Downtown Art

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April 25, 2005 // UPDATED 1:54 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Inside out

Ever have those moments when you feel brushed by a former self? You walk down the sidewalk and find that you can suddenly remember what it was like to be a 1st grader or a 19 year old. You extend your arms and hands out because they seem strange. Now they're connected to a younger you stored in a more mature body. Weird!

I once asked an old roommate if she were ever surprised that her legs were indeed linked to the rest of her body (not a drug-induced sensation or query). Orith promptly informed me that the epiphany had never really struck her. She'd always been confident about the relationship between her legs and body and assured me that I was probably crazy. I declared myself a vessel of postmodernism and ignored the consequent flak that those kinds of questions were sure to elicit.

The sensation made me question how different versions of myself compared to each other. The memory of a painfully shy self made me cower. I contemplated, have I made any progress at all? No, I've got the same insecurities and interests, I thought. However, other times my musings went the other direction. Then it was like, wow, I can't believe how far I've come!

In any case, back when my sense of proportion was different, things that looked big even when I was just younger but not physically smaller, now don't appear to be so huge. Like some teachers who I thought were towering and adult-like are now short and younger than I presumed, even though our age gap has remained constant. So the experience or inexperience inside of the shell does matter, as it's encompassed by a unique set of organs that work from a limited knowledge of the past and future and how they cooperate.

Not only age, but other factors like gender, weight and ethnicity also ruled judgment - accounted for introspectively and gathered responses from others. That's the point that director Todd Solondz, of "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happiness" fame, underscores in his new film "Palindromes."

Solondz delves into the disparate cultural experience embodied by such distinct traits when he swaps out eight actors for the same character. Aviva is comprised collectively of two adults, four teenage girls, a pre-teen boy and a 6-year-old girl who range in ethnicity, weight and gender. Viewers must synthesize how youthful romance and yearning for acceptance is impacted by these shape-shifters, all palindromes that reflect each other from right to left or left to right.

- W-Sa April 27-30; W 7:30 p.m.,
F 7:30 p.m., Sa noon & 7:30 p.m.
Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave.

'The Little Prince'

Next in store at Theatre de la Jeune Lune is yet another show that begins with the word "the." I've noticed a trend: "The Circus of Tales," "The Ballroom," "The Golem," "The Miser" - all combine for some kind of partiality towards a subject/noun, versus an action-based story. "The Little Prince" is certainly no exception. There's a bit of irony embedded in this charming story with the role reversals between a little boy and an aviator. The aviator who's lost in the Sahara desert finds friendship and an astute confidante in the youngster. The "Little Prince" envisions interplanetary travel where he's greeted by a host of quirky characters.

Setting and characterization for this show is minimal (the Jeune Lune staged this show in less than a week following the closing of "Maria de Buenos Aires"). Basically, everything takes place in a multitiered pit onstage, with few props and only three actors who portray the Little Prince (young and older) and the aviator. Appropriate for all ages.

- Th-Su thru May 8, Th-F 8 p.m.,
Sa 2 p.m. & 8 p.m., Su 7 p.m.
Theatre de la Jeune Lune, 105 N. 1st St.