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Coming up: ‘Mean Girls’ at the Orpheum, Minnesota writers celebration, homes by architects tour

ALSO: “Pipeline” at Penumbra Theatre; Branford Marsalis at Northrop; fall pottery sales; and more.

“Bone Mother: Aerial Tales of Baba Yaga,” by Sandbox Theatre, at The Museum of Russian Art.
“Bone Mother: Aerial Tales of Baba Yaga,” by Sandbox Theatre, at The Museum of Russian Art.
Courtesy of The Museum of Russian Art

Artscape will be on break from Sept. 24 through Oct. 8. But we’ll leave you with plenty of carefully chosen arts and culture options from now until we return. This is part 3. See also part 1 and part 2.

Now through Friday, Sept. 27, at The Museum of Russian Art: “Bone Mother: Aerial Tales of Baba Yaga.” Did architect Julie Snow imagine such a thing when she converted a former mortuary into a museum? Created by Sandbox Theatre, this world premiere show takes place in the air, exploring femininity’s perseverance, kinship with nature and expression through the lens of Russian folklore. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20-24).

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22: Homes by Architects Tour. Unlike the generic boxes rising up in Twin Cities teardown neighborhoods, the homes on this tour were actually designed by real architects. Your ticket, good for both days, gets you into 13 new and remodeled homes from Independence to Marine on St. Croix, with most closer in. FMI including map and tickets ($15 until noon on Friday, Sept. 20, $20 after).

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Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Commodore: From F. Scott Fitzgerald to the current winners of the Minnesota Book Awards: A Celebration of Great Minnesota Writers. Spend Fitzgerald’s 123rd birthday with Shannon Gibney, Chaun Webster, Cori Doerrfeld and Wing Young Huie. Moderated by MPR’s Euan Kerr, the evening will also include Dan Chouinard at the piano, heavy appetizers, wine and a cash bar. Presented by Books for Africa, the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, Minnesota Book Awards and Fitzgerald in St. Paul. 7 p.m., program at 7:30. FMI and tickets ($40). On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29, the Minnesota Historical Society will offer 90-minute guided walking tours of the Fitzgerald’s St. Paul neighborhood. FMI, times and tickets ($10-14).

Sun Mee Chomet and Kurt Kwan star in "Aubergine."
Photo by Rich Fleischman
Sun Mee Chomet and Kurt Kwan star in "Aubergine."
Opens Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Park Square Theatre: “Aubergine.” Park Square starts its 45th season with a new artistic director and a regional premiere. Flordelino Lagundino will make his Park Square directing debut with Julia Cho’s poignant play about food, mortality and love. The cast includes Sun Mee Chomet, Shanan Custer, Song Kim, Glenn Kubota, Kurt Kwan and Darrick Mosley. Kwan is Ray, a first-generation Korean American chef who cooks a meal for his dying father, his best way to say what his limited Korean can’t. On the Andy Boss Stage. FMI and tickets ($16-55). Closes Oct. 20.

Friday-Sunday, Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 4-6 in the St. Croix River Valley: Fall Pottery Sales. We’ve been promised brilliant fall colors this year, a good excuse to head for Harris, Shafer, Sunrise or Stillwater, meet some potters, check out some pots and maybe do some early holiday shopping. There will be several potters at each location. Visit the links for times, directions, and other details for sales at Matthew Krousey Ceramics (Oct. 4-6), Sunrise MN Pottery (Will Swanson and Janel Jacobson; Oct. 4-6), and the River Valley Potters (Peter Jadoonath, Guillermo Cuellar and Nick Earl; Sept. 27-29; three locations).

Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Ordway: Minnesota Opera 2019-20 Season Preview. Hear excerpts from this season’s operas – “Elektra,” “The Barber of Seville,” “Flight,” “Edward Tulane” and “Don Giovanni” – and selections from other opera hits. Ordway doors at 12:30 p.m., hall opens at 1:30, program and performances at 2. Admission is free but registration is required. MNOP’s reimagined version of Strauss’ “Elektra” opens Oct. 5. FMI and tickets (start at $53).

Monday, Sept. 30, at Icehouse: Broken Shadows. This foursome gave a killer show when they were here in June 2018. Alto saxophonist Tim Berne is an avant-garde superhero; tenor Chris Speed is a rebel with a gorgeous tone; bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King are two-thirds of the Bad Plus. All have their own groups and projects going, but they share a common interest in the music of Ornette Coleman, Julius Hemphill, Charlie Haden and Dewey Redman. And they exude power, authority and wicked wit. 9:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20).

Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Northrop: Branford Marsalis, saxophone, and Jean-Willy Kunz, pipe organ. One saxophone vs. 6,982 pipes? That doesn’t seem fair. Recently restored to the tune of $3 million, Northrop’s historic Aeolian-Skinner organ will be featured in several events in the 2019-20 Northrop Music Series. First up, an evening with these two. Marsalis is an NEA Jazz Master who plays both jazz and classical music. Kunz is the first resident organist of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. A similar concert last year at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia went over very well. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($21-45).

An image from the Broadway production of “Mean Girls.”
Photo by Joan Marcus
An image from the Broadway production of “Mean Girls.”
Opens Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Orpheum: “Mean Girls.” The Broadway on Hennepin season officially began last month with “Rent.” But the record-breaking “Mean Girls” is the first new show of the season, and Minneapolis is the second stop in its first national tour. Everyone involved is a heavy: Lorne Michaels (producer), Tina Fey (she wrote the book, based on her screenplay for the hit film), Emmy-winning composer Jeff Richmond, Tony-nominated lyricist Nell Benjamin, Tony-winning director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”). National Mean Girls Day (Oct. 3) happens during the show’s two-week run, and the I-35W bridge will glow pink on that day in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($40-146). If you go, wear pink.

Thursday, Oct. 3, at the James J. Hill Center: Schubert Club Mix: David Greilsammer. The brilliant young Israeli pianist was last here in 2015, playing sonatas by Scarlatti and John Cage on two pianos. That concert was one of our top 25 arts events of the year. Greilsammer is out with a new project called “The Labyrinth,” in which he interleaves movements of Janáček’s “On an Overgrown Path” with short pieces by Ligeti, Mozart, Philip Glass, CPE Bach and other composers. Three reasons to go: to see this exciting pianist in person, to hear the music, and to look around the Hill Center, which officially closed to the public in early July. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($33).

Thursday, Oct. 3, in the Ordway Concert Hall: Ordway Cabaret: “Back to Before.” How are women portrayed in Broadway musicals? How do the artists playing them want to be portrayed? In first-person stories and songs chosen by the all-female cast, this show will explore “Ragtime,” “Dream Girls,” “Oklahoma,” “Waitress,” “Mean Girls” and more. With Christina Baldwin, China Brickey, Meghan Kreidler, Ann Michels, Traci Allen Shannon and Colleen Somerville. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($23-44).

Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Cedar: Mari Boine Trio. Norwegian Sámi singer and activist Boine recently recorded her first album sung entirely in English, “See the Woman.” For her concert at the Cedar, she’ll likely draw from that and her back catalog of a dozen albums including “Gula Gula,” released internationally in 1990 on Peter Gabriel’s label. A celebrity in her own country, one of the most important voices of the Sámi people, Boine has won several prestigious awards. Her voice and delivery are haunting and unique. Here’s the title track from her new album. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20 advance, $25 day of show).

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Opens Thursday, Oct. 3, at Penumbra Theatre: “Pipeline.” Penumbra’s 43rd season begins with Dominique Morisseau’s play about the school-to-prison pipeline that particularly affects young men of color. It will hit home in Minnesota, one of the worst states in the nation for overrepresentation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. Morisseau’s work has been seen on Penumbra’s stage before, in 2015 (“Detroit 67”) and 2016 (“Sunset Baby”). She has since achieved superstar status: a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2018, a Tony nod in May and a new project in the works with Questlove, Camille A. Brown and Kamilah Forbes. For “Pipeline,” Lou Bellamy will direct a cast that includes Erika La Vonn, Kory Pullam, Darius Dotch, Kiara Jackson, Ansa Akyea and Melanie Wehrmacher. 7:30 p.m.

The Haunted Basement has relocated to what they call the “Herberger’s Corpse in the Rosedale Mall.”
Courtesy of Haunted Basement
The Haunted Basement has relocated to what they call the “Herberger’s Corpse in the Rosedale Mall.”
Starts Thursday, Oct. 3, at Rosedale Center: the Haunted Basement. After years in the basement of the Soap Factory – an old, creepy, pitch-dark underground with uneven floors – and two years at 2010 East Hennepin Ave., a former General Mills research lab (where Walking Shadow is currently staging “Cabal”), the Haunted Basement has relocated to what they call the “Herberger’s Corpse in the Rosedale Mall.” An interactive experience focused on absurdist psychological horror, it is genuinely scary. The new digs are newer (the Soap was built in 1883), bigger, and ADA compliant. Your options this year are 18+ Touch, 15+ No Touch and (lights-on) Fraidy Cat Tours. FMI and tickets ($30/15). Multiple shows each day. Closes Nov. 2.

Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Minnesota Museum of American Art: A Talk with Postcommodity: Public Art Saint Paul’s Distinguished Public Artists Lecture. The interdisciplinary art collective Postcommodity makes conceptually-based work about migration, borders, indigenous thought and ritual, colonialism and late capitalism. Locally, their work was featured in a show at the Bockley Gallery in 2017, but they have exhibited widely and internationally. They were recently named Public Art Saint Paul’s 2019 Distinguished Public Artists, and two of their members, Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist, will give a major talk about their work on this night. Not to be missed. Reception at 6 p.m., program at 7. Free, but space is limited, and RSVPs are requested. FMI.