This week in Saint Paul: Monday, September 22–Sunday 28, 2014

I would like to call this moment in time a “breather”: a time for us to pause and smile after a very huge and successful book release party, a very busy weekend for Storymobile at both the Selby Avenue Jazz Fest and Seitu Jones’s Create: A Community Table, and so many things that have been going on in Saint Paul over the past several weeks. Soon, the Almanac Literary Festival will begin. We will be busy all over town, sharing stories and meeting our neighbors all over again. In this in-between time, we keep busy with other things. I have some ideas here, and you can find more in the Almanac arts calendar.

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Wednesday: SHUT IT DOWN: A night of hip hop, poetry and action to disrupt street harassment

Twin Cities people: hope you can make it to this show. We're raising money for a very good cause, signal-boosting people through an interactive sign-making/photo-booth kinda thing, and showcasing a hell of a lineup of artists. Facebook event page here.

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Pumpkins, caramel and more; Twin Cities fall fun

Sept. 22 marks the official start of fall, offering a bounty of colorful fall foliage, apple orchards, corn mazes, and an endless wave of pumpkin flavors! Below we’ve highlighted an assortment of festivities in the Twin Cities (and beyond) to help you get the most out of the season. Please share with us your favorite thing about fall by taking our poll below!  

Stay tuned for Halloween, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and other seasonal coverage, as we approach the holidays. Also, if you know of great upcoming holiday or seasonal events, spread the word by using our calendar or send an email to paigelelliottt [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net.

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New beginnings: RAWI's 5th national gathering with Mizna

September 18th through 20th brought the 5th National RAWI (Radius of Arab Writers, Inc.) Conference to Minneapolis. RAWI partnered with local nonprofit Mizna, an organization that promotes contemporary expressions of Arab American culture through the publication of Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America and the production of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. The conference included panels often hosted by academic scholars of Arab American literature, and theater, writing workshops, and performances.

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Daybreak Bookstore brightens St. Paul's Grand Avenue

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.

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THEATER REVIEW | Workhaus Collective's "Lake Untersee" navigates glaciers, divorce, autism

Rocky (Michael Thurston) and an ill-dressed Phyllis (Jennifer Blagen) explore the Antarctic. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

One of the most transformative movements in 20th-century opera was verismo, which foregrounded realistic depictions of everyday life. This focus on realism, especially in examinations of contemporary lower-class life, opened the floodgates to a rich array of stories that simply had not been told or were previously being swept under the rug. Lake Untersee similarly pulls back a veil, revealing a story that delves into a condition still largely absent from the theatrical limelight.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Real Phonic Radio returns to Hill Library with Augie Meyers, Broke Down Dollys and Erik Koskinen

Photos by Ann Treacy

After a summer hiatus, Real Phonic Radio returned to the James J Hill Library for their monthly show of local and national country-flavored music performed on the third Thursday of the month. This month Augie Meyers headlined.

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Wendy Wasserstein's great play: Leigh Silverman on directing The Heidi Chronicles at the Guthrie

(Photo: Courtesy of Guthrie Theater) Leigh Silverman: Wendy is one of our major American playwrights, and her Jewishness was a big part of who she was.

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein was the theatrical voice for a slice of women from the Baby Boom generation. In her most popular play, The Heidi Chronicles, the eponymous protagonist, Heidi Holland, moves around in time: from a high school dance in 1965; through feminist consciousness-raising, in the 1970s; and coming to terms with her life and career choices, in 1989.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Test Pilot" at The O'Shaughnessy: The untold story of the Wright brothers' sister

Soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw as Katharine Wright in Test PilotPhoto by Jack Dant.

St. Catherine University launched its 2014-2015 Women of Substance series on September 12 with Test Pilot, a striking new music and dance piece. The work, billed as a dance opera, delves into the early history of aviation from an unusual perspective: that of the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine. The explorations of flight, its mechanics, and the build-up to the final flight are engagingly rendered in vocal and instrumental music and in modern dance.

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