The Agenda

Theater, concerts, exhibitions & more—your best bets for May

May 29 to June 7

Black Label Movement

In their brief but productive time together, the dancers of Black Label Movement have literally thrown themselves into their work, portraying storms, chaos, and deck hands trapped underwater by pushing their muscles to within an inch of their Spandexed capacity. The workingman theme is continued in BLM leader Carl Flink’s new Field Songs, set to the live music of the roots-rockers The Jinnies—on a stage covered with sod. BLMers Eddie Oroyan and Leslie O’Neill will also debut works. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-340-1725,

May 3 to 24


The Fountain of Youth figures prominently in this musical about a middle-aged woman transformed by a sip into a sexy supermodel/pop-star—and with no little irony, considering the show’s creators are the eternally youthful Chan Poling (former Suburbs frontman/current Mondale in-law) and Myron Johnson of the Ballet of the Dolls. Their ambitions, in any case, are serious: In a bid for Broadway, they’ve cast New York musical star Jennifer Leigh Warren as the lead. Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-436-1129,

May 8 to 24


This new musical take on Crime and Punishment is an apt script for Ten Thousand Things Theater, which often performs in prisons. With an up-for-anything cast, including City Pages’ 2008 Artist of the Year Luverne Seifert and City Pages’ 2007 Best Actress Tracey Maloney, the mental anguish of a murderer has never been more lyrical. Minnesota Opera Center, 620 N. First St., Minneapolis, 612-203-9502,

Opening May 14

Tomás Saraceno: Lighter than Air

Over the years, the Walker Art Center has thrown its considerable weight behind a select number of emerging artists (Matthew Barney, Kara Walker). Saraceno, an Argentinean sculptor, appears to be the next. The Walker has organized his first solo U.S. museum exhibition, featuring inflatable works that merge art and engineering to suggest such futuristic and sustainable concepts as a floating greenhouse and flying cars. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600,

May 14 to 24

Angels in America: Millennium   Approaches

The first play in the two-part epic that made Tony Kushner famous was itself a sprawling drama, unfolding over three-and-a-half hours. For more than a year, the humbly named People Sittin’ Around Doin’ Theatre have worked to compress this story of AIDS, greed, and politics into a leaner production, which they’ll perform at the same time that Kushner’s new play is running at the Guthrie Theater. Lowry Lab Theatre, 350 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 763-242-5221,

May 15 and 16

SCUBA Touring Network

A kind of Whitney Biennial of dance, this mobile showcase taps the country’s best emerging talent, as suggested by local insiders, and sends them on the road. This year’s mix includes Minneapolis choreographer Chris Schlicting, Charles O. Anderson’s African-infused Dance Theatre X from Philadelphia, and Shinichi Iova-Koga of San Francisco, who synthesizes Eastern and contemporary dance. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-340-1725,

May 20 to 21

Nico Muhly and Son Lux

The hip concert of the season unites two young New Yorkers whose experimental blend of pop and classical music has the art world swooning: Nico Muhly, equally at home composing for the Metropolitan Opera and for Björk; and Son Lux, the sought-after remixer named National Public Radio’s best new artist of 2008. They’ll feature music created exclusively for this show. Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-340-1725,

Opening May 23

Minnesota’s Greatest Generation

The first major long-term exhibit to open in the Minnesota History Center in a while brings in some big guns—including an M-8 armored vehicle made at the St. Paul Ford plant and the fuselage of a C-47 troop transport plane. Often interactive (save for the armored car), the installations relate the experiences of the World War II generation from the Great Depression to the post-war boom. Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul, 651-259-3000,

May 28 to June 7

800 Words: The Transmigration of Philip K. Dick

Talking cats and secret agents put a surreal spin on this new play about Dick, the science-fiction author whose stories inspired Blade Runner, Total Recall, and other movies. But the entertaining cast of this Workhaus Collective production, including former Theatre de la Jeune Lune cut-ups Luverne Seifert and Maggie Chestovich, should keep things delightfully down to earth. The Playwrights Center, 2301 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-332-7481,

Through May 31

20 Days to Find a Wife

Laurie Flanigan, the author of last year’s hit Hormel Girls, brings another clever musical to the History Theatre. Based on a true story, the play centers on a lonely lighthouse keeper in Door County, Wisconsin, who is ordered by his boss to find a wife in 20 days—or lose his job. History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., Minneapolis, 651-292-4323,


More can’t-miss events in the Twin Cities this month


Legally Blonde: The Musical
Through May 10
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Chaplin: The Son of Isidore and Hanna Thornstein

May 2 to 17
Sabes JCC

Five-Fifths of the Brothers Grimm
May 4
Ritz Theater

The Phantom of the Opera

May 13 to June 7
Orpheum Theatre


Sthree by Ragamala Dance
Through May 3
Southern Theater

Flamenco, Heart and Soul
May 7 to 10
Southern Theater


Elton John & Billy Joel
May 5
Xcel Energy Center

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
May 11
Xcel Energy Center

VocalEssence: Cantaré

May 12
Orchestra Hall


Festival of Nations
Through May 3

Talking Volumes: Rita Dove
May 11
Fitzgerald Theater

An Evening With Diane Keaton
May 21
Orchestra Hall

Got an upcoming show? Send event details to Tim Gihring at

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