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The Agenda

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

The Agenda
Photo by MacGillivray Freeman Films, The Alps

OPENS JANUARY 18

THE ALPS

How do you conquer the mountain where you witnessed your father’s death 40 years ago? Climb it yourself—or so thought John Harlin III, who allowed cameras to follow his trek up Eiger peak for The Alps, which premieres this month at the Omnitheater. Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-221-9444

JANUARY 1 TO 13

AVENUE Q

The touring Broadway show Avenue Q comes with a disclaimer: Even with all the puppets and sing-along numbers, this musical is a far cry from Sesame Street. The show touches on dating, racism, Internet porn—essentially, it’s Ernie and Bert meets South Park. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-673-0404

JANUARY 6

J. J. JOHNSON TRIBUTE

This month’s tribute to trombone legend J. J. Johnson features several familiar local jazz performers: Michael Nelson, Dave Graf, Mary Louise Knutson. MPR listeners may, in particular, recognize the guest vocalist for the evening’s show, Connie Evingson, who’s a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion. Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, 952-563-8575

Photo by Randy Karels

JANUARY 11 TO 20

WRECK

Every show of Black Label Movement’s debut season sold out—a testament to the group’s talent and the vision of its artistic director, University of Minnesota dance instructor Carl Flink. For BLM’s second season, the troupe will premiere Flink’s newest piece, Wreck, set in a sunken Lake Superior ore boat. The show’s musical score also features a commission by local composer Mary Ellen Childs. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-1725

Photo by Sascha Gusov

JANUARY 13

RICHARD GOODE

Master pianist Richard Goode could double for George C. Scott, but there’s no mistaking his interpretations of Beethoven and Bach. The Grammy winner (for Best Chamber Music) returns to the Twin Cities as part of the Chopin Society’s 25th season. Macalester College, 130 Macalester St., St. Paul, 612-822-0123

OPENS JANUARY 14

LENS ON THE WORLD

St. Thomas students who participate in the school’s study-abroad programs and who capture their experiences on film (or, more often, in pixels) don’t have to store their memories in a shoebox. They’re encouraged to enter the school’s annual photo contest to show their work. Curators for the exhibit cull the winning photographs from hundreds of entries, and display the pictures in the gallery through March. University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, 651-962-5560

JANUARY 17 TO 19 AND 24 TO 26

SOUNDS OF THE CINEMA

The Minnesota Orchestra’s newest project combines music and movies. The Sounds of the Cinema series features a screening of the 1931 silent film City Lights, starring Charlie Chaplin, while the orchestra plays the movie’s score. Subsequent concerts will include the music of Hitchcock films, John Williams, and The Battleship Potemkin, led by Osmo Vänskä’s Lahti Symphony colleague Esa Heikkilä. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-371-5656

JANUARY 18 TO 19

JOHNNY CASH TRIBUTE

Local bands like Ol’ Yeller summon the spirit of the Man in Black at this annual tribute, one the most popular concerts at the venerable Cabooze. Cabooze, 917 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-6425

OPENS JANUARY 18

PEER GYNT

Henrik Ibsen’s classic tale is adapted for the Guthrie by Minnesota-born poet and writer Robert Bly with Mark Rylance, the former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, playing the lead of Peer Gynt. Rylance, who won admirers when the Globe brought its production of Twelfth Night to the Guthrie a few years ago, embodies the arrogant schemer as he explores a mystical fantasyland. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Mpls., 612-377-2224

JANUARY 20 TO 27

FIGURE SKATING

It may be hard not to know that the U.S. Figure Skating Championships are taking place this month: More than 125,000 fans will visit downtown St. Paul for the event. Seven local skaters have qualified, including Molly Oberstar, Rohene Ward, and Eliot Halverson. Xcel Energy Center, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-989-5151

JANUARY 24

CHINESE NEW YEAR

New Tang Dynasty Television’s Chinese New Year Spectacular began as a simple tour in 2004. But its popular performances of classical Chinese dance and traditional orchestral music have made this  show a hot ticket these days. Catch it in Minneapolis on its 2008 tour before the Chinese New Year begins on February 7. Northrop Memorial Auditorium, University of Minnesota, 84 Church St. SE, Mpls., 612-624-2345

JANUARY 25 TO 27

LAKES FESTIVAL

St. Paul may hide a medallion for its Winter Carnival, but Chisago County attempts to lure travels north with hot-air balloon rides, snowmobile races, dog-sledding, helicopter rides, and more. Center City, Hwy. 8, 651-257-1177

JANUARY 25 TO 27

WORLD OF WHEELS

Kids can get up close with a life-size model of Lightning McQueen from the hit cartoon-flick Cars at O’Reilly’s World of Wheels. Grease-monkeys can also meet the host of TV’s Hard Shine, or peruse hot rods, antiques, custom motorcycles, and race cars that fill three floors of the St. Paul convention hall. RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-726-8240

OPENS JANUARY 25

GOD SAVE GERTRUDE

Punk rock meets The Producers in the Workhaus Playwrights’ Collective theatrical production of God Save Gertrude. Inspired by Hamlet and written by two-time Jerome Fellow Deborah Stein, the musical transports Queen Gertrude to a nameless war-torn country where she reflects on her former loves and many mistakes. Backed by an all-girl punk band, Gertrude feels more like a concert than a traditional musical—and like nothing like you’ve ever seen before. The Playwrights’ Center, 2301 Franklin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-332-7481

Photo by photos.com

JANUARY 26 TO 27

ORCHID SHOW

The Winter Carnival may be a fest for the snow bunnies, but the Orchid Show takes visitors somewhere exotic. As the largest gathering of orchids in the Twin Cities, it’s an event that includes the best of the best: The Orchid Society of Minnesota displays some of their most impressive blooms this month at Como Zoo. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul,  651-487-8200

OPENS JANUARY 26

ROMEO AND JULIET

Opera fans will get a chance to see two rising stars in this production: James Valenti, a former resident with the Minnesota Opera, and soprano Ellie Dehn, play the leads in Charles Gounod’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222

—COURTNEY LEWIS

Send event information to agenda@mnmo.com

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