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Check ahead if your show involves East Coast artists this week; Halloween fun

ALSO: Minnesota Opera to produce Argento opera on Valentino; Random House, Penguin to merge; and more.

Hurricane Sandy is disrupting some local events featuring artists from the East Coast.
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

If you plan to attend any event in the next few days featuring artists from the East Coast, you probably should check with the presenting organization and confirm that the show will go on. Here’s what we know so far about events we’ve mentioned in this column: Maria Schneider’s concerts at the Dakota tonight have been canceled; if you’re holding tickets for Wednesday, call 612-332-5299, but don’t expect good news. The Dakota hopes to reschedule her jazz orchestra for sometime in the spring.  Laurie Anderson is booked on a flight leaving NYC on Thursday morning – we hope. All three of her “Dirtday!” shows at the Walker (Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4) are sold out, as is her Composer Conversation at MPR on Thursday evening. She was recently added to the Walker’s Free First Saturdays program on Nov. 3, where she’s scheduled to give a family workshop starting at 1 p.m. Get tickets (if she’s here) starting at 10 a.m. that day in the lobby. We’ll update these events (and maybe others) as we learn more.

Did you wait until the last minute to plan for Halloween? No worries. Tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 30) at Common Good Books in St. Paul, author and paranormal researcher Dain Charbonneau will discuss his “Twin Cities Haunted Handbook: 100 Ghostly Places You Can Visit in and Around Minneapolis and St. Paul.” Pick up a copy, then plan your own tour of haunted bridges and cemeteries, museums and theaters in the metro area. 7 p.m., free. In the dimly lit parlor of the James J. Hill House on Halloween night (Oct. 31), costumed actors will give dramatic readings of 19th-century ghost stories by Edgar Allen Poe, Edith Wharton and the Brothers Grimm, plus “true” ghost stories. The one-hour program will be followed by a tour of the house. At 6 and 7:30 p.m.; call 651-297-2555 for reservations. As of Monday, there were several openings for the 6 p.m. time slot.

Halloween at the MoA
Courtesy of the Mall of America/Tony Nelson
The Mall of America is hosting the World’s Largest Indoor Trick or Treat

Also on Halloween night: Reginald Edmund’s “Blacula: Young, Black, & Undead” at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater. A tragicomedy with funk music inspired by the Blaxploitation films. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets. Starting at 5 p.m. at the Mall of America, hordes of costumed munchkins will take part in the World’s Largest Indoor Trick or Treat. (Note: No masks, no toy weapons.) Pick up treat bags for your kids at the Patio in the southwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe. Stick around for the costume contest at 5:30. Then head into the mall for treats from participating stores. If your little ones have food allergies, the Sears Court is the place to go for safe candy and entertainment including balancing ghosts and hair-raising demonstrations by Mad Science. Upstairs at 7:25 p.m., the movie theaters will show the Minnesota-made short film “My Favorite Holiday” and the Warner Bros. cult classic “Trick ‘r Treat.”

Even Jack-o-lanterns have opinions on
Minnesota’s proposed amendments

The Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis’s Longfellow neighborhood is screening the Japanese horror classic “Hausu,” a hallucinatory head trip featuring evil spirits, a demonic house cat, and a bloodthirsty piano. Tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 30-31), 7 and 9 p.m. FMI and tickets. Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” a tale of a boy and his home-sewn dog, is showing at multiple theaters including the Mall of America. Check for theaters, showtimes, and tickets here.

The Southern Theater is midway through its ten-day Twin Cities Horror Festival, a bag of tricks including the psychological horror-comedy “Harold” by Four Humors Theater, an original film score to the 1968 zombie classic “Night of the Living Dead” by The Poor Nobodys, and Erin Sheppard’s “Bump in the Night,” which combines dance with storytelling. Through Nov. 3. FMI and tickets. (If you were smart and held on to your Fringe Festival button, you’ll save a couple of dollars.)

Grave matters
Courtesy of the James Sewell Ballet
“Grave Matters” is a dark and twitchy zombie ballet.

This weekend, James Sewell Ballet returns with “Dance Macabre,” a Halloween-themed program of works inspired by Poe, plus the “Giselle Pas de Deux” and Sewell’s “Grave Matters.” We saw “Dance Macabre” last weekend and liked it a lot. “Takes on Poe” goes on a little too long, but it’s fun to hear Lou Reed’s version of “The Raven,” with his rather more colorful lyrics, and to see the company dance to music by Reed, Bach, and Nine Inch Nails. “Giselle” is included because it’s a ghost story. Sewell based his choreography on that of Marius Petipa from the mid-1880s, so it’s old-school. “Grave Matters” is the highlight of the evening, a dark and twitchy zombie ballet in which Goei’s muscular performance is a standout. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Nov. 2-3) at the Cowles, 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon (Nov. 4). FMI and tickets.

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The Minnesota Opera has announced its next New Works Initiative production. As part of its 2013-14 season, the Opera will present Dominick Argento’s “The Dream of Valentino,” about the actor Rudolph Valentino, who rose to stardom, lost control of his career, dropped out of Hollywood and died at age 31. It premiered in 1994 at the Kennedy Center and won raves but has never been produced here. We won’t see the original version, but a revision that focuses more on Valentino the artist. “The Dream of Valentino” is the only major Argento opera that the Minnesota Opera has not yet staged. The composer spent the summer making substantial changes. Eric Simonson will direct and Cristoph Campestrini will conduct.

The Opera’s New Works Initiative is a program designed to invigorate the repertoire with an infusion of contemporary works. So far, it has given us “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” Argento’s “Casanova’s Homecoming,” Bernard Herrmann’s “Wuthering Heights,” Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winner “Silent Night.” Coming soon is “Doubt,” composed by Douglas J. Cuomo with libretto by John Patrick Shanley; it will make its world premiere in January 2013. On Sunday and Monday (Nov. 4 and 5), New Yorkers can enjoy a preview of “Doubt” at the Guggenheim Museum as part of its acclaimed Works & Process series. Excerpts will be performed, and arts essayist Robert Marx will moderate a discussion with Cuomo, Shanley, and stage director Kevin Newbury. A live stream of Sunday’s event at starts at 6:30 p.m. CST.

News for book lovers: The New York Times reports that the European media companies Bertelsmann and Pearson plan to combine their book publishing divisions, Random House and Penguin. Random House, one of the world’s Big Six publishing companies, was founded in 1927 and acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998. Penguin, another of the Big Six, was founded in 1935 and bought by Pearson in 1970. Says Pearson’s chief executive Marjorie Scardino, “Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs … and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.” Book publishers are probably as excited about digital books as newspaper publishes are about Craigslist. And bye-bye, even more publishing jobs.

In an article for Sunday’s Strib, Washington correspondent Jim Spencer looks at lockouts, lumping the Minnesota Orchestra and SPCO together with Crystal Sugar and pro hockey players. “Companies and even non-profits are getting more aggressive with take-it-or-leave-it offers,” Spencer writes. “Locking out employees is still a risky strategy for a company’s income and its image, experts say. But in a country struggling to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it often works.” 

Because we spend time around working artists, we hear many comments in support of the locked-out musicians of both orchestras. But when we talk to people who aren’t artists, it’s often the opposite. Musicians are entitled, they say. They don’t work long enough or hard enough to justify their salaries, or what they do isn’t real work. They’re spoiled, and they should suffer along with the rest of us. An article by Scott Timberg published earlier this year in Salon, “No sympathy for the creative class,” sheds light on why Americans don’t value artists.

Tonight: The first woman ever to make Rolling Stone’s “Guitar Gods” list, Kaki King plays the Cedar, touring behind her new solo album “Glow.” Here she is in Italy a little over a month ago. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper opens. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30. FMI and tickets.

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