Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

Music @ Franconia; Playwrights’ Center’s ‘Summer in Conversation’ series

ALSO: a Karrin Allyson Livestream Performance; Chanhassen Dinner Theatres to launch  “Summer Concerts in the Main” series; and more.

Nathan Gunn and Kelli O’Hara in “Carousel.”
Nathan Gunn and Kelli O’Hara in “Carousel.”
Photo by Chris Lee

For your weekend and beyond, a selection of events happening here and elsewhere, live and not, virtually and in person. In a way, it’s a glimpse into our future, when the arts will likely be a hybrid, though with many more live events. We hope.

Are you missing musicals? You can’t watch “Hamilton” on Disney+ all the time. How about an acclaimed concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel”? The New York Philharmonic’s presentation features Kelli O’Hara and Nathan Gunn, New York City Ballet principal dancers Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild (who has since retired), and a cast that includes Stephanie Blythe and John Cullum. 7 p.m. CST tonight (Friday, July 10) on the Lincoln Center at Home website. Here’s a teaser. Available until Sept. 8.

Saturday (July 11) at Franconia Sculpture Park: Music @ Franconia. Located on 43 acres in the St. Croix River Valley, Franconia is a great place to enjoy art, fresh air – and live music. Saturday’s concert is a mini-festival of new Americana, with performances by folk singer-songwriter Matt Hannah (2:30-3:15 p.m.), bluegrass band King Wilkie’s Dream (3:30-4:30 p.m.) and songwriter/guitarist duo Pleasure Horse (4:45-5:45 p.m.). New this year because COVID: Franconia is asking everyone to register in advance, a requirement that will help it maintain social distancing. The concert is free, parking is $5, and food and drink will be available for purchase. FMI. Allow time to walk around the park and take in some of the 100+ large-scale sculptures.

Karrin Allyson
Photo by Jim O'Keefe
Karrin Allyson
Saturday (July 11) on the Jazz Forum’s Facebook page: Karrin Allyson Livestream Performance. The five-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, pianist and songwriter got her start singing in clubs in Minneapolis. She has lived in New York for many years but frequently returns for Dakota gigs, and she has a lot of fans here. Her latest album, “Shoulder to Shoulder: Centennial Tribute to Women’s Suffrage” was released in August 2019, her first album of original tunes, “Some of That Sunshine,” a year earlier. Allyson has a vast songbook (and sings in five languages) so we won’t even hazard a guess about what she’ll do. On Saturday at 6 p.m. CST, she’ll perform a half-hour set from her home. Be kind and RSVP.

Article continues after advertisement

Saturday (July 11) on Dance Theatre of Harlem’s YouTube channel: “Works & Process.” The second year of DTH’s two-year 50th Anniversary Celebration was cut short by COVID. In June, the company launched seven weeks of streaming performances that began with Creole “Giselle” and continues with the full-length virtual premiere of the Sept. 2019 “Works & Process” performance filmed in the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum, where the company made its official New York debut in 1971. Includes co-founder Arthur Mitchell’s “Tones II,” three themes from Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments” and Robert Garland’s “Nyman String Quartet #2.” Saturday’s event will include a live interactive chat with company artists Christopher Charles McDaniel and Derek Brockington. 7 p.m. CST.

Dance Theatre of Harlem in "Tones ll," choreography by Arthur Mitchell.
Robert Altman/Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Dance Theatre of Harlem in "Tones ll," choreography by Arthur Mitchell.
Even in a pandemic, the play’s still the thing for Winona’s Great River Shakespeare Festival. Everything scheduled for summer 2020 has been pushed to summer 2021 (including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “The Tempest”), but you can still enjoy a series of free online performances and conversations. On Sunday (July 12), tune in for a live reading of former GRSF company member Brian White’s “Is That Not Strange?” in which an artistic director faces a series of obstacles in trying to produce the 50th anniversary celebration for her Shakespeare festival. 7 p.m. Register here and check out the schedule.

Simon Morzé and Bruno Ganz in “The Tobacconist.”
Glory Film Epo Film/Petro Domenigg
Simon Morzé and Bruno Ganz in “The Tobacconist.”
While some movie houses are cautiously reopening (see, for example, the Heights and the Trylon), MSP Film Society is still pressing pause on its Screen Three at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. Meanwhile, two new films have been added to its Virtual Cinema. Available now: Cheryl Haines’ documentary “Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly” tells the story of “@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz,” the monumental 2014-15 installation featuring portraits of prisoners of conscience from around the world, all made of LEGO bricks. Inspired by a story told by his father, Weiwei invited visitors to send postcards of solidarity to imprisoned activists, who began writing back. Weiwei was himself detained by Chinese authorities and spent 81 days in prison. Don’t forget there’s a big Weiwei work on view right here. “Safe Passage,” made from thousands of life jackets worn by refugees, is installed on the neoclassical columns of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Opens tonight (Friday, July 10): Nikolaus Leytner’s “The Tobacconist.” In one of his final roles, Bruno Ganz (“Wings of Desire,” “Downfall”) is Sigmund Freud, a customer at a tobacco shop in Vienna. Freud befriends Franz, a young man who works at the shop, in an exquisitely filmed, sepia-toned story that captures Franz’s coming-of-age on the eve of World War II, as the Nazis annex Austria. Franz lives half in the real world, half in dreams; the Nazi takeover seems like a dream, but a bad one. Times, tickets and trailers at the links above.

Eric Reed
Courtesy of the Village Vanguard
Eric Reed
This weekend (Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11) at the Village Vanguard: Eric Reed Quartet. The Vanguard’s live streaming series continues with Reed, a pianist, composer and arranger whose professional career began when he joined Wynton Marsalis’ band at the age of 18. He’ll be at the fabled NYC jazz club with Stacy Dillard on saxophone, Dezron Douglas on bass and McClenty Hunter on drums, performing to an empty house but a world of jazz fans. These concerts are not archived, so catch them while you can. 8 p.m. CST both nights. Tickets $10.

Theater is undergoing big changes. On Tuesday, July 14, the Playwrights’ Center will launch a livestreamed “Summer in Conversation” series with leading playwrights, artists, theater makers and thought leaders. Participants can listen in, ask questions and join in. The first conversation, “Black Made That: A Community Salon to Center Blackness, Joy, and Truth-telling,” will feature Shá Cage, Shannon Gibney, JuCoby Johnson and Danez Smith. We’d tune in to hear any one of them, but all four? This will be something. They will read and discuss works from the new online anthology “A Moment of Silence: 50+ Black MN Voices in a Historic Moment of Transformation.” 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. Advance registration is highly recommended but not required. This series is a partnership with HowlRound Theatre Commons.

Crooners will have competition when Chanhassen Dinner Theatres launches its “Summer Concerts in the Main” series starting Wednesday, July 15. (The Main = the main dinner theater, the big room where musicals are performed. Seating will be reduced capacity and socially distanced.) Concerts will take place 4-6 nights each week, including some matinees. The series will begin with “Dance Party Reunion: A Salute to Buddy Holly & Friends.” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. FMI and tickets ($40 concert only; $55 dinner and show). In the lineup, we also spy “Hot Buttered Classic Soul” with Ginger Commodore, Jesse Larson (“The Voice”), Dennis Spears and Ashley Commodore (July 24-25).