Did you know the Armistice was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of World War I? And now we’re approaching the 100th anniversary of that momentous occasion: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018.
Commemorative events will take place around the world, including the Twin Cities (on Victory Memorial Drive and at Britt’s Pub). What happened in Minneapolis on that day in 1918? “A big siren tore the midnight silence … By 4 a.m., the downtown streets were clogged with merrymakers.” (Read more here.)
The last two surviving veterans died in 2011 and 2012. Both were 110.
Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed Nov. 11 Armistice Remembrance Day in the State of Minnesota. And Northrop is going all out to make the day memorable and meaningful.
A Bells of Peace ceremony will take place from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Northrop Plaza. It will begin with a reading of Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem “For the Fallen.” An honor guard will toll a bell 21 times (a variation on the 21-gun salute). Then the names of the more than 1,400 Minnesota soldiers killed in combat during World War I will be read aloud. The ceremony will conclude with “Taps.”
Inside Northrop, Minnesota artist David Geister’s three-panel, 30-ft. “WW1 America” mural will be on display in the lobby. Created for the Minnesota History Center’s 2017 World War I exhibit, the mural is now housed in the Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley, which loaned it to Northrop for the day. Geister will be there to talk about his design and process. WWI artifacts will be on view, borrowed from the Military Museum.
Starting at 4 p.m. on Northrop’s big stage, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota will perform a concert, “Lest We Forget.” The centerpiece will be the joint U.S. premiere of British composer Patrick Hawes’ choral work “The Great War Symphony,” which will be performed the same day at Carnegie Hall.
At Northrop, Matthew Mehaffey will lead the Oratorio Society of Minnesota Chorus, the U of M School of Music Men’s and Women’s Chorus, soloists, an orchestra and the U of M Wind Ensemble in a program that will also feature Northrop’s newly restored Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. (Hawes is an organist.) Songs popular during the war and works by Dupré, Holst, and Ralph Vaughan Williams will lead up to Hawes’ symphony, which the composer has described as “a musical monument in memory of all those who gave their lives during the first World War.”
The Bells of Peace ceremony and Northrop lobby will be free and open to the public. Tickets to “Lest We Forget” are $28-48, with discounts available for members of the military, seniors, and youth 17 and under. FMI and tickets; 612-624-2345.
The concert will be broadcast live on Classical MPR, KSJN 99.5 FM and online.
Tonight at Magers & Quinn: Erin Gibson presents “Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death.” What else do we need to say about this? Go, laugh, weep, and stop off at one of the numerous hipster Uptown bars for a drink (just one!) on your way home. Gibson, aka Feminasty, is the Emmy-nominated creator and co-host of the comedy podcast “Throwing Shade.” 7 p.m. Free.
Wednesday at the American Swedish Institute: Nordic Accordion: Music and Poems in a Nordic Mood. Bart Sutter is a poet, essayist, and playwright who has written eight books, had four plays produced, and won three Minnesota Book Awards in three different categories. Ross Sutter is a singer of Scandinavian, Scottish and Irish songs and American traditional and popular songs; he accompanies himself on guitar, dulcimer, button accordion and bodhran. Their sibling act is a blend of music, storytelling, and poetry. Well, who wouldn’t like that? They’ll be at ASI with accordionist Art Bjorngjeld for a show about the experience of Scandinavian immigrants, their ancestors and their descendants. This will also be the book launch for Bart’s new poetry collection, “Nordic Accordion,” just out from Nodin Press. 7 p.m. Register here ($15/12).
Opens Thursday at the Off-Leash Art Box: “Not About Heroes.” U.S. military veterans get in free to all performances of Hero Now Theatre’s production of Stephen MacDonald’s play about poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Both were World War I British officers who witnessed the horrors of trench warfare. Both were in a war hospital in Edinburgh when they met and developed a deep friendship. Based on their letters and memoirs, “Not About Heroes” is a play about war, truth, and two artists’ evolving self-awareness. Arrive early to familiarize yourself with some of the poems; stay after to hear current veteran-artists talk about how creative work has helped them deal with their military experience. View a display of clay masks from the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance’s Veterans Unmasking Project. This production is funded in part with a grant from the Minnesota Humanities Center and its Veterans Voices program. Nov. 8-10 and 15-17 at 7 p.m., Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. FMI and tickets ($10-20, free for veterans).
Starts Thursday at the Ritz: “The Great Gatsby.” Collide Theatrical, creators of original Broadway-style jazz dance musicals, did a great “Dracula” and “Dance ’Till You Drop.” They’re back with their own world-premiere take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” a timeless tale of fabulous wealth, doomed love and the futility of trying to recapture the past. With a cast of 12 dancers, two vocalists and a live jazz band, this could be one of the best bets in the Twin Cities for a fun night out. Thursday, Friday and the Saturday matinee are previews; Saturday night is opening night. FMI and tickets ($26-50). Closes Nov. 18. Some performances have already sold out.
Thursday at Northrop: Pittsburgh Ballet and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: “Mozart in Motion.” A marriage made in heaven: the dancers of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the musicians of the SPCO, together for the first time. For lovers of ballet and classical music, this is a no-brainer. The program will include “Divertimento No. 15,” with choreography by George Balanchine; Czech choreographer Jirí Kylián’s “Petite Mort,” a dance of duets and a nod to the French euphemism, with music from the slow parts of two Mozart piano concertos; and Kylián’s “Sechs Tänze,” set to six nonsensical acts from Mozart’s “German Dances.” 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($60-80; discounts available). Free performance preview at 6:15 p.m. in the Best Buy Theater.