle" -- so much careful decision-making that the swords-and-sandals melodrama feels more like it's teaching us a lesson than telling us a story.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Review: Hark! 'Tis Juliet (that little gnome wrecker)

Spoiler alert: Unlike the Shakespearean play that inspired it, "Gnomeo and Juliet" does not end with a double suicide. The carnage is limited to a couple of chipped garden trolls.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Prep now for your Oscars final

Twin Cities theaters are screening nominated films in myriad combos and marathons.

- Colin Covert, Star Tribune


Justin Townes Earle: son of a ...

The second-generation songwriter shares his dad's talent and troubles, but he's sober now and coming into his own.

- Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

Pianist Carei Thomas had to find a new way to play -- but he has never stopped creating music

This weekend, Zeitgeist, the St. Paul-based new-music ensemble, will pay tribute to one of the undersung creative heroes of the local scene: composer and pianist Carei Thomas.

- Dan Emerson, Pioneer Press

Cloud Cult seeking new cellist

The band is looking for a cellist who lives near the Twin Cities and is interested in a "part-time position that will be filled by someone with a bright soul, a thirst for growth, and of course, day-job flexibility."

- Andrea Swensson, City Pages

Minnesota Orchestra booms with Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich

If the movie "Shine" introduced you to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, be advised that Jon Kimura Parker did not lose his sanity when he performed it Thursday with the Minnesota Orchestra.

- David Hawley, Pioneer Press

Upshaw, SPCO celebrate their perfect pairing

This weekend's concerts might be looked back upon as the peak of her tenure as a St. Paul Chamber Orchestra artistic partner.

- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

The Strokes are so not back, suckers

Maybe the Strokes and their management figured that the best course of promotional action was to dangle the least delicious of their carrot in advance of a record that's coming almost a half decade after the last one. We can only hope.

- Ray Cummings, City Pages

Dear Senators: Please join bands and fans in 'Free Joel Bremer' movement!

We have a dream: We want to play music with Joel Bremer on Valentine's Day in Minneapolis. Can you help get him here and restore our fading faith in humanity and its governments?

- Jim Walsh,

Lady Gaga partnering with Target to release 'Born This Way'

Lady Gaga is an avid supporter and advocate for gay rights, and Born This Way is a record about tolerance and acceptance.

- Andrea Swensson, City Pages

It's not too late to hold forth on Kings Go Forth

Is it too late to amend my Best of 2010 list? Somehow I forgot to include "The Outsiders Are Back," the terrific debut by Milwaukee's Kings Go Forth.

- Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press


Long journey to freedom

Playwright Brian Grandison went back to the earliest beginnings to tell a story about slaves who fled to St. Paul during the Civil War and formed Pilgrim Baptist Church.

- Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Playwright has a lot at stake with 'Drakul'

John Heimbuch's new play, "Drakul," looks at what happened to Mina, Jonathan, Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward and the rest after they drove a stake through the heart of Dracula.

- Kathy Berdan, Pioneer Press

Politics in the theater: spotlight's on gay and immigrant communities

Stories of Latinos in America today, from immigrants to undocumented workers to a gay Chicano, are meant to entertain. But that's not all. When the curtains open Feb. 17 on the 10th Annual Political Theatre Festival presented by two metro theater companies, the broader goal is to encourage conversation and to build bridges between peoples.

- Cynthia Boyd, TC Daily Planet

Suburban anxiety exposed under the penetrating glare of Little EyesCentered on neighboring cul-de-sacs in a suburban community, Little Eyes involves two very different pairs of characters, each privately cringing from closely guarded secrets and deeply repressed suspicions.

- Brad Richason,

The broken line of caricature: 'Mother Courage' and 'Little Eyes'

- Max Sparber,

Pillsbury Theatre sets stage for a night out without the kids

Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis is offering free baby-sitting with tickets to select performances.

- Rohan Preston, Star Tribune

David Hyde-Pierce at the Guthrie

Actor David Hyde-Pierce will stop by the Guthrie Theater next month for a conversation with Joe Dowling. Hyde-Pierce, a member of the acting company in 1983-86, will trade quips and insights with Dowling on March 13, a Sunday, starting at 7 p.m.

- Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Hyde Pierce at Guthrie for on-stage chat

Former "Frasier" star David Hyde Pierce hasn't appeared on a Guthrie stage since 1986, but that's about to change.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Prairie Home Companion vets set for 'Voice Match'

Prolific local playwright Jeffrey Hatcher's latest work gets a one-night-only production this weekend and features a pair of familiar voices for listeners of A Prairie Home Companion.

- Ed Huyck, City Pages