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July 11, 2005 // UPDATED 1:56 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Wanted man

Local actor and comedian Doug Anderson's solo show, "Man Wanted: An Arresting Cabaret Show," grew out of the optimism shared at parties after 366 performances of "Oklahoma," wherein he claims to have played the third cornstalk from the left.

Friends challenged him just to be himself and be proud of it. So, in his zany variety show, Anderson portrays a hopeless gay man. This is the second time he's performed the piece. He enjoys the opportunity to shamelessly belt out his favorite songs reflecting his Lutheran background. To spice things up, he touches on such subjects as his first kiss.

When he discussed the show's origins, Anderson made an interesting point laced with both hope and pessimism: "It seems the only way actors can meet people is to market yourself in your own show."

Secretly (or not so secretly) he hopes to get a date out of the gig since he's had nothing but bad luck with all of the dating services he's tried so far.

• F-Sa thru July 30, 10 p.m. Loring Playhouse, 1633 Hennepin Ave. S. $15. 486-5757, www.uptowntix.com.

A taste of 'Chocolat'

Even if you aren't French, there's no reason not to celebrate Bastille Day - a fact that the folks at Brit's Pub are well aware of. In case you didn't think of planning ahead for the holiday or just want someone else to do the organizing for you, drop by the pub for cheap eats, discounted pints, music from Brit pop rocker Graham Parker (see Downtown Music) and, later, the movie, "Chocolat."

Chocolate proves its super powers in "Chocolat." In fact, it's so sweet that prejudiced locals resist its offerings when single mother Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) opens a chocolate confectionary in the rural French town.

At first it's considered so risqu that its proximity to the church causes some to frown. But as chocolate is shown to be everything from mere treat to aphrodisiac when some brave locals sample the devilishly good candy (restoring some marriages), residents begin to filter into the shop without feeling guilty or devoid of morals.

Vianne wins them over with her ability to indulge them, even the curmudgeons among them. But before that, there are other complications, such as a certain suspicious love interest (hence the appearance of Johnny Depp opposite Binoche).

• Su July 17, music 6 p.m., movie dusk. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall. Free. 332-3908, www.britspub.com.

Green reading

The publishing company Milkweed Editions binds literature to activism through such titles as Scott Russell Sanders' "A Conservationist's Manifesto."

This is Sanders' answer to the statement that emerged out of an Environmental Grantmakers' Association meeting. When they checked the pulse of environmentalism, they pronounced it dead.

They reported that it couldn't inform decision-making in the U.S. in a meaningful way. But Sanders, who's written everything from creative nonfiction to children's books, won't settle for a defeatist attitude.

He's become vocal about environmental issues, suggesting that the attitude we take towards environmentalism needs to be re-formatted. He draws from an experience that ranges from a farm to military arsenal.

If you attend his event, you'll get acquainted with organizations such as the Sustainable Farming Association, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, Congregations Caring for Creation and Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy, all of which will be at booths nearby.

• Th July 14, 7 p.m. Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Suggested donation $5. 322-3192, www.milkweed.org/worldashome.

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