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  • 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

    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
  • 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 - 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Culture Jamming

    Article

    Culture Jamming

    TOP PICK - Christmas Time in South Park (Paramount) Just in time for the holidays, Cartman, Kenny, and the gang celebrate the season on this DVD collection of all seven Christmas eps. "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson," "A Very Crappy Christmas," ...

    by Michael Gallucci on December 5, 2007
  • Fat Man Crying

    Article

    Fat Man Crying

    FAT MAN CRYING at Minneapolis Theater Garage through December 23 612.280.9210 I'll admit to a generalized foreboding heading into Fat Man Crying, knowing it was the story of a woeful St. Nick. Images of Billy Bob Thornton's Bad Santa played in ...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 5, 2007
  • Dazed and Confused - 'Lost Love' weaves a disaster, lesbians, valet parking, and a guy in boxer shorts into a tale for our times

    Article

    Dazed and Confused - 'Lost Love' weaves a disaster, lesbians, valet parking, and a guy in boxer shorts into a tale for our times

    LOST LOVE at Bedlam Theatre through December 16 612.341.1038 Things are breaking up out there, as Bob Dylan observed back in September 2001, a sentiment that at the time seemed prescient until we began to realize that our culture has settled i...

    by Quinton Skinner on December 5, 2007
  • Culture Jamming

    Article

    Culture Jamming

    TOP PICK - The Joshua Tree (Island) U2's best album celebrates its 20th anniversary with a three-disc set that tags on a CD of B-sides and a DVD of a Paris concert. But it's Tree classics like "Where the Streets Have No Name," "I Still Haven't Fo...

    by Michael Gallucci on November 28, 2007
  • Between the Worlds

    Article

    Between the Worlds

    BETWEEN THE WORLDS Interact Theatre at Mixed Blood Theatre through December 21 612.338.6131 Interact Theatre's shows consistently bob and weave through their thematic ocean--the realities of life with a disability--merrily skimming the surface, th...

    by Quinton Skinner on November 28, 2007
  • The Kids Aren't Alright - In 'Mr. Marmalade,' a child's fantasy world is no place for children or adults

    Article

    The Kids Aren't Alright - In 'Mr. Marmalade,' a child's fantasy world is no place for children or adults

    MR. MARMALADE Walking Shadow Theatre Company at the Red Eye Theater through December 7 612.375.0300 The day that the national marketing juggernaut identified grade-schoolers as consumers surely represented a little death for American childhood...

    by Quinton Skinner on November 28, 2007
  • Shipside

    Article

    Shipside

    SHIPSIDE Exposed Brick Theatre; at the Playwrights' Center through November 24 612.720.4852 Stacey Pashall's new play, set in the humble environs of an apartment in public housing, is based on the real-life tragedy of a local woman who attempted...

    by Quinton Skinner on November 21, 2007
  • No Business Like Show - The Mounds stages both a sendup and celebration of life in the theater

    Article

    No Business Like Show - The Mounds stages both a sendup and celebration of life in the theater

    ANTON IN SHOW BUSINESS Starting Gate Productions at the Mounds Theatre through December 2 651.645.3503 Anton Chekhov's 1901 play Three Sisters addressed, roughly speaking, the problems of Russian gentry facing changing times at the turn of the...

    by Quinton Skinner on November 21, 2007
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