Rosanne Cash in St. Paul; ‘Sexy Laundry’ at Park Square

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride
Rosanne Cash: singer-songwriter, daughter of Johnny Cash and a star in her own right, with a Grammy, a string of No. 1 hits and a career now midway through its fourth decade.

How many daughters of famous musicians have followed their parents into stardom? That would be a good party question, because it’s a tough one. We can think of a few: Norah Jones (Ravi Shankar), Neneh Cherry (Don Cherry), Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis). And then there’s Rosanne Cash, singer-songwriter, daughter of Johnny Cash and a star in her own right, with a Grammy, a string of No. 1 hits and a career now midway through its fourth decade. She’s currently touring behind her latest album, “The River & the Thread,” a journey through the South her father knew. It’s the third in a trilogy of albums about her relationship with him, following “Black Cadillac” (2006) and “The List” (2009), and it’s already being called her best work.

Rosanne Cash performs tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 5) at 8 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy, and balcony tickets are still available to hear this singular artist ($35–$48). Known primarily as a country singer (which she is, and more), she recently signed to Blue Note, the historic jazz label run by the big-eared Don Was. Here’s a video of “Etta’s Tune” with Cash and John Leventhal, her collaborator, musical director, producer, guitarist and husband. Friday’s concert is part of the O’Shaughnessy’s thoughtful and inspiring Women of Substance series, which was founded in 1996 “to encourage all women to find their voice and place on life’s stage.” Go here for the complete line-up, which includes an evening with Sweet Honey in the Rock, now celebrating their 40th year.

Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP MN) has chosen 17 short works by Minnesota filmmakers for a new season of MNTV. The series of three one-hour programs will be broadcast on TPT in January, streamed online, and installed in the Best Buy film/video bay at the Walker. The films were chosen from among more than 100 submissions; topics include home and homeland, love and relationships, art and artists, Albert Einstein, a song by Minneapolis hip-hop artist MaLLy, and a snake-handling pastor in southern West Virginia. MNTV has been funded by the Jerome Foundation for more than two decades and is produced in collaboration with IFP MN, TPT, and the Walker’s film and video department. Filmmakers whose works are selected are paid $500 in licensing fees. You can stream past MNTV programs at TPT’s video archive.

Choreographer James Sewell of the James Sewell Ballet will work with documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman on a new dance based on one of Wiseman’s films, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Wiseman, who has made several films about dance, is among the first group of fellows at the new Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, a ballet “think tank” that will open later this month. Its founder and director, Jennifer Homans, is a dancer turned scholar and author; her history of ballet, “Apollo’s Angels,” ends with a downer epilogue where Homans declares, “I now feel sure that ballet is dying.” Apparently the Mellon Foundation doesn’t agree; it gave the Center a $2 million grant. The James Sewell Ballet’s 2014–15 season begins at the Cowles Oct. 24 with “Guy Noir: The Ballet & Rib Cage.” The former (“Guy Noir”) is a collaboration with Garrison Keillor, who serves as narrator; the latter (“Rib Cage”) is a partnership with the Schubert Club that includes live music. FMI and tickets (at the moment, subscription only).

Artists and arts organizations: If you hold an event funded by Legacy Amendment money, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) can help you let people know. They’ve created Legacy Amendment banner signs you can borrow. Limited number, first-come-first-served. Email Mara Miller ( with the name and date(s) of the event(s), your name, email and phone number, and a pick-up and return date for the sign.

What we’re reading: MPR’s Euan Kerr’s story on Renée Fleming, who performs at the Minnesota Orchestra gala Friday. Or you can listen and hear her speak about the importance of Friday’s event, and what it was like to sing the national anthem at February’s Super Bowl.

The Picks

Tonight (Thursday) through Saturday at the New Century Theatre in City Center: “Safe as Houses.” What is safety, personal and economic? What does safety look like when everything is changing, bubbles have burst, and truths that were once self-evident are blurred by nostalgia and too much information? Can we ever really find safety? This immersive event from Minneapolis artist/composer Chris Strouth and his group, Paris 1919, features live music, installation, modern dance and projections. The theater becomes a giant dollhouse and you’re inside. 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20).

Starts tonight in Mears Park: “Concrete and Grass.” St. Paul’s diverse, eclectic three-day music fest is a generous sampler of the Twin Cities music scene, beginning tonight with the SPCO performing Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat, ending Saturday with Badfinger. In between: jazz, salsa, choral music, and opera. Here’s the whole story and all of it is free.

The Weekend

Friday at the Park Square Theatre: “Sexy Laundry.” Park Square launches its 39th season (and its first on two stages) with a romantic comedy by Vancouver playwright Michele Riml. Can Alice (Charity Jones) and Henry (John Middleton) rekindle their marriage after 25 years, three kids, stalled careers, and the same old dull routine? Armed with a copy of “Sex for Dummies,” they check into a boutique hotel and start trying. Directed by Mary M. Finnerty, this regional premiere is in previews through Sept. 11 ($25/$35) and opens Sept. 12 ($38/$58). Through Sept. 28. FMI and tickets.

Saturday at the Merriam Park Library: Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi, “G.I. Brides.” During WWII, more than 70,000 British women fell in love with American GIs and traveled to the U.S. to become their wives. Barrett and Calvi tell the personal stories of four women whose lives were forever changed. 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul. 2 p.m. Free.

Saturday in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone: Block pARTy in the Zone. A day of fun and games, art, music, food and shopping in the mixed-use neighborhood on the Green Line surrounding Raymond and University Avenues. A lot of creative businesses are based here, and there’s nothing like a little branding to bring that home. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. FMI and map. Free.

Plan Ahead

“Handmade Worlds: A Festival of Puppet Theatre” comes to Minneapolis Sept. 25–28. If you’re a puppeteer, if you love puppets, if you’re curious about puppets and why they’re so darned fascinating and magical, take a look. The festival is packed with performances and workshops. A festival pass ($165) gets you into everything, or you can buy tickets to individual events, which take place in various locations. Go here for a list of all events; click on any View Event link to learn more and buy tickets. Handmade Worlds is produced by Open Eye Figure Theatre in collaboration with the Great Plains Region of the Puppeteers of America and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.

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