January 2015 Top Twin Cities Arts and Entertainment Picks

Red Eye
Photo by Johanna Austin

1/18-31 Out There 2015

This year’s unpredictable artistic tasting menu at the Walker leads off with The Evening, a new work by deadpan absurdist Richard Maxwell that plops a boxer, his manager, and a barkeep into a New York dive. It’s a work that includes both live music and long silences, aiming to fire evocative arrows at all our dreams and failures. Also on tap is RED-EYE to HAVRE de GRACE, a multimedia “action-opera” collaboration between itinerant experimental writer-director Thaddeus Phillips and the local musical pair Wilhelm Bros. & Co.—it concerns itself with the suitably odd final days of Edgar Allan Poe, whose life was often as strange as his stories. I’m also intrigued by Cineastas, a live-action film with actors switching characters across split-screen sorcery, and Still Standing You, a two-man slapstick dance/art thing that apparently shudders between tenderness, friendship, sex, and violence while blurring the lines between all of the above. walkerart.org


1/1418 Raw Stages 2015

The staged reading is inevitably a mixed bag—works in progress (aren’t we all?) showing tantalizing glimpses of what might be for those of us who like to peer under the hood of the artistic process. History Theatre’s Raw Stages lineup this year features an appealing range of local actors, writers, and directors—and there’s an absorbing scope to the themes of these works in development: a historical Northwest Airlines stewardess who fought for workplace gender equality, a drama about I-94’s destructive path through St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, a play about Ernest Hemingway at the Mayo Clinic in the final months of his life before his suicide, and a new musical piece about the 1980s music scene in Minneapolis. historytheatre.com

1/16 Fleetwood Mac

Does the fact that Fleetwood Mac had an on-call drug dealer in their original heyday whose license plate proclaimed “DEALER” add to their allure? Certainly, if you want to regard them as the product of their one-time Byzantine stew of bitter failed romance and chemical excess. It’s been a lifetime, though, since they epitomized rock ’n’ roll decadence, and they remain now what they were then—seasoned pros with a miles-deep songbook and virtuoso chops. They’re returning for a second gig on this Twin Cities tour after selling out the first, with the old Rumours-era band entirely intact (what were the odds?) and more hits than you can shake a gypsy-scarf-festooned microphone stand at. They’re one of the best ever to take an arena stage, and they’re still out to prove it. xcelenergycenter.com

The Fashion Show Weinstein Gallery
Photo by Deborah Turbeville, Bath House, VOGUE, courtesy Weinstein Gallery

Through 1/17 The Fashion Show

The first imperative of fashion photography is to sell things—clothes, accessories, an aesthetic and, arguably, a mode of female beauty that conveys a double edge of appreciation and idealization. Some of the most talented photographers of our time have worked in fashion, and a disproportionate number of those who found fame have been male. This exhibition, spanning nine decades and a dozen women artists, presents more than 40 images in a fascinating kaleidoscope of beauty as seen through (literally) strong and visionary lenses. Our dreams of beauty develop alongside all the others, reflecting what we are and want to be in the weird and often disturbing intersection of our private selves, what we wear, what we desire, and what we want to be. weinstein-gallery.com


Beer Dabbler
Photo by Jon Huelskamp

1/24 Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival

There’s little doubt that the St. Paul Winter Carnival is a case of making…let’s see, frozen lemonade out of months-old slush? And while it should be as festive as ever this year, with parades and all kinds of frozen activity in Rice Park, let’s also put in a prayer for this winter lacking last year’s once-in-a-generation level of extended punishment and crushing perseverance. We’ll hedge our bets: Whatever comes, it makes good solid northern sense to hit the state fairgrounds for food trucks, music, and the products of 140 breweries—provided the suds aren’t frozen by the time they reach our lips. beerdabbler.com