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April Sellers Dance Co. go wild: A-List April 26-May 2

April Sellers Dance Company

April Sellers Dance Company Steven Lang

This week there are three amazing dance events, including the return of the Right Here Showcase; a bike party where you can tune up your ride while scoring $5 drinks; cheeky queer street art from Jeremy Novy; and the Saint Paul Art Crawl, which is taking over Lowertown and more. 

The Right Here Showcase: April Sellers Dance Collective and Ben Kreilkamp
JSB Tekbox

The Right Here Showcase is a juried mini-festival showcasing Minnesota-based mid-career contemporary performing artists. The first weekend features the April Sellers Dance Collective and theater artist Ben Kreilkamp alternating between the 7:30 and 9 p.m. slots. What a pairing these two witty and transgressive artists make. Inspired by female icons like singer Janis Joplin, prize fighter Ronda Rousey, and various TV sportscasters, Sellers’ The Animal Corridor creates a darkly humorous, post-apocalyptic world that moves explosively toward a new gender utopia. Kreilkamp’s Memory & Desire reflects on past amorous relationships, incorporating biographical material as well as fictional elements. Chris Strouth and Taja Will take the stage the following weekend. 7:30 and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. $10-$30 suggested donation. 528 Hennepin Ave., the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through May 7 —Linda Shapiro

WEDNESDAY 4.26

Cranks and Dranks
Tattersall Distilling

This week, Handsome Cycles and the Grease Pit Bike Shop are coming together at Tattersall Distilling for a sweet, two-day happy hour. Hop on your bicycle and head over to the northeast Minneapolis hot spot. You’ll score $5 drinks from the bar when you flash your helmet. Does your bike need maintenance? Whether you’re nearing the end of 30 Days of Biking or preparing to ride this spring and summer, folks will be on hand to answer questions on repairs and upkeep, and must-have items like lights, racks, and baskets will be for sale. This two-day gathering is also a benefit party; if you have a bike in good shape that you’d like to donate to Free Bikes 4 Kidz, Handsome Cycles will say “thanks” with a $100 gift card to their shop. 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Free. 1620 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-584-4152. Through Thursday —Jessica Armbruster

(Image courtesy Mia)

THURSDAY 4.27

Art in Bloom
Minneapolis Institute of Art

The art of floral arrangement is once again celebrated at Art in Bloom, a four-day festival featuring over 165 pieces. Florists have taken works from Mia’s collection as inspiration, reinterpreting paintings, sculptures, textiles, vases, and more through flora. There will be a variety of special happenings through Sunday, including guided tours, lectures, and workshops. Things kick off Wednesday with a preview benefit party at 5:30 p.m. (tickets start at $200). Thursday’s Flowers After Hours is free and fun, with a runway show featuring models in flower garments, open galleries, and a cash bar from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday is family-friendly, with hands-on art activities, storytelling, and more from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Many events are free; some are ticketed. Visit new.artsmia.org/art-in-bloom-2017 for a complete schedule. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

City Pages Best of the Twin Cities Party 2017
Orchestra Hall

City Pages has survived the publication of another Best Of issue. Now we’re ready to go crazy and party it up with our readers. This year’s celebration will be particularly funky, as Prince tribute band Chase and Ovation will pay homage to the Purple One, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch will spin tunes. Once again we’ll be in the open and airy Orchestra Hall. Guests will be invited to get their grub on, as delicious treats from Sea Salt Eatery, Bar Luchador, Maya Cuisine, Ku’l Chocolates, the Lotus, Can Can Wonderland, and more will be served. Boozy cocktails will be mixed by Vikre Distillery, wine from Carlos Creek Winery will be poured, and beer from Fair State Brewing Cooperative will be plentiful. VIP tickets include early admission, free drinks during happy hour, and other fun schwag. To purchase tickets — $1 of each sale goes to Special Olympics Minnesota — visit bestof.citypages.com. 6 to 10 p.m.; 5 p.m. VIP. $30/$35 at the door; $60 VIP. 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-371-5656. —Jessica Armbruster

Robert Kelly
Acme Comedy Co.

“I’ve definitely softened since I had a kid,” says comedian Robert Kelly. “Growing up in Boston and coming up as a comedian there in that era, it was a very blue-collar comedy school. It’s not a blue-collar thing now. It’s more nerdy dudes.” Kelly learned from some of the best. “When I was coming up it was Lenny Clarke, Steve Sweeney, and Denis Leary. If these guys weren’t doing comedy, they’d be in a tollbooth or on a construction site somewhere.” The list of Kelly’s peers is also impressive: Patrice O’Neal, Bill Burr. “We were really aggressive. We were assholes,” he laughs. In the early part of his career, his comedy was very instinctual, but then he realized he had to grow. “You learn to do comedy better,” he says, “and you can tell what stinks, what’s hack, how to tell a joke and put stuff together.” He thinks if he hadn’t succeeded in comedy, he would have been a teacher. “Probably an art teacher at a YMCA,” he says. “Something where I would have summers off and living in some shithole. I wouldn’t be married; just trying to bang girls and living for the weekend.” But not drinking. “I got sober when I was 15, so I wouldn’t be drugging or drinking. Probably going to AA dances on Fridays trying to get some.” 18+. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

ARENA Dances: Candy Box
The Southern Theater

As a resident company in the Southern Theater’s Artshare program, ARENA Dances is sharing its performance slot with other dance makers and companies, providing a whole week of performances, informal showings, and workshops highlighting the wealth of talent in the local community. With Candy Box, Mathew Janczewski, artistic director of ARENA, says he’s stepping into more of a curator role, sharing his own work as well as providing opportunities for other choreographers and troupes in what he hopes to be an annual event. Candy Box launches this Thursday. There’ll be a workshop during the day with Jane Shockley, a happy-hour show at 5 p.m. with Tamara Ober, and sets by ARENA Dances and SuperGroup in the evening. Throughout the week, additional happenings include performances from Kaleena Miller Dance, and Erin Drummond with Sharon Picasso, plus featured performances by ARENA Dances, SuperGroup, and Robin Stiehm’s Dancing People Company in rotation. You can check out the Southern Theater’s website, southerntheater.org, for details on who is performing when. $20-$24. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through May 6 —Sheila Regan

FRIDAY 4.28

Jeremy Novy Presents: Queer Street Art, Fighting for Legitimacy
Amalgamated MPLS

Stencil graffiti art can be used to make a political statement, to add art in unexpected places, and to beautify public spaces. Bay Area-based artist Jeremy Novy has been demonstrating this with his stencil work, which has popped up on sidewalks, on street signs, and in public restrooms. His pieces often come in multiples: Koi fish swim on concrete, birds and butterflies swarm the side of a building, and naughty hand signals cover a pole. When he’s not working with clusters he’s celebrating duos, which include cackling drag queens, crushed PBR cans, and bearded dudes kissing. The artist will be in town this weekend for a two-day show. Friday night’s party includes live music by Venus de Mars. A stencil workshop will be hosted by Novy during the day. Call for more info and to sign up (tickets are $60). 7 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Free. 720 Central Ave. NE, Unit 1, Minneapolis; 612-998-3361. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

110 in the Shade
Theatre in the Round

Lizzie Curry is a hardscrabble Texan struggling to keep her family’s cattle ranch from going under during a drought. Despite her determination, the future is looking dire. Then an alleged rainmaker arrives with promises to produce precipitation for a reasonable price. Thus the stage is set for a lively romance wherein the self-reliant Lizzie finds herself reluctantly drawn to a man who initially seems little more than a charismatic huckster. But nothing is disingenuous about the emotions drawn to the surface, as Lizzie recognizes her long-repressed yearnings and her fears of becoming a lonely Western spinster. Coupling a book by N. Richard Nash (based upon his own play, The Rainmaker) with the musical arrangements of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones (best known as the collaborative team behind The Fantasticks), 110 in the Shade offers a show with homespun charm that should prove particularly well suited for the inviting TRP stage. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $24. 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through May 21 —Brad Richason

Minneapolis Art Lending Library Spring Lending Event
Folwell Recreation Center

At the Minneapolis Art Lending Library, you can check out art for free, just like you would a book. At this spring gathering, you’ll have over 100 artworks to peruse, including photographs, paintings, and sculptures. Should you see something you like, you can sign it out and take it home for three weeks. Think of it as an easy way to refresh your place for spring. 5 to 8 p.m. Free. 1615 Dowling Ave. N., Folwell Park, Minneapolis; 612-521-2100. —Jessica Armbruster

(Charles Hezsely)

Saint Paul Art Crawl
Various locations

Warmer weather means it’s the perfect time for bopping around Lowertown and its surrounding neighborhoods for the semi-annual Saint Paul Art Crawl. Breeze through studio and gallery spaces and enjoy a variety of entertainment. There will be live music, spoken word and poetry, flamenco dancing, and participatory fun such as swing and tango classes, scavenger hunts, and Tibetan rituals. The main festival stomping ground is Lowertown, where Tilsner Artists’ Co-op, the Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative, 262 Studios, and Northern Warehouse will be filled to the brim with art and activity. You may also want to check out art at Union Depot or grab a snack at Black Dog Cafe. A few venues on University Avenue in the Creative Enterprise Zone arts district are also part of the celebration; stop by the Midway Triangle Building and Interact Center for the Performing Arts, and make a pit stop at Can Can Wonderland. East Side Freedom Library, over in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, will also be hosting art and happenings. For maps and more info, visit www.saintpaulartcrawl.org. 6 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

Sarah Manguso
Magers & Quinn Booksellers

Imagine the most prophetic, poetic, and unflinchingly honest tweets you’ve ever seen compiled into a slim, blue book. That’s what Sarah Manguso’s 300 Arguments from Graywolf Press will remind many readers of. “You might as well start by confessing your greatest shame. Anything else would just be exposition.” “Worry is impatience for the next horror.” “Perfect happiness is the privilege of deciding when things end. But then you have to find a new happiness.” Manguso’s arguments speak to mortality, anxiety, depression, heartbreak, and motherhood. Her blatant truth-telling is addictive; readers will find it difficult not to devour these 90 pages filled with wisdom, witticisms, and humor in one sitting. Written initially as a diversion from another work-in-progress, Manguso felt the need for completion, even if only in a couple of sentences. “For the longest time, it wasn’t actually a book,” she says. “It was just a bad habit that I was indulging in while I was trying to write a different book.” That bad habit turned into a gift for readers with short attention spans seeking meaning. 7 p.m. Free. 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611. —Erica Rivera

SATURDAY 4.29

Brews & Buses: St. Paul Brewery Bus Crawl
Union Depot

While new breweries can be found all around Minneapolis, St. Paul has quietly caught up both in number and quality. The city has one of the state’s oldest brewpubs (Great Waters), one of the largest and most award-winning breweries (Summit), and beer businesses located in some of the coolest historic buildings (Flat Earth, Lake Monster). This weekend, GetKnit invites beer lovers to get on a bus and ride to breweries to sample the many hops and barley flavors of our capital city. A sister event to the summertime Rails and Ales, this tour of 11 St. Paul beer makers is more than a pub crawl. It includes two free pints, live entertainment, access to one-off beers, random prizes, and more. Early drink tickets are sold out, but later check-in times are still available. Tickets also score you a Metro Transit pass to and from the Union Depot. For more info, visit getknitevents.com/brews-buses. 21+. 11:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. $55. 214 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700. —Loren Green

TU Dance
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

This TU Dance concert is an embarrassment of riches. New York-based Ronald K. Brown, known for his fusion of African and modern dance and his “spiritual elasticity,” premieres “Through This Light,” a work that features traditional music by Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba and other world-music artists. TU’s artistic co-director Uri Sands reprises his 2016 “Matter,” a searing work responding to violence and racism. Kyle Abraham’s “Candle” and Gioconda Barbuto’s “FOOTPRINT” complete this dynamite program. The best reason to go is the inimitable TU dancers, whose extreme virtuosity and stylistic range are matched only by their emotional depth. 7:30 p.m. $22-$42. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. —Linda Shapiro

Marc Maron
Pantages Theatre

Marc Maron has worn many hats in his comedy career: comedian, actor, radio host, TV host, podcaster, and sitcom star. Last year, he decided to bring his self-titled TV series to a close. However, he continues to work on his two big passions, standup and podcasting. The latter invigorated the former, and he is recognized as one of the medium’s pioneers. As his show remains popular, podcasting as a whole still seems to be teetering on the brink of mainstream acceptance. “I guess it really comes down to who’s going to hang on,” he says from his home in Los Angeles. “There are podcasts that are fine, but how do you make a living at it?” Maron has done just that, but he isn’t sure if there is a business model that will work for all podcasters. “Everyone’s got to answer those questions for themselves. Anyone can do it; it really depends on what you want out of it.” He points out that he had nothing invested in his podcast when he started, nor did he have any expectations. “I didn’t see it as means to make a living or even sell tickets. I saw it as something I had to do, but our growth kind of coincided with the growth of the medium.” 7 and 10 p.m. $38. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —P.F. Wilson

Sweet Land, the musical
History Theatre

Drawing on Minnesota history for an example of how bigotry influences families and communities, the History Theatre is presenting Sweet Land, the musical, a new adaptation of the critically acclaimed 2006 feature film (which was based on the short story “A Gravestone Made of Wheat” by Minnesota author Will Weaver). Set in rural Minnesota shortly after the close of WWI, the wistful storyline involves Olaf, a Norwegian immigrant farmer who agrees to marry a woman from Norway sight unseen. To Olaf’s surprise, his arranged bride, Inge, actually hails from Germany, a country whose vilified status as a wartime enemy has cast widespread suspicion, if not outright derision, upon anyone of said nationality. Despite social disapproval, Olaf and Inge forge the bonds of an improbable romance while working the unforgiving land. Portraying the central roles are Robert Berdahl and Ann Michels, both of whom have fine-tuned their parts during a lengthy workshop process alongside much of the returning cast and crew. Perrin Post also handles the direction with choreography going to Joe Chvala of Flying Foot Forum fame. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $25-$52. 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul; 651-292-4323. Through May 28 —Brad Richason

Craftstravaganza
Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Just in time for spring, Craftstravaganza is returning to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Get ready for some delightful twee overload, as makers will offer a variety of wares for any gifting needs, be it for a pet, child, boyfriend, or mother. Or just treat yourself. There will be snarky cross-stitch work, gorgeous wood-bound journals, colorful and fluffy stuffed monster plushies, and ceramics festooned with skeletons and roses. Shop for makeup, candles, home decor, and more. For a complete list of vendors, visit craftstravaganza.com. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-288-4400. —Jessica Armbruster

Skulls Art Show
Studio Payne

The fluid meaning of skulls in artwork, signage, and communication allows for myriad interpretations. Depending on the context, a skull can serve as a warning for poison, a reminder of loved ones lost, a piece of cheesy Halloween decor, a metaphor for death and rebirth in tarot cards, or a symbol for groups that include pirates, biker gangs, and rock bands. At this exhibition, emerging artists will celebrate that magical thing that helps holds our eyes, hair, and brain in place. See the tributes, and toast to the most iconic bone in our bodies with a beer at the opening reception from 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, April 29. Free. 1129 Payne Ave., St. Paul; 651-230-7767. Through May 26 —Jessica Armbruster