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The Agenda

Art, music, dance & more—your best bets for December

The Agenda
Photo by Scott Wenner, They Live Under A Mountain

DECEMBER 5 TO 30

NEW LAND

Showing this month at Rosalux Gallery, artists David Malcolm Scott and Scott Wenner prove that opposites attract—prairie and city, land and sea, even landscape scenes and abstract art. Both artists hope to inspire emotions evoked by physical change, a fitting reflection for the start of Minnesota’s drearier months. Rosalux Gallery, Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-747-3942

DECEMBER 1

MOSCOW BALLET

The Moscow Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker isn’t simply a holiday show: It’s an iconic tale—interpreted by one of the world’s finest companies. This year, the troupe adds its Philharmonic Orchestra to the performance, along with ornate, oversized hand-painted puppets and a set designed by Bolshoi Ballet–prodigy Valentin Fedorov. Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-673-0404

DECEMBER 1

STEVE BERNSTEIN

Trumpeter Steven Bernstein’s diverse resumé includes work not only with Sting and Courtney Love, but also with jazz impresarios Medeski Martin & Wood. As leader of the Millennial Territory Orchestra, Bernstein covers a wildly diverse play list—pop music to R&B to funk—but also flies off on improvisational riffs that’ll delight every jazz fan. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600

OPENS DECEMBER 1

THE SEARCH TO SEE II

The photography collection of Fargo resident Frederick B. Scheel’s was so large that curators split its exhibition into two parts. The second show opens this month with pieces by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls., 612-870-3131

DECEMBER 6 TO 8

DANNY HOCH

Danny Hoch is many things—an actor credited with such films as Bamboozled, Blackhawk Down, and the recently released We Own the Night. But he’s also a playwright. Taking Over, which examines urban gentrification, is great hip-hop theater, a burgeoning genre that combines rap, spoken word, break-dancing, and more. The Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600

DECEMBER 6 TO 16

HIT IT FESTIVAL

No rhythm is needed to appreciate the Hit It! Festival at the Southern Theater this month. Some of the best local percussive dancers—including Flying Foot Forum and the experimental Savage Aural Hotbed—gather to tap, clog, and bang their drums. It’s the perfect mix of energy to beat the winter blahs. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-1725

DECEMBER 6 TO 30

THE 1940s RADIO HOUR

Fans of Prairie Home Companion will enjoy The 1940s Radio Hour, a nostalgic look at old-school radio by a new production company. Actors Jon Mikkelsen and John Trones’ co-founded 8 Ball Theatre after years of doing Christmas in the City at the Pantages. The company’s inaugural show touches on Christmas traditions and carols, but its World War II setting encompasses the larger themes of a complicated era, too. Hennepin Stages, 824 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-673-0404

DECEMBER 8 TO 9

SPEED-SKATING COMPETITION

The Guidant John Rose Oval at the Roseville Skating Center is usually home to skaters with some enviable talent. But this month, there’s good reason to be extra jealous: Olympic contenders are in town. U.S. Speedskating will use the 400-meter track to host gold-medal hopefuls as they compete for the fastest time and a ticket to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. 2661 Civic Center Dr., Roseville, 651-792-7007

CLOSES DECEMBER 13

LEAH GOLBERSTEIN

Leah Golberstein once worked at the Jewish Museum in Greece, where the clashes between the country’s Christians, Jews, and Muslims came into focus for her. Her installation at the Form + Content Gallery, “Uprooted Lights,” fills a lofty warehouse space with the symbol that came to mind when she considered the Mediterranean landscape and its religious conflicts: trees, made of paper and fiber, with limbs and roots that reach in all directions. Form + Content Gallery, 210 N. Second St., Mpls., 612-436-1151

DECEMBER 11 TO 30

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

The hills (of St. Paul) come alive with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s beloved musical The Sound of Music, the last piece of work that the pair collaborated on before Hammerstein’s death. A family favorite. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222

DECEMBER 15 AND 29

WARNER CENTER CLASSES

Warner Nature Center’s environmental programs, sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota, help you enjoy the best (and avoid the worst) that nature has to offer in winter. “Introduction to Snowshoeing,” on December 15, teaches participants the history and techniques of the hobby; “Ultimate Winter Survival,” on December 29, shows kids how to bake bannock bread and more. Warner Nature Center, 15375 Norell Ave. N., Marine-on-St. Croix, 651-433-2427

CLOSES DECEMBER 16

OF MICE AND MEN

Park Square Theatre has taken risks in the past year, mixing up their repertoire. Expect their spin to be equally interesting as they take on John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, the classic tale of slow-witted Lennie and his buddy George. Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul, 651-291-7005

CLOSES DECEMBER 23

SHINING CITY

Director and set designer Joel Sass has impressed audiences at the Jeune Lune, the Guthrie, and Park Square, even garnering praise as “the Tim Burton of the Minneapolis stage.” This month marks the end of his production of Conor McPherson’s Shining City. It’s an Irish ghost story about a therapist and his patient—a hit on Broadway last year. Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-822-7063

CLOSES DECEMBER 30

BRITISH TV AD AWARDS

Tickets usually sell out for the Walker’s annual showing of British TV advertisements—and with good reason. The commercials are edgier, and often, wittier, than their U.S. counterparts. A ticket to the show also allows patrons free access to the museum’s galleries. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600

ONGOING

WINDOWS ON WINTER

Even in the dead of winter, there’s never a lack of color at the university’s Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. This month, the Chaska-based Arb’s indoor garden installation offers examples of how to integrate texture and color inside your home in order to make the long days a bit brighter. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, 952-443-1400

Compiled by Courtney Lewis. Send event information to agenda@mnmo.com.


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