2013 Fall Entertainment Preview

Updated 9/18/2013

SEPTEMBER

STEERAGE SONG

Sept. 25-Oct. 20 • Lab Theater • $31-$45 • www.theaterlatteda.com.

Theater Latté Da built this musical from old songs and firsthand accounts of the passage from Europe to America at the end of the 19th century. Peter Rothstein and Dan Chouinard wrote the book and curated folk songs from ethnic European groups. Rothstein directs and Chouinard is musical director. The piece was presented a few years ago in a concert version. Rothstein and Chouinard took it back to the workshop and turned out this fully staged production. -- Graydon Royce

 

Jamaica, Farewell

Sept. 26-Oct. 6 • Penumbra Theatre • $15-$61 • www.penumbratheatre.org

Director Joel Zwick of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame is staging Debra Ehr­hardt’s compelling autobiographical one-person immigration story. Ehrhardt, who has been called Jamaica’s answer to Halle Berry, is an engaging performer whom the Chicago Tribune called “sincere,” “honest” and “potent.” She closes Penumbra Theatre’s mini-festival of solo shows. -- Rohan Preston

 

Cirque du Soleil: ‘Amaluna’

Sept. 26-Oct. 20 • Mall of America • $30-$120 • www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna

With 4,870,000 square feet of stores and restaurants, a comedy club, a movie theater and an amusement park, the Mall of America is already carnivalesque. It’s about to get even more so when Cirque du Soleil erects its big top in the mall’s north parking lot. The troupe brings its signature mix of superhuman strength, balance, flexibility and whimsy to its latest, a coming-of-age love story about an island princess directed by Tony-nominated Diane Paulus. -- Jahna Peloquin

 

Life and Times: Episode 1

Sept. 26-28 • Walker Art Center • $20-$28 • www.walkerart.org

The Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s “Life and Times” has been hailed for its “mad spirit of playfulness” (the Guardian) and its epic scale. Twin Citians will only get to see episode one of what is expected to be a multi-part series performed over 24 hours. The show is drawn from verbatim conversations that the creative team held with Kristin Worral, an ordinary woman from Long Island, about her life. Her answers are staged in different theatrical styles, from Broadway musical to opera. -- G.R.

 

Crypticon 2013

Sept. 27-29 • DoubleTree by Hilton, Bloomington • $10-$100 • www.crypticonminneapolis.com

If you know the entire “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” series word-for-word or could write a thesis on slasher-movie tropes, you’ll be among like-minded souls at this horror convention. This edition could be the biggest yet, with a zombie prom, monster car show, panels with titles like “Zombie Apocalypse Survival” and “So You Want to Be a Paranormal Investigator,” special-effects demos and cult stars galore — Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian!), Ted Raimi (“Evil Dead 2”) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (“Dark Shadows”), plus the ladies of “The Evil Dead” and the guy who played Freddy Krueger in the 2009 “Friday the 13th” reboot (Derek Mears). -- J.P.

 

The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry

Sept. 27-Oct. 27 • pay what you can • Pillsbury House Theatre

Director Marion McClinton’s stages Marcus Gardley’s epic play about black Indians in Wewoka, Okla. It’s part of a rolling national premiere that extends to venues from Alaska to California. The play was developed, in part, at Penumbra Theatre. -- R.P.

 

Nine Inch Nails

8 p.m. Sept. 28 • Xcel Energy Center • $37.50-$101.50

A five-year hiatus isn’t really long enough to call this a “reunion tour,” but there’s that kind of nostalgic excitement around the return of Trent Reznor’s industrial grind-rock crew. Their new album, “Hesitation Marks,” has a moody, heavily electronic elegance, and their summer fest appearances earned widespread raves. -- Chris Riemenschneider

 

Imagine Dragons

7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 • Roy Wilkins Auditorium • $30.50-$40.50

The breakthrough rock band of the year, this Vegas quartet has been making noise with its epic pop hits “Radioactive” and “It’s Time.” In concert, frontman Dan Reynolds channels his inner marching-band drummer while singing, by bashing five different drum setups. -- Jon Bream

 

OCTOBER

An Iliad

Oct. 1-20 • $24-$39 • Guthrie Theater • www.guthrietheater.org

Stephen Yoakam gave a tour-de-force performance earlier this spring in Lisa Peterson’s and Denis O’Hare’s 90-minute distillation of Homer’s epic about war and its reverberations. The theater brings it back for a deserved encore engagement. -- R.P.

 

Displaced Hindu Gods

Oct. 2-27 • Mixed Blood Theatre • www.mixedblood.com

In a trilogy of plays that looks like a landmark event of the season, actor, director and playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil fuses Hindu deities with muscularly expressive contemporary ideas. One show revolves around an intersex personage (“Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Comedy Show”), another centers on girl-gang comic-book action heroines (“The Chronicles of Kalki”) and the third deals with ideas of destruction and rebirth (“Shiv”). The directors are Jeremy Cohen, Bruce A. Young and Risa Brainin. The acting company includes Cat Brindisi, Joetta Wright, Nathaniel Fuller and Peter Christian Hansen. -- R.P.

  

The Haunted Basement

Oct. 3-Nov. 3 • The Soap Factory • $25-27 • www.soapfactory.org

After six years of holding the distinction of being the Scariest Haunted House of All Time, the Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement has a lot to live up to. But there are apparently a lot of untapped fears left lurking within the human psyche. The twisted minds behind the popular Halloween haunt — in the already-creepy basement of a former soap factory — hope to top themselves again with an all-new underworld of creepy artist-made installations and costumed performers. Noah Bremer directs for a second year. Bonus: A limited amount of special “Test Subject” tickets will be available for hardened Haunted Basement vets who are brave enough to go it alone. -- J.P.

 

Drake

Oct. 5. • Target Center • $47.75-$99.75 • www.axs.com

He has scored 12 No. 1 hip-hop singles, but the Canadian rapper perhaps best-known as Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?” collaborator has never gone on a major headlining tour until now. His third album, “Nothing Was the Same,” drops Sept. 24 with massive expectations. If both it and the tour prove a dud, there’s still “Adorn” R&B singer Miguel as the opener. -- C.R.

 

The Audacious Eye: Japanese Art From the Clark Collection

Oct. 6-Jan. 12 • Minneapolis Institute of Arts • $12 • www.artsmia.org

Self-described “crazy collector” Bill Clark amassed a famously expansive and eccentric collection spanning more than 1,000 years of Japanese paintings, screens, ceramics, prints, textiles, lacquerware and bamboo artifacts. Recently acquired by the MIA, Clark’s hoard will be sampled in seven sections from Buddhist paintings and Chinese-influenced ink paintings to Edo luxury goods, eccentric visions, 19th-century exotica and 20th-century East-West fusions. -- Mary Abbe

  

Franz Ferdinand

Oct. 9 • Skyway Theatre • 18-plus • $30.50 • www.ticketfly.com

After a few off-the-grid years, the elastic Scot-rockers returned to the festival circuit last summer and announced a new album this spring. Last month, the danceable quartet of mid-aught glory dropped “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action” — its follow-up to 2009’s tepidly received “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand.” Lead single and semi-title track “Right Action” is undeniably bouncy, and some critics are applying the comeback tag. -- Michael Rietmulder

 

Zombie Pub Crawl IX

Oct. 12 • $25-$55 • www.zombiepubcrawl.com

After last year’s trek to St. Paul’s Midway Stadium, the Zombie Pub Crawl returns to its home base of Minneapolis’ West Bank —and expands into downtown Minneapolis. The centralized effort, coupled with the addition of the Zombie 6.66K charity run (9 a.m.) along the riverfront, has the makings of the biggest Zombie Pub Crawl ever. Ground zero is the new Quarantine Zone downtown, which will feature a ferris wheel, the “World Brain Eating Championships” and headliners Sublime With Rome and A Flock of Seagulls. Other key locations include the Get Cryphy Stage at Cabooze Plaza with sets from Ying Yang Twins, Bubba Sparxxx and Grrrl Prty, the ZPC Dance Stage inside the Cabooze featuring silver-painted rave ringleader Devil From Acapulco; the Marijuana Deathsquads Stage at the Red Sea; and “R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Triple Rock,” pegged as an interactive sing-along to the R&B singer’s cult video. -- J.P.

 

Fiona Apple

Oct. 14 • The O’Shaugh­nessy, St. Catherine University • $39.50-$59.50 • oshaughnessy.stkate.edu

After ending her six-year stage hiatus with an impressive tour last year, manic and often magical ’90s hitmaker Apple booked a string of intimate dates with that tour’s guitarist as her only bandmate. Opener Blake Mills is a gifted songwriter who also has backed Lucinda Williams. -- C.R.

 

Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion

Oct. 15-16 • Dakota Jazz Club • $45 • www.dakotacooks.com

Before he became a heavyweight rock drummer with Cream and Blind Faith and a world-music percussionist with Fela Kuti and others, Baker was a jazzman. The 74-year-old legend has returned to his roots, with a jazz quartet that includes veteran saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, who did stints with James Brown and Van Morrison. -- Jon Bream

  

Volcano Choir

Oct. 18 • First Avenue • $22-$25 • www.etix.com

Another recording project of Wisconsin indie-rock bard Justin Vernon that’s not named Bon Iver, this one includes members of Milwaukee’s Collections of Colony of Bees. Their earlier album was experimental to the point of being mostly unlistenable, but the new one, “Repave,” offers more serious and grandiose, electro-lit orchestral-rock arrangements. -- C.R.

 

Aparna Ramaswamy

Oct. 19 • Cowles Center • $28 • www.thecowlescenter.org

Artistic co-director of Ragamala Dance with her mother, Ranee Ramaswamy, the Sage award-winning Aparna Ramaswamy is a performer who brightens every spotlight she steps into. For one night only this protégé of the renowned Bharatanatyam artist Alarmél Valli will present her “Sannidhi/Sacred Space.” Don’t miss this opportunity to witness the strength, spirituality, beauty and elegant precision of a hometown heroine who has earned standing ovations and critics’ praise around the globe. -- Caroline Palmer

  

Janelle Monae

Oct. 22 • Skyway Theatre • 16-plus • $23.50 • www.ticketfly.com

With her new album “The Electric Lady,” this Prince-approved R&B/pop princess is looking to assert herself as a queen. The Diddy-via-Big-Boi discovery broke out in 2010 with her Grammy-nominated “The ArchAndroid” LP and guested on fun.’s mega-hit “We Are Young” the following year. The Atlanta-based singer has since strutted her starlet swagger with a Cover­Girl endorsement and award show performances. Word is the Purple One, who guests on Monae’s new record, personally got her a BET Awards slot. -- M.R.

  

‘9 Artists’

Oct. 24-Feb. 16 • Walker Art Center • $8-$12 • www.walkerart.org

Billed as an international, multigenerational group show, this mélange at the Walker will showcase 40 new and old sculptures, drawings, installations, videos and ephemera by Yael Bartana, Liam Gillick, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Renzo Martens, Bjarne Melgaard, Nastio Mosquito, Hito Steyerl and Danh Vo. Augmented with performances, talks and other events. -- Mary Abbe

  

Threads Dance Project

Oct. 25-26-27 • Lab Theater • $20 • www.thelabtheater.org.

Even the strongest among us who have battled cancer directly or indirectly recognize it as a formidable foe. With the world premiere of “Malignant,” choreographer Karen L. Charles draws upon the stories of 10 survivors. Local visual artist Bill Jeter and New York-based composer Nioka Workman contribute to the work, the focal point of a program dubbed — appropriately enough — “Only Human.” -- C.P.

 

James Sewell Ballet

Oct. 25-Nov. 3 • Cowles Center • $20-$36 • www.thecowlescenter.org

This local mainstay of contemporary ballet creativity celebrates its 20th-anniversary season starting in October. The fall program features a retrospective of favorite repertory works by James Sewell plus a fast-paced collaboration with composer/violinist Todd Reynolds. Also on tap is a work by New York-based choreographer Lar Lubovitch that helps to celebrate Minnesota’s recent embrace of marriage equality. -- C.P.

 

NOVEMBER

My Bloody Valentine

Nov. 1 • Roy Wilkins Auditorium • $35 • www.theroy.org

Kevin Shields’ Brit quartet made all other “shoegaze” bands obsolete in the early ’90s with their mastery of beautiful, ear-bleeding wall-of-noise guitar pop. Their legendary last Twin Cities appearance, at First Avenue in 1992, ranks as an all-time favorite concert among many who were there (it also allegedly shattered decibel records), so their return has been a long time coming. Can their voluminous sound (and a surprisingly classic-sounding new effort, “mbv,”) fill the significantly more cavernous Roy? Bet on it. -- Simon Peter Groebner

 

Pink

Nov. 2 • Target Center • $39.50-$125 • ww.axs.com

Her performance last March in St. Paul already rates as one of the best Twin Cities concerts of the year. So we’re overjoyed that this daredevil diva with the big pipes, boffo hits and bold acrobatics is bringing back her Truth About Love Tour one more time. -- Jon Bream

 

KANYE WEST

Nov. 5 • Target Center • $35.50-$97.50 • www.axs.com

The two biggest names/egos in hip-hop, Kanye West and Jay-Z, stunned the Twin Cities — and tested fans’ pocketbooks — by announcing their individual November dates less than an hour apart. (Jay-Z plays Nov. 30 at Xcel; see below.) They’re longtime pals, yes, but we can’t help but think there’s a little not-so-friendly competition between the two rappers with these coinciding gigs. They toured together on the “Watch the Throne” tour in 2011, and now, perhaps, they’re truly trying to lay claim to the throne. West is the more dynamic live performer and has released far better albums of late, including his bombastic and jarring “Yeezus.” His 2008 stop at Target Center was a local concert highlight of the decade. He also has hotshot newcomer Kendrick Lamar opening for him this time. West has already given several headline-grabbing performances in support of the new record. Last week, he delivered a concert at a wedding of the Kazakhstan president’s grandson, and before that he made spectacular appearances — as in, they really were a spectacle — at the MTV Video Music Awards and on “Saturday Night Live.” --  C.R.

 

Liquid Music series: Ensemble Dal Niente

Nov. 5 • Music Room at SPCO Center • $10 • www.thespco.org/liquidmusic

Ready for an aural workout? The SPCO’s border-crossing series, now in its second season, offers an unmatched introduction to the rising generation of musical creators, in spaces traditional and un-. This fall, catch Chicago’s much-praised Ensemble Dal Niente in music by Rebecca Saunders, John Cage and Minnesota’s Noah Keesecker. -- Larry Fuchsberg

 

‘Driving Miss Daisy’

Nov. 8-Dec. 22 • $20-$38 • Jungle Theater • www.jungletheater.com

The Jungle ends its year with Alfred Uhry’s classic two-hander about a snappish widow and her chauffeur. Bain Boehlke will direct Wendy Lehr as Daisy Werthen and James Craven as Hoke Colburn. The relationship begins with hostility and a prickly sense of distrust in Uhry’s scenario. It blossoms into a profound and deep friendship. Boehlke and Lehr are longtime Jungle denizens. Craven, a steady presence mostly at Penumbra, joins them. -- G.R.

 

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition’

Nov. 9-March 16 • Minnesota History Center • $11 • www.minnesotahistorycenter.org

Booze was banned in that bygone era dubbed a “Constitutional hiccup” in the Minnesota History Center’s sassy exhibit of films, music, photos and rare artifacts and multimedia activities, including a re-created speakeasy. -- M.A.

 

Sound Unseen 14

Nov. 13-17 • www.soundunseen.com

In 2000, a fledgling film festival named Sound Unseen made its humble debut with a handful of music documentaries. Fourteen years later, the fest is still around, with more than 20 titles ranging from documentaries to narratives and short films, with screenings helds at Tylon Microcinema, Landmark Center, Summit Brewing and McNally Smith College of Music. Plus: nightly parties, live music and art at fest HQ, the Amsterdam Bar & Hall. This year’s lineup will be announced Oct. 1 during a kickoff event at Summit Brewing, with live music and drawings to win festival passes. -- J.P.

 

Maria Bamford

Nov. 19-23 • Acme Comedy Co. • $15 • www.acmecomedycompany.com

Bamford has ranked among the comedy elite for years. But it’s truly been a banner year for the Du­luth native, now based in L.A. Among her 2013 wins: “The Special Special Special” (in which she performs exclusively for her parents ... in their living room); a plum role as Tobias Fünke’s drugged-out love interest on the new “Arrested Development”; and “Ask Me About My New God!,” her spectacular latest album. Bamford — who speaks candidly about her mental issues and suicidal thoughts — is deadly sharp as a performer, presenting a persona-shifting, surreal act that straddles the line between standup and performance art. She may have gotten the ax as “Crazy Target Lady” during the holidays, but she’s doing just fine. -- Jay Boller

  

Jerome Bel/Theater Hora

Nov. 21-23 • Walker Art Center • $20-$28 • www.walkerart.org

Conceptual performer and choreographer Bel is a provocateur, but “Disabled Theater” may present his biggest challenge yet. Created with Switzerland’s Theater Hora, a troupe of actors with disabilities, Bel gives us a work that tackles discrimination, identity and preconceived notions about ability — but it’s also defined by its joy and lack of pretense. The performers are simply themselves on stage throughout the evening — a stripped-down approach that seems to be the thing that has divided audiences in festivals across Europe. Love it or hate it, when Bel’s involved it’s impossible to have no opinion at all. -- C.P.

 

Elton John

Nov. 22 • Xcel Energy Center • $37-$147 • www.ticketmaster.com

There’s no Billy Joel this time for dueling pianos. But Sir Elton will have new material from his Sept. 24 album, “The Diving Board.” Produced by T Bone Burnett, the disc will feature 12 new Bernie Taupin-Elton John tunes (their first new collaborations since 2006), recorded with a simplified piano-bass-drums-guitar ensemble. Of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also has a jukebox full of hits to choose from. -- Jon Bream

  

Jay-Z

Nov. 30 • Xcel Energy Center • $32-$125 • www.ticketmaster.com

Jay-Z is as much an icon as he is a musical force nowadays. Compared with Kanye West (see above), the real-life Sean Carter has the bigger hits and longer career, and it’s been a longer wait for Minnesota fans to see him (his last local show was at Target Center in 2004 with R. Kelly; a rather disappointing performance). His new album, “Magna Carta … Holy Grail,” doesn’t offer much of a kick, but St. Paul is the kickoff city for his tour. -- C.R.