The Arts

Kids in the Hall

The Ordway Center, usually muffled by suits and hushing ushers, will be filled with the sounds of kids on May 29, the opening day of the 2007 Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. The theatrical showcase includes performances by American and foreign troupes, live music, a kite festival, and a butterfly garden. And all the acting up, hopefully, will be onstage. Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222

Ballet in Space

Ballet of the Dolls has always gone boldly where few troupes dare to venture, and Barbarella stands to extend the frontier even further. Opening May 31 at the Ritz Theater, the Dolls’ take on the 1960s science-fiction story is subtitled The Ballet Ms. Fonda Wants You to Forget. But who can forget Jane Fonda’s bizarre quest in the 1968 film version to conquer Durand-Durand, an enemy of 41st-century America? It stands to be a ballet to remember, as well. The Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-436-1129

Photo by Valérie Dayan

Band of Brothers

Fronted by two violin-wielding brothers, Les Yeux Noirs brings its blend of gypsy and klezmer music to the Cedar Cultural Center on May 3. It’s difficult to say whether they call themselves the Black Eyes because they play at dangerously breakneck speeds or because they’re taking their best shot at breaking down musical boundaries. • 416 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-2674.

Plugging In

Electronic music has come a long way since you plunked away on your Casio in junior high. Hear for yourself May 11 to 20 at the Electric Eyes: New Music and Media Festival at the Southern Theater, where cutting-edge artists from the Twin Cities and New York will premiere five new works that use computers and other electronic media to create “live” performances. • 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-1725.

Mondo Mozart

What are the odds that two troupes would decide to perform the same opera at the same time by a composer who died more than 200 years ago? Pretty good, when you consider the work: Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, which the Theatre de la Jeune Lune will continue to perform through June 24 and which the Minnesota Opera is staging at the Ordway Center from May 5 to 13. Opera doesn’t get much more tuneful, tumultuous, or meaningful than this. • Theatre de la Jeune Lune, 105 First St. N., Mpls., 612-333-6200; Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222.

Twin Town

Two brothers, two choirs, one performance: A Choral Collaboration on May 5 and 12 features the groups led by the Culloton twins—Matthew’s Dale Warland spinoff, the Singers, and Michael’s Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester. Both are accomplished leaders, but Michael gets to conduct this one. How did they decide? Arm wrestling? A sing-off? • May 5 at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, 11 Fourth Ave. SW, Rochester; May 12 at Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center, 2400 Lindbergh Dr., Minnetonka; 651-209-6689.

Clowning Around

Torch Theater has quietly staged some of the area’s most accessible and enjoyable shows since actress Stacia Rice founded the troupe two seasons ago. And its latest production is no exception: A Thousand Clowns, which runs through May 5, stars the beloved Bob Davis as an unemployed New York nonconformist raising his nephew and provoking the Park Avenue set (“All right, all you rich people,” he hollers, “everybody out in the street for volleyball!”). Zach Curtis, Jim Pounds, and Rice herself co-star. • Minneapolis Theatre Garage, 711 W. Franklin Ave., Mpls., 952-929-9097.

Family (Dys)functions

Claiming that your story is “the kind of stuff you can’t make up” can be dangerous in this post–James Frey era. But it just might be true with Autistic License, Stacey Dinner-Levin’s seemingly surreal, real-life story about raising a child with autism, staged May 4 to 20 at the Illusion Theater. Rather than a didactic spiel on living with disability, it’s both funny and tearful, a frank and illuminating portrait. • Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave., eighth-floor theater, Mpls., 612-339-4944.

Shotaro Ishinomori,
Ryujin Pond (1961)

Cultural Cartoons

Shojo manga (girl comics) is Japan’s colorful counterpart to our thought-provoking political cartoons, reflecting the evolution of women’s roles in Japanese society since World War II. “Shojo Manga! Girl Power!” opens at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on May 25, showcasing more than 200 femme-fueled works, including a few Western takes on the medium. • MCAD Gallery, 2501 Stevens Ave., Mpls., 612-874-3803.

Ghost of a Chance

The best way to catch a show by the acclaimed Commonweal Theatre Company is typically after a bicycle ride and a soak in a hot tub at a B&B in Lanesboro, where the company is based. But if that’s not in your plans, Commonweal will bring the show to you from May 9 to 13, when they’ll perform Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen, at the Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio. • Guthrie Theater, 818 Second St. S., Mpls., 612-377-2224.