March 2010 Art About Town


Displaying the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls requires futuristic security, as the Science Museum of Minnesota is learning. Here, a sampling of the strangeness.

1. The scrolls must fly in on separate airplanes, secured to couriers flying first class, so if one plane goes down, all is not lost.
2. Insuring the priceless documents is so expensive that the museum needed a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to cover the cost.
3. As the scrolls require frequent “rest,” hidden in their vaults back in Israel, the museum must import new scrolls throughout the exhibition, sending the “tired” ones back.

“The Dead Sea Scrolls” opens March 12. Tickets:


Your guide to going out

» Ballet of the Dolls’ Our Way: Johnson and Rydberg is performed March 4 to 14 at the Ritz Theater, pairing choreographer Myron Johnson and composer Steven Rydberg for the first time since their 1980s avant-garde days.

» Somebody/Nobody, the latest play from famed recluse Jane Martin, continues through March 14 at Mixed Blood Theatre. The comedy, featuring rising star Mo Perry, follows a teen idol who doesn’t want to be famous anymore—in spite of her agent’s wishes.

» Tony Kushner returns to town in the form of The Kushner Trilogy, a choral piece with text from Kushner’s plays. The commissioned work will be premiered by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus at its spring concerts on March 26 and 27 at Ted Mann Concert Hall.

» ARENA Bikini, the annual fundraising fashion show for the ARENA Dances troupe, is staged March 27 at Aqua Nightclub and Lounge in Minneapolis, featuring Project Runway star Christopher Straub and ARENA dancers as swimwear models.

» The Spanish Tragedy, a tale of murder, marriage, and politics—and the likely inspiration for Hamlet—is performed by the Fringe Festival veterans in Theatre Pro Rata from March 13 to 28 at the Gremlin Theatre.

» Guthrie regulars Richard Ooms and Katherine Ferrand share the stage at Park Square Theatre in Painting Churches, about an artist who returns to Boston to help her aging parents pack up their townhouse.

» The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant continues its new foray into non-jazz music with two smart, acoustic-oriented rock acts: Mike Doughty (the former frontman for Soul Coughing) on March 19 and 20 and the Cowboy Junkies on March 21.


Last fall, Bill Stiteler and Matthew Foster began shadowing the Guthrie Theater as Theatre Arlo (as in Guthrie, get it?), putting on some of the same plays at the same time on the tiny stage of the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater—for $50 a production. As the duo prepares to stage Macbeth: The Video Game Remix from March 7 to 21, here is a penny-by-penny breakdown of what the cheeky scamps’ micro-budget bought them for their last production, a Golden Girls take on A Christmas Carol.

$24.50  Santa beard and seasonal sweaters from Ragstock +
$12.50 Silver Christmas tree from IKEA +
$3.00 Used Christmas tree balls +
$9.95 Assorted holiday tchotchkes from Target’s bargain bin (all have subsequently broken)
= $49.95 Total


Ten comedians walk into a bar as Show X, the Twin Cities’ new improv-comedy supergroup

What’s big, hairy, and funny as hell? Meet Show X, the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young of local comedy troupes, featuring 10 improvisers and one simple thesis: The more jokers, the more jokes. The idea occurred to Eric Knobel after adding guest comics to a recent performance by his group Splendid Things. “It was the most fun part of the show,” he says. With the help of Nels Lennes, of Five Man Job and Huge Theater, Knobel soon recruited performers from the Brave New Workshop and a handful of other companies to form a bona fide supergroup. Ironically, they struggled to come up with a funny name for themselves. “We were pitching ideas for weeks,” says Lennes. “Show X is pretty generic, but we couldn’t think of anything better.” • Show X performs every Monday night, starting March 1, in the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater.