MNMO Recommends

Shooting Star

It took 12 years of haggling and still won’t go nearly as far as its advocates hoped—yet. But on November 16, the Northstar Line will begin fulfilling the wishes of rail backers, hurtling commuters at 70 miles per hour between downtown Minneapolis and five suburban stops as far north as Big Lake (pictured).


Art About Town

The guide to November’s arts scene

» Finally! Ten years after the Minnesota Shubert Theater was spared the wrecking ball (and moved a block down Hennepin Avenue), construction will begin on November 19 to turn the barren building into a $42 million center for dance.

» Construction also just began on the Weisman Art Museum’s long-awaited expansion, designed by Frank Gehry and expected to double the number of permanent-collection artworks on display.

» Mixed Blood Theatre scored a major coup in the rights to stage Ruined, now through November 22, just months after the off-Broadway hit won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize.

» Goodbye, Douglas Boyd; hello, Christian Zacharias. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra welcomes the German pianist and conductor, its latest artistic partner to rotate into the fold, with concerts on November 27 and 28.

» When the Minnesota Opera revives Dominick Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming, November 14 to 22, it will mark the first Twin Cities performances of the work in 25 years and the second production financed through Minnesota OperaWorks, the company’s multi-year program aimed at invigorating the form with contemporary pieces.

» Photography has recently become a prime Minnesota export, and the works of Alec Soth, Tom Arndt, Paul Shambroom, JoAnn Verburg, and a dozen more of the state’s most celebrated photographers prove it in “The Minnesota Eye: Contemporary Photography,” displayed through November 14 at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul.

» The Workhaus Collective, just three years old, now has an Ivey Award to go with its burgeoning reputation as the premier presenters of new local plays. Catch The Sense of What Should Be from November 6 to 22 at the Playwright’s Center.

Dry Paint

Minneapolis puts a cork in artful imbibing

Art openings and a glass of wine go together like Van Gogh and sunflowers. But a fresh focus on liquor licenses in Minneapolis is putting the city’s studios and galleries on ice.

Hundreds of Minneapolis artists have traditionally served wine, beer, and snacks in their studios during art crawls—all without food and liquor licenses. But the city has warned that the practice will no longer be tolerated. Artists serving alcohol at the popular November 6 to 8 Art Attack crawl in the Northup King Building may face eviction.

Artists say licensing is prohibitively expensive and intrusive. “It’s a Minnesota thing,” says Ben Heywood, who runs the Soap Factory Gallery. “Artists feel, ‘This is my space—why can’t I be hospitable and offer a glass of wine?’”

City officials stress that they’re not cracking down on rowdy bohemians. “I have not once gotten a complaint in my 12 years of office,” says City Councilman Paul Ostrow, who is working towards a legal solution. “But there are state laws that govern these issues, and that’s a bit of a challenge.”

Meanwhile, there may be an upside to boozeless browsing. “We’ll see more people who are truly interested in art,” says Northrup King manager Debbie Woodward. “Not just people looking to cadge free drinks.”

—Alex Davy

Comeback Kids

Five favorite performers, after long absences, turn up in theaters this month—and not necessarily where you’d expect.


Christina Baldwin and Jennifer Baldwin-Peden

» Best known for: Don Juan Giovanni and other operas at Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
» Last seen in a major production: Two years ago, though the sister singers won an Ivey Award this fall for a small production called Sister Stories.
» The new show: Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale Thanksgiving, performed November 27 to 29 at Orchestra Hall. The sisters are joined by the Minnesota Orchestra, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, and other singers in this operatic spectacle.
» Why you’re glad to see them back: They’re the most engaging opera performers in town.

Barbra Berlovitz

» Best known for: Nearly three decades of work with Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
» Last seen in a major production: Two years ago.
» The new show: Stories as Told in a Bed, performed November 19 to 22 at Bedlam Theatre. Berlovitz created this piece about leaving the familiar for the complete unknown in tribute to her Lithuanian immigrant grandfather, though it could be an allegory for leaving Jeune Lune.
» Why you’re glad to see her back: Berlovitz was the earthy, humanist heart of Jeune Lune’s high-concept shows.

Mathew Janczewski

» Best known for: His current role as the leader of Arena Dances. » Last seen in a major production: Three years ago.
» The new show: Short Fall, performed November 12 to 15 at the Lab Theater. The Arena Dances program features two world premieres; one is a solo by Janczewski.
» Why you’re glad to see him back: Few execute Janczewski’s ideas for rigorous, abstract motion better than himself.

Zach Curtis

» Best known for: Directing Fifty-Foot Penguin Theater for 10 years.
» Last seen in a major production: Two years ago.
» The new show: The Fully Monty, performed by Theater Latte Da through November 8 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Need we say more? » Why you’re glad to see him back: The big guy wears his heart on his sleeve—or, gulp, nothing at all.

Amazing Race

A year away from the election, the gubernatorial frontrunners are polishing lines, burnishing resumés, and burying skeletons. But since Minnesotans generally go for the quirkiest candidates (see: Rudy Perpich, Jesse Ventura, Al Franken), perhaps they should work on just being weird. On a scale of 1 to 10, here’s how some of the top candidates stack up on the Quirk Quotient.




Margaret Anderson Kelliher

The former dairy princess now represents a tony section of Minneapolis as Speaker of the House. But the power broker is a genuine hockey mom who can still grab an udder and milk a cow.
Quirk Quotient: 7

Marty Seifert

The folksy former House minority leader is the only candidate astute enough to have a booth at this year’s Minnesota State Fair. The thirtysomething jokes that he looks fortysomething, though insiders say his comb-over pegs him closer to fiftysomething. 
Quirk Quotient: 8

R.T. Rybak

The Minneapolis mayor has to run for re-election this fall, and representing the state’s biggest city won’t help him appeal to the entire state. But the former newspaperman can sure charm the media—heck, he’s known for not matching his socks.
Quirk Quotient: 9

Pat Anderson

The feisty former state auditor, who used a giant blow-up bulldog for her campaign symbol, appeals to the Ron Paul, tea-party, anti-government crowd. But how many people even know what the state auditor does?
Quirk Quotient: 5

Mark Dayton

The department-store heir gave up his U.S. Senate seat for the betterment of the party after being razzed for temporarily shuttering his Washington, D.C., office due to terrorist concerns—the only member of Congress to do so.
Quirk Quotient: 8

Tom Emmer

Known around the Capitol as “the angry man with furrowed brow,” the colorful champion of conservative causes isn’t one for diplomacy. The state representative even tried to take out Seifert as minority leader, possibly making more enemies than friends.
Quirk Quotient: 7

Matt Entenza

The former House minority leader is eager to please, eager for higher office, and eager for acclaim. He also has deep
pockets—thanks to his spouse’s stint in HMO-land.
Quirk Quotient: 5

Paul Kohls

The ambitious state rep once put duct tape over his mouth during a legislative debate to make a point about Republicans being stifled.
Quirk Quotient: 6

Tom Bakk

The linebacker-sized Senate tax chair is very serious about running for governor—maybe too serious, being more of a work horse than a show horse.
Quirk Quotient: 3

David Hann

The serious, thoughtful state senator has owned education as his top issue, but he isn’t much of a quote dispenser.
Quirk Quotient: 2

  Mary Lahammer is the political reporter for TPT’s Almanac and host of Almanac: At the Capitol.

The Endorsements

What to read and listen to this month

The Nearly Departed

by Michael Norman
(Minnesota Historical Society Press, $17)
Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, this look at 33 Minnesota hauntings—backed by contemporary interviews—features enough murdered gangsters, suicidal tycoons, and bumps in the night to make you sleep with the lights on.

The Bullhead Queen: A Year on Pioneer Lake

by Sue Leaf
(University of Minnesota Press, $25)
Is there anything natural about the way we view nature? In these simple, heartfelt meditations on living beside a Center City lake, a zoologist explores how Western religious thought has influenced our relationship with the birds and the beasts.

Thought Versus Emotion

by Frankhouse
Emotion wins out on these funky jazz arrangements, including covers of Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell, that mark the brassy debut of this Twin Cities quintet.

Ocean Eyes

by Owl City
(Universal Republic Records)
Owl City is Adam Young, an unassuming Owatonna kid whose candied melodies and innocent voice, like a teenage Ben Folds, have lofted him into Beyonce territory on iTunes. For anyone over 16, these synth-pop stylings are a guilty pleasure.