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‘The Farnsworth Invention’ to open; Bluegrass Festival at Caponi Art Park

ALSO: Opening reception for Tim Tozer, “The Visit”; Bill Carrothers at Crooners; and more.

Artscape is on break and will return Wednesday, Sept. 23, with our usual mix of news and picks. Between now and then, we’ll keep you current on events worth going out for.

The picks

Mark L. Mattison as David Sarnoff and Pierce Huxtable as Philo T. Farnsworth
Photo by Roger Watts
Mark L. Mattison as David Sarnoff and Pierce Huxtable as Philo T. Farnsworth in “The Farnsworth Invention.”

Opens tonight (Friday, Sept. 11) at Theatre in the Round: “The Farnsworth Invention.” Theatre in the Round Players launches its 64th season with the area premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s play about the invention of television. Who will prevail – Philo Farnsworth, self-taught Idaho farm boy, or David Sarnoff, ruthless media mogul? Most of us know Sorkin’s TV and film work (“The West Wing,” “A Few Good Men,” “The Newsroom,” “The Social Network”). This is a rare chance to see a Sorkin play. Lynn Musgrave directs a 20-member cast in a series of fast-moving scenes. 8 p.m. FMI and tickets ($22). Through Oct. 4.

"Unfurnished Sky," oil on canvas, 56” x 60”
Tim Tozer
“Unfurnished Sky,” oil on canvas, 56” x 60”

Tonight at the Groveland Annex: Opening reception for Tim Tozer, “The Visit.” Light-filled, windswept paintings inspired by Tozer’s memories of growing up on the coast of England. Tozer moved to the U.S. in 1994 on an Andy Warhol scholarship to study art in New York; he moved to Minneapolis in 2002 and now teaches painting at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Even in photos of his paintings, you can see his energetic brushwork. 5-8 p.m. Through Oct. 17.

Saturday at the Soap Factory: Opening reception for the 4th Midwest Biennial: superusted. Cheryl Wilgren Clyne had Neil Young’s “Rust Never Sleeps” and the rawness of the Soap Factory’s space in mind when she curated this show, featuring work by 17 artists from five Midwestern states. Clyne, an artist, curator and educator based in St. Paul, was recently named the art director for the St. Paul Saints. 7-11 p.m. Through Nov. 8.

Monroe Crossing
Photo by Jamey Guy
Monroe Crossing

Sunday at Caponi Art Park: Second Annual Bluegrass Festival. Bluegrass music is meant to be heard outdoors. Emceed by Phil Nusbaum, host of KBEM’s “Bluegrass Saturday Morning,” this family-friendly event features Jack Norton and the Mullet River Boys, the Sawtooth Brothers, the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers and headliners Monroe Crossing, plus kid-focused activities and food trucks. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Gates at 12 p.m., music at 2. FMI and tickets ($20 general admission, $5 ages 6-12, kids 5 and under free).

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Sunday and Monday at Crooners: Bill Carrothers. The former Shoreview Supper Club in Fridley, Crooners is fast becoming known as a great place to hear live jazz. They’ve just launched a Jazz Tuesdays series, and their September calendar is filled with Twin Cities faves: Dave Karr, Arne Fogel, Ginger Commodore, Tommy O’Donnell, Patty Peterson, Debby Duncan, Chris Lomheim, Maud Hixson, Dave Graf. The exceptional pianist Bill Carrothers is coming in from the Upper Peninsula to try out the room and we hope he likes it, because we have missed him like crazy since the closing of the Artists’ Quarter, his former home in St. Paul. With Chris Bates on bass, Jay Epstein on drums. Sunday 7-9 p.m., Monday 7-10. Incredibly, no cover.

Monday at Mill City Museum: Book launch celebration for “Offstage Voices: Life in Twin Cities Theater.” Go behind the scenes at the Guthrie, the Playwrights’ Center, Ten Thousand Things, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, Theater Latté Da, Mu Performing Arts, the Fringe and many more. Featuring the voices of 40 theater professionals (actors, artistic directors, directors, playwrights, designers), Peg Guilfoyle’s new book explores why and how our theater community rocks so hard. The event will include a panel discussion with Guilfoyle, Michelle Hensley (Ten Thousand Things), Marcus Dillard (U of M Department of Theatre Arts and Dance), set designer Kate Sutton-Johnson, Teresa Eyring (Theatre Communications Group) and Rick Shiomi (Mu). 6:30 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. program, 8-9 p.m. book signing and sales. Free. Or go to the St. Paul launch next Monday, Sept. 28, at the Park Square Theatre with Ron Peluso (History Theatre), actor Ricardo Vazquez, Rich Hamson (Chanhassen Dinner Theatres), Jack Reuler (Mixed Blood), Sutton-Johnson and Park Square’s own Richard Cook. Same schedule as Mill City.