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Minnesota Orchestra’s season will fill 100 nights (and days) with music

ALSO: Parklot and Partylot will transform the Orpheum’s parking lot; Jerome Foundation grants are issued; get your crop art entered; and more.

Igudesman & Joo will close out the Live at Orchestra Hall season on July 25 with “Big Nightmare Music.”
Courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra/Julia Wesely

The Minnesota Orchestra has added another 32 concerts to the 66 previously announced, bringing almost 100 nights (and days) of music to Orchestra Hall. The three new series revealed today – Live at Orchestra Hall, Holiday, and Family Concerts – round out a 2014–15 season that already features 25 weeks of classical subscription concerts.

Beginning Halloween night with a program of science-fiction film and space-themed music hosted by Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown in “Back to the Future”), ending July 25 with Igudesman & Joo, whose anything-goes mix of comedy and classical music have made them YouTube sensations, the musical offerings include many artists audiences know and love: Doc Severinsen, Chris Botti, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Ann Hampton Callaway (singing her Barbra Streisand show), the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Irvin Mayfield, who still holds the title of Artistic Director of Jazz even though there’s no longer a discrete jazz series.

The orchestra’s first New Year’s Eve concerts since 1998 bring music by the Gershwins (and a party in the lobby). Two perennially popular movies, Disney’s “Fantasia” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” will screen to scores played live by the orchestra. And Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical “Carousel” receives a semi-staged performance, with the orchestra joined by a full cast of actors, complete with choreography and costumes. (Live at Orchestra Hall principal conductor Sarah Hicks believes our “Carousel” will sound better than Broadway’s.)

The holidays will ring with Baroque and Big Band, classical and country music, Handel’s “Messiah” and the first-ever performance of the Rose Ensemble with the orchestra. For kids, there’s a staged performance of the one-act Christmas opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” a musical telling of “The Story of Ferdinand,” the Grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers (with the Minnesota Orchestra), and “The Composer is Dead,” a musical tale that introduces kids to the orchestra’s instruments, with narration written by Lemony Snicket. (For all family concerts, buy one adult ticket, bring up to two kids for free.)

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Thursday’s announcement almost completes the season. The number of concerts will break 100 with the addition of the Inside the Classics and Symphony in 60 series, both still in the works and TBA this fall. For subscription and single-ticket information, visit the website.

Between the Basilica Block Party and the coming All-Star Game, downtown Minneapolis will be crazy this weekend. But what’s a little traffic? Starting Friday, July 11, part of the boring Orpheum Theatre parking lot on Hennepin between 9th and 10th will be the Parklot, an arts-inspired pop-up park with landscaping, greenery, recycled seating and a performance area. From 7 p.m. until midnight, it’s the Partylot, with entertainment, music, a cash bar, and a food truck. Friday night also marks the official launch of “Made Here,” downtown’s new urban walking gallery and the largest initiative of its kind in the country. Forty empty storefront windows have been filled with Minnesota art. Start at the Parklot, then take a walking tour of “Made Here.” 7 p.m.-midnight. Free. FMI.

Several Minnesota entities have received big grants from the Jerome Foundation, many in support of emerging artists: St. John’s University ($50,000 in support of the Emerging Artist in Residence program within the St. John’s Pottery), the Soap Factory ($20,000 to support the participation of emerging artists from Minnesota and New York City in the 2014 Exhibition Program), the Cedar Cultural Center ($64,000 in support of 416 Club Commissions for emerging Minnesota composers), the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council ($7,500 to support the production of the Minnesota State of the Arts report), the Minnesota Council on Foundations ($5,850 in general support of its 2014 activities and Jerome’s membership), and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design ($210,000 in support of the MCAD/Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists). Additionally, Jerome has committed $132,400 for grants and program administration in the 2014-5 Minnesota Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant Program.

Want to be a judge for next year’s Minnesota Book Awards? The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library have issued the first call for judge applicants. Learn more and apply here. No judging experience necessary. Eligibility requirements include in-depth knowledge related to the category for which you apply.

Silly us, we missed the deadline for the 2014 Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts competition registration. (Not that we would have entered, but some of you might have.) It closed last Monday, July 7. However, there’s still time to enter the Crop Art & Scarecrow competition (deadline Aug. 8) and submit Creative Activities (needlecraft, handcrafts, quilts, rugs, etc.). We always check out the quilts at the Fair.


Opens Friday, July 11, at the Guthrie’s Dowling Theater:  “Wreck.” Thirteen survivors are caught in the hold of a fast-sinking ship. How will they face the abyss? Told in dance and music, featuring vintage 1960s 8 mm ore-boat footage, this promises to be riveting and intense. Choreographed and directed by Carl Flink, with original music by Mary Ellen Childs performed by a live ensemble of top-tier musicians: Michelle Kinney, Jacqueline Ultan, Peter O’Gorman, Laura Harada and Pat O’Keefe. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($22-$30). Through July 20.

Friday and Saturday (July 11-12) at the Rose Garden at Lake Harriet: The 13th Annual Dances at the Lakes Festival. Professional and student dancers from Minnesota and California perform a variety of dance forms. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks or a picnic dinner and enjoy dance outdoors on the green grass. Presented by the Christopher Watson Dance Company. 7 p.m. both nights. Free.

Friday and Saturday (July 11-12) at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: “Fancy Meeting You Here: The Crosby-Clooney Story.” Starting with the 1954 film “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney became one of the most famous partnerships in music. Vocalists Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, both of whom know a lot about the songs they sing, are backed by the Wolverines Trio. 8 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday in the Fireside Theatre. 6 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show. FMI and tickets ($40 show only, $55 dinner and show).

Saturday at the Minnesota Museum of American Art Project Space: “Art Talk 1 of 2: Absence/Presence.” Three 2014 Minnesota Biennial artists talk about the visual strategies they use in their work and how it affects the viewer’s experience. Join Regan Golden McNerney, Selma Fernandez Richter and Howard Quednau in front of their pieces to learn more about them from the source. 2 p.m. Free and open to the public. FMI.

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Tuesday at theaters around the metro: “RiffTrax Live: Sharknado!” If you missed the sold-out live recording at the State last Thursday, here’s your chance to see the stars of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” crack wise about “Sharknado,” the made-for-TV movie that became a pop culture sensation. Go here to buy tickets from the theater nearest you.

Wednesday at the Southern: “Brag Minneapolis — With Mayor Betsy Hodges.” Herroner has proclaimed July 14-20 “The Best Week of Bragging About Minneapolis Ever.” She’ll be in the audience at the Southern, sharing her personal stories of pride in our fair city, after which the cast of The Theater of Public Policy will use them as fodder for improvised comedy theater. Join the fun by contributing your stories. Doors at 7, show at 8. FMI and tickets ($10).

Plan ahead: Individual tickets go on sale at noon today for “Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage” at the Orpheum (Oct. 7-19). “More Baby and Johnny scenes … more songs … more dancing,” said Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the book and the screenplay. This will be the Minnesota premiere of the record-breaking musical. The time of your life?