Art condition

Dishing up a plate of Funny

When "Mary la Carte" comes to Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater, 801 W. Lake St., pay attention to Mary, "your sassy waitress."

Lynnhurst resident Mary Sorenson wrote and stars in this offbeat collection of comedy skits.

Before you enter the theater, you're handed a menu, which has several skits listed from which to choose. Sorenson asks audience members which sketches they would like and then performs the audience's selections.

Sorenson's husband, Alan Sorenson, directs "Mary." He said its skits range include "Maple-Glazed Ham," which whips up memories of his wife's foray into the pageant world and "Pot Roast," which stirs up memories of her mother's run-in with marijuana.

"Mary la Carte" runs Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $16.

For information and reservations, call 825-8949.

A high point at Highpoint

Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 2638 Lyndale Ave. S., presents The Jerome Emerging Printmakers' Exhibition. The free exhibition includes the works of three emerging artists who have demonstrated their experience and dedication to the printmaking craft.

Jeremy Lund, Karl Nelson, and Jamie Swanson spent the last nine months creating new works in the Highpoints studio using woodcuts and etchings.

Highpoint Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and by appointment. The show runs until Friday, March 4. For more information, call 871-1326.

The Sun Gallery also rises

Sun Gallery, 4760 Grand Ave., presents "The Art of Chinese Buddhism."

The show opens Friday, Feb. 25 with a 6-9 p.m. reception at the Tangletown gallery.

The displayed images were created from wood, stone and iron. The exhibition, which features contemporary oil paintings, includes works from imperial and modern China.

The Gallery also hosts a Chinese Culture Salon titled "The Story of Guanyin" on March 16 at 7 p.m. Join Sun Gallery owner Jenny Sun and others for a discussion of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy.

Sun Gallery is open Thursday-Saturday, 11a.m.-6 p.m., and by appointment. The show runs until April 30. For additional information, call 822-6388.

Eyeing the Tigers

"Untamed Beauty: Tigers in Japanese Art," is presented by The Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S. from Saturday, March 5 until May 22.

The exhibition features 24 tiger paintings from the 16th-20th century.

The paintings are on loan from Harriet and Edison Spencer's private collection. The couple began collecting tiger works in 1978 after living in Japan in the 1960s.

For more information on "Untamed Beauty," call 870-3131.

Art Condition

Magic man

Magic Slim and the Teardrops don't compromise, mess around or play games. They're coming to crush you on Friday, Feb. 11 at Famous Dave's, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., in Uptown, with their raw, rhythm-fueled Chicago blues.

Slim's one of the last in the line of great Mississippi-to-Chicago bluesmen (think of Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Otis Rush). Born in the delta 67 years ago, the singer-shouter and guitarist migrated to the Windy City as a teenager eager to see his name spelled out in bright lights.

He found the going tough, however. Gigs were hard to come by for the slender kid missing a finger (he'd lost one in a cotton gin accident); he wound up returning to Mississippi for 10 years to work on his chops.

When he came back to Chicago's south side in the mid-'60s, he'd taken some of the bloodier edges off of his bruising blues. This time, he landed concert dates around town but still waited more than a decade for a recording deal.

Since waxing his first sides in the late 1970s, Slim has become recognized around the world for keeping the Chicago blues sound alive and stompin'.

Slim and the Teardrops are perhaps the ultimate blues cover band - they're said to have hundreds of songs in their repertoire - storming through their own memorable versions of "It's Alright" by Hound Dog Taylor, "Still a Fool" by Muddy Waters, "I'm Mad," by Willie Mabon, "Highway is my Home" by Howlin' Wolf and "I'm Ready by Willie Dixon," as well as a slew of house-rocking originals.

A couple of years ago, Slim sized up the state of blues music for an interviewer: "It's OK. It's a lot of a young whites and blacks playing the blues. But one thing whites and blacks are doing - they put too much funk in it. It's not real," he said.

"Most of them spiff it up. I can understand that, but it don't sound half as good.

"You're either gonna play the blues or you're gonna play rock or gonna play funk. Stick to what you do. I'm a blues player. I play up-tempo blues. I play ballad blues, belly-rubbin' blues."

The cover charge to hear Slim and his magic band is just five bucks. Call 822-9900 or go to famousdaves.com for more information.

Sharp images

The understated, lyrical orthodoxy of Eugene Speicher's paintings is on display at the Flanders Contemporary Art Gallery, 3012 Lyndale Ave. S., through March 12.

Speicher often chose women and girls for his subject matter as he tried to express "something that will be a tonic to stir the imagination, a pleasure to the eye and reflect my sense of quality in life."

The artist died in New York City in 1962 at age 79, but his work lives on.

The crowded, chaotic collages of Iowa artist Jim Murray and the colorful print-dreams of Frank Stella will also be on display.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 344-1700 or visit flanders-art.com for more information.

Prison treat

The world is no longer her oyster, but homemaking maven Martha Stewart is still worth millions - and probably as many laughs. Brave New Workshop celebrates its 250th comedy revue with "Martha Stewart's Prison Jamboree," debuting Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.

The show will be a best-of retrospective of 45 years of outrageous comedy at the Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., in Uptown.

The "Jamboree" will feature sketches from recent productions such as "Electile Dysfunction" and "Das Bootylicious," as well as past favorites such as "Prozac: It's What's for Dinner!" and "Don't Smell the Sweaty Stuff."

The show will include tales from Brave New Workshop's past, as well as snippets of awful reviews, sketches that never made it to the stage and peeks behind the scenes.

Check out bravenewworkshop.org or call 332-6620 for more details.