Jackie Renzetti


Worlds away, documenting Minneapolis artists

When Justin Schell returned from traveling the world for his dissertation, he realized he couldn’t fit all of the experiences into his paper. The University of Minnesota cultural studies and comparative literature graduate student teamed up with Twin Cities hip-hop artists for the project, filming performances, conducting interviews and, most notably, documenting trips overseas. Now an alumnus, Schell will premier his documentary, “We Rock Long Distance,” this weekend. The film explores intergenerational relationships and the diaspora of hip hop.

Hip-hop without borders

University of Minnesota Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature graduate school alum Justin Schell traveled across the globe for his Ph.D. dissertation. When he got back, he found that he couldn’t fit all of his experiences into his paper.

Mississippi Hot Club to play Byrant-Lake Bowl

Once, while Joshua Parlanti was strumming his banjo and belting out a song for a concert at a barn, someone interrupted his band in fear of a fire. As the smoke-like substance faded around them, members of what’s now Mississippi Hot Club realized the only danger was collected dust from the crowd’s boot stomps.

Celebrating today

The anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation is bringing Minneapolis musicians together. University of Minnesota landscape architecture professor David Pitt joins other area professionals — from aerospace engineering to nursing and law — in the male chorus, called the Apollo Club, to present a show on Tuesday commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz.

New horizons

At age 17, Quinn Tsan left her Minneapolis home for Chicago to sing backup vocals for folk singer Joe Pug. Since then, Tsan has claimed a spotlight of her own, forming a band herself in 2014. The singer-songwriter plays guitar with fellow guitarist Michael Golas, bassist Tim Young and drummer Raul Callejero. So far, the group has played gigs around Chicago but has also ventured to Minneapolis and New York. This Sunday, Tsan revisits the Twin Cities for a show at 7th Street Entry.

Spotlight on design

The College of Design’s newest exhibit at the Goldstein Museum on the St. Paul campus takes visitors for a ride through the world of bicycle design. The museum opens its “Design Cycles: A Bike Show” exhibit on Friday. The exhibit showcases bikes and gear from local bike shop owners, as well as items that cover the biking industry’s history in Minnesota and current infrastructure.

Embracing darkness

As humans have done for millennia, Bradley Greenwald celebrates the winter solstice in his show “The Longest Night.” Greenwald curated a mix of songs and poems focusing on various elements of winter. With pianist Sonja Thompson, he sings the works of composers ranging from Leonard Cohen to J.S. Bach and Sting. He also performs poetry from authors such as Margaret Atwood and Joseph Campbell. The show premiered last year at the Open Eye Figure Theatre, where its five performances sold out, prompting the company to add a sixth. This year, it will run for 11 nights.

Alvvays misunderstood

Molly Rankin’s carefree attitude toward the persistent mispronunciations of her band’s name, Alvvays, mirrored her friendly, positive persona on the phone.

Personalizing puppets

The Ridiculous Puppet Company helps people get up close and personal with puppets. Jeff Neppl and Megan Culverhouse founded the company in 2012 with the goal of taking puppetry beyond the theater realm. Neppl serves as the company’s creative director and lead puppeteer, and Culverhouse specializes in building the puppets. “I’m not a performer, so that’s why I like working with Jeff — he makes [good suggestions for] these crazy creations that I bring to life,” Culverhouse said. “It’s a really good partnership.”

A new odd couple

Amy Herzog’s “4000 Miles” dramatic comedy features a zany pair of roommates. After 21-year-old protagonist Leo Joseph-Connell completes a 4,000-mile cross-country bike ride, he decides to crash at his grandmother’s house. As the two reacquaint, they learn from each other’s different perspectives due to their age gap. The play premiered in 2011 and was placed as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama last year. Park Square Theatre’s production of the play this weekend will mark its regional premiere.