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Plays aplenty: 'RED,' 'Tales of Hollywood,' 'The Way of Water'

Weekend Best Bets from Minnesota Monthly
Friday, September 14

Engulfed by Oil

WHAT: The Way of Water
WHERE: Playwrights’ Center
WHEN: 8 p.m.

Set in the aftermath of the BP oil spill, this play by Caridad Svich is so current you may think you’re watching a television newscast or a documentary. Directly taking on claims of a robust environmental recovery, as spread through TV ads, this production by Frank Theatre offers a criticism of cultural amnesia and a defense of honorable living. franktheatre.org.

Friday, September 14

The Invisible Dance

WHAT: Rosy Simas Danse
WHERE: Southern Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 8 p.m.

Rosy Simas is a Native American choreographer working in contemporary modes and here, in a series of solo dances inspired by the philosophic words of beloved Celtic poet John O’Donohue, she’s collaborating with photographer Doug Beasley. No stranger to Native American philosophy himself, Beasley specializes in the spiritual, and his imagery here reveals a kind of invisible world of manifested beliefs. Learn more at rosysimas.com.

Saturday, September 15

Art in the Wild

WHAT: The Annual Rustic Road 13 Pottery Event and Sale
WHERE: Hudson, Wisconsin
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thirteen ceramic artists from the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin, including Ernest Miller and Peter Jadoonath, show their work at the historic farmstead of potter Beth Ryan. There will be firing demonstrations, live music, and, of course, the scenic surroundings to wander. Learn more at rusticroad13pottery.com

Saturday, September 15

Exiles in Tinseltown

WHAT: Tales of Hollywood
WHERE: Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

The Guthrie’s celebration of British playwright/screenwriter Christopher Hampton begins with his wry critical hit about the unlikely wartime exile of German literati like Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann — in Hollywood. Grumpy amid the California sunshine, and being asked to work on a sequel to Bedtime for Bonzo, the men struggle to fit in and forget old demons. Learn more at guthrietheater.org.

Sunday, September 16

Paint the Town

WHAT: RED
WHERE: Park Square Theatre, St. Paul
WHEN: 2 p.m.

J.C. Cutler stars as a bitter Mark Rothko, painting in his Bowery studio in the late 1950s, in this recent Broadway hit. Steven Lee Johnson plays his young assistant, who listens to Rothko’s tirades about the new generation of artists until he can’t take it anymore. Learn more at parksquaretheatre.org.

Sunday, September 16

The Gift of Music

WHAT: The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
WHERE: Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis
WHEN: 4 p.m.

The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are upset, and understandably so. They’ve been recognized in recent years as one of the finest ensembles in the world, yet contract negotiations have been extremely tense, with management angling to hand them a severe pay cut. Looking for public support, they’re offering a free crowd-pleaser of a concert, featuring Beethoven, Wagner, Steven Heitzig, and John Williams. Learn more at minnesotaorchestramusicians.org.

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