Downtown art

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December 13, 2004 // UPDATED 4:52 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Play with the Lunies

Like a family on vacation, the cast of Theatre de la Jeune Lune's (105 N. 1st St.) "The Miser" spent their "down-time" entertaining themselves with their own version of Mad Libs. In the process, they improvised enough skits and plot twists for a new production-in-the-making, "The White Smile Hour: A Tribute to Walton White."

It's fun to see this group let loose (and jump into the prime of another period); this sort of play/rehearsed open mic night gives the artists the opportunity to stretch and try in-process material while the Jeune Lune is between shows.

Parodying the "Lawrence Welk Show," the Lunies reconvene as a TV family staging a final show that pays tribute to their recently deceased father, Walton White. Like a Christopher Guest-style "mockumentary," they spoof the old-fashioned variety show format and at the same time, splay the father figure of "The Miser" with toothpaste-commercial brightness.

In contrast to the moral undertones of "The Miser," the ensemble sings, dances and tells jokes with cutesy accuracy and a large dose of flippancy, doing kitsche with as much ease as they usually do elegance.

"The White Smile Hour" is part of Theater Latt/ Da's "Theater Latt/ Dark" series, which also features "Singer Songwriters," an eclectic jazz showcase featuring local thespians/musicians and hosted by "A Christmas Carole Petersen's" Tod Petersen.

Dec. 13-15 "Singer Songwriters": Monday 7:30 p.m. "The White Smile Hour": Tuesday-Wednesday 8 p.m., The Loring Playhouse, 1633 Hennepin Ave. S. $5-$10 (available at the door only). 339-3003.

'Naughty or Nice'?

Kind of like a burlesque act, the images in the exhibit "Naughty or Nice" visually hint at the illusion of something more provocative.

Photographer Danny Peet's crisp black-and-white photos show some leg, with shots of thighs all fancied up in vintage nylon stockings and high heels. Rather Hitchcock-ish, these snapshots might allude to a clandestine love affair. There's an air of mystery to the ambient photos because Peet shot most of them in the dark or late at night, with only the illumination of a few strobe lights. These shadowy pictures reveal the murkier side of things or the stuff we're apt not to sniff out, not least the occasional private rendezvous to stir our curiosity.

Then there's Keegan Wenkman playing with our minds in his painting of a young woman seated alone with her bird. Just what exactly is Wenkman implying? In all of his works, the figures appear to be hiding something.

Rob McBroom's "biomorphed" couple is the painterly confluence of icons that we see daily. He introduces geometric and pixilated logos and caricatures that assert some order on the pandemonium of commercialism. (However, a cameo from Bart Simpson tips off that these paintings didn't come from Picasso's brush, though they have a Cubist "look.")

Finally, Mia Jennings' oil paintings toy with the imagination with light-hearted erotic pin-ups. While Jennings has done cover art for Web-based zines such as mindcaviar.com and voracitybeat.com, she prefers to paint for the sheer "sensual" aspects of it.

Also, be sure to check out the Outsiders holiday sale in Uptown (see page 17 in the gift guide).

Thru Dec. 24, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday noon-5 p.m., Thursday noon-7 p.m. Outsiders and Others, 1010 Park Ave. S. Free. 338-3435.

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