Tuesday news and reviews


A fraud or a tempest in a teacup?

Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune Updated: April 18, 2011 - 10:03 PM

Local schools inspired by St. Cloud native Greg Mortenson's work hope to use flap as a teachable moment.

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'60 Minutes' and 'Three Cups of Tea': What I saw in Afghanistan with Greg Mortenson

The school I saw was real and clearly welcome in the village. Since then other journalists and even U.S. military officers have visited his various projects too, and they have verified that at least some of his work measures up to his claims.

- Sharon Schmickle, MinnPost.com

Writers Museum founder -- still looking for a home -- wowed by state's Book Awards and literary scene

Malcolm O'Hagan has a grand dream of an American Writers Museum, and he's traveling the country trying to drum up support. And money. Lots of money. He was in the Twin Cities over the weekend, checking us out. And he liked what he saw.

- Joe Kimball, MinnPost.com

Backers pitch St. Paul as site of writers museum

Foundation president visits; Chicago also in the running

- Mary Ann Grossmann, Pioneer Press

23rd annual Minnesota Book Award winners announced

Those receiving awards included poet Lightsey Darst, graphic design artist Michael Hall, and journalist Laurie Hertzel, who took the readers' choice for News to Me: Advenutures of an Accidental Journalist.

- Jessica Armbruster, City Pages


Voltage 2011: Fashion recap

Twin Cities' style mavens put their best dressed foot forward for one of Minnesota's biggest nights in fashion, Voltage: Fashion Amplified.

- Tatiana Craine, City Pages


Bruner/Loeb Forum in Minneapolis: Artists and thinkers converge to brainstorm how to strengthen communities

Local and national artists, arts administrators, community developers, designers, thinkers, and planners converged at Chambers Hotel on Friday and Saturday for a forum aimed at investigating how art and design can help build more equitable, sustainable, and engaged neighborhoods.

- Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet

Things are not what they seem: Bad heroes in 'Super,' unnerving art at Chambers

- Max Sparber, MinnPost.com


Low at First Avenue, 4/16/11

The Duluth band delivered a riveting, impassioned performance, playing their entire new record, C'mon, during the course of their 90-minute set, as well as some choice classic tracks that all went over well with the captivated, considerate crowd.

- Erik Thompson, City Pages

Cinderella at the Medina Entertainment Center, 4/16/11

Each original member is old enough to be my father, but jesus if they aren't still able to own their slightly-updated glam rocker look and take on rock music.

- Nikki Miller, City Pages

Peelander-Z at the Turf, 4/15/11

Anamanaguchi took their chiptune punk from New York City, loud, fast and hacked from NES circa 1985 and overlaid that basic infrastructure with perfectly melodic pop rock. Clean, straightforward, and oddly compelling. God, it's just so...enjoyable.

- Nikki Miller, City pages

Thomas Kivi talks Wisconsin protests, songwriting, and future plans

The songwriter had been making frequent treks to Madison, Wisconsin after the release show for his debut LP Crying Child to attended the union protests, and is now gearing up to do some regional touring.

- Pat Dougherty, City Pages

The master of Afrobeat: 'Just tell everyone to get ready'

Article by: BRITT ROBSON , Special to the Star Tribune Updated: April 18, 2011 - 10:27 PM

Coming to town for a hotly anticipated show, Tony Allen remains the fiercely proud force who melded African pop and American funk.

Savage Aural Hotbed, Felonious Bosch and Sendero Flamenco mix it up Friday at Loring Theater

Billed as an evening that promises a "mix of flamenco, eccentricos gringos and power tools" and culminating in one big mish-mash collaboration of all the above, Friday's show should be everything except your standard fare.

- Danny Sigelman, City Pages

Destroyer's new "yacht rock" sails the high seas at the Cedar Cultural Center

Some people have written off Kaputt's "yacht rock" vibe as being too tongue-in-cheek or kitschy, but when that style of music is pulled off with such precision and ease, it's hard not to believe it's totally sincere.

- Kyle Matteson, TC Daily Planet

Rusko talks Minneapolis, fan gifts and YouTube

This week one of the genre's most famous producer/DJs returns to First Avenue to

hypnotize the young electronic music crowd with every wicked wobble and sadistic bass attack.

- Jen Boyles, City Pages

Mike Watt bringing new 'opera' to Turf Club

The punk veteran and hugely influential bassist made his name in the early '80s as a member of the Minutemen, and he seemingly hasn't stopped touring since, lending his talents to a number of post-Minutemen projects like Dos (formed with ex-Black Flag bassist Kira Roessler), fIREHOSE, and a newly reformed Iggy & The Stooges.

- Ian Traas, City Pages


Review: Finding new life in 'Old Lace'

Article by: ROHAN PRESTON , Star Tribune Updated: April 18, 2011 - 2:34 PM

Strong casting, especially of the murderous Brewster sisters, helps bring laughs to the Guthrie Theater's staging of a comic chestnut.

Review: Rare staging of opera based on Brontë novel

Article by: WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD , Special to the Star Tribune Updated: April 18, 2011 - 2:10 PM

Famed film composer Bernard Herrmann's only opera is an emotion-packed, if often slow, ride.

Review: 'La Mancha' feels impossibly new

Updated: April 18, 2011 - 1:25 PM

Steven Epp galvanizes this production with such immediacy that it seems we're watching a new show.

Playwright gets a little preachy, but performances are strong in 'The Gospel According to Jerry'

[The actors] can't quite overcome the shortcomings of a script that seems more interested in giving voice to Kula's ideas than telling a compelling story.

- Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Guthrie's 2011-12 season has classics, comedies, new works and a touch of the Irish

At least three of the 14 plays on Guthrie stages in 2011-12 will come with a connection to Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling's native Ireland.

- Chris Hewitt, Pioneer Press

Guthrie announces 2011-2012 season

There will be world premieres, old classics, Shakespeare, and, of course, A Christmas Carol onstage during the Guthrie Theater's 2011-2012 season, which was announced Monday evening at a program on the McGuire Proscenium Stage, and streamed live over the theater's Facebook page.

- Ed Huyck, City Pages

Theater review: CTC's 'Annie' is smooth, watchable and ... nice

The Children's Theatre Company's production of "Annie" is -- to quote Dom DeLuise in "History of the World Part One" -- nice. Not thrilling. But nice.

- Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press

Nat-urally Dennis Spears says Nat King Cole shaped his style, and he pays his respects to the late crooner in 'I Wish You Love.'

For Spears, who made his name as the male voice of Moore by Four, it's a role he's been preparing for -- whether or not he realized it -- since he was a child listening to Cole around the Christmas tree.

- Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press

Michelle Hensley's 'Man of La Mancha' is different, but powerful

That my father-in-law walked out of the Minnesota Opera Center with tears in his eyes demonstrates that there's more than one way to make a great musical.

- Dominic P. Papatola, Pioneer Press

Amy Buchanan: 100 Creatives

In 2003 Le Cirque Rouge reawakened burlesque tradition in the Twin Cities after an unnecessarily long slumber. We have troupe founder Amy Buchanan to thank for that.

- Jessica Armbruster, City Pages

'[title of show]' tackles creativity head on

[title of show]-- a musical about the process of making a musical about making a musical--is plenty of fun, with strong insights into the creative process mixed with lots of insider jokes about the business of Broadway, the craft of acting, and musical theater flops.

- Ed Huyck, City Pages

At Illusion Theater, Jeffrey Hatcher's "Three Viewings" is reasonably entertaining

An exceptional cast carries a work that goes from superb to serviceable to inept capably through its paces.

- Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet

Talking with Annie, star of page ("Annie"), stage ("Annie"), and screen ("Annie")

Disclaimer: Though inspired by the actual production of the musical Annie at the Children's Theatre Company, this is a fictional interview with the fictional character of Annie, involving neither the actress playing Annie nor any other member of the production cast or crew. I just made it up. You've been warned.

- Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Minnesota Opera offers superb production of Herrmann's remarkable 'Wuthering Heights'

Bernard Herrmann's debut opera, "Wuthering Heights," Minnesota Opera's final offering of the season, seems especially remarkable.

- Michael Anthony, MinnPost.com