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March 15, 2004 // UPDATED 9:46 am - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

'Playing the Black Piano'

For poet Bill Holm, salt horse, smoked fish and ammonia shark are just as likely to come up in conversation as Beethoven's compelling oeuvre of sonatas and symphonies.

Fittingly, Holm is just as apt to move from the page to the piano. In his first poetry collection in over 10 years, "Playing the Black Piano," Holm muses over Icelandic small-town grocery aisles and musical masterpieces.

At this publication party for the book, of course, Holm alternates between verse and notes. He'll read poems and play the piano, while vocalist Anna Sigga accompanies. The reception includes a book signing, Icelandic sweets and spirits like Vinarterta (fruit-filled torte) and Ponnukokur (Icelandic pancakes). The Icelandic Emigration Center will also talk about North America's Icelandic heritage.

Friday, Mar. 19, 7 p.m. Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Free. 215-2575.

'The Queen of Block E'

In the year 2033, the fate of Block E is uncertain. Measures taken by the government, under the auspices of Safety and Security threaten the liberty of the block and all of Minneapolis. Only a super heroine can save the city from self-destruction.

Enter, an unlikely protagonist -- a leader of the underworld, a woman with the ability to outsmart corrupt politicians, perhaps a performance artist! As "The Queen of Block E" local performer Heidi Arneson experiments with a new weapon to combat the forces of evil. Training a small group of outcasts in alternative sexual warfare, will Arneson's extreme sports defeat these urban vices? Watch as she brings new meaning to "community service."

Thursday-Sunday, March 18-21; Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. and Sunday, 7 p.m. Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St. $7-$12. 870-0309.