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  • Gender Bender - 'Looking for Normal' uses humor and subtlety to tell the story of a family man who decides to become a family woman

    Article

    Gender Bender - 'Looking for Normal' uses humor and subtlety to tell the story of a family man who decides to become a family woman

    LOOKING FOR NORMAL ARTisphere Theatre/Torch Theater at Minneapolis Theater Garage through February 3 612.788.3639 It's for good reason that we describe people as comfortable, or not, inside their skin. These bodies of ours define us so comple...

    by Quinton Skinner on January 16, 2008
  • Indy Legends brings Brickyard history to life

    Article

    Indy Legends brings Brickyard history to life

    When I was 12, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway totally screwed me over. After visiting the famed Brickyard and eagerly paying 10 bucks to take "a lap around the track," I was placed in a golf cart that putted around the asphalt at a not-entirely...

    by Chris Ward on January 9, 2008
  • Culture Jamming

    Article

    Culture Jamming

    A Libertines' best-of tops this week's pop culture picks. TOP PICK - Time for Heroes - The Best of the Libertines (Rough Trade) Before he consumed tons of drugs, dated Kate Moss, and gave British newspapers something to write about, Pete Doher...

    by Michael Gallucci on January 9, 2008
  • Theater Spotlight

    Article

    Theater Spotlight

    MARTHA, JOSIE AND THE CHINESE ELVIS Theatre in the Round through January 27 612.333.3010 On her 40th birthday, Josie (Corey de Danann) faces a dilemma familiar to so many: At her age, continuing her thriving vocation as a dominatrix has begun t...

    by Quinton Skinner on January 9, 2008
  • Left Turn at Sesame Street - A hilarious puppet parody lampoons the self-importance of the newly adult

    Article

    Left Turn at Sesame Street - A hilarious puppet parody lampoons the self-importance of the newly adult

    AVENUE Q at State Theatre through January 13 612.673.0404 It is a decent rule of thumb that the times of our lives when we take ourselves most seriously align nicely with our episodes of greatest preposterousness. We'll take a mulligan on the g...

    by Quinton Skinner on January 9, 2008
  • Theater Spotlight

    Article

    Theater Spotlight

    AVENUE Q at State Theatre through January 13 612.673.0404 A review of Avenue Q claimed that this is the show for you "if the words 'Children's Television Workshop' light up old neural centers in your brain." Guilty as charged, I guess; hell, th...

    by Quinton Skinner on January 2, 2008
  • Best of the Boards - The top shows of 2007 (Act II)

    Article

    Best of the Boards - The top shows of 2007 (Act II)

    We delve into part two of our year-end look at 2007 in Twin Cities theater, with the final entries in our Top 10 list (and a nod to things that looked very, very good): 5. THE SAVAGE JOY OF BREAKING THINGS Hardcover Theater I've been a fan ...

    by Quinton Skinner on January 2, 2008
  • A look back at the best of 2007

    Article

    A look back at the best of 2007

    Gaming's Greatest Hits Best Sleeper Hit: WordJong (Nintendo DS): It may not sell like Mario, but this mishmash of Scrabble and mah-jongg hooks you like handheld crack. Already a word-of-mouth hit, despite being released only this month, WordJong is...

    by Chris Ward on January 2, 2008
  • Culture Jamming

    Article

    Culture Jamming

    Our favorite TV castaways top this week's pop culture picks. TOP PICK - Lost: The Complete Third Season, The Unexplored Experience (Buena Vista) Pumping us up for the fourth-season premiere of our favorite TV show in a few weeks, this seven-DVD se...

    by Michael Gallucci on January 2, 2008
  • Theater Spotlight

    Article

    Theater Spotlight

    HORMEL GIRLS at History Theatre through December 30 651.292.4323 In the late '40s, what with a large segment of the adult male population occupied overseas, America looked to women to fill previously uncharacteristic roles: Riveters and basebal...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 26, 2007
  • Best of the Boards - The top shows from a memorable year in theater

    Article

    Best of the Boards - The top shows from a memorable year in theater

    The Twin Cities offered a kaleidoscope of imagery onstage this year, but those of us who make a serious habit of sitting in the audience also have indelible memories of going to shows. From the placid, mellow sound of crickets chirping during interm...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 26, 2007
  • Culture Jamming

    Article

    Culture Jamming

    A connected Aragorn top this week's pop culture picks. TOP PICK - Eastern Promises (Universal) Director David Cronenberg and The Lord of the Rings' Viggo Mortensen follow-up 2005's brilliant A History of Violence with this blood-splattered crime s...

    by Michael Gallucci on December 26, 2007
  • Culture Jamming - Iceland's best indie-rockers top this week's pop culture picks

    Article

    Culture Jamming - Iceland's best indie-rockers top this week's pop culture picks

    TOP PICK - Heima (XL) Sigur Rs wrapped up its worldwide tour last year with a series of free concerts in its native Iceland (heima means home). The quartet (plus an auxiliary string section) played both electric and acoustic shows in places as var...

    by Michael Gallucci on December 19, 2007
  • Xmas Present & Past - How yesterday's games spawned today's best-sellers

    Article

    Xmas Present & Past - How yesterday's games spawned today's best-sellers

    Nothing says "holiday spirit" quite like stabbing a terrorist or hammering a goombah, as the hottest games this season invite us to do. But no matter how cutting-edge the stars of 2007 may be, they are also unmistakably familiar. This week, we stack...

    by Chris Ward on December 19, 2007
  • Theater Spotlight

    Article

    Theater Spotlight

    BLACK NATIVITY: Twenty Years of Holiday Cheer! at Penumbra Theatre through December 30 651.224.3180 Penumbra's 20th anniversary holiday show begins by leaning hard on the sense of loss that comes over some of us during the holidays, with a rece...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 19, 2007
  • The Hills Are Alive - But the Ordway's 'Sound of Music,' not so much

    Article

    The Hills Are Alive - But the Ordway's 'Sound of Music,' not so much

    THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts through December 30 651.224.4222 It was just over two months ago that Werner von Trapp died at the age of 91; even more remarkable than the fact that one of Georg von Trapp's singing child...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 19, 2007
  • Rage Against the Machine - A revived David Mamet play takes a cynical look at the notion of progress

    Article

    Rage Against the Machine - A revived David Mamet play takes a cynical look at the notion of progress

    THE WATER ENGINE Gremlin Theatre at the Loading Dock through December 16 651.228.7008 The World's Fair of 1933-34 in Chicago billed itself (with an utter lack of irony; the postmodern rot would take decades to settle in) as a celebration of "A Cent...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 12, 2007
  • Culture Jamming - The year's best action pic tops this week's pop culture picks

    Article

    Culture Jamming - The year's best action pic tops this week's pop culture picks

    TOP PICK - The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal) Matt Damon returns as globe-trotting amnesiac Jason Bourne for a third outing in his most turbo-charged adventure. Ultimatum, now out on DVD, follows a familiar set-up: Someone's trying to kill Bourne, so...

    by Michael Gallucci on December 12, 2007
  • Stuck in the Manger with You

    Article

    Stuck in the Manger with You

    STUCK IN THE MANGER WITH YOU; OR CAROL ON, MY WAYWARD SON at the Brave New Workshop through January 26 612.332.6620 Well, it's that time of year again, when people of all sorts of persuasions gather together, overindulge, exchange consumer good...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 12, 2007
  • It's never been easier to start your own (fake) band

    Article

    It's never been easier to start your own (fake) band

    At a Guitar Hero tournament a few months back, one kid complained to me that Expert Mode is "too easy." Then he demonstrated the game's secret Hyper Speed mode. My pupils nearly ruptured at the sight of him as he navigated the light-speed stream of ...

    by Chris Ward on December 12, 2007
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