Arts Spotlight: 423

By John Townsend August 11, 2011

Categories: Arts & Culture, Our Scene

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Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharoahs — To tour National Geographic’s King Tut exhibit is to immerse one’s self in not merely a display of ancient Egyptian relics, but to tune into remnants of psychic energy of a vanished culture and spiritual system from over 3,000 years ago.

The ‘Boy Pharoah’ ascended to the throne in the 1300s BCE at about age 10. He is credited with boldly controversial reforms such as ending the worship of the god Aten and restoring the primacy of the god Amun.

The cause of King Tut’s death at age 19 is also a matter of controversy. Some say it was an accident. Some say it was jealous brothers or sickliness sprung genetically from his incestuous family history.

After his death, to prepare him for the Afterlife, during a 90 day mummification period consisting of various rituals, Tut’s internal organs were placed in four Canopic coffinettes placed in a Canopic container. You can see the coffinette that contained his stomach and some of the stoppers or lids for these in the exhibit.

Ancient Egyptians believed that items like some of those featured -shoes, a bed, a game box, and writing equipment- would be of use in the Afterlife. The Science Museum displays compelling funerary figurines of servants and supernatural figures like one of the god Horus’s sons, that were also believed to somehow become animated in order to serve the monarch in the next realm.

British archeaologist Howard Carter unearthed Tut’s tomb in 1922. David Mauk’s celestial music score, which flows through the exhibit, has a luminous way revivifying the haunting power of ancient Egyptian spirituality. • Through Sept. 5 • Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul • (800) 221-9444 • www.smm.org

Macbeth — James Napoleon Stone has impressed with leading roles in the gay-themed plays, Bent and Jeffrey. He now performs Shakespeare’s grisly tragedy for Theatre Coup d’Etat.

Stone says Macbeth “makes the choices of killing his king and friends in attempt to solidify his crown. If we see him dealing with the consequences and guilt from those choices truthfully, and if we see a man who is struggling to live with the world he has created and is ‘bound in saucy doubts and fears’, and we watch him fail mightily despite his best truthful efforts to succeed, then we can connect.” • Through Aug. 27 • Lowry Lab, 350 St. Peter St., St. Paul • (800) 838-3006 • www.brownpapertickets.com

Billy Wilder Film Series — Perhaps no director of Hollywood’s Golden Age more fully mastered the art of comedy than Billy Wilder (1906-2002). He was deliciously ironic and his films’ comic pacing is impeccable. The Heights and Trylon series includes the darkly satirical Sunset Boulevard (1950), the kinetic One, Two, Three (1961) and the drag milestone, Some Like It Hot (1959). A Jew who fled Hitler’s Germany, Wilder understood the perils, the pathos, and the precious joy of life. • Through Aug. 28 at two locations • Heights Theater, 3951 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights • (763) 789-9079 • www.heightstheater.com • Trylon Microcinema, 3258 Minnehaha Ave., Mpls. • (612) 424-5468 • www.take-up.org

Black Hearts Burlesque — Co-producer Elecktra Cute says “we describe ourselves as modern, sexy, and queer.” Drag queen Mistress Victoria DeVille will host Lucy Furr and Boi-lesque from Switch the Boi Wonder. You’ll get to see a demo of ‘shibari’, a Japanese rope bondage technique. To heat things up even more will be fire dancers, Fiona Flameteaser and Ophelia Flame, along with Sweet Lily Bee, Coco Dupree, Musette the Mistress of Mischief, Josephine Belle, and co-producer Dahlia Dulce. • Sat., Aug. 20 at 8pm • Loring Theater, 1407 Nicollet Ave., Mpls. • (612) 353-6781 • www.loringtheater.com

Dark Dark Dark accompanies Spies — Minneapolis’s chamber folk sextet, Dark Dark Dark, is known for its connection to New Orleans jazz and Eastern European and American folk legacies. They will perform their new score to Fritz Lang’s 1928 expressionistic masterpiece, Spies, just like in the old days when silent films had live accompaniment. Lang’s style was groundbreakingly psychological and socio-political. Being Jewish, he fled Germany in 1932 and thwarted Joseph Goebbels’s attempt to exploit his talents for Nazi propaganda purposes. • Mon., Aug. 22 at 7pm • Free Admission • Summer Music and Movies 2011 • Walker Art Center/Mpls Sculpture Garden, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. • (612) 375-7600 • www.walkerart.org

Minnesota Fringe Festival — The contrast between embracing your gayness and nailing yourself into the closet coffin can be seen in two Fringe shows. In Les Kuykendall’s autobiographical Nightmare in Bakersfield, he attends his boyfriend’s 20th high school reunion where the couple humorously deals with homophobia. In Ex-Gays Sheila Regan and Carl Swanson give revealing performances as religious camp counselors who go to bizarre and fruitless lengths to turn gay people straight, while suppressing their own homoerotic urges. • Through Aug. 14 • Various Times and Venues in Minneapolis-St. Paul locations • (866) 811-4111 • www.fringefestival.org

The Future — Filmmaker Miranda July moves the midlife crisis up a decade. Cerebral Jason (Hamish Linklater) and bewildered Sophie (July), both 30-somethings, have been living together for awhile and to symbolize the depth of their commitment they plan to adopt a cat. But when Marshall (David Warshofsky) -sensual, studly, and older- enters her life in a truly odd way, Sophie awakens sexually. An inspired and imaginative twist on monogamy v. desire laced with absurdist touches. The moon counsels Jason. A disabled cat narrates. Recall that in July’s husband’s gay-themed gem, Beginners, a darling dog plays a major role. • Currently playing • Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Mpls. • (612) 392-0402 • www.landmarktheatre.com

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