The Minnesota Orchestra has canceled more concerts, this time through April 27. Gone are Sudbin Plays Beethoven, Inside the Classics: Romeo and Juliet, Wicked Divas of Broadway, and (gasp!) Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Erin Keefe. A few concerts have been rescheduled for the 2013-14 season. With this announcement, MnOrch has leapfrogged over the SPCO, whose latest batch of cancellations extends through April 21. Meanwhile, nearly 800 people have signed a petition asking the Minnesota Orchestral Association to use the funds saved by not paying musicians’ salaries or benefits since October 1, when the lockout began, to reinstate what little remains of the season.
The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will present two family-friendly performances this Saturday (March 23) at Wayzata Community Church. The music will include familiar selections by Beethoven, Mozart and Bizet. Between concerts, you can meet the musicians at a reception. 2 p.m. or 4 p.m., free.
The nominations for the 2013 James Beard Awards came out earlier this week, and Minnesotans can hold their oven mitts high. For Best Chef: Midwest, Salty Tart’s Michelle Gayer will go toque-to-toque with Butcher & the Boar’s Jack Riebel. Marcus Samuelsson, whose short-lived Aquavit in the IDS was too avant for its time, is up for the Writing and Literature award for “Yes, Chef: A Memoir.” (His book tour last July brought him to the American Swedish Institute for a talk and signing.) Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” earned him two nominations: one for Television Program, On Location, and the other for Outstanding Personality/Host. In the first category, Zimmern faces off against Tony Bourdain’s “The Mind of a Chef.” Zimmern and Bourdain share a bill at the State Theater on Saturday, May 11, by which time the winner can gloat. FMI and tickets. Let’s hope Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl brings home the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for “The Cheese Artist,” published in Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine. It’s a lovely piece of writing. The Beard awards will be announced May 6.
Speaking of James Beard, the Illusion Theater’s next production will be the regional premiere of “I Love to Eat: A Love Story with Food” starring Ivey winner Garry Geiken as the celebrated chef. Set in 1984, the year before Beard’s death, on a restless evening in his New York home, the one-man play is an intimate, affectionate portrait of America’s first foodie. Written by James Still, directed by Michael Robins. April 25-May 18. FMI, tickets, and a recipe for onion sandwiches.
Our picks for this weekend and Monday
Friday, March 22: “Why Printing Still Matters” at the Minnesota Museum of American Art’s Project Space. Why print on paper in these digital times? Katharine Eggers, founder of Thirty Two magazine, and Jason Wagner and Drew Burke of Univocal Publishing House, which produces artisanal editions of texts, make their respective cases. 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. 332 N. Robert Street (in the Pioneer Building), St. Paul.
Friday, March 22: opening reception for “Blowout” at Light Grey Art Lab. Curated by Uptown Tattoo, this benefit for local tattoo artist Tom Strom, who was injured in a biking accident, features the personal work of 40 international tattoo artists (including Strom). Running concurrently: “Beautiful Forever: A Tribute to Tattoos,” with temporary tattoos by 40 contemporary artists who don’t normally work in ink-on-skin. Reception 7 p.m.-10 p.m. On display through April 12, these shows are also about shared culture and community. 110 East 26th St., #10, Minneapolis.
Friday, March 22: “War Witch” opens at the St. Anthony Main. A young girl is kidnapped by African rebels at age 12 and forced to fight as a child soldier. Because she can see gray ghosts in the trees that warn of approaching enemies, she is deemed a sorceress. A 2013 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, shot in the Congo, this is probably not a good first-date movie. Through Thursday. FMI and tickets.
Saturday, March 23: “Soldiers’ Stories” at the Minnesota History Center. Free admission for veterans and active service military. Learn how American soldiers have stayed in touch with the home front, and how their writing kept up morale; meet costumed soldiers from the Civil War through today; hear Civil War historian and collector Wayne Jorgenson talk about his book, “Every Man Did His Duty: Pictures and Stories of the Men of the First Minnesota.” Noon-4 p.m. Register online for Jorgenson’s lecture.
Saturday, March 23: a live-action knitting performance by Steven Berg at Wing Young Huie’s Third Place Gallery. Berg, aka StevenBe, aka the Glitter Knitter learned to knit as a child. By age 8, he was designing and creating sequined gowns for the Barbie dolls of neighborhood friends. Educated at Parsons and the Fashion Institute in New York, he has been a globe-trotting designer and buyer. He’ll discuss his creative process and his career in fiber art in a site-specific installation, to be followed by ping-pong and karaoke. 7 p.m., 3730 Chicago Ave. S., Studio B. Suggested donation $5-$10.
Saturday, March 23: opening reception for “Juicy Steak Moustache II” at the new Kolman & Pryor Gallery. The Anita Sue Kolman Gallery in the Northrup King Building hasn’t moved, but it has changed. Kolman has partnered with curator and artist Patrick Kemal Pryor to create what Pryor calls “a space … that welcomes people to be a part of it.” Forget stand-around-and-look-cool openings; this night and this show are more about fun, discovery, and play. Several pieces are interactive, some will be created on the spot, and others are available for trade; leave something, take something. We visited earlier this week and loved Kyle Fokken’s toy sculptures, Kelly Jean Ohl’s ceramic rattles, Danny Saathoff’s intricate, steam-punkish mechanical pieces, Kate Casanova’s yellow umbrella and Pryor’s sun-saturated abstracts. Studio 395, 1500 Jackson Street. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Show runs through May 11.
Sunday, March 24: award-winning local author Patricia Hampl reads F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dreams,” with musical interludes by pianist Dan Chouinard. Maybe the reading will work a magic spell on the weather and melt all the snow. St. Paul Central Library, 90 W. 4th St., in the 3rd floor Magazine Room. Free.
Sunday-Monday, March 24-25: Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura at the Dakota. Prince flew to Lisbon to work with her and remixed one of her songs. Reliable sources are hinting broadly that a “surprise guest” might come to her Dakota shows. (The last time Moura performed at the Dakota, the Purple One rented the mezz.) Fado (the word means “fate”) is the Portuguese blues, and it may be the saddest, most resigned music you’ll ever hear. It’s also smoky, sexy and soulful. Moura is today’s fastest-rising fadista; other famous fans include the Rolling Stones, who met with her to sing “No Expectations” (a perfect fado lament). Her tour for “Desfado,” her latest album, brings her to Minneapolis for two nights, one set each night. If she sings Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” I might die. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets.
Saturday, March 30: Punk rock icon Richard Hell at the Soap Factory. Hell is on tour with his autobiography, “I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp.” Free and open to the public, but seating will be limited. FMI.
Tuesday, April 23: Molly Ringwald Quartet at the Dakota. “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink” – that Molly Ringwald? Her latest incarnation is jazz singer, and her debut CD, “Except … Sometimes,” is due out April 9. FMI and tickets.
Tuesday, April 30: Soprano Jessye Norman at the Ordway. The Schubert Club regularly programs top international artists, bringing big stars from the world’s great stages to St. Paul. For its 130th Anniversary Celebratory Concert, they went all out and invited someone so magnificent, so iconic I can hardly believe there are any tickets left. If you miss this, don’t come crying to me later. FMI and tickets.
Sunday, May 5: A Mid Century Affair. Architectural historian Jane King Hession leads an afternoon-long Twin Cities outing devoted to the décor, architecture and lifestyle of Mid Century Modernism. FMI and tickets.
Wednesday, May 8: Isabel Allende at the Ordway. The award-winning author (“House of the Spirits”) reads from her latest, “Maya’s Notebook,” as part of MPR’s Talking Volumes series. FMI and tickets.
Thursday, May 23: “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” at the Orpheum. This will be a live taping with Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell, and the usual witty panelists. An MPR member presale began earlier this week. Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Wednesday, March 27, at 10 a.m.