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Coming up: FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

Sod House Theater touring MN with “The Visit”; Cedar presents Chicago Afrobeat Project; Chameleon Theatre Circle announces season; and more.

FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, now in its eighth year, has expanded from a one-day event to a full weekend.
Courtesy of FLOW/Melodee Fine

FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, now in its eighth year, has expanded from a one-day event to a full weekend, with preview events Friday and extended gallery hours Friday – Sunday. A non-juried, self-guided tour of studios, galleries, theaters, commercial and vacant spaces along and near West Broadway from the Mississippi River to Penn Ave. N., it’s jam-packed with things to see and do: a parade, poetry slam, pop-up gallery with Wing Young Huie and Ashley Hanson, performances by Sounds of Blackness, Big Daddy Kane, and the Minnesota Sinfonia (“Ugly Duckling”), public art, live painting and more. Nearly 350 artists and performers are expected to participate. Shuttle buses will circulate in a loop through all locations. On Saturday, North 2nd Street will be car-free for biking, walking, and skating to food trucks, artist booths, and art-making activities. Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday 1-7 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m. FMI and full schedule.

As part of FLOW, playwright and actor Shá Cage will perform selected scenes from her solo show “N.I.G.G.E.R.” at the Capri on Friday, July 26. An experimental examination of the N-word through a female lens, it sold out a three-night run at Intermedia Arts in March. In light of recent events, this show seems especially timely, but when isn’t it? Starts early – 5:30 p.m. – and we hope the traffic is light that night, because Cage will dash from the Capri to the Guthrie, where she’s still appearing in “Clybourne Park,” which closes Aug. 4 in case you haven’t seen it. The Capri show is ages 14+, pay-what-you-can. FMI. (P.S. Two more performances of the popular “Clybourne Park” have just been added to the schedule: Sunday, July 28, and Sunday Aug. 4, both at 1 p.m.)

After 18 years at the Loft Literary Center, Program Director Jerod Santek is leaving to head a new literary organization in Door County, Wis. In October 2012, Door County held a public conversation on ways to focus on and expand the literary arts. Santek was the facilitator, and it seems the attraction was mutual. The Loft will host a reception to celebrate Santek’s work and legacy on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at Open Book. Program participants and community members are invited. Refreshments will be served. Social hour 5 p.m., remarks and presentation at 6:15. RSVP here.

Single tickets to the Children’s Theatre’s 2013-14 season are on sale today. The new season is a lively line-up of offerings including “Charlotte’s Web,” “Shrek the Musical,” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites.” Members of CTC’s mailing list received a special pre-sale offer over the weekend. Tip: if there’s an arts organization you like, sign up for the mailing list. In our experience, you will not get pelted with emails (arts orgs generally don’t have enough staff to be annoying), and you will be first in line for discounts.

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The Chameleon Theatre Circle has announced its 2013-14 season at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Oct. 4-13: “Ruthless! The Musical.” Nov. 1-17: “Wonder of the World.” Dec. 7-22: “Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Feb. 21-March 9, 2014: “Simpatico.” April 25-May 11: “Mom! A New Musical.” May 30-June 14: a Japanese Kabuki-style production of “Twelfth Night.” For season tickets, call 952-895-4680. Single tickets are on sale at the BPAC box office (12600 Nicollet Ave.) or through Ticketmaster.

the visit promo photo
Courtesy of Sod House Theater
“The Visit” is a dark comedy about the values, choices and consequences of a small town struggling to survive.

How far will a town go to save itself? Will it accept a WalMart and risk putting friends and neighbors out of business? Will it allow a nuclear waste dump to be built nearby? Will it even commit murder to appease a vengeful but wealthy former resident and potential benefactor? Friedrich Durrenmatt’s play “The Visit” is a dark comedy about the values, choices and consequences of a small town struggling to survive. Sod House Theater, a site-specific, Twin Cities-based theater company, is traveling to Albert Lea, Blue Earth, and East Grand Forks to present this provocative play in historical village museums. Audiences will move through the re-created villages to witness the unfolding plight of the town. Not only is this a fascinating concept; it’s being carried out by top Twin Cities-based talent including Luverne Seifert, Barbra Berlovitz, Robert Rosen, Randy Reyes, Elise Langer, Jason Ballweber and Darcey Engen. At each stop along the way, the core company will be joined by local performers and musicians. July 25-28 at the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village in Albert Lea. Aug. 1-3 at the Faribault County Historical Society in Blue Earth. Aug. 8-11 at East Grand Forks Heritage Village in East Grand Forks. For tickets, ($15), go to Brown Paper Tickets and enter The Visit in the Find an Event window. 

The Moving Company has announced its next original work, and how long we have to wait to see it. Directed by Nathan Keepers, featuring Keepers, Sarah Agnew, and Luverne Seifert, “For Sale” will be presented at the Lab Theater Nov. 1-24. Their description: “For Sale: large, abandoned building located north of Downtown … Take the tour. Explore what once was, contemplate what might have been, imagine what could be … Bring comfortable shoes and an open heart.” It’s on our things-to-look-forward-to-this-fall list. 

In an article published in the June 2013 issue of Senza Sordino, the monthly publication of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), SPCO violinist Leslie Shank, a member of the musicians’ negotiating committee, takes us inside the negotiations that ended the 191-day lockout and resulted in a new three-year agreement. Hat tip to Save Our SPCO for sharing the link.

The Cedar concludes its African Summer concert series Friday with the Chicago Afrobeat Project featuring Tony Allen. A cofounder of Afrobeat, legendary drummer Allen spent 15 years playing with Fela Kuti. This is a standing show with an open dance floor. We were at the Cedar on Friday for the Handsome Family and take it from us, the Cedar’s new AC works very well. Local Afrobeat band Black Market Brass opens. Doors at 7, music at 8. FMI and tickets ($25 advance/$30 day of show).

Carl Lee, director of marketing and theatrical programming for Hennepin Theatre Trust, is seriously ill. Next Monday, July 29, talent from across the Twin Cities will gather at the Chanhassen for a musical review benefiting the Lee family. The list of more than 20 performers includes Michael Gruber, Molly Sue McDonald, Janis Hardy, Christina Baldwin, Dieter Bierbrauer, Ann Michels, Jared Oxborough, George Maurer and Jay Albright. Tony Vierling, now appearing at the Chan in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” is putting the program together; Tod Petersen and Erin Schwab will emcee. A silent auction begins at 6 p.m. and ends just before the concert at 7:30. Minimum suggested ticket donation $25 per person; all proceeds go to the Lee family. At the Fireside Stage. Call 952-934-1525.

Our picks for the week

Tonight at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts: “Directed: The Intersection of Book, Film and Visual Narrative.” Tour the 2013 Book Art Biennial exhibition with curator Jeff Rathermel. Enjoy wine, cheese and conversation before and after. Free for MinnPost members, $10 for nonmembers. 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the MCBA gallery at Open Book. FMI about the exhibition. Reserve here.

exhibition photo
Courtesy of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts
“Directed: The Intersection of Book, Film and Visual Narrative” at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Tonight at the Minneapolis Central Library: Talk of the Stacks with Terry Brooks. If the words “Shannara” and “Landover” mean something to you, you’re probably a Terry Brooks fan. The famed, acclaimed and hugely successful author of fantasy fiction (over 22 million copies of his books are in print, and who’s keeping track of those e-books?) will be here to present “Witch Wraith,” the last book in “The Dark Legacy of Shannara” trilogy. Doors at 6:15 p.m., program at 7. 300 Nicollet Mall. Free and open to the public.

Tonight at the Artists’ Quarter: Round Trip. Stellar players Pat Moriarty (alto sax), Chris Thomson (tenor sax), Tom Lewis (bass) and Phil Hey (drums) are joined by Dave Hagedorn (vibes) for a tour of the music of Ornette Coleman. All this plus tasty $2 tacos and the cake-of-the-night by V-Lo. If you love Ornette Coleman and know something about these musicians, we’ve said all we need to say. If you’re curious about or even intimidated by Ornette Coleman, these are the guys who will open the door, invite you in, and make you feel welcome. 9 p.m., $5 at the door, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul (in the basement of the historic Hamm Building).

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vox stellarum
Courtesy of the Textile Center
“Vox Stellarum” (“voice of the stars”) was inspired by the 18th-century prints of German theologian Jakob Scheucher, who believed that science and sacred scriptures were not mutually exclusive.

Wednesday at the Textile Center: “Meet a Maker: Elin Noble” Artist Talk. We’ve only seen photos so far, but “Vox Stellarum,” a new installation of silk itajime panels and sculptures opening this week at the Textile Center, looks gorgeous and dreamy. An award-winning artist, author, and teacher who lives in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Noble has spent more than 30 years investigating the nuances of applying dyes to cloth. “Vox Stellarum” (“voice of the stars”) was inspired by the 18th-century prints of German theologian Jakob Scheucher, who believed that science and sacred scriptures were not mutually exclusive. The exhibition officially opens Thursday, but Noble is coming in early for an artist talk we’re told will be accessible to anyone who is interested in the work, and you’ll be able to walk through the show at that time. 7 p.m., $5. Preregister at 612-436-0464 or just show up. Noble will also be present at the official opening reception Thursday from 6 – 8 p.m. Free and open to the public.

jeremy walker
Photo by John Whiting
Jeremy Walker has been battling Lyme disease for many years but wasn’t diagnosed until March 2013.

Thursday at the Dakota: the Jeremy Walker Benefit Bash. Jeremy Walker – musician, composer, former owner of the Brilliant Corners jazz club in St. Paul, founder of the educational nonprofit Jazz Is NOW! and columnist at – has been battling Lyme disease for many years but wasn’t diagnosed until March 2013. He’s finally getting the treatment he needs, but the potential financial costs are staggering. Grammy nominee Ted Nash (Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra) and New York-based pianist David Berkman are flying in to headline an evening of music and entertainment featuring Walker’s band Boot Camp (with Bryan Nichols sitting in for Walker on the piano bench), bassist Anthony Cox and his band Happy Spirits, singers from the Minnesota Opera, and writer/comedian Joseph Scrimshaw. 7 p.m., 1010 Nicollet Mall. FMI and tickets ($50).

Thursday in Rice Park: Ordway Summer Dance continues with a night of ballroom dancing. If you’ve always wanted to learn or simply try, no more excuses. This free outdoor event includes dance instruction from the experts at Cinema Ballroom and live music by Jerry O’Hagan and His Orchestra, with the charming and elegant Charmin Michelle as featured vocalist. O’Hagen and Michelle have a long history of performing for dancers at the Cinema Ballroom and recorded a CD together, “Dance Time Volume 1,” that will likely be available at this event. Starts at 5:30 p.m. FMI. If it rains, the event will move inside Landmark Center, just a few graceful glides away.