Artscape is on break and full coverage will return Wednesday, Sept. 24. We’ll leave you with ideas for must-sees, hears, and dos – an ample supply of picks as new seasons begin and we head into fall.
Tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 10) at the Dakota: Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road. Born in California, now living in New Orleans, Christopher spends much of his time in Europe, where there’s a lot less gasbaggery about jazz being dead. He’s an exceptional player of a once-popular instrument (Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman) that fell out of favor with the rise of bebop. What will you hear if you go? “I play the New Orleans clarinet,” Christopher told us last week. “That aesthetic is always a priority for me. After I returned to New Orleans about six years ago” – like many musicians, Christopher was displaced by Hurricane Katrina – “I decided to concentrate more on New Orleans than to concentrate on jazz. It put me in a frame of mind where melody was the most important thing. So it may sound corny, but I guess I’m coming to try to play some beautiful music … It’s about making sure every note means something.” He and his band – area cats Rick Carlson on piano, Keith Boyles on bass, and Mac Santiago on drums – will play “everything from Louis Armstrong to Abdullah Ibrahim.” 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20).
Tonight at Magers & Quinn: Jerry Van Amerongen “Easy Livin’ on Ballard Street” publication launch. There was a time when everyone read Van Amerongen’s “The Neighborhood” and Gary Larson’s “The Far Side.” Introduced in 1980, Van Amerongen’s cartoons have been in continuous syndication ever since. The two-time winner of the Best Newspaper Cartoon Panel of the Year Award given by the National Cartoonist Society will show his latest work and make us laugh. FMI. 7 p.m. Free.
Thursday, Sept. 11 at the White Bear Center for the Arts: Opening reception for “Celebrating Warren MacKenzie.” Beloved and enormously influential, the 90-year-old Minnesota potter is famous for his graceful, balanced, unpretentious functional pottery. It’s the stuff of museum collections and kitchen counters, exhibitions and everyday lives. A lot of people became pottery junkies thanks to MacKenzie’s affordable, useful cups, bowls, vases and lidded boxes; many successful potters learned from him. The reception includes lectures by Guillermo Cuellar, Jeff Oestreich and MacKenzie, as well as the exhibit of MacKenzie’s work that opened Sept. 8 and closes Oct. 10. 6–9 p.m. Registration is required for the lectures. The 7 p.m. time slot is full; the 7:45 wasn’t when we wrote this. To register, call 651-407-0597.
Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Loft: Jim Moore “Underground” publication launch. We’ve been told by someone in the know that this will be a standing-room event. Minnesota poet Moore’s “Underground: New and Selected Poems,” published by Graywolf, is his first career retrospective, a book that spans three decades, draws from seven previous books, and adds a generous number of new poems. These are poems you can read and read again – about time, love, history, daily life – without stumbling or having to sort things out. 7 p.m. Free.
Thursday, Sept. 11 at the St. Anthony Main Theater: MinnAnimate 3. Our annual festival of animated shorts by mostly Minnesota animators (with a few from South Dakota and Wisconsin, close enough) features more than 30 films by artists ranging in age from 7 to 70. Here’s the trailer, and here’s the program. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($5–$8.50).
Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Walker: Performing Arts Season Preview. We page through the annual Performing Arts Season brochure as if it were the Nieman Marcus Christmas Book. From September through June, it’s a bounty of dance, music, theater, film, performance art, commissions, collaborations, and premieres. The annual Choreographers’ Evening, curated by Kenna Cottman? Yes, please. Jack DeJohnette, Muhal Richard Abrams, Larry Gray, Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill together on the same stage? Wow! An opera about Edgar Allan Poe’s last days? Bring it on. A music/theater piece about the conceptual world opened up by quantum theory? Well … hmm. From the sublime to the puzzling, this series has it all. Performing arts curator Philip Bither will walk you through it, complete with personal anecdotes and videos from the artists. Here’s the trailer. 7 p.m. in the McGuire Theater. Free, and followed by a champagne toast onstage.
Thursday–Sunday, Sept. 11–14 at Northern Clay Center: American Pottery Festival. NCC’s annual fundraiser is also a one-of-a-kind opportunity to view and shop for pottery by artists from across the U.S. FMI, schedule and tickets ($5 Saturday and Sunday, $25 opening night benefit sale and party).
Friday, Sept. 12 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: “Nature,” an outdoor walking play. Sitting is bad for us anyway, and if the weather holds, this should be a combination of good theater and exercise. Created with Twin Cities writer, actor and producer Tyson Forbes, a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, featuring a cast of 10 actors, “Nature” is a mythic telling of Emerson and Thoreau’s mutual love affair with the natural world. Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and choral arrangements are woven into the script, with compositions by Dick Hensold. 5 p.m. FMI, schedule and tickets ($15–$25). Arboretum admission included in ticket price. Through Oct. 12.
Friday, Sept. 12 at Weinstein Gallery: Opening reception for “Vera Lutter: Venice.” Ghostly photographs of canals, gondolas, palazzos, and the Basilica San Marco, taken during high-water season with a pinhole camera or camera obscura (an apartment with blacked-out windows). This will be the first solo show of Lutter’s work in Minneapolis. Meet her at the reception. 6–8 p.m. FMI. Free. Through Oct. 24.
Friday, Sept. 12 at the Parkway Theater: “Color Me Obsessed.” The director’s cut of Gorman Bechard’s acclaimed 2011 rockumentary about the Replacements screens at the Parkway the night before the band plays Midway Stadium for the first time in 23 years. With live music by Curtiss A and other bands, special mystery guests and merchandise. Proceeds benefit former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who was sidelined by a severe stroke in 2012. Here’s a teaser. 4817 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis. 7 p.m. Tickets here ($12).