Art Hounds: Real-Phonic, Breadcrumbs, and the myth of the mad trapper

An illustration by Erin McGuire from Anne Ursu's "Breadcrumbs"

The hounds delight in a celebrated new children's book from a Minnesota author, a play set in the wilds of Canada about mythmaking and madness, and a new, rootsy, musical variety show.

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Brandy Dutoit has a really good feeling about the "Real-Phonic Radio Hour." Brandy, creator of the Minnesota music blog "365 Music Project," says local musician and songwriter Eric Koskinen and folk rocker Molly Maher and her Disbelievers came up with 'Real-Phonic,' an organic, monthly variety show performed live at the James J. Hill Library in St. Paul . Its debut is tonight at 8pm. Iowa guitarist and songwriter Bo Ramsey and soul singer Ashleigh Still will be special guests.

Sandbox Theatre's latest production, "The Mad Trapper of Rat River," has crept into the imagination of Carin Bratlie and stayed there. Carin, Artistic Director of Theatre Pro Rata in Minneapolis, says the story and myth of the insane trapper, who actually stalked the woods of northwest Canada in the 30s, perfectly suits the Sandbox aesthetic. On stage through Nov. 19 at Nimbus Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis.

All the superlatives critics are using to describe Minneapolis author and Minnesota Book Award winner Anne Ursu's new children's novel "Breadcrumbs," are well deserved. That's according to visual artist and Macalester College Drawing Instructor Megan Vossler. Megan says the story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," and is set in a snow-blanketed Minneapolis in midwinter. In fact, Megan says the state's longest season is so beautifully rendered in "Breadcrumbs" it made her have a new appreciation for it. You can hear Anne read from her book at the Loft Literary Center this Sunday at 2pm.

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