The Arts

Best Bets

Best Feet Forward

The Choreographers’ Evening, a November 26 showcase of contemporary Minnesota dance, is being curated by the playfully inventive Mathew Janczewski of ARENA Dances. And it’s moving to the Walker Art Center’s new McGuire Theater. Two signs that local choreographers are determined to keep up with the times, if not get out in front of them. • Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600


The Art of War

Photographs of Iraq war casualties arriving at Dover Air Force Base were originally suppressed by the Bush administration. Now, artist Camille Gage has amplified their impact by working them into a collage of text and related imagery for the “War and Peace” show, on display November 2 to 30 at Rosalux Gallery. The exhibit will also feature the work of Kate Pabst, whose paintings incorporate material from soldiers’ blogs. • Rosalux Gallery, 1011 S. Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-747-3942


How Funky Is Your Butt?

Funky Butt Hall was a real club in the early 1900s in New Orleans’s Storyville red light district, the place where jazz was reputedly born (it appears now that there was more whoopee-makin’ than music-makin’ going on). In Live at the Funky Butt Jazz Club, the story of America’s original musical form is told by six of the area’s best-known African American actors, along with guest actor/singer Xavier Rice, a cast of 30, and, of course, a jazz band. The musical theater production plays November 17 to December 17 at the Interact Center, which specializes in performances by people with disabilities and others whose voices aren’t typically heard—perfect for a show about marginalized musicians looking for a way to express themselves. • Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, 212 N. Third Ave., Suite 140, Mpls., 612-343-3390.


Picturing Adoption

Since 2001, the national Heart Gallery project has enlisted professional photographers to take portraits of kids awaiting adoption. The photos have been displayed at galleries, and the results (20 children have been adopted in Florida alone) are encouraging Minnesota to follow suit—about 100 volunteer photographers are shooting around the state. The Frank Stone Gallery will host some of the portraits November 17 to 27 (they’ll be shown later in St. Cloud and Owatonna). Talk about moving pictures. • Frank Stone Gallery, 1224 NE Second St., Mpls., 612-617-9965.


Conscience Stuffers

From November 12 to December 31, shoppers at the Mall of America may pause—not because their credit lines are sagging, but because of poignant art. The Outsider Art Center has chosen the mall as the site for its first-ever juried show of works by people who are homeless. It will be co-curated by news anchor Robyne Robinson, and all proceeds will benefit the artists. This could really simplify holiday shopping. • Mall of America, Bloomington. Call 612-338-3435 for more information.


Hell of a Play

Playwright Sam Shepard hasn’t hidden his fear and loathing of the current state of government, and his frank writing is perfect for Frank Theatre, which is staging his latest work, The God of Hell, October 28 to November 20 at the Loring Playhouse. A former St. Croix Valley resident, Shepard has set his black comedy of Big Brother–style government in rural Wisconsin, where bureaucrats track down a government scientist gone AWOL from a plutonium project. • Loring Playhouse, 1633 S. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-724-3760.


King of the Hill

Jerome Hill, grandson of St. Paul railroad builder James J. Hill, was more than just a supporter of the arts—he was an artist himself. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Walker Art Center is screening his films from November 16 to 19 (his Albert Schweitzer documentary won an Oscar in 1957, and his Film Portrait was named an outstanding Film of the Year at the 1972 London Film Festival). Also showing: works by filmmakers supported by the Jerome Foundation, including a Mira Nair documentary (So Far from India) and the award-winning Hair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People. • Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7600.


Far from Oz

Linda Eder, the Brainerd-born Broadway chanteuse, has released By Myself: The Songs of Judy Garland as a tribute to her fellow north woods entertainer. Eder returns to the State Theatre on November 18 to perform. The recently divorced diva says she always idolized Garland but relates to the famously emotional performer much more now that she’s been through tough times herself. Bring Kleenex (and the missing ruby slippers, if you’ve got ’em). • State Theatre, 805 S. Hennepin Ave., 612-673-0404.


Comic Relieved

After playing the title character in Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters since 1953, Ferruccio Soleri is retiring the role after the final show of the touring production’s November 9 to 20 run at the Guthrie Theater. Created in 1745, the play is considered a prime example of commedia dell’arte, an engaging and clownish (in a good way) theatrical form that, in this revival, comes off more bawdy than clever, though the production replicates the Venetian drawing-room atmosphere of the play’s original performances. • Guthrie Theater, 725 Vineland Pl., Mpls., 612-377-2224.


Y Not?

The Y Show, written by three Twin Citians, was already booked for a New York stint before its premier 20-show run began October 28 at the Suburban World Theater. The format seems rather kitchen sink (as in, everything but)—it’s billed as a musical, a comedy, a drama, even a town meeting—and its plot feels somewhat contrived (an African American psychiatrist sets out on a road trip to challenge stereotypes). But it’s getting attention for its multimedia blend: film footage, live singing, and handheld wireless devices that allow audience members to share thoughts and influence the proceedings. Can you text “big hit”? • Suburban World Theater, 3020 S. Hennepin Ave., 612-843-6635.


Family Matters

After its off-Broadway premiere, From Door to Door comes to the Park Square Theatre from October 21 to November 13. The title was derived from the Hebrew prayer book, l’dor v’dor, which means “from generation to generation.” The touching story follows three Jewish women over the course of 70 years: the reserved and submissive grandmother, the defeated daughter, and the independent granddaughter, each faced with keeping the traditions of the women before her. It seems a fine fit for Park Square’s own tradition of tender but not saccharine shows. • Park Square Theatre, Historic Hamm Building, 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul, 651-291-7005.


Motherland Masterpieces

The Museum of Russian Art doesn’t do nesting doll folk art any more than it panders to Soviet stereotypes. But it does remind us of Russia’s high art traditions with exhibitions such as “The Art of Russian Icons,” on view from October 13 to January 14. This collection of classic Orthodox religious imagery spans three centuries (and no, not a Jesus within a Jesus within a Jesus). It’s an exotic show for the Twin Cities’ most beautiful new museum—and quite appropriate, given that the space is a former church. • Museum of Russian Art, 5500 S. Stevens Ave. (Diamond Lake Rd. exit off I-35W), Mpls., 612-821-9045.