The Agenda

What you need to do, see, and hear in January


Out There 2014: New World Visions • Now in its second quarter century, the Walker’s wild and wooly performance series always delivers welcome unpredictability. Four weeks, four shows: the Dutch/American tragicomic Hospital; a psychotherapist-turned-director’s The Room Nobody Knows; the one-man Allege, about the absurdity and banality of habit; and The Year I Was Born, spurred by the Pinochet era in Chile. Safety and unqualified success are not guaranteed “Out There,” but risk and exploration have compensations. • 1/9—2/1,


Cabaret • No word yet whether life really is a cabaret (old chum). But this sexy decadent beast has arguably influenced  worthies from Rocky Horror to Lou Reed, and its tunes, story, and gestalt hold up mightily. • 1/15—2/9,

Photo by Ed Ellis for Edmonton Opera


Macbeth • Verdi’s first operatic Shakespeare adaptation is a doozy: a soaring thriller rife with power-mongering, murderous scheming, and supernatural weirdness. There’s ample reason why this story in its stage version is so dark and ruinous that no one wants to speak its name inside the confines of a theater—it’s all about terror and bloodthirsty striving that connects on a primal level of goosebumps aplenty. Soprano Brenda Harris appears as the hand-washing and legendarily toxic Lady Macbeth; in other performances in the role around the country, critics have lauded her powerhouse voice and poignant acting, particularly in the Lady’s “mad scene.” Performed in Italian with English projections, the better to enjoy this union of the best of both languages.

To The Limit
The Science Museum of Minnesota


Omnifest 2014 • Doesn’t it seem like our eyes are being trained to watch film and video on a smaller screen every year? (Movies on the phone? Come on.) There’s still nothing like going to see a movie on the big screen—except maybe going to see a movie on a really big screen. The Science Museum of Minnesota hosts this really big festival with five films throughout the month on its nine-story-high screen, with worlds coming at us in grand style and on a jumbo scale. The museum’s original production Ring of Fire pushes into the raging and primordial Pacific Ocean circle of volcanoes; another night you can be drawn into the living-on-the-edge experiences of a rock climber, ski racer, and prima ballerina challenging the boundaries of human physicality in the documentary To the Limit. • 1/9—2/28,

James Sewell Ballet
Photo by Erik Saulitis


James Sewell Ballet • The James Sewell Ballet, in its 20th year, can properly be said to have outgrown its childhood and adolescence—yet it nimbly eludes the trap of stodginess and predictability that can come with the passage of time (variety, of course, is one of the crucial secrets of endurance). This Cowles Center TEK BOX spotlight, called the Ballet Works Project, features choreography by Nicky Coelho, a JSB dancer, as well as Blake Nellis, whose work brings appealing and athletic street-dance “contact improvisation” to the grace of ballet. Guest choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III, a New Yorker with an international resumé appearing for the first time in the Twin Cities, evokes a contemporary vibe. It all reminds us that, at one time, the classic was new. • 1/24—2/9,

Botanical Art in All its Wonder
 Photo By Stephanie Hunder

Visual Arts

Botanical Art in All its Wonder • During the glacial stretches of winter, amid the freeze and the lifeless silences, who would turn down the beautiful sight of a blossom? The University of St. Thomas embraces this concept with an exhibition featuring seven local artists who specialize in botanical drawing, painting, printmaking, and fused glass. From Charles Lyon’s rose paintings to Jo Wood’s glass-bead designs, this exhibition promises to break through the frigid days with the intricacy of flowers and the fine art botany inspires. • 1/13—5/24,


Jaron Childs and Jonathan Bruce Williams • Two photography-minded image makers—Childs’ emotionally wrought paintings based on his own shots, with Williams preoccupied with the practical and symbolic manifestations of picture taking. • 1/17—3/30,


Snow Ball Dance Sport CompetitionDancing with the Stars and Silver Linings Playbook have given us different views through the lens of the high-wire drama of dance competition. See for yourself: The 2014 Snow Ball features judged dances ranging from strictly ballroom to solo Latin freestyle. With a variety of spectator ticket packages, here’s grace, beauty, and white-knuckle stakes with world-class competitors and performances through the weekend. This is glitz and athleticism with high passion and folks who will be leaving it all out there on the floor. • 1/11—1/12,

Art Sled Rally
Courtesy of the Art Sled Rally


Art Sled Rally • Outdoor winter hijinks in a celebratory spirit, for free—elaborately designed sleds and their creators hurl downhill in style. Sounds like a fine Twin Cities Saturday. • 1/25,