The Arts

Minnesota Monthly’s recommendations for cultural diversion in July 2007

Atlanticus by Circus Juventas

Cirque du Soleil meets The Little Mermaid in the latest production of St. Paul’s celebrated youth arts school. Atlanticus stars the program’s best performers doing circus-style acrobatics, launching pyrotechnics, and battling sea monsters in an Atlantis-themed showcase. July 26 to August 12: Circus Juventas Big Top, 1270 Montreal Ave., St. Paul, 651-699-8229


Can one dance to photographs? Find out at Musicapolis, the Minnesota Center for Photography’s annual party-in-the-parking-lot. This year’s event combines live hip-hop with graffiti created on an oversized mural by the members of Juxtaposition Arts, whose work illuminates the stairwell of the Chambers hotel in Minneapolis. Featured musicians include Millions Billions and the soulful Sarah White. – July 21: Minnesota Center for Photography, 165 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-824-5500.


Trading tuxes for Hawaiian shirts, the Minnesota Orchestra kicks back in its annual summer concert series, this year venturing further than ever into jazz territory. Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis plays two shows of Ellington and Basie numbers, while the orchestra’s own Chuck Lazarus, a trumpeter who’s moonlighted at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, leads small groups through Latin jazz and other music of the tropics. Don’t be surprised to see music director Osmo Vänskä, who has sat in with Lazarus before, joining in on clarinet. – July 13—August 5: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-371-5656.

Momentum: New Dance Works

The Southern Theater and Walker Art Center team up again for the annual Momentum: New Dance Works festival, showcasing the latest in local choreography. Included is Off-Leash Area, which stands out amid a field of top talent for being theater-based rather than dance-centric; their creative storytelling has earned them critical acclaim and Ivey Awards. – July 12—14, 19—21: Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls., 612-340-1725.

Ten Second Film Festival

That video snippet on your cell phone of your cousin imitating Mick Jagger’s strut? It’s entertaining, all right, and possibly art in the hands of the Soap Factory. The gallery’s third annual Ten Second Film Festival features movies, recorded on cell phones and digital cameras, screened on the back of its building following the Independence Day fireworks in Minneapolis. – July 4: The Soap Factory, 518 Second St. SE, Mpls., 612-623-9176,

Great River Shakespeare Festival

All of Winona’s a stage during this annual and highly regarded staging of the Bard’s best, this year featuring Macbeth and As You Like It in repertory. (Stay the weekend in bluff country to catch both.) Additional events include concerts and conversations with cast members. – Through July 29: The Performing Arts Center, Johnson and West Howard streets, Winona State University, Winona, 507-474-7900.

1776 at the Guthrie Theater

The revolution will be…sung? The musical 1776, which scored three Tony Awards after its Broadway debut in 1969, is set in colonial Philadelphia and chronicles the political and military events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Think of West Side Story, with whiter wigs and less finger-snapping. – Through August 26: Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Mpls., 612-377-2224.

Outdoor Music

Museums are offering more than exhibits of paintings and pottery this summer: In July, the Mill City Museum presents White Light Riot, whose energetic, melodic tunes hint at British New Wave rock and the music of ’80s John Hughes movies. In St. Paul, the Minnesota Museum of Modern Art’s Patio Nights feature concerts of local bands each Thursday night with access to the galleries. – Mill City Live, July 19: Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Mpls., 612-341-7555. Patio Nights, every Thursday in July and August: 50 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 651-266-1030.

Bush Is Bad: The Musical

As straightforward as the prez himself, Bush Is Bad was called “The Daily Show set to music” after its New York debut. It’s a trenchant skewering of political missteps though such songs as “Wake Me When It’s 2009” and a mash-up of the president’s own idiomatically challenged speeches. This literal Bush Administration folly is performed by a rotating cast of veteran Twin Cities actors—at least until the Secret Service catches on. – July 6—August 12: Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612-871-0050.

One Screamer, JAO

“Modes of Disclosure”

An artistic look at sexual identity, this multimedia show at Form + Content Gallery features contemporary GLBT art from across North America. Film, photography, paintings, and computer art are just a few of the forms used in this exhibition at the new Warehouse District gallery. July 5 to August 9: Form + Content Gallery, 210 N. Second St., Mpls., 612-436-1151