Anna's Picks

Share this:
May 16, 2005 // UPDATED 1:54 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Insomniac

Funny man Dave Attell has tried everything. After numerous failed attempts to count sheep, read sleepy textbooks or meditate, Attell just can't shake his insomnia. Finally, after consulting doctor after doctor for myriad forms of nighttime therapy, he was close to giving up. It seemed like nothing worked. He looked terrible; his eyes drooped like glued tears.

The tired yet wide-awake comic just couldn't help wondering what he was missing after sunset, as friends slept. After all, there was still plenty of fraternal activity that leaked outside of college campuses.

Just how could he bottle his bottomless stamina? Could he use his super powers for good? Although some of this account has been fictionalized, it's true that in the end Attell resolved his lingering get-up-and-go with a show that explores the dark side - that is, nighttime activity - with the same pedestrian interest as a host on the Travel Channel in Comedy Central's "Insomniac with Dave Attell." You'll have to give up some sleep yourself to find out what does happen in front of closed doors at 2 or 3 a.m.

Su May 22, 7:30 p.m.State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S. $29.50-$32.50. 651-989-5151, www.hennepintheatredistrict.org.

Russian orphans

Lots of rainbows, moon, stars, sunlight, balloons and clown smiles grace the paintings from orphaned youth in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia - which currently hang locally, offering a unique opportunity to see what fanciful imagery children from another culture conjure up.

Theirs is a radiant collection that delights in the simple pleasures and expresses optimism. Some of the paintings are so busy and so full of imagination that the subjects seem to dance off the surface. In collaboration between locally based Jungle Red Salon and Maria's Children, which serves over 400 orphaned, disabled and refugee children, we witness how art impacts those whose livelihood has been jeopardized. (Proceeds from this project will benefit Maria's Children.)

That's one of Maria's Children's aims, looking to art as a means to restore and continue to build self-esteem. In this case, it's fun to see how the kids' compositions closely resemble Marc Chagall's wanderlust figures that waft dreamily in space and time. They show a mature use of color and meticulous attention to detail.

Besides fund-raising, Maria's Children donates thousands of pounds of clothing, toys, medicine and art materials to these needy children.

Tu-Sa thru June 3; Tu-F 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sa 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jungle Red Salon, Spa and Gallery, 1362 LaSalle Ave. Free. 870-0653, www.jungleredsalon.com and www.mariaschildren.com.

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