Mall Rats

I might’ve made more money at Art-A-Whirl if I’d put out a cup when I was playing accordion in the studio–or if I’d convinced myself to part with a few more works–but no worries. The crowd gets bigger every year, especially at the parties. The soiree at the Casket Arts building on Saturday drew roughly a thousand people, all of them very much alive. And the preview party on Thursday turned out a few City Councilfolk and Mayor R.T., who actually came up to our studio looking to buy some art for City Hall. How cool a mayor is that? (Guy has good taste, even if he’s prone to changing clothes in his Prius…).

Huzzahs and hurrahs, by the way, to Lou Bellamy and the Penumbra people for the Obie won by Bellamy this week for his direction of August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running” in New York. The Obie is the Tony of straight plays (their word, not mine), and another feather in the cap of Twin Cities theater.

This weekend, I recommend checking out “King Lear” by Starting Gate at the Mounds Theatre just east of downtown St. Paul, the unlikely home of some of the most fun little productions in recent years. It stars a host of up-and-comers, including Kurt Schweickhardt, Dylan Fresco, and Emily Gunyou, who steals just about every show she’s in, recently “Reservoir Bitches” at the Red Eye.

Also check out the newest gallery to arrive on the scene, the Minneapolis Photographic Studio and Gallery, which opened last weekend in a beautiful space in Northeast Minneapolis with 15 co-op member photogs led by current McKnight fellow Orin Rutchick, who’s quickly becoming an art darling about town for his cool recent shows about tourists.

And now the mall rats: yes, the Galleria in Edina is trying to get hip this summer with live music at its various restaurants, including genuine cool kids Chris Koza, the Brass Kings, and Joanna James. Though they slip a bit next week (May 31) when it all begins with Tim Mahoney, who would be fine if he wasn’t as ubiquitous as Abercrombie; doesn’t he have a barbecue or tubing party to be playing somewhere?

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