Bliss for book lovers, the annual Twin Cities Book Festival (TCBF) will return to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Oct. 12, for a full day of talks, presentations, signings and booths where publishers, authors and booksellers will be happy to meet and chat.
Now in its 19th year, conceived and organized and managed from the start by Rain Taxi, the festival typically draws more than 6,000 people. (It’s the largest free book festival in the upper Midwest.) Authors are the main attraction, and per usual, the list is long and strong, on both the national/international and local levels.
This year’s out-of-towners will include poet Kimberly Blaeser (“Copper Yearning”), Swedish author and poet Linda Boström Knausgård (“Welcome to America”), novelist Christine Coulson (“Metropolitan Stories”), essayist and translator Lewis Hyde (“A Primer for Forgetting”), Canadian novelist Andrew Kaufman (“The Ticking Heart”) and best-selling author David Shields (“The Trouble with Men,” “Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump”).
Among the many local favorites appearing at the festival will be Leif Enger (“Virgil Wander”), Faith Sullivan (“Ruby & Roland”), suspense, horror and comic book writer Benjamin Percy (“Suicide Woods”), multigenre writer Sheila O’Connor (“Evidence of V”), Minnesota transplant Christopher Ingraham (“If You Lived Here You’d be Home by Now”) and novelist and crime writer William Kent Krueger (“This Tender Land”).
The festival also features a crowd of teen, tween and children’s authors. Teaser: Bao Phi and Kao Kalia Yang will be there with new picture books.
Along with more than 150 exhibitors, TCBF offers family-friendly programming including storytelling, activities for younger children, and teen and tween readings.
As before, the run-up to the festival will include a Friday evening reception and opening night talk. Details on those are forthcoming. Meanwhile, TCBF has a new website. You can go there now for more information on authors who will be attending. As we close in on October, you can use it to plan your day.
Melissa Ousley to host Minnesota Orchestra broadcasts
For 25 years, Brian Newhouse knew where he’d be on many Friday nights: behind the mic, hosting Classical MPR’s live broadcasts with the Minnesota Orchestra. He traveled with the Orchestra to Cuba, South Africa and the BBC Proms.
June 14 was his final broadcast, and perhaps you’ve been wondering who would succeed. On Monday, Classical MPR named Melissa Ousley the new host of the broadcasts. Ousley has subbed for Newhouse in recent years. She also hosts Classical MPR’s live broadcasts of the Minnesota Opera and fills in for Classical MPR and Classical 24, both of which she will keep doing.
Newhouse isn’t going anywhere. He’s still leading MPR and American Public Media’s classical programming. But he wanted one of his colleagues “to have the same fantastic Orchestra Hall opportunity that I’ve had.” For more on this and Newhouse’s recollections of memorable moments as longtime host, go here.
Tonight (Thursday, Aug. 15) at the Walker: Sounds for Silents 2019: Film + Music on the Walker Hillside. A newly commissioned score from Twin Cities-based Astralblak will accompany five silent films of their choosing from the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection. All the films are experimental shorts; don’t expect Buster Keaton or Charles Chaplin. (The funk, soul and hip-hop collective are also slated to open for Chicago-based drummer, producer and beatmaker Makaya McCraven when he plays the Walker on Oct. 18 as part of the 2019-20 Performing Arts Season.) Bring a blanket. DJ and food trucks at 7 p.m., screening and performance at 8:30. Free.
Now at the Orpheum: “Rent” 20th Anniversary Tour. The latest iteration of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical came through in 2017. Its message of joy and hope in the face of fear never gets old. Shows Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($40-136). In a tradition begun in New York in 1996, seats in the first rows of the orchestra section will be available for $25 for every performance – in-person, cash-only at the Orpheum Theatre box office two hours before the show. Closes Aug. 18.
Friday through Sunday at the Bryant-Lake Bowl: 2019 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour. Seven shorts include fiction, documentary and animation from around the world. The short film program at Sundance has long been a place to discover talented directors. Alums include Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Damien Chazelle. Friday and Saturday: doors at 6 p.m., film(s) at 7. Sunday: doors at 4:30 p.m., films at 5. FMI and tickets ($8).
Sunday at Como Park: 21st Annual Japanese Obon Festival. A day of bonsai, martial arts, ikebana, singing, dancing, drumming and food that ends with a lantern lighting in the Japanese Garden and Frog Pond. Held on the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, this already major event has expanded its footprint, adding more space, food vendors, entertainment, exhibitors (and, ahem, porta-potties). 3-9 p.m. Admission $5 (adults), $3 (3-12 and seniors 65+), and free (under 3). FMI including advance tickets, entertainment schedule, map and free MetroTransit pass.