December 2012 Arts Calendar

What you need to do, see, and hear this month


2 Pianos, 4 Hands • It’s dueling pianos for the non-bachelorette-party crowd as Peter Vitale and Michael Donley reprise their hit show about growing up as keyboard wunderkinds. The two play a mean piano and can act, too, switching roles (nervous pupil, eccentric teacher, obnoxious parent) as often as they do key signatures.  • 12/5–30,


Catch Me if You Can • Catch this con-man musical, while you can. • 12/11–16,

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 • The men of Cantus retell the heartwarming war story with a capella grace. • 12/19–22,

The Servant of Two Masters • Steve Epp reprises his beloved Jeune Lune role. • 12/1–1/20,


Tim Sparks’s Nutcracker Suite • Who arranges Tchaikovsky’s entire Nutcracker for guitar? Tim Sparks, who won a guitar contest 20 years ago with this ambitious/insane project, channeling oboes, flutes, etc., with six strings and 10 fingers. His recording is being reissued and he’ll perform much of it during a show at the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio. • 12/12,


The Rough Mixes • The Bad Plus bassist Reid Anderson joins SPCO players for his first evening-length work, backed by videos. • 12/14–15,

The New Standards • Their annual holiday show, with celebrity guests. • 12/7–9,

Welcome Christmas • The VocalEssence choir sings carols, with an Italian accent. • 12/1–9,


Rise of the Guardians • What would a movie theater be without blaring surround sound, dim lighting, and a quiet, concentrating crowd? To young people with autism: a rare chance to attend. At this special “sensory friendly” screening of the new animated Dreamworks film, kids are free to run around, shout, and bring their own snacks. • 12/8,


British Arrow Awards
Photo Courtesy of the walker

The Renegades • Three short films from the Walker’s collection revisit the avant-garde ’60s. • 12/20,

Joyeux Noël • The spirit of Christmas trumps the spirit of war in this film set during WWI. • 12/11,

British Arrow Awards • The following message is brought to you by the Walker: commercial breaks don’t have to suck. • 12/1–30,


Classic Nutcracker • Andrew and Cheryl Rist, who founded Ballet Minnesota 25 years ago in gritty Lowertown St. Paul, began staging The Nutcracker over the noon hour in nearby Galtier Plaza. It’s now a major production and reportedly the only local Nutcracker that makes money—a rare crowd-pleaser that sticks to the script.  • 12/14–16,


Nutcracker Ballet • The Twin Cities Ballet goes big with 120 dancers. • 12/7–9,

The Nutcracker According to Mother Goose • Zenon sets fairy tales to Tchaikovsky. • 12/8–9,

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy • Minnesota Dance Theatre honors tradition for the 40th year. • 12/14–24,

Visual Arts

Supper with Shakespeare • If you’ve seen The Tudors, you know that those royals mostly cared about two things: sex and food. British historical food expert Ivan Day advised the MIA on the latter, transforming the museum’s Tudor Room into a banquet. Dinner is served December 20 at a party featuring treats from Patisserie 46 and music from L’Assasins. • 12/13–3/31,


20th Minnesota Women’s Arts Festival • Art from 100 local ladies. • 12/15,

Open Door 8 • Rosalux Gallery’s annual juried exhibition features cutting-edge artists from across the country. • 12/7–30,

Gifts in the Gallery • Fifty artists, one goal: the perfect Christmas-morning reaction.  • 12/5–19,


Fortress of Ice • No one in the Twin Cities has tested the vagaries of climate change with an ice castle since 2004. But a Colorado company will, building 35-foot-tall towers on a parking lot outside the Mall of America. The attraction, which resembles caves dripping with icicles, will open just before Christmas, so long as it’s not literally dripping. • Expected to open 12/20,


Wits • Henry Rollins joins indie thrush Lissie. • 12/14,

It’s a Wonderful Life • A staged “radio” reading of the classic story is paired with a meal at the Saint Paul Hotel. • 12/12–22,

Holiday Open Studios • Artists open their doors to shoppers on the first three Saturdays in December. • 12/1–15,

Pick of the Month

The New Beatles Cover Album • To assess today’s ascendant local bands, just listen to music nearly 50 years old. Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 4, out this month, features the most zeitgeisty lineup yet: Trampled by Turtles getting sweet on “Baby’s in Black,” Haley Bonar rocking “Mean Mr. Mustard,” Chastity Brown slow-jamming to “For No One,” the album’s highlight. Even the cover art, by Gregory Euclide, is voguish: he graced Bon Iver’s Grammy-winning album. The series has so far helped 20,000 students access art and music classes—and helped a lot of adults with their Christmas shopping. Find it at Target, iTunes, the Electric Fetus, and