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Weekend picks: ‘Zorn @ 70’ in Minneapolis; ‘Chinese Lady’ with Katie Bradley, and new art exhibits in the Three Rivers District

Plus: “The Cartographer” + Nathan Stocker of Hippo Campus; Selby Ave Jazz Fest, and Douglas Ewart and “Young, Gifted, and Black” at MCAD.

John Zorn
Genre-defying multi-instrumentalist John Zorn, an avant-garde musical maverick whose art traverses jazz, punk, classical and more, brings his marathon birthday celebration to Minneapolis with 12 hours of music.
Photo by Alan Nahlgian

Fall arts are swinging into gear, with plays, gallery exhibitions and concerts popping up around town. You won’t want to miss “John Zorn @ 70” — taking place over the course of 12 hours at the Walker galleries and McGuire Theater and then the Basilica, and “The Chinese Lady” at Open Eye Theatre features the wildly surprising actor Katie Bradley. Also this week, fishing meets weaving at Silverwood Gallery, Hippo Campus’ guitarist and vocalist Nathan Stocker heads to the Parkway along with a film he scored, and an exhibition featuring Douglas Ewart gets celebrated at MCAD. Also this week, don’t miss the Selby Ave Jazz Fest.

Katie Bradley as Afong Moy in “The Chinese Lady.”
Photo by Nicole Neri
Katie Bradley as Afong Moy in “The Chinese Lady.”

‘The Chinese Lady’

Fresh from her tantalizing performance as the scorned woman turned cannibalistic villain in Theater Mu’s “The Kung Fu Zombies Saga: Shaman Warrior & Cannibals,” local actor Katie Bradley takes on her next juicy part, that of Afong Moy, thought to be the first Chinese immigrant in the United States. She was brought to the United States by a pair of businessmen who put her on display in order to sell their imported products.

Moy’s story has been turned into a play by Lloyd Suh (whose play “Bina’s Six Apples” was staged at the Children’s Theatre in 2021). It navigates the racism integral to the history of the U.S. through the experiences of Afong and her interpreter, played by Michael Sung Ho. Eric Sharp makes his directorial debut for the show, with a design that includes local pipa aficionado Gao Hong creating the music — in collaboration with sound designer Montana Johnson, Hui Wilcox creating movement and artistic director Joel Sass designing the set. It opens this weekend — Thursday, Sept. 7, Friday, Sept. 8, and Saturday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m., through Sept. 24 ($30, $15 economic accessibility). More information here.

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Silverwood Park Gallery: Alonzo Pantoja and Amy Rice

Two artists open exhibitions at Silverwood Gallery in the Three Rivers District. One is “Corresponding Structures,” by Alonzo Pantoja, juxtaposing weaving and fishing, two practices the artist was brought up with, in a meditation on connected stories, light and impermanence. Also on view will be “At Least One Moon,” featuring the mixed media work of Amy Rice, who draws on the beauty of nature and gardens for her pastoral pieces. A reception for both exhibitions takes place Sept. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Silverwood Gallery in St. Anthony, with the shows running through Sept. 30 (free). More information here.

“The Cartographer,” Nathan Stocker
“The Cartographer,” Nathan Stocker

The Cartographer + Nathan Stocker (Hippo Campus) // Film + Performance at Parkway

Hippo Campus’ guitarist and vocalist Nathan Stocker plays a solo set after the screening of “The Cartographer,” for which he wrote the score. The short film, by the Minnesota-based Jon Ferguson and Seth Bockley (they both have theater backgrounds), was shot in Wales and won awards at the Berlin Short Film Festival. Monday, Sept. 11 — 7 p.m. screening, 8 p.m. performance ($20 in advance, $30 door). More information here.

Selby Ave Jazz Fest

The Selby Ave Jazz Fest hits 22 years with a full day of music, local art, food, wellness and more. Grammy-winning saxophonist and flutist Najee headlines the fest, with other performances by the soulful duo of Pippi Ardennia and Daniel L. Leahy. Also watch out for Solomon J. Parham and the Urban Legends of Jazz, the 60-member Brio Brass, and the talented young musicians from Walker|West Music Academy. Also on the bill is the spirited Selby Avenue Brass Band. Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Selby Avenue (free). More information here.

Douglas Ewart: ‘Excursion: Visual and Sonic Galaxy’

Artist, musician, community organizer and gentle spirit Douglas R. Ewart brings his many talents to MCAD, where an exhibition of his work is currently on view. The retrospective of the composer, musician, educator, instrument maker and activist, called “Excursion: Visual and Sonic Galaxy,” celebrates four decades of Ewart’s creativity. An opening reception takes place Friday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. in conjunction with “Young, Gifted, and Black,” also at MCAD (free). More information here.

‘Zorn @ 70’

Genre-defying multi-instrumentalist John Zorn — an avant-garde musical maverick whose art traverses jazz, punk, classical and more — brings his marathon birthday celebration to Minneapolis with 12 hours of music. It starts out in the galleries of the Walker Art Center from noon to 4:30 p.m., where Zorn will perform homages to works in the museum, playing with a rotating selection of top musicians (free). More information here. He then plays three concerts in the Walker’s McGuire Theater. For the first one, at 6 p.m., guitarists Bill Frisell, Julian Lage and Gyan Riley play an acoustic set of Zorn’s music. Then at 7 p.m., plan for a mix of metal, jazz, funk and noise. At 8 p.m., Zorn plays saxophone with his latest ensemble, the New Masada Quartet ($20-60). More information here. After all that, head to the Basilica of St. Mary’s for a midnight concert called “The Hermetic Organ Experience,” with Zorn playing the restored 1949 Wicks Opus 3047 organ (free). More information here.