62 reasons to go out this weekend

As all the artists in town scramble to get ready for Art-A-Whirl next weekend, you’ve got a week left to entertain yourself (but don’t spend all your money before Art-A-Whirl, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in the show; seriously it’s time to take down those couple-kissing-in-Paris posters and get some local art on the walls–you don’t live in Nebraska, folks, and be grateful for it). Where was I?

Ah, yes, the Walker Art Center. Or at least I should be, and so should you: It’s the Global Lens film festival from May 7 to 18, screening a select 10 films from across the world. Are they artsy-fartsy? Unabashedly. Will you enjoy them anyway? Almost certainly. You’ve still got time to see The Fish Fall in Love on Sunday, loosely based on A Thousand and One Nights (think food and romance) set on the southern coast of Iran. And Bunny Chow, a funny feature about up-and-coming comedians in Johannesburg on a road trip through raucous, hopeful South Africa.

Here’s an interesting idea: a show of artistic portraits of 20 famous or historic people who’ve lived with mental illness. It’s going on now through June 27 in the skyway level of the HCMC Red Building. Who’s included? Ernest Hemingway, Richard Dreyfuss, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Leo Tolstoy, Patty Duke, and more. The posters are for sale, and the really interesting thing is who’s created them–some top local artists including Amy Rice, who happens to be the visual arts coordinator for the Spectrum Community Mental Health group in her real life.

Meanwhile, keep your eye on a play at the Loading Dock Theatre in St. Paul that’s going on hiatus this weekend but will return next week, May 15-17: Everywhere Signs Fall. The talent associated with this show is spooky. Literally. Paul Cram, one of the leads, has recently and unexpectedly made a remarkable career in horror films–he just has that quirky creepy thing down, and hey, he’s not about to run from fortune (never run away–that’s the first lesson of horror films). In fact, he just got cast in the film Peacock with Ellen Page (yes, the surprise Juno star), which is why the play is down this weekend. The talent pool continues with this project from its playwright (Alan Berks, co-creator of Thirst Theatre, the popular short plays staged in area bars) to its director (Leah Cooper, former director of the Fringe Festival) to its other leads, Guthrie regular Tracey Maloney and actor-about-town John Middleton. Berks is a deep dude, no doubt about it, unspooling this inquiry into the mysteries of coincidence with tantalizing tautness over the course of the play, while setting it in the aggressively anxious locale of an Arizona desert motel.

Is that 62 reasons? You do the math. But lastly, here’s at least 10 reasons to be (or not to be) an arts editor: from the mailbag, this gem of honest pitchmanship from, well–“My name is Peter Fluid, original lead singer of the band 24-7 Spyz. Me, Angelo Moore of Fishbone, and Corey Glover from Living Colour are putting out a single of our own on May 16 called Election Day. This has never been done before (by three black rock alternative singers) EVER! This is a Historic Presidential Year with a Historic Line-up with a Historic Single, we can’t lose 🙂 All we ask is that you editors PLEASE ASSIGN THIS JOB to a writer to INTERVIEW US. Hell man, we’re the new Crosby, Stills, & Nash.” I tend to believe him. It’s the year of individualism, new beginnings, seek it out wherever you can.