A fan-made 'Star Wars' flick, a dog luau, 'Game of Thrones' on the big screen: A-List 5.15-21

'The Empire Strikes Back Uncut'

'The Empire Strikes Back Uncut'

Here's this week's top happenings.


The Empire Strikes Back Uncut
Trylon Cinema

The Empire Strikes Back may be the most beloved Star Wars film of all time. Proof: the existence of The Empire Strikes Back Uncut, a fan-made creation featuring almost 700 artists. This is a shot-for-shot remake, though it’s probably unlike anything you’ve seen before. To recreate this iconic flick, contributors took a variety of approaches. Re-imaginings include animated segments, dramatic (and cute!) bits starring children, scenes with giant AT-AT Walkers lovingly rendered in cardboard, and even some balloon puppetry. The end result is a heartwarming tribute that speaks to the universal love that emerges in fandoms. 7 p.m. $5. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. —Jessica Armbruster

Art 4 Shelter
Machine Shop

Art 4 Shelter is a great way to find artwork gems while also supporting Simpson Housing Services, an organization that provides things like emergency shelter and subsidized housing to those in need. For this party, local artists and art students have donated postcard- and poster-sized pieces to the cause. You might find something by Jodi Rieb, Jill Van Sickle, Jim Denomie, or Ruthann Godollei, who are among the hundreds of artists included in the show. You won’t know who did what, however, until after you’ve purchased one, as artists have only signed the backs of their contributions. The benefit features over 1,000 works on paper; each 5” x 7” piece is priced at $35, and 8” x 10” pieces are priced at $90. Art will be restocked throughout the evening, so it’s fun to mingle and enjoy refreshments as you take several tours through the space. Free. 6 to 9 p.m. Find more info at 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 300 Second St. SE, Pillsbury A Mill, Minneapolis; 612-724-3760. —Sheila Regan

Images courtesy American Swedish Institute

Images courtesy American Swedish Institute


The Vikings Begin
American Swedish Institute

Viking funerals were dramatic affairs. The wrapped body of the soul was often commemorated among heaps of treasure (furnishings, art, battle gear) before being sent off either through burial or set aflame. This exhibition showcases a boat burial circa 1400 in Uppsala. This fellow’s cache included household items, food, and weapons. The Midwest premiere of this archeological find also includes Viking-age burial accoutrements, from bejeweled to plain. That many of these objects were gathered via trade or pillaging demonstrates how the Vikings drove cultural exchange—regardless of whether it was welcomed. The preview party runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, May 16, and features mini-lectures, music by Moon Ruin, mead tastings, and Viking songs and dances. The exhibition is included with museum admission; the preview party is $20. 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. Through October 27 —Camille LeFevre

Ms. Pat
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Ms. Pat tells it like it is. “I’m talking about getting older,” she says. “My middle-aged girlfriends love competing with these younger girls. I keep telling them, ‘You’re not going to win.’ Young girls do stuff we can’t do, like shave their vaginas all day long.” Her family—which includes a husband, children, and grandchildren—is still the focus of her set, though she’ll often throw in some social and political commentary. “Life is always writing material for me,” she notes. On her new podcast, The Patdown, she can do a deeper dive on a subject of her choosing. “We don’t even pick a topic, we just start talking,” she says. It’s recorded from her office in Indianapolis, where she’s based. “Unfortunately,” she says. She also just sold a show to Hulu. “It’s based on my life in my small, conservative neighborhood.” Hopefully it will help fund a move to one of the coasts. “That’s why I said, ‘Unfortunately,’” she reiterates. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Third Thursday: Fashion Night
Minneapolis Institute of Art

May’s Third Thursday at Mia kicks off a new exhibit, “The Art of High Style: Minnesota Couture 1880-1914,” which shows off the history of Minnesota-made fashion through the decades. The collection, much of which has never been displayed before, includes designs by local women with ties to fashion capitals like Paris and London. The party, set to the soundtrack of DJ AriAtari, features a catwalk highlighting local looks both past and present. Visitors can also create a custom art wig and learn about mending and stitching items in their own wardrobes. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. —Loren Green

Dietrich Sieling
Minnesota Museum of American Art

The two-story Rauenhorst Court at the Minnesota Museum of American Art will host a new installation that pays homage to the city bus, as Minneapolis artist Dietrich Sieling was inspired by his many trips on public transportation. The commissioned work, titled City Bus at Day, City Bus at Night, No Clouds Everywhere, brings the experience of traveling to life through a dizzying array of joyful colors and wild imagination. The piece is visible from the skyway, and the court offers views from above and below. This will be the second piece to be installed in the court; Sheila Pepe’s cascading fabrics inaugurated the space last December. There will be a free opening reception on Thursday, May 16, from 5 to 8 p.m. (online RSVP is requested). 350 Robert St. N., St. Paul; 651-797-2571. Through September 22 —Sheila Regan

Art-A-Whirl 2019

Art-A-Whirl 2019 Top left, clockwise: Work by Amy Rice, Kate Iverson, and Caitlin Karolczak (all in the California Building) and artsy happenings at Casket Arts


Northeast Minneapolis

Now in its 24th year, Art-A-Whirl is the biggest open-studio festival in the nation. Over three days, artists, galleries, and even dining establishments will host a variety of happenings showcasing the talented creatives living, working, and doing business in northeast Minneapolis. You could easily kill a day wandering through a larger studio building like Northrup King, or make your way to some of the smaller gallery spaces scattered throughout the area. In addition to art, demonstrations, and receptions, many venues will also host a variety of hands-on fun. That includes Casket Arts, which will have a bicycle scramble, marching band sprints, and a giant slide in its parking lot. Indeed Brewing will have Chuck U painting a giant mural as revelers try special beer releases. The Food Building will mix art with eats, as there will be plenty of free sampling. Other happenings include neon glass blowing, live printmaking, and a variety of classes, workshops, and take-home crafts. Travel options this weekend are bountiful, too: MetroTransit will give free rides to those who download passes from the event site, and three free trolleys will make their way through a few key areas. Find all the crucial details at 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Catherine Sullivan: The Startled Faction
Hair + Nails

Lean in, or resist? That is a question of extreme contemporary relevance, especially for women, and it’s at the heart of Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Catherine Sullivan’s film. Presented in an installation format at the progressive Hair + Nails gallery, the work features nine characters examining the costs of uncompensated labor, sensitivity training, and scenes from a 1954 film about a New Mexico zinc mine strike. How each character expresses complaint, resistance, passivity, anger, or suffering comes through clearly. Mirroring many of today’s most pertinent social issues, the performance (which includes gallery co-founder and dance artist Kristin Van Loon) defines and transgresses boundaries. There will be an opening reception on Friday, May 17, from 7 to 10 p.m. 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. Through June 16 —Camille LeFevre

Guthrie Theater

Directed by Rick Shiomi, Christopher Chen’s satiric comedy Caught recalls a piece of advice commonly attributed to Mark Twain: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” The play, presented by Full Circle Theater, is preceded by a gallery show featuring the works of Lin Bo, promoted as a dissident artist from China. Onstage, Bo soon arrives for a conversation about his unorthodox process and the severe repercussions imposed by his homeland. His is a compelling story, fitting with commonly held perceptions of totalitarian regimes. But as a New York reporter and her editor soon suggest, there’s a strong possibility that Bo’s tale is entirely untrue. What follows is an intriguing digression into the malleable “rules of truth” that shape popular responses to art. Is beguiling an audience only acceptable when the audience has foreknowledge of the ruse? Can a falsified history diminish a work of art? Does actual truth even have a place onstage? Those are just some of the questions posed during this intricate theatrical puzzle. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Sundays. $9. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through June 2 —Brad Richason

Puppy Fashion Madison

Puppy Fashion Madison


Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge

Part tiki party, part dog pageant, Art-thou-Luau returns this weekend for a freakin’ cute day of pups and drinking. This year, the canine pageant is being expanded to three contests, meaning there’ll be triple the parade of pets in funny getups. Past years have included dogs in tutus, dogs in Hawaiian shirts, dogs with top hats, a dog sporting water wings, and even a dog with his own tiki hut. Local comedian Maggie Faris will lead the ceremonies, and there will be a dog park/lounge area where you and your furry buddy can chill out and make friends. Noon to 2 a.m. Free. 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-9069. —Jessica Armbruster

North Star Chapter’s Summit Brewery Show
Summit Brewing Company

History is more than the war stories told in classroom textbooks. It can be found in what we wear, how we talk, what we eat, and what we drink. Beer bottles, for example, show off how technology has changed over the years, and the labels reveal art and design elements from the past. While Minnesota is fast approaching 200 breweries today, each with their own style, it’s all rooted in the past. See how by examining relics of bygone eras, courtesy of the North Star Chapter Breweriana Club. This event takes place at Summit, St. Paul’s oldest continually running brewery. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul; 651-265-7800. —Loren Green

Small Mouth Sounds
Jungle Theater

Bess Wohl developed her poignant character drama Small Mouth Sounds with a minimum reliance on dialogue. The unconventional approach demands that audiences attune their attention to the telling nuances implicit in every interaction, noting the emotional cues that are ordinarily obscured by words. This silent character study takes place over the course of a seven-day spiritual retreat undertaken by six strangers with hopes of restoring balance to their disordered lives. Hard-luck case Ned is assigned a room with preening yoga instructor Rodney, both of whom angle for the attention of the openly disenchanted Alicia. Life partners Joan and Judy aren’t faring much better, the distance between them exacerbated by the latter’s recent diagnosis of cancer. And finally we have the ever amenable Jan, whose eager compliance conceals a painful past. Conveying the full measure of these rich characters would be a formidable task even with the shortcut of dialogue. Taking on the play’s hushed challenge, however, is an ensemble of adept local performers under the accomplished direction of Lauren Keating. The show is in previews Wednesday through Friday. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $40-$50. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through June 16 —Brad Richason

Doors Open Minneapolis
Various locations

This weekend is an urban explorer’s delight, as over 100 buildings, businesses, and areas normally closed to the public will open their doors and invite you in to wander, take tours, and see parts of Minneapolis you may never have access to again. No matter what your interest, there’s something for you to check out. Lovers of theater arts can venture into cast-only areas at the Ritz, Music Box, and Mixed Blood theaters. Or check out Hennepin Theatre Trust’s office space downtown. Foodies may appreciate stopping by Kramarczuk’s, Gluek’s, and the Food Building. Political buffs and the civic-minded should dig having access to lesser-traveled spaces in the Minneapolis Convention Center, Hennepin County Government Center, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Other places that sound pretty exciting: Suburban World Theater, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and Lakewood Cemetery. Get to know your city in a brand-new way. For the complete list of happenings and locations, visit 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Jim Jefferies
Orpheum Theatre

Jim Jefferies began his show business career early in life. The Australian actor and comedian studied classical music and theater at Perth’s Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He first gained attention as a standup after being attacked onstage by an audience member at a London comedy club in 2008 (the attacker was arrested; Jefferies suffered a black eye). Since moving to the U.S., he has become a top headliner while also starring in his new self-titled Comedy Central talk show. Onstage he discusses current events, relationships, politics, and social issues in dark but hilarious ways. His piece on gun control in America went viral a few years back, fueled by the wave of mass shootings in the U.S. “I’m not trying to stop you from having guns,” he told the audience, “this is just my personal belief.” He then explains how Australia responded to the Port Arthur mass shooting in 1996 by banning most guns. “We all said, ‘Yeah, that sounds right.’ After Sandy Hook, you were like, ‘Maybe we’ll ban the big guns?’ And 50 percent of you said, ‘Fuck you! Don’t take my guns!’” 8 p.m. $49.50-$59.50. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —P.F. Wilson


Game of Thrones Series Finale
New Hope Cinema Grill

According to online security firm Kaspersky, Game of Thrones was the most pirated television program of 2018, and it still holds strong in 2019. Well, not everyone can afford cable or wants to “borrow” an HBO login from a relative or friend. This Sunday, fans can watch the show without committing a crime, as New Hope Cinema Grill will screen the series finale in its theater. Who is going to kick it? Who’s going to take a seat? Will you get closure on the hundreds of open threads? Watch and find out. There will also be GOT-themed drinks and giveaways. 7 p.m. Free. 2749 Winnetka Ave. N., New Hope; 763-417-0017. —Jessica Armbruster

"Museum of the Moon" at Cork Midsummer Festival

"Museum of the Moon" at Cork Midsummer Festival


Year of Apollo: The Moon & Beyond
Bell Museum

The Bell celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, and the anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 10 mission that orbited the moon, with an illuminating installation by U.K. artist Luke Jerram. Suspended from the ceiling in the museum’s Horizon Hall, the seven-meter, spherical installation is a compilation of NASA imagery, simulated moonlight, and a soundscape by composer Dan Jones. At an approximate scale of 1:500,000, each centimeter of the internally lit sphere represents five kilometers of the lunar surface. It’s the closest most of us will ever get. Special events scheduled include evening receptions with activities and talks, morning yoga sessions, a pajama party for kids, and a 5K run and Apollo-themed festival. 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul; 612-626-9660. Through June 9 —Camille LeFevre