The Agenda

Theater, concerts, exhibits & more—your best bets for April

Opening April 3

Holy Land / Sin and Guilt

Just in time for Easter, the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an come together in an exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts relating ancient stories with personal twists. Photographer Sara Belleau’s Holy Land series sets Biblical themes against the Middle East’s complicated and poly-religious present, while Nancy Robinson’s surrealistic Sin and Guilt paintings transform her life story into fable. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls., 888-642-2787,
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April 2 to 5

A Fleezanis Farewell

After two decades with the Minnesota Orchestra, serving beside three different conductors, concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis bows out with several shows displaying both her virtuosity and her playfulness. The concerts include two violin masterworks along with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Richard Strauss’s impish Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis,
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April 3 to 4

McGegan’s Farewell Fireworks

Nicholas McGegan, once the gregarious director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Baroque series and recently an artistic partner, leaves with a flourish. His final concerts center on Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, a piece so anticipated at its 1749 debut that more than 12,000 people rushed over the London Bridge to hear it, causing the span to collapse. April 3 at Wayzata Community Church, 125 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata; April 4 at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-291-1144,
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April 9 to 12

Shapiro & Smith Dance

Having lost choreographer Danial Shapiro to cancer a couple of years ago, the Shapiro & Smith dance troupe roars back with a bill that will make local dance fans get up and, well, dance. The all-star evening features guest dancers Eddie Oroyan, the winner of a 2008 Sage Award; Ananya Chatterjea, head of Ananya Dance Theatre; and Carl Flink, leader of the high-flying Black Label Movement troupe. It’s enough to make you forget that this internationally renowned contemporary dance-theater company is also debuting a new work, a comic rewriting of the Medea myth. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-340-1725,
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April 11

Hedda Gabler

Commonweal Theatre Company, the pride of Lanesboro, is taking its show on the road thanks to an Ibsen Scholarship from the Norwegian government—the only one ever awarded to a North American troupe. Commonweal’s Twin Cities stop, at the Playwrights’ Center, features the classic drama Hedda Gabler in a preview of the company’s 12th annual Ibsen Festival, held April 17 to 19 in Lanesboro. Playwrights’ Center, 2301 Franklin Ave. E., Minneapolis, 800-657-7025,
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April 11

Bill Frisell

The most experimental of today’s top jazz guitarists, Bill Frisell played the Walker Art Center on his last trip through town. This time he’s at the more intimate Cedar, a rare opportunity to study his famous anti-technique, which takes improvisation to its most enjoyably unhinged limits. The Cedar, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-2674,
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April 11 to 19

The Barber of Seville

Your introduction to Figaro the wily stylist probably came via Bugs Bunny spoofing Rossini’s music in a Looney Tunes cartoon. Rossini’s classic is no less silly—in a good way—in the Minnesota Opera’s over-the-top production. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222,
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April 16 to 30

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

Despite the crumbling of the Twin Cities’ art-house infrastructure, this showcase just keeps growing, with some 120 features this year. The buzz will likely center around two favorites from the Sundance Film Festival: Tyson, an incredibly revealing documentary about the masticating boxer; and Rudo y Cursi, a Mexican comedy reuniting Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, the co-stars of Y Tu Mamá También. Most screenings at St. Anthony Main Theater, 115 Main St. SE, Minneapolis, 612-331-4723,
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April 21 to 23

Steve Tyrell

With his performances in Father of the Bride (I and II) and That Thing You Do, Steve Tyrell brought smooth jazz back into vogue. In a three-night stand at the Dakota, he’ll pay tribute to the ultimate smoothie—Burt Bacharach. Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-332-1010,
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Opening April 25

The Quick and The Dead

Peter Eleey, the Walker Art Center’s youthful visual-arts curator, could not have picked a more engaging theme for his first major exhibition: conceptual art. Transcending the physical limitations of traditional art (and, often enough, explanation), The Quick and the Dead features a bicycle wheel embedded in ice, a spinning car tire, and many more spectacles from the 1960s to today. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600,
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More can’t-miss events in the Twin Cities this month


Crime and Punishment
through May 3
Jungle Theater
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Red Ink
Opening April 23
Mixed Blood Theater
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I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady From Rwanda
Opening April 24
Park Square Theatre
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Bud! (Cantus with the James Sewell Ballet)
April 2 to 5
O’Shaughnessy Auditorium
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Zenon Dance Company
April 16 to 26
Ritz Theater
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Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg
April 24 to 25
Northrop Auditorium
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Kris Kristofferson
April 14
Pantages Theatre
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Daedalus Quartet with Lydia Artymiw
April 26
St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ
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Franz Ferdinand
April 28
First Avenue
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Marcy Arts Gala
April 18
The Soap Factory
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St. Paul Art Crawl
April 24 to 26
Lowertown St. Paul
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Phylicia Rashad
April 21
Orchestra Hall
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Got an upcoming show? Send event details to Tim Gihring at


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