Having your picture taken beside the Hong Kong harbor or in front of the Taj Mahal is typical tourist behavior. But photographing people having their picture taken, now that’s interesting. At least it is in the playful hands of Orin Rutchick, who received a prestigious McKnight Fellowship for doing just that. Showing at the Icebox Gallery through January 6, his images of self-documentation come off as both candid and artful. Icebox Gallery, Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE #443, Mpls., 612-788-1790
There are cineplex movies and there are indie movies—and then there are the movies screening at the Walker Art Center during its “Expanding the Frame” film series, running January 19 to February 24. These films range from cutting-edge animation to the latest deconstructions from European experimenters, who slice up prints and re-photograph them, bleach the frames, or otherwise distort the storytelling process. The subject matter also ranges widely, from a documentary about French soccer hero Zinedine “head-butt” Zidane to stop-motion depictions of characters made from rabbit bones and bird wings. • Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600.
Marsupial Girl is a typical youth…with a pouch. A built-in hand-warmer? Perhaps, but in Tale of a West Texas Marsupial Girl, which receives its world premiere at the Children’s Theatre Company on January 16, the oddity is interpreted by townsfolk as a convenient aid for five-finger discounts. So what is really hidden in the girl’s storage sack? Something far more interesting than sticky fingers can snag. • Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls., 612-874-0400.
Spies, politics, Cold War shenanigans—Democracy has it all as it documents the regime of Willy Brandt, the first left-of-center chancellor in West Germany and Time magazine’s 1970 Person of the Year. The Park Square Theatre presents the play from January 26 to February 11, featuring an abundance of Guthrie Theater favorites, including Nathaniel Fuller, Bill McCallum, and Richard Ooms. • Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul, 651-291-7005.
If I Had a Hammerstein
Regarded as the most poetic and lyrical of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Carousel is Americana at its most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The Nautilus Music-Theater production, opening January 18 at the Southern Theater, should make sophisticated fun—not cheese—of this tale of redemptive love and forgiveness. Add the creativity of dancers Brian Sostek and Megan McClellan and the gorgeously pliable voices of Jennifer Baldwin Peden and Bradley Greenwald, who starred in Man of La Mancha for Nautilus last year, and the show may well be another hit. • Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-1725.
The Rainbow Connection
You know Harold Arlen’s music, even if you don’t know it. As the composer of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and the rest of the music in The Wizard of Oz, he’s among the best-loved if not the best-known of American songwriters. But he wrote far more than movie music, including swing hits made famous by Frank Sinatra: “Accentuate the Positive, “Stormy Weather,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “Let’s Fall in Love.” On January 14 at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, singer Christine Rosholt, a Dakota Jazz Club regular, presents a show of Arlen classics, with vocal help from Bruce Henry and Connie Olson—and probably much of the audience. • Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, 952-563-8575.
Photo by Paul Koinik
Photo by Paul Koinik
Huey and Cry
In the decade since Chicago premiered on Broadway, its starring roles have been filled by a variety of high-profile actresses: Lynda “Wonder Woman” Carter, Melanie “Working Girl” Griffith, and Ashlee “Lip-syncher” Simpson among them. On the production’s tour that graces the Ordway stage from January 16 to 21, the big name in the razzle-dazzling, Tony Award–winning tale of revenge has been Huey Lewis, playing the singing lawyer Billy Flynn. Workin’ for a livin’ indeed. • Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222.
Big Drummer Boy
The prolific jazz musician Matt Wilson took to pummeling drums in third grade, after he caught a Here’s Lucy episode in which Buddy Rich judged a local drum contest. Since then, the Illinois-born Wilson has hauled in a truckload of prizes himself. Downbeat magazine has voted him the No. 1 rising star drummer for three consecutive years now while naming Arts and Crafts, the band Wilson leads, a rising-star acoustic jazz group. On January 29 and 30, the group will play the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, plying their art with consummate musical craft. • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010.
Bluegrass music is already a blend of folk music imported from the British Isles and the songs of African Americans in the South. Now, VocalEssence is adding a third dimension: classical music. In concerts on January 19 in Stillwater and January 20 in Minneapolis, the choir will premiere a new sacred piece, back up a ballad singer, and get some instrumental inspiration from bluegrass veterans Monroe Crossing. • Trinity Lutheran Church, 115 N. Fourth St., Stillwater; Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 Fourth St. S., Mpls. Tickets: 612-624-2345.
Photo by James Sewell
Photo by James Sewell
Fresh off a California tour, the James Sewell Ballet returns to the O’Shaughnessy from January 19 to 21. The inventive troupe will perform a recent hit—Sewell’s Turf, a dance commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra—and will premiere Proprio, which features a solo by Sewell himself. Curious about the brains behind the brawn? Stay for the Q&A with Sewell after the Sunday matinee. The O’Shaughnessy, College of St. Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-6700