What Comes Around
Time seems to trouble artists Jonathan Nelson and Ruben Nusz. In their joint show “Create, Destroy, Repeat,” displayed at the Rosalux Galley from December 1 to 17, Nelson makes the most of it with recycled objects while Nusz kills it—his 3-D Naturaleza Muerte Series #4 features two clocks: one working, one destroyed. Nelson’s recycling extends to his work as host of Radio K’s Some Assembly Required, where he frequently plays songs that use reprocessed sounds, tunes that factor into this art show, as well. Rosalux Gallery, Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-747-3942
R&B legend Allen Toussaint, who recently recorded with Elvis Costello and performs at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant on December 17, has come to embody the laid-back, funky rhythms of his native New Orleans. The sultry-voiced Dianne Reeves, who sings at the College of Saint Benedict on December 9 and at the Dakota on December 10, has won four Grammy Awards, the most recent for her work on the soundtrack of Good Night, And Good Luck. • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, 612-332-1010; College of Saint Benedict, Petters Auditorium, 37 S. College Ave., St. Joseph, 320-363-5777.
The oud (pronounced “ood”) is a short-necked, half-pear-shaped lute of Arab origin whose name derives from al-oud—Arabic for “branch of wood.” In a chamber concert dubbed Caravan of Silk and Jade, musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra join players of the oud (and the vina and tabla from India) for a magic carpet ride across the Eastern musical landscape. Concerts on December 7 and 9 in the SPCO’s Music Room culminate in a Bollywood-style jam, a musical East meets West—albeit, one presumes, without the usual wet-sari scenes. • SPCO Center, Historic Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter St., Suite 300, St. Paul, 651-291-1144.
Photo by David Allen
Photo by David Allen
It’s a Bing Deal
Not even Santa can bring Bing Crosby back from the great crooners convention in the sky, but some of Crosby’s most popular songs can be heard again live in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the big-budget musical coming to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on December 1. The circa 1940s story features showbiz buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn (and hooking up in the process), but the music is the real reason to get nostalgic. • Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222.
The Gift of Laughter
Are you experiencing sleigh rage? An uncontrollable urge to drum the Little Drummer Boy out of town, wring your neighbor’s neck with his icicle lights, and kick the Nutcracker in the you-know-where? You need Christmas: The Other White Holiday, a seasonal satire running all month at the Brave New Workshop Theatre. The holiday hams at the BNW say it’s “for those who like a little wasssup in their wassail,” but really it’s for anyone who thinks an omniscient fat guy in a red suit is just asking for a little friendly fire. • Brave New Workshop Theatre, 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-332-6620.
When holiday stress hits, sometimes all you want to do is dance, and not necessarily to a remix of “Jingle Bell Rock.” So be glad Midwestern-born, San Francisco-based DJ Kaskade returns to town for the tenth time in three years to spin at the Lounge on December 7. Kaskade, who has developed a following around the world, was also the catalyst for the Current’s Guest DJ Sets series on Friday nights. Clearly, he taps into something the Twin Cities wants to hear. • The Lounge, 411 Second Ave. N., Mpls., 612-333-8800.
Aldo Moroni and Erik Sletten emphasize the art in architecture this month at the Bloomington Art Center. Opening December 8, “Impossible Buildings” features Sletten’s colorful, almost comic, work, in which skyscrapers appear to sway, such as Foshay Standing as a Trophy. Moroni’s ceramic cityscapes reflect his interest in animating buildings, as in his Mill City Dance, on display at the Cedar Riverside light-rail station. • Bloomington Art Center, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, 952-563-8587.
It began as a film illustrating the importance of—believe it or not—vanishing wetlands in an effort to protect New Orleans from major flooding. But when Katrina hit, Hurricane on the Bayou became a documentary about the storm’s catastrophic impact on the region, its residents, and the struggle to rebuild. The film, which opens December 22 at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Omnitheater, follows four musicians on an exploration of the cultural and ecological fabric of New Orleans—before, during, and after the devastation. • Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-221-9444.
Ah, the glory days of radio dramas: a row of microphones, a box of odds and ends for sound effects, and some imagination were practically all they required. This month, the art of listening has been revived. Radio Theater Live! performs the Bing Crosby classic Going My Way at the Bloomington Art Center from December 7 to 17. And the Saint Paul Hotel combines its annual multi-course holiday tea servings with performances of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play from December 18 to 23. • Bloomington Art Center, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, 952-563-8587; Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul, 651-292-9292.
Photo by Joan Marcus
Photo by Joan Marcus
George Wendt may have been the agreeable beer nut Norm on television’s Cheers, but his acting is really intoxicating in the intense Twelve Angry Men, playing December 5 to 10 at the State Theatre with Broadway showman Richard Thomas as the lead. The scene is a hot courthouse in the 1950s, and as the 12 jurors battle each other, the tension tells you there’s much more at stake than tastes great versus less filling. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-673-0404