Your Weekend What-To-Do May 21-23

Jeune Lune rejuvenated, truly wild sculpture at the Arboretum, and one dreamy man.

Scott Mayer, Minneapolis’s greatest booster, was in his office this afternoon buried in paper, his mind on many different things (including the MOSAIC Festival, kicking off June 5). But rest assured, he’ll be ready for Saturday’s final countdown in the One Man Minneapolis contest, held at 8 p.m. at Pantages Theatre. More than a so-called man pageant, it’s about civic pride and the fella who best, well, embodies this—an idea best embodied by last year’s inaugural winner, Mark Klukow, a Minneapolis police officer on the North Side.

The Walker Art Center couldn’t sell this weekend’s (May 20-22) performances of the John Jasperse dance company better than the New York Times has: “When John Jasperse makes a new work, it should be seen—end of story.” We’ll just add that the inventive troupe is performing a work commissioned by the Walker: Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies, so you’re seeing it here first folks.

Dominique Serrand and Steven Epp have been journeymen artists since losing their Theatre de la Jeune Lune in 2008. But neither of them have fled yet, and they’re cooking up something new that should keep them here awhile if it’s embraced. Their first cooperative project, which enlists various other Jeune Lune alums behind the scenes, is The House Can’t Stand, playing through May 30 at the Rarig Center at the University of Minnesota after a debut last year. It’s a one man show for Epp directed by Serrand. The premise is essentially a elderly couple different enough that their votes would cancel each other out; when the man dies on the occasion of Obama’s inauguration, the woman is pulled into her past in metaphorical and metaphysical flights of fancy that have something to say about politics and human nature. Serrand is up to his old tricks of projecting visuals and physical sleight-of-hand—a magic, in other words, that’s been sorely missing from the scene. Whether two former Jeune Lunies can match the sum of their parts may remain to be seen, but this morsel should tide fans over in the meantime.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has quietly made a bid in the last few years as a great place to see original art—all the more original for the art’s unique use of nature. There is nature art, in other words, and then there is the fantastical work opening with a ribbon-cutting Saturday created by sculptor Patrick Dougherty. To call him a stick artist seems a major understatement. His project is called the Big Build, and these works are colossi. Made with flexible willow branches, they evoke tree houses, nests, lairs—nature, in other words. And it doesn’t hurt that you can still catch some flowers blooming in the surrounding grounds.

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