Editor’s note: Former Glean writer Max Sparber is filling in for Brian Lambert for a few days.
If you’re like me — and I know you are — you spent a lot of last night’s Obama speech looking into the crowd for Minnesotans. Oh, there’s Amy Klobuchar! Oh, there’s R.T. Rybak!
I suppose Rybak is especially surprising because we’re used to seeing him around town, cutting ribbons, crowd-surfing at Paul Simon concerts (or whatever he does at live shows; I am going to go ahead and pretend he crunks and stage-dives and throws himself into the mosh pit), signing proclamations that make various events into official Minneapolis days. He did it for me once, not only honoring my request to declare a limerick day, but also penning his own limerick on the proclamation.
He’ll be back in town soon, supporting our thriving cultural scene.
And there is a lot to look forward to, as enumerated awkwardly by Star Tribune television critic Neal Justin and arts/entertainment editor Tim Campbell, offering their fall preview, even though the thought of fall seems to irritate both. (“I’m still wearing my summer pants,” Campbell says rebelliously.) Nonetheless, they plow forward, informing us that Madonna will be in town soon, the first time since 1987. Bob Dylan will also be here, and Bruce Springsteen, and maybe all three will hang out! Maybe with Rybak, pogoing in the back of a Laurie Anderson concert, which will also happen.
Also in fall arts, the AP does a story on the Minnesota Orchestra, which has reached its decicentennial, or whatever the heck you call a 110th anniversary. They are doing it the way I hope to do my 110th, with Rachmaninoff, Elgar and Respighi, although in my case, these will be the names of paid escorts, which I presume will be legal then. Also 110 this coming season: Wisconsin’s own Harley-Davidson, which I also hope to have at my decicentennial, although, in this case, I am talking about classical composers James Harley and Hugh Davidson.
That’s only if we’re out of the recession by then — but it looks promising. The Minneapolis Federal Union has helpfully graphed the recession, as reported by Aaron Rupar of City Pages, and the results show our economy’s lurch to have been “remarkably deep, and the recovery out of it has been steady.” Thank goodness. It’s expensive to hire classical composers for a birthday party.
I know I just intersected politics and art; I expect I was influenced by the amount of theater about former presidents and first ladies that has been kicking around town recently. First there was Ed Asner — a man already mostly associated with the Twin Cities for starring in “The Wrestler,” a film produced by Verne Gagne in which Asner was a fight promoter (he may also be known for some show in which he was a Minneapolis TV news producer, but I can’t remember the specifics). Asner played FDR at the Fitzgerald last year, and now former M*A*S*H star Loretta Swit will be playing Eleanor Roosevelt on Saturday. Swit is, of course, probably best-known for appearing in a 1970 episode of “Mission: Impossible” starring Minnesota native Peter Graves.
So now I have intersected politics, art, and Minnesotan self-absorption. Can I add science into the mix? Of course I can, as the Minnesota Daily offers a story about the chemistry of “Breaking Bad.” On hand is Department of Chemistry professor and chair William Tolman to tell us if it is really possible to, say, dissolve bodies in acid or firebomb a drug den with mercury fulminate. And while it’s nice to go to a scientist for these sorts of things, a part of me wishes they had just asked R.T. Rybak, just to see how wild his wild side is.