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‘Foot in the Door’ closes Sunday; Carlyle Brown’s ‘The African Company Presents Richard III’

ALSO: a “We Are Water MN” outdoor exhibit; your own private miniature puppet show; and more.

“Foot in the Door” will close this Sunday, Jan. 10.
“Foot in the Door” will close this Sunday, Jan. 10.
Courtesy of Mia

“Foot in the Door,” the once-in-a-decade show at the Minneapolis Institute of Art open to anyone whose artwork is no larger than 1 cubic foot, went virtual for COVID-19. It opened Nov. 1 and will close this Sunday, Jan. 10.

More than 2,000 Minnesota artists of all ages are represented in this year’s show; their works include paintings, ceramics, photographs, textiles, and mixed media. Although nothing matches the thrill of seeing your art in a gallery at Mia – that’s a major brag on anyone’s résumé – you can get closer and look longer at individual works this time than ever before. You can search for specific artists, keywords or kinds of art. (For example, there are 35 works with dogs in them, which is good to know.) The physical show, which one year included nearly 5,000 works, can be a blur.

The online version also features videos about 14 of the participating artists. Enter the exhibition here.

Today (Friday, Jan. 8) at 1 p.m., participating artist Ilene Krug Mojsilov will lead a virtual open studio where you can create an artwork using collage materials you have at home. Something to do with the kids? FMI about that. You don’t have to sign up or register, and it’s free.

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Your own private miniature puppet show

Brazilian puppeteer, singer, actress and director Nina Vogel had accepted an invitation to perform at a biennial congress in Canada. When COVID closed the world’s borders, the congress went online – and so did she.

Adapted for the internet, Vogel’s “ConCordis—The Heart” is an example of Lambe-Lambe theater, a unique and intimate style of puppetry that was invented in Brazil. “ConCordis—The Heart” premiered in Montréal; last fall, Vogel taught a Zoom workshop on Lambe-Lambe for Open Eye Theater in Minneapolis.

Nina Vogel’s “Concordis—The Heart” is an example of Lambe-Lambe theater, a unique and intimate style of puppetry that was invented in Brazil.
Screen shot
Nina Vogel’s “ConCordis—The Heart” is an example of Lambe-Lambe theater, a unique and intimate style of puppetry that was invented in Brazil.
Starting Tuesday, Jan. 12, she’ll virtually return to Open Eye. Zooming live from Brazil, she’ll give a series of performances, each for an audience of one person, or two if they share the same space and screen. You’ll peer into a heart-shaped universe Vogel holds in her arms. Inside will be a small character and miniature landscapes. Performed without words, accompanied by original music, each 25-30-minute show will end with a one-on-one conversation with the artist.

In Vogel’s words, “This approach, face to face, touching, this is what moves, what drives the world.” And it’s what we miss most right now. FMI, times and tickets ($15 single viewer, $20 for two; $5/10 on Jan. 19). Starting Feb. 6, Vogel will offer another Lambe-Lambe workshop. FMI.

The picks

V is for virtual, L is for live and in person.

“We Are Water MN” outdoor exhibit, presented by We Are Water MN and the Hmong Museum.
Courtesy of the Hmong Museum
“We Are Water MN” outdoor exhibit, presented by We Are Water MN and the Hmong Museum.
L Now at the Little Mekong Plaza: “We Are Water MN” outdoor exhibit, presented by We Are Water MN and the Hmong Museum. Get out of the house and learn something about water and the Hmong American community’s relationship with water. Told in personal stories, histories and scientific information, this exhibit is meant to strengthen our relationships with water and make us better stewards of this precious natural resource. The walk-through event includes digital content (video, audio and websites) accessible through QR codes with a smartphone or later on the project website. 402 University Ave. W., St. Paul. A project of the Minnesota Humanities Center, MPCA, Minnesota Historical Society and Departments of Health, Agriculture and Natural Resources. Free. Closes March 8.

V Now available for streaming at the Parkway’s virtual cinema: “Mayor.” American director David Osit’s darkly comic documentary follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. Ramallah is the de facto capital of Palestine, making Hadid the mayor of a city without a country. His goals include repaving the sidewalks and ending the occupation of Palestine. The New York Times named “Mayor” one of the best movies of 2020; Indiewire called it “the best new film about the Israel-Palestinian conflict.” Listen closely or you might miss this part: When Hadid asks about city branding, an aide gives him an example: “Minnesota, the State of 10,000 Lakes.” FMI and tickets ($10). Includes a Q&A with Osit and Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”).

“Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small” follows the adventures of a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire.
PBS
“Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small” follows the adventures of a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire.
V Premieres Sunday, Jan. 10, at 8 p.m. on TPT 2: “Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small.” Based on the books by James Herriot (that was his pen name; real name Alf Wight), the original “All Creatures” BBC series was a huge hit, running for seven seasons and 90 episodes from the late 1970s into the ’90s. The adventures of a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire have been newly adapted, remade, and already renewed for a second season. Nicholas Ralph makes his TV debut as Herriot, with Samuel West as Siegfried, Rachel Shenton as Helen and Dame Diana Rigg (in one of her final roles) as Mrs. Pumphrey. One reviewer called the series “as comforting as a cup of tea, as warming as a fleecy blanket on a cold night, and as welcoming as a fire burning indoors while the winter wind blows outside.” Sounds perfect. FMI including preview and broadcast dates.

V Premieres Monday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m. CST: Red Bull Theater: A reading of Carlyle Brown’s “The African Company Presents Richard III.” Forty years before the abolition of slavery, two New York theater companies staged Shakespeare’s “Richard III” at the same time. One was the African Company, the other a white company which had hired a star (Junius Brutus Booth, father of John Wilkes) to play the title role. Fearing the competition, the white company had the Black company’s show shut down. “The African Company” was one of Brown’s earliest professional theater productions; it became his most famous play. This will be a benefit reading for the Off-Broadway Red Bull. The Jan. 11 event will be a livestream. After that, a recording will be available on demand through Friday, Jan. 15. FMI and registration. Free, with donations welcome. The theater will hold a “bull session” (interactive discussion) with Brown, director Carl Cofield, scholar Marvin Edward McAllister and company members on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. CST. FMI and reservation.