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Graywolf author Anna Burns wins Man Booker Prize; Twin Cities Film Fest opens

ALSO: MacPhail announces 2018-19 Spotlight Series; Diva Cage Match 2.0 at Uppercut Boxing Gym; and more.

Anna Burns
Anna Burns’ third novel tells the story of a young woman during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Photo by Eleni Stefanou

Anna Burns has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel “Milkman.” Burns was born in Belfast, she lives in East Sussex, England, and the prize was announced at an award ceremony in London, but her publisher – Graywolf Press – is here in Minneapolis.

Graywolf publisher Fiona McCrae, who attended the ceremony, said in a statement, “We are all over the moon that Anna Burns has won the Man Booker Prize, the first time in Graywolf history that an author we have published has had this honor.”

Burns’ third novel tells the story of a young woman during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Pursued by a paramilitary figure known as the Milkman, her life is upended as rumors spread about an affair. “Everything about this novel rings true,” said the Guardian in a rave review.

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Originally scheduled for U.S. publication in fall 2019, “Milkman” will now be available on Dec. 11 of this year.

Four of the six authors shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize are women. Of those four, two are Graywolf authors. The other is British novelist Daisy Johnson, the youngest writer ever to be shortlisted for the prestigious award.

Ann Hampton Callaway to step in for Ramsey Lewis at the Ordway

If you’re holding tickets for Ramsey Lewis at the Ordway on Saturday, Oct. 21, there’s been a change. Lewis has canceled all of his upcoming performances. Ann Hampton Callaway will take his place.

It’s OK to feel disappointed that you won’t see Lewis perform. The multiple Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master is a living legend. Per the Ordway’s announcement, the 83-year-old, “who is still healthy, has decided that after seven decades the strenuous demands of touring have taken a toll on him.”

But don’t despair. Ann Hampton Callaway is smashing. A singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger and Tony nominee, she’s a great entertainer and a legend in her own right. According to the New York Times, Callaway’s voice is “so rich, flexible and extravagantly gorgeous that it hardly matters what use she puts it to.”

Ann Hampton Callaway
Ann Hampton Callaway will appear at the Ordway on Saturday, Oct. 21, with Ramsey Lewis’ longtime band, the Urban Knights.
Callaway has performed with Lewis in recent years and will appear with Lewis’ longtime band, the Urban Knights. The Ordway is calling this a tribute show, so who knows? She might sing Lewis’ biggest hit, “The ‘In’ Crowd.”

Lewis first announced his retirement from touring in April, then changed his mind in May. He might really mean it this time. He’s still composing and recording and will release a new album in 2019.

The Ordway will contact ticket holders about the change and offer refunds to those who request them. Questions? Call 651-224-4222. Tickets? Same number or online.

MacPhail announces 2018-19 Spotlight Series

While programming the sixth season of the MacPhail Spotlight Series, which features MacPhail faculty and special guests, artistic director Mischa Santora asked questions like “What do J.S. Bach and Thelonious Monk have in common?” and “Why did a philandering 19th-century virtuoso take the minor orders in the Catholic Church?” Then he created five programs that draw fresh, unexpected connections between classical music masters. The 2018-19 series looks like this:

Nov. 10: “Masters of the Keyboard.” Co-hosted by Classical MPR’s Steve Staruch, this performance will feature music by composers who were also performers and improvisers. At Antonello Hall.

Feb. 10 and 11, 2019: “Roaring Twenties.” Classic songs and instrumental selections from this storied era, with dancer/choreographer Vie Boheme adding her art to selected tunes. Feb. 10 at Antonello Hall, with a post-concert dance party; Feb. 11 at the Paramount Theater in Austin.

Feb. 29: “Liszt’s Spiritual Journey.” Pianist Richard Tostenson will perform secular and spiritual works by Franz Liszt in the Basilica of St. Mary.

March 9: “Fanny and Felix.” In the early 1800s, siblings Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn were equally brilliant, talented and educated by great music teachers. He was supported to become a musician; she was discouraged. This program is dedicated to Fanny. Jennifer Baldwin Peden will read from letters and contemporary accounts of her life.

April 13 and June 2: “Pranksters and Protagonists.” Three stories told in classical music: one by Richard Strauss (“Till Eulenspiegel”) and two by Igor Stravinsky (“Suite Italienne” and “The Soldier’s Tale”). Raye Birk will narrate “The Soldier’s Tale.” April 13 at Antonello Hall, June 2 at the Lakeville Area Arts Center.

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FMI, times and tickets at the links above. Tickets for the Paramount Theater (“Roaring Twenties”) will go on sale Dec. 28.

The picks

Tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 17) at the ShowPlace ICON West End: The Twin Cities Film Fest opens. This year’s TCFF features several likely Oscar contenders. They include “A Private War,” about war correspondent Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike); “Boy Erased,” about the son of a Baptist preacher forced to participate in a gay conversion program; “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” with Melissa McCarthy as celebrity biographer Lee Israel; “Green Book,” in which a working-class Italian-American bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) drives an African-American classical pianist (Mahershala Ali) around the American South; and “Widows” starring Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo. Plus scary films, films about animal humanity, a line-up of LGBTQ films, shorts, and (new this year) the Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival. FMI including times, trailers and tickets.

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in a scene from “Green Book.”
Universal Pictures
Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in a scene from “Green Book.”
Thursday through Saturday at the Walker: “Capturing the Flag.” Anne de Mare’s documentary follows a group of volunteers who travel to North Carolina, ground zero for voter suppression, to legally observe and assist voters during the 2016 election. Seeing the difference individuals can make to protect “One Person, One Vote” is inspiring. On Thursday, the Emmy- and Peabody-winning director will be present for a post-screening discussion moderated by MPR’s Euan Kerr. In the Walker Cinema. 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday. FMI and tickets (free on Thursday, $10 Friday and Saturday).

An image from last year’s Diva Cage Match.
Photo by Dan Norman
An image from last year’s Diva Cage Match.
Saturday at Uppercut Boxing Gym: Diva Cage Match 2.0. Did you miss last year’s first, sold-out Diva Cage Match? Where six sopranos battled to see who’s most entertaining? Conceived by David Lefkowich, former artistic director of the Mill City Summer Opera and co-founder of Out of the Box Opera, this is a chance to experience trained voices singing operatic arias in a somewhat, um, different environment from the opera hall or concert hall. Celebrity judges and the audience will choose the winners; awards will be handed out by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($35 general admission, $65 ringside reserved). Free parking, cash bar. Here’s some background on the concept and the creator.

Mark Farina
Courtesy of the artist
Mark Farina performs his DJ sets around the world, some lasting five hours or longer.
Late night Saturday at REV Ultra Lounge: Mark Farina. It’s not news that we love jazz, classical and new music and the places where they intersect. We’re also longtime fans of Mark Farina’s signature Mushroom Jazz, which Vice called “dance music’s chillest genre ever.” Blending house, jazz, funk and hip-hop, mixing in samples from obscure records, it’s just so … listenable. To date, Farina has released eight “Mushroom Jazz” compilations spanning 1996-2016. It’s laid-back, down-tempo, multilayered easy listening that won’t turn your brain to mush. (It may have the opposite effect.) Born in Chicago, based in San Francisco, Farina performs his DJ sets around the world, some lasting five hours or longer. He’ll play two shorter sets at the REV: Mushroom Jazz from 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. and Deep House from 12:30-2 a.m. DJ Chuck Love Erickson will open. Here’s a series of Farina’s mixes you can enjoy for free – what he calls “soundtracks for daily living.” Here’s a brief video from a set in Denver earlier this month. Doors at 10 p.m. 21+. FMI and tickets ($20).

Hot ticket

Gospel singer Robert Robinson will perform two holiday concerts in the Memorial Chapel at Lakewood Cemetery, modeled after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Seating is limited and concerts at the chapel usually sell out. Buy now or cry later. 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2. FMI and tickets ($30 advance, $35 door).