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From Art Pop! to KOKOKO!: Things to see, hear, do and plan for

Upcoming events include the Minnesota Orchestra’s season opener and writer Kao Kalia Yang at the Ordway.

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.

Tonight (Wednesday, Sept. 18) at CHS Field: Saint Paul Almanac: Resistance and Resilience Release Party. This year’s Almanac – a vital local publication – collects essays, artwork, poems, and history that reflect lives and times in our own communities. In the words of Wendy Brown-Baéz, “There are stories of grief, anger and injustice as well as stories of love, affirmation, and celebration.” Includes Kao Kalia Yang, David Mendez, Patricia Kirkpatrick, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Greg Watson and many others. Copies will be available ($19.95). In the Securian Club Room. 7:30-9 p.m. Free.

Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 19-21, at Orchestra Hall: Minnesota Orchestra season opener. Osmo Vänskä will conduct, five new-to-the-orchestra musicians will play, and Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen will make his Minnesota Orchestra debut with Edvard Grieg’s beloved and familiar Piano Concerto. The program will also include Einojuhani Rautavaara’s “A Requiem in Our Time,” the orchestra’s first performance of Elliott Carter’s “Three Illusions for Orchestra” and Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations. Now officially part of the Minnesota Orchestra are Sabina Thatcher, associate principal viola; Hanna Landrum, Sophia Mockler and Emily Switzer, violins; and Kai Rocke, bassoon. Thursday at 11 a.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. FMI and tickets ($24-125).

Courtesy of the artists
KOKOKO! is a Congolese DIY collective whose members make their own instruments from discarded typewriters, cans, engine parts and other junk.
Friday, Sept. 20, at the Cedar: KOKOKO! Part of the Walker’s performing arts season, this collab with the Cedar will be a joyous, high-energy, raw-energy show. KOKOKO! is a Congolese DIY collective whose members make their own instruments from discarded typewriters, containers, engine parts and other junk. Their music merges political messaging with dance rhythms inspired by electronica, hip-hop and African music styles. “Fongola,” their debut album, came out in July to praise from NPR, the Guardian, Paste and more. Here’s a taste. Douala Soul Collective DJS and Curandero will open. This will be a standing show with limited seating. 8 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20/16).

Opens Friday, Sept. 20, at the Guthrie: “The Glass Menagerie.” The shy, delicate girl, the faded Southern belle, the gentleman caller, the brother yearning to be free. We’re already sad just thinking about what Tennessee Williams considered the saddest play he ever wrote. And we’re dying to see how Joseph Haj directs this treasure of the American theater, a memory play that was Williams’ first great success. “The Glass Menagerie” will launch the Guthrie’s 2019-20 season. The cast will include Remy Auberjonois as Tom, Carey Cox as Laura, Grayson DeJesus as Jim and Jennifer Van Dyck as Amanda. All but Auberjonois will be making their Guthrie debuts. On the thrust stage. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($25-79). Closes Oct. 27.

Sutrajaal: Revelations of Gossamer
Photo by V. Paul Virtucio
“Sutrajaal: Revelations of Gossamer”: A poet bears witness in a new work set against and within the backdrop of increasingly diverse Twin Cities communities.
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21, at the O’Shaughnessy: Ananya Dance Theatre: “Sutrajāl: Revelations of Gossamer.” In ADT’s newest work of contemporary Indian dance, a poet – and one of the few surviving humans in an imagined Broken City – bears witness as life-forms flicker in and out. Imagined and choreographed by Ananya Chatterjea with the artists of ADT and guest artists Tish Jones and Douglas Ewart, this will be a world premiere. We saw a 15-minute excerpt during the Arts Midwest conference earlier this month and it was a knockout. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($19-32).

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Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Trylon: Tenth-Anniversary Celebration. The Trylon turns 10 doing what it does best: screening classic films on rare 35mm prints or new restorations in its cozy, intimate theater in Longfellow. Choose from a Japanese comedy, 1970s crime drama, film noir, French thriller, or Kung Fu action film. Or come for all five. Each film will be a surprise; you won’t know exactly what you’ll see until you get there. FMI including schedule and tickets ($10 each, $40 for five).

Saturday, Sept. 21, in Elliot Park: Art Pop! Block Party. To the Northeast Arts District in Minneapolis and Lowertown in St. Paul, add EPAQ – the Elliot Park Arts Quarter. Earlier this year, independent businesses in the historic neighborhood near U.S. Bank Stadium gave themselves that name. On Saturday, they’ll throw a party to make their presence known. Look for live music and performances (Sarah White, Al Church, 26 Bats, more), live art (by, for example, Kristi Abbott, the 2018 State Fair Commemorative Artist), interactive art displays, historical art walk tours led by members of the Theater of Public Policy, a pop-up art market, and the Wow Metal Lab and Show (in a converted city bus). Beer garden? Yes. Food trucks? Of course. T2P2’s Tane Danger will emcee the shenanigans. At 10th St. South and Centennial Place, outside Gamut Gallery. Noon-6 p.m. Free.

Opens Saturday, Sept. 21, at Theater Latté Da’s Historic Ritz Theater: “Chicago.” Kicking off the 22nd season of the company he co-founded with Denise Prosek, Peter Rothstein will put his own spin and stamp on Kander and Ebb’s Broadway blockbuster. That’s what he does, and that’s why we go. Starring Britta Ollmann as Roxie Hart, Michelle de Joya as Velma Kelly, Robert O. Berdahl as Billy Flynn, Reed Sigmund as Amos Hart and Regina Marie Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton, the production will transform the Ritz into a 1920s speakeasy, with some audience members seated on the stage. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets (start at $33). Closes Nov. 3.

Ralph Alessi
Photo by Jessica Wynne
The Jazz Central Studios Fall Fundraiser show will end in a performance by ECM recording artist Ralph Alessi and his quintet.
Sunday, Sept. 22, at Creators Space: Jazz Central Studios Fall Fundraiser show. Founded in 2010 by Mac Santiago and Tanner Taylor, Jazz Central Studios in Northeast Minneapolis has been a rock in the shifting landscape of jazz clubs and venues, providing rehearsal, recording and performing space for countless Twin Cities jazz musicians and more than a few out-of-towners. Its incredibly reasonable fundraiser will feature a stellar lineup of area musicians including jazz legend Anthony Cox; Apple Valley jazz prodigy (and high-school student) Sophie Kickhofel; great players Graydon Peterson, Steve Hobert, and Pete Whitman; and Santiago, among many others. The show will end in a performance by ECM recording artist Ralph Alessi and his quintet. Note that this event will be held at Creators Space in St. Paul, not Jazz Central. 5-10 p.m. FMI and tickets ($30/20 students with valid ID).

Sunday, Sept. 22, at the Ordway: The Song Poet Live. Hmong American writer Kao Kalia Yang followed up her Minnesota Book Award winner “The Latehomecomer” with “The Song Poet,” a loving memoir about her father (and the first book by a Hmong author to be a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). The evening will feature a reading by Yang and an exclusive performance of traditional Hmong song poetry by her father, Sally Award winner Bee Yang. 6 p.m. FMI and tickets ($27.58).

Further out: Hillary and Chelsea Clinton

On Thursday, Oct. 24, at Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will present their new collaboration, “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.” Doors at 6 p.m., event at 7. FMI and tickets ($45; includes a copy of the book).