Downtown Art

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May 3, 2004 // UPDATED 1:26 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Local actor Tod Peterson inherited many of his mother's best and worst traits. Which means that his gestures, facial expressions and comments dictate that this he is indeed, the son of Carole Peterson.

The act spilled into a Peterson-Rothstein collaboration that more fully exploits mother and hereditary jinxes. The comic scenario Peterson resurrects conjures a problem we can all relate to: seeing more than ourselves when we look in the mirror in the morning.

Sunday, May 9, 3 and 7 p.m. Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave. S. $30. 343-3390.

'Coexistence'

"Coexistence" treads the tightrope of unity and discord between cultures, with 38 large-scale images that relate to the implications of both. The nine-by-15-foot works convert Hennepin County Government Center's North Plaza into a dynamic expression of tolerance, empathy and understanding, 24 hours a day.

See vivid depictions of multiple dot-matrix Mona Lisas, black and white eggs coupled together, rows of labeled backsides, cross-breeding, chaotic silhouettes and close-up snapshots of linked hands. Posters are underscored by thoughts from pacifists, ranging from the Dalai Lama to John Lennon.

The outdoor exhibit is part of the larger "Coexistence" program that originated at Jerusalem's Museum on the Seam; this installation's Minneapolis visit and surrounding events are sponsored by the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts. While many "Coexistence" events take place at the U of M, including "Borderlands: Turkish-Armenian-Greek Film Festival," many will also be Downtown.

The U of M's steel drum band accompanies a Monday, May 3 opening ceremony at the County plaza, featuring a performance by Quetzalcoatlicue (Quetzal Aztec Dance Group) followed by words from Mayor R.T. Rybak, U of M President Robert Bruininks and "Coexistence" Curator Raphie Etgar. A sampler of ethnic foods from across the globe will be on hand to enjoy as well.

There is also a noon speaker series Downtown featuring U of M professors probing such topics as how "foreigners" and "others" are perceived in the Koran and the Bible, immigration in "Lake Wobegon," the importance of the modern Olympics and more.

For complete schedule information, log on to www.chgs.umn.edu/coexistence/.

Opening ceremony: Monday, May 3,11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Outdoor exhibit: thru June 12, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St., North Plaza, Lectures: Various dates, noon, One Financial Plaza, 120 S. 6th St. Free.

'The Pirates of Penzance'

I suppose Gilbert and Sullivan might be techno musicians if they were alive today, possibly satirizing the efforts of hackers and teenaged illegal MP3 downloaders and spammers. Floating on a World Wide Web sea, they'd lampoon the "good guys" and the "fugitives," both of whom might be forced to walk the plank (disconnect?).

In their old-fashioned comic opera, "The Pirates of Penzance," Gilbert and Sullivan capture the absurdity of political entanglements and piracy issues that press on today.

Sword fights are frequent in a plot driven by the machismo of Frederic, who, as a child, was inadvertently sold to a pirate ship as an indentured servant, due to a simple misunderstanding of the word "pilots." But when Frederic reaches adulthood, or his 21st birthday, he must rise to the call of duty and get rid of the bandits.

Real trouble arises, however, when Frederic falls in love with a major general's daughter. Of course the major worries his other daughters might be prey to the villainy of additional pirates. He's just a little overly protective (the major doesn't know that Frederic isn't a pirate's pirate, that he's an impostor . . . sort of).

Romantic comedies didn't used to be the stuff of "chick flicks," at least not when this duo composed this silly melodrama that confuses the separation of "good guys" and "bad guys."

May 6-June 13, Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (and at 1 p.m. on May 22 and 29); and Sunday, 7 p.m. The Guthrie Theater, 725 Vineland Pl. $18-$35. 377-2224.

Anna's Picks

'Basic Needs'

North Loop author and local educator Julie Landsman shares her insight about inner-city crises in a class of kids who were kicked out of other schools.

Landsman faces serious issues like prostitution, drug abuse and poverty -- problems the school system isn't equipped to handle -- and illustrates that even some

well-meaning teachers aren't trained to combat these grim realities.

This reading celebrates the decade anniversary of and reprinting of Landsman's book, "Basic Needs: A Year with Street Kids in a City School," that sparked the Loft Literary Center's "Basic Needs" residency program. It'll feature success stories from the Loft program and present guest writers Angela Shannon, Julie Pinomaki and Sarah Fox.

Thursday, May 6, 4:30 p.m. Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Free. 215-2575.

Embrace 'The Golem'

Images of pre-World War II Jewish ghettos, Jewish fairy tales and a Gustav Meyrink novel inspired this eloquent production of "The Golem," which plays visually, morally and spiritually with light and dark.

Who or what has the Jeune Lune brought to the stage?

A monster is haunting a community. Or is this an angel that turns stones to bread?

Eat the Torah (literally) at a table where The Golem resides. Garlic won't keep this monster/enigma away.

A town's psyche is tormented and inspired by a mystical creature that drips of clay and simmering dust. Simultaneously, The Golem offers hope and devastation. This spirit is beautiful, ugly and transforming.

Watch when these townspeople become enchanted by a harbinger of good and evil.

You'll believe in The Golem yourself when drops of shiny clay appear near your feet . . .

May 1-June 27, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. (plus Saturday, June 12, 19 and 26, 2 p.m.) and Sunday, 7 p.m. Theatre de la Jeune Lune, 105 N. 1st St. $10-$30. 333-6200.

Anna Pratt can be reached at annapratt@artlover.com.