Stretching Her Legs

Sally Rousse

Organizes the Troupes

It’s a different kind of spotlight for dancer and choreographer Sally Rousse these days. The cofounder of the James Sewell Ballet will serve as curator for the Walker Art Center’s 36th annual Choreographers’ Evening. “You know how people get abducted by aliens? I was a happy abductee of dance,” says the 44-year-old mother of two. For the event, Rousse selected 10 seven-minute contemporary dance performances, which range in styles from Indian to break dancing.

For more on this and other events, see The Agenda..


Hockey Politics

In a political season packed with talk of “hockey moms” and puckish debates over who brought hockey back to Minnesota, this upcoming election may have more to do with the sport than anyone could have imagined.

49,796 Number of registered hockey players in Minnesota
10,702 Number of those players who are female
8,310 Number of registered hockey players in Alaska
3,000 Number of foam hockey sticks that the Coleman for Senate campaign handed out to potential voters at the Minnesota State Fair this summer
18 Number of Minnesotans selected in the 2007 NHL draft
0 Number of Minnesotans selected in 2007 NBA draft
$250 Estimated cost for a Minnesota parent to outfit a first-time player with all the necessary gear
10,000 Number of pucks sold in 2007 at Hockey Zone
$150  Average cost for one hour of ice time in suburban Minnesota
—Ali Brady

Wired Shut

How the RNC changed St. Paul

By Tim Gihring

When the Republican National Convention opened in St. Paul in September, the city was stocked like an armory, fortified by $50 million in additional security infrastructure, including 45 new security cameras aimed at downtown intersections, 60 new police bicycles, and a mobile command unit suitable for patrolling Baghdad.

So now that the streets have returned to their usual somnolence, what’s become of all the hardware? Did the city box it up, mail it to Homeland Security? Tanks for the memories.

Not exactly. “We’re keeping it,” says St. Paul Police spokesman Tom Walsh. But before you crack wise about pork and pigs, consider Walsh’s insistence that St. Paul long lagged behind many cities in upgrading to 21st century security standards. It certainly trailed Minneapolis, which for years has had cameras in high-crime neighborhoods (yielding 500 arrests in just the first 18 months of operation in south Minneapolis) and last year installed
50 more to peer at a small swath of the North Side.

In fact, St. Paul police want more cameras, which they would install along the riverfront port, completing a citywide security grid. Considering that political conventions only seem to come to town once every 116 years, though, they may need to find another impetus for obtaining them.


Nice, But Not Open: In a recently released study by Cambridge University about personality traits found in states, Minnesotans ranked fifth for extraversion and second for agreeableness, but came in 40th for openness. On a perhaps not unrelated note, the state also ranked 41st for neuroticism.

Hoop Seams

Are the T-Wolves new uniforms a slam dunk—or a foul?

The T-wolves are getting a makeover: new uniforms feature home jerseys emblazoned with “Wolves” instead of Timberwolves, trees now appear on the shorts, and the wolf head on the back of the shirt now howls. Here, a panel of experts from the worlds of sport and style offer their two points.

“I love that they retired the dark road uniforms and brought back the slate blue…. It’s all about color this fall season!” —Laura Schara, trend expert, Macy’s

“It’s possibly an attempt to get away from what the look was like when Garnett was here.” —Randy Shaver, sports director of KARE 11

“The new jersey has a more aggressive punch to it with the ‘Wolves’ on the front. There is less to distract from the concept of a ferocious predator. Moreover, the singular term ‘Wolves’ with no other distractions really enforces the idea of team.” —Mark Hansen, sports psychologist, River City Clinic

“It’s a better look—with the turquoise blue—and there’s a little more funk to them. The wolf is howling now, instead of looking at you. That’s more who we are.” —Ryan Gomes, forward, Minnesota Timberwolves

“I would replace that Christmas tree on the side with the wolf. Then it reads better—are we the Timbers or the Timberwolves? Also, the baggy short is out; there’s almost an art to making a shot and keeping those shorts up.” —Keith Dorsett, owner, Elsworth menswear

Courtesy of
Edina Realty

Realty Check

A quick look at what’s on the market in the Twin Cities—and in greater Minnesota

The location: 128 Groveland, Minneapolis The space: A “to-be-built” project: a modern four-unit building constructed with green materials and incorporating art by Minneapolis-based Kerry Dikken, who is also the project’s developer. Current asking price: $750,000 to $1,000,000 Architect: Rapson & Associates Agent: Graham Smith, Edina Realty A sign of things to come? The smaller-scale structure with a contemporary look and unobstructed views of downtown might be the antidote to the current condo glut. Unlike most new buildings, this one comes with fully finished, highly stylized interiors.

Brad Anderson

The Best Buy CEO offers a status report on the country’s largest consumer electronics retailer


The new store at the Mall of America is very impressive. It seems enormous.
We’ve done the store for females. We’re trying to affect the experience by bringing more fashion in the store, making it less noisy and confrontational and more comfortable to spend time in. The primary customer is an international female.

Is there any advantage to being based in Minnesota?
There’s a huge advantage. There are two of the world’s largest retailers—us and Target—and one of the largest grocery distributors—SuperValu. I don’t think it’s an accident. This community has a terrific workforce, high educational scores and standards, and a natural curiosity.

How did you get your start at Best Buy?
I went to Northwestern Theological Seminary in St. Paul for a year and decided that wasn’t for me. I wanted to listen to LPs, so I wound up working at the Sound of Music in West St. Paul. It wasn’t doing very well. [The founder] Dick Schultz came out to the store and I thought it was to fire me. He needed to replace a manager and he wanted to know which of three people, who had all worked for me, he should hire. I told him he should hire me. Through some act of luck, he gave me half of the job. That turned out to be a fabulous experience.

So have you ever needed a resumé?
Not in my whole life.

What’s your favorite gadget?
It sounds conventional, but the 160 GB iPod. It has made a huge improvement on my lifestyle. I used to travel with 100 CDs in my bag.

Any idea what this year’s hottest holiday gift items will be?
Some of them are carry-forwards from last year: iPhones, GPS systems, video gaming in all three formats, and notebook computers.

What do you want?
I’m very spoiled. You know you are when you want another tie. Actually, books on CD. Everybody buys them for me—and we don’t even sell them.

Play Rights

What happens when authors stage a coup?

Actors flubbing lines, scenery failing to appear or disappear—of all the indignities that playwrights endure, the worst happen before a show even hits the stage. They call it “development hell”: the tedious, sometimes years-long process of working with directors to edit scripts and wait for an ideal production slot. “Too often,” says Minneapolis playwright Alan Berks, “the most difficult scenes to stage simply get cut and then the play isn’t worth seeing.” So as part of a growing national trend, Berks and eight other locally based playwrights have joined forces to stage their own plays. Called Workhaus Collective, they’re opening their second season with Forgetting, running through November 10 at—where else—the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.
—Tim Gihring

Keillor Exposed?

A new documentary reveals the man behind the microphone


photo by Dana Nye

No one’s hoping for skin in a documentary about Garrison Keillor, or even the truth necessarily. It’s the tall tales, the elaborately spun stories about Midwestern values that Keillor has broadcast across the country on A Prairie Home Companion since the early 1970s, that draws some three to four million listeners a week. So in The Man on the Radio in the Red Tennis Shoes, a documentary filmed for the PBS American Masters series and screening in Minneapolis this month, we’re treated to an exposé not of Keillor’s three marriages and literary empire but his imagination. Whether backstage or in his St. Paul home, we see an inveterate fabulist, deep in his own rhubarb.

However, watching Keillor work day and night to distill the average American experience into above-average observation—one foot forever in Lake Wobegon—the line between his lies and life appears to scarcely exist anyway. And though New York–based director Peter Rosen followed Keillor around for more than a year, he ultimately calls his subject an “enigma.” Here, five facts from the film:

1. Keillor and his family still maintain the Manhattan apartment he bought in 1988 (and sold in 1993 and bought back a couple years ago) when he landed his dream job as a staff writer for the New Yorker. “We live in Minnesota for family and for business,” he says, “and we live in New York for the peace and quiet and the stimulation.”

2. At 13, he destroyed the photo portrait his father took of him, lamenting his looks. “I thought, ‘Nobody’s ever going to be your friend. You’re going to end up an old man living all by yourself in an old rusted green mobile home at the end of a long dirt road, with a sign out at the highway that says No Trespassing.’ ”

3. He maintains that he leads “an ordinary life,” despite his wealth, fame, and mingling with the likes of Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan. “I was fearful of living an ordinary life,” he says, “but in the end we all get an ordinary life, and it’s good enough.”

4. He wrote his first Lake Wobegon stories during the long pauses between on-air patter while spinning records for Minnesota Public Radio’s classical station.

5. He determines the length and sequence of A Prairie Home Companion sketches as the show unfurls, forcing the cast and crew to watch for subtle cues. “He’s always been a tough nut to figure out,” says one stage worker.

The Man on the Radio in the Red Tennis Shoes screens October 23 at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis as part of the Sound Unseen festival, and from October 31 to November 3 at the Oak Street Cinema in Minneapolis.

The Curtain

Who’s up, who’s down in local arts and culture


Pillsbury House Theatre
The spunky company makes its Guthrie debut with Blackbird
Minnesota Film Arts
The Oak Street Cinema folks reopen the art-house theater
Forecast Public Art
A proposed $64,000 skywriting project traces the Mississippi River’s contours in the air—with smoke
Design Institute
The cutting-edge center at the University of Minnesota folds as popular founder Janet Abrams quietly departs
RNC arts turnout
Arts events during the convention failed to draw delegates or national media