November Arts and Entertainment Picks

Senior editor Quinton Skinner picks this month’s top cultural events

“RACE: Are We So Different?”
Race Exhibit at Science MuseumOngoing

You can make a solid argument that race is the sturdiest prism through which to understand our past and present (not least through the recent essays of Ta-Nahesi Coates), but it permeates our lives to such a degree that we consistently forget how constructed and artificial is the very concept. This Science Museum exhibit returns from its earlier incarnation in 2007, and includes artifacts, multimedia, and interactive displays to examine race and racism via biology and history—here’s looking forward to an era in which the notion of race itself is consigned to history museums and accounts of a less enlightened age.
(Right: Photo courtesy of The Science Museum of Minnesota)

LowLow Band

In its two decades of existence, to me Low has always evoked the psychic and physical landscape of the band’s Duluth roots. Low’s glacial elegance and frequently meditative tempos are the sonic equivalent of ice floes passing one another above the depths of Lake Superior, the hills of the shore lined with battered walk-ups in which domestic dramas of all manner take place amid the tension of the frozen season and submerged emotions waiting to violently flower like the buds of May. Plus they sound awesome live.
(Right: Photo by Zoran Orlic)

The Trump Who Stole ChristmasThe Brave New Workshop's Holiday Show
11/13 – 1/30/2016

The Brave New Workshop’s holiday shows have often been one of my favorite parts of the season, a respite from the planning and prepping and the existential weight of another year gone by—evoking drunken moms and angry dads and the manic pressure and childhood glee of the tinsel and the lights and the mystery gifts. Speaking of gifts, we’re now well into what seems like a perpetual, interminable, endless run-up to the next presidential election (rarely has something so important seemed at times so frivolous), so surely they’ll spice things up with some of our most beloved characters of that season (and I’m not talking about Scott Walker).
(Right: Photo by Dani Werner)

Beautiful: The Carole King MusicalCarole King Musical
11/18 – 29

We’re in jukebox-musical territory here, but what a jukebox. With the real-life journey and travails of a titan songwriter and performer as its springboard, Beautiful delivers some of the remarkable songs Carole King penned or wrote in collaboration: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “It’s Too Late,” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” Against the backdrop of a tumultuous marriage, it’s a story of an outrageously gifted woman swimming upstream in a business renowned for chewing up artists and spitting them out—although in her case, writing more than 100 hits has ensured her permanence.
(Right: Photo by Nathan Johnson)

The Jungle BookChildren's Theatre Jungle Book
Through 12/6

Children’s Theatre Company has brought in director Greg Banks over the years for his specialty: adapting classic works with a physical, fast-paced approach that locates the still-beating heart in texts that might be considered so iconic that they’re resistant to re-imagining (think Huck Finn and Robin Hood, both of which he directed and both of which were compelling and provocative). This time out it’s Kipling’s tale of young Mowgli lost in the jungle and raised by animals—which is actually just about every kid’s fantasy at some point (and one for a few of us adults as well).
(Right: Photo by Dan Norman)