Winter Survival Guide
Not flying south for the winter? Don’t feel bad—or even cold. Here are 28 reasons why Minnesota’s coolest months are actually the hottest, offering the year’s best opportunities for arts, adventure, and inspiration.
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Throw a Cool Party
Step 1: Call the cheese whiz
Known to all as “Patrick the Cheese Guy,” Patrick Moore became the Twin Cities’ first grocery-store cheesemonger when he built the specialty section at Lunds in 1997. These days he makes house calls to teach you and your friends the who, what, where, and whey of great cheeses.
Step 2: Choose your cheese
Classes range from “America the Beautiful,” an overview of American artisanal cheese, to more internationally flavored explorations of cheese from Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
Step 3: Take a cheesy trip
Also on Patrick’s tasting menu: road-trips to dairies in Minnesota and Wisconsin where you can sample blue cheese straight from the cave, warm ricotta off the vat, and fresh gouda. Call Patrick Moore at 612-377-2717 or visit cheeseguy.com.
THE HOTTEST ARTS EVENTS OF THE SEASON
January 24 to 31
What’s warmer than, well, hell? Faust is the lustful philosopher who sells his soul to the devil in order to regain his youth and win young Marguerite in this take on Goethe’s classic tragedy about the limits of human knowledge. This Minnesota Opera performance is the first for the group in more than a decade. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 612-333-6669, mnopera.org
December 12 and 13
Sultry and glamorous as ever, the original Catwoman turned cabaret chanteuse performs “Santa Baby” and other holiday favorites with the Minnesota Orchestra. Meow. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-371-5656,
minnesotaorchestra.org* SHOW CANCELLED. Diahann Carroll will perform instead.
Top of the Pops
January 15 to 25
Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra host this tribute to Leonard Bernstein, including selections from his popular musical scores along with more obscure material. Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie, hosts the final concert, featuring tunes from West Side Story, Candide, and On the Town. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-371-5656, minnesotaorchestra.org
December 12 and 13
The Making of Americans
Based on Gertrude Stein’s so-called cubist novel, this new opera is the winter’s most literary musical performance. Stein’s idiosyncratic history of her family is filled out by a multimedia array of videos, singers (including local opera favorite Bradley Greenwald), and several ensembles, such as Zeitgeist and the New York–based JACK string quartet playing hurdy-gurdies, scrap-yard percussion, and other unusual instruments. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600, walkerart.org
Ballet Hispanico: Palladium Nights
The New York–based Ballet Hispanico gets things shaking with the mambo, cha cha, and other smooth moves in their re-creation of the famous Palladium Ballroom, which popularized Latin music in the 1950s. Backed by an Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble, this is sensual escapism at its overheated best. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222
January 9 to February 1
The Ice Fishing Play
A once-peaceful ice-fishing trip becomes laden with annoying family members—and two missionaries warning about doomsday—in Kevin Kling’s quirky tale. A classic Minnesota author, a classic Minnesota theme, and you don’t have to sit on a frozen lake to enjoy it. Look for a post-show discussion with Kling on January 18. Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, 612-333-3010, theatreintheround.org
January 8 to 30
International Chamber Orchestra Festival
Searching for the biggest cultural bang for your buck? The International Chamber Orchestra Festival offers nearly a dozen concerts for $80—Handel, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and less familiar music performed by five of the finest chamber orchestras from around the world. Multiple Twin Cities venues; call 651-291-1144 or visit thespco.org for tickets and information.
January 21 to 25
Frozen River Film Festival
This movie showcase, about planetary engagement and activism, ups the educational ante with such intriguing speakers between screenings as the peripatetic John Francis, a.k.a. the Planetwalker, who swore off motorized transport for 22 years. Hear what he learned (or at least check out the calluses) from his wanderings across North and South America. Winona State University, Winona, 480-522-7940, frff.org
Off the Walls
February 22 to May 3
Noble Dreams and Simple Pleasures: American Masterworks from Minnesota collectors
Ever wondered what treasures are tucked away in the manses of our own fine state? For the first time, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts presents 85 works by renowned artists—from Winslow Homer to John Singer Sargent—on loan from the halls of Minnesota’s greatest art collectors. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-870-3131, artsmia.org