August 2014 Twin Cities Arts and Entertainment Picks

 

Neverland

7.31–8.17

Circus Juventas’s summer offering features its most advanced young students of the big-top arts; it’s a Cirque du Soliel–style take on Peter Pan, Tink, and the lost boys and girls of Neverland. With elaborate sets and gravity-worrying acrobatics, it’s a fitting match for a story preoccupied with bygone youth and weird otherworldly magic—not to mention the middle ground of amazement shared by both the younger set and their more age-advanced caretakers. • 7/31–8/17, circusjuventas.org

Willie Nelson

8.8–8.9

81-year-old Willie Hugh Nelson, a child of the Great Depression, lives these days in a self-sustaining community on Maui run on solar power. It seems a fine setting for an old outlaw whose image has embraced equal parts outsider tough-guy and progressive sweetheart. His voice is one of the most warm and distinct in popular music, and his repertoire includes country classics and mellower stuff from the American songbook. He also has a crackling sense of humor that he’s unafraid to turn on himself, lest anyone begin taking things too seriously. • 8/8–9, grandcasinomn.com

Rhythmically Speaking 2014

8.14–8.16

It’s year six of this choreographers’ showcase of jazz and rhythm-based dance that artistic director Erinn Liebhard recalls was first “put together from the lint in my and a friend’s pocket.” This year seven pieces explore the breadth of classic jazz dance and its links to variations including afro-funk and rhythm tap—a slate of works all infused with an abiding faith in the power of the beat and all that it inspires. • 8/14–16, rhythmicallyspeakingdance.org

The Art of Collecting

Now through 9.7

The last century-plus in Russian history was replete with seismic societal upheavals—and art with big ideas and images to match. This exhibition at the Museum of Russian Art displays about 100 choice paintings from the largest collection of 20th-century Russian art outside Russia itself—works of astonishing power and fascinating stories to tell about a nation with a persistent habit of reinventing itself with astonishing extremes. • through 9/7, tmora.org

The Wolf of Walmart

Now through 11.1

Making it look deceptively easy has long been a trademark of the Brave New Workshop. Boiling down a news-junkie’s rage and jaundiced eye for regional foibles into 90 minutes of rapid-fire sketch and song is no minor task, and the BNW manages a consistency of quality that suggests some unholy assembly line operating behind the scenes. The through-line in recent years has been the archly acerbic Caleb McEwen, who directs this time out with wife Katy—and while the skewering is always with a soupçon of meanness, a sense of generosity to the audience never wavers. • ongoing, bravenewworkshop.com

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