By the time he recorded his first children's album, Roberts (formerly of the Twin Cities band Pimentos for Gus) already had a track record for writing some of the most vulnerable, beautiful and heartfelt songs to hit this world since James Taylor was a young man. Over three children's albums -- including the recently released charmer "Not Naptime" (Hear Diagonally) -- he's created a body of work that speaks to children's dreams, fears and fantasies. Beyond that, he's created a body of work that speaks to adult's dreams, fears and fantasies. (They're not all that different when you think about it.) Bring the kids; they'll love it. Don't have kids? Show up anyway; you'll love it.
Sunday, Jan. 12, 4 p.m. Cedar Cultural Centre, 416 Cedar Ave. S. 338-2674.
-- Bill Snyder
Being John Malkovich
Odd premises make for cult classics, and this is as odd as they come. How much would Americans pay to spend a day inside a movie star? Or, more to the point, how much would Americans pay to have sex inside a movie star's body? Some have called this an ego trip for Malkovich, but (in my book at least) he's a great sport for playing the buffoon. I only hope he gets a fraction of this action in real life (and in control of his own body).
Saturday, Jan. 11, midnight. Uptown Theatre, 2906 Hennepin Ave. 825-6006.
-- Bill Snyder
The Sunrise Cafe
Lost among the dusty highways of the American West, four lonely souls meet at the Sunrise Caf as they search for the American Dream: a waitress in search of a better life; a trucker on a spiritual quest; a short-order cook with a dangerous past; and an ageless balladeer. It's not really a play, though. "The Sunrise Caf" uses dance, art, weird sounds and texts from a variety of non-traditional sources to create a world filled with characters that are strangely familiar and just plain strange. It blends the styles of David Lynch and Sam Shepard into a haunting and original work.
Thursday-Sunday thru Jan. 26, Th-Sa 8 p.m., Su 7 p.m. The Playwrights' Center, 2301 Franklin Ave. E. $10-16. 724-7372.
-- Jodi R. Brewer