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Art Shanties, ski jumping, and pole dancing: A-List 1.15-21

LOL Pole Competitions

LOL Pole Competitions Colin Michael Simmons

 Here are some great things happening in the Twin Cities this week.

WEDNESDAY 1.15

Joe Larson
Acme Comedy Co.

Joe Larson is trying to keep up a healthy work/life balance. To that end, he’s on the road only every other week at most. “I do have two small children,” he explains. “I can still be around to screw them up enough so that they have something to talk about in therapy when they’re older.” The kids are also an excellent source of material. “My youngest daughter is four, and she had a playdate recently,” he says. “She was playing with her buddy Noel, and Noel has a penis. I know this because he kept pulling it out and talking about it.” The boy’s mother insisted it was just a phase. “Yeah, no, it’s not,” Larson replied. On the way home his daughter made an interesting observation. “Can you believe Noel has a penis already?” Larson asked her how she thought someone got one of those. “Well, you have to be old, because you’re old and you have one.” Larson was stunned. “She looks around her world and thinks, ‘My older sister doesn’t have one, my mom doesn’t even have one, but somehow this Doogie Howser savant has one?’” Larson has filed this information away. “I’m never going to tell her any different,” he insists. “I’m going to use it against her. ‘You better get those grades up or we’re never giving you a penis!’” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$20. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Miguel Gutierrez's 'This Bridge Called My Ass'

Miguel Gutierrez's 'This Bridge Called My Ass' Ian Douglas

THURSDAY 1.16

This Bridge Called My Ass
Walker Art Center

Each year, the Walker’s Out There series invites groundbreaking performance artists from around the world to give Minnesotans a taste of their work. This week’s installment is This Bridge Called My Ass. The name pays homage to Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called My Back, a 1981 anthology that explores feminism through the perspectives of women of color, bringing us a very useful term: intersectional feminism. For Ass, movement artist Miguel Gutierrez explores another intersection: queer and Latinx identities. He does this through abstraction, satire, symbolism, and dry humping. In the first scene, performers both meld into one and shatter, playing with objects like fans, step ladders, and drapery. Part two dives into an absurdist telenovela, while the third act takes us back to the quest for understanding with a metal dog deity at its center. What does it mean? You’ll have to decide for yourself as Guiterrez shares his ass with you for 90 minutes. (Yes, there will be nudity.) 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 4 p.m. Saturday. $26. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

Ben Gleib
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Comedian Ben Gleib had an interesting 2019. From May until the end of December, he was running for president of the United States. But this wasn’t a Pat Paulson situation (ask your folks); Gleib was serious. He only ended his campaign when he realized he wouldn’t be able to get any traction without massive amounts of money. The campaign also kept him from performing on late-night talk shows due to equal-time constraints. His act, though, didn’t change all that much. “I definitely do a chunk in every hour on politics,” he says, “but it isn’t very much.” Running for the nation’s highest office gave him a unique perspective on America. “I’m anxious to share that with the crowd,” he says. “I’ve had a look at the country that most aren’t able to see, and that’s influencing my jokes.” One big change these days is a reduction in the amount of cussing. “Jay Leno yelled at me about that, so I’ve been cleaning up my language.” 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

Chris Fleming

Chris Fleming Vanyaland

FRIDAY 1.17

Chris Fleming
The Cedar Cultural Center

Chris Fleming channels his social anxieties into wonderfully awkward comedy, recognizing the wealth of folly to be found in misconstrued cues and neuroses. He is perhaps best known for Gayle, a 41-episode web series in which he played Gayle Waters-Waters, a status-obsessed suburban mother. The show allowed him free reign to lambast the more ridiculous aspects of that life, such as exhibiting a manic commitment to physical fitness and the art of exchanging superficial pleasantries with passive-aggressive neighbors. Whereas Gayle is an over-the-top caricature of suburban dementia, Fleming’s standup persona is relatively grounded. Onstage, he is more inclined to share personal accounts of irrationality, riffing on his perceived inadequacies and self-esteem. Fleming’s latest set at the Cedar should include reflective musings, social commentary, and musical interludes, all united by a delightful sense of absurdity. All ages. 7 p.m. $40. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Brad Richason

A Doll’s House, Part 2
Jungle Theater

Did A Doll’s House, the 1879 proto-feminist classic by Henrik Ibsen, need a sequel? Apparently so, as this season Lucas Hnath’s 2017 Part 2 is tied with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as the most produced play in America. Its Twin Cities debut will be helmed at the Jungle Theater by director Joanie Schultz, starring Christina Baldwin in her second consecutive season taking the Jungle stage as a badass 19th-century mom (last year she was Marmee in Little Women). The original play ends—spoiler alert—with Nora, a wife and mother, leaving her family to live an independent life. What did that life entail? Audiences learn the answer in A Doll’s House, Part 2, which was nominated for a shelf of Tonys; Laurie Metcalf won for her performance as Nora. The New York Times called Part 2 “smart, funny, and utterly engrossing,” and this season the Jungle is one of a dozen U.S. companies to co-sign. Baldwin will get to use her skill at comic acting in a play written in contemporary language, exploring a character who captivates 21st-century theatergoers as much as she did 140 years ago. The show is in previews January 15-16. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $35-$45. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through February 23 —Jay Gabler

LOL Pole Competitions
Park Square Theater

As anyone who has tried to take a casual spin on ye olde stripper pole knows, the amount of sheer strength, power, and hand calluses required to make it look even remotely graceful is humbling. Pole dance as art, sport, and performance will be showcased once again at the LOL (Land of Lakes) Pole Competitions. Folks will square off each evening in a variety of categories, which include novice, classic exotic, sport, and elite artistic, followed by an after-party featuring vendors, meet-and-greet opportunities, and networking. During the day, the festival will offer a variety of workshops and seminars for all levels, whether you just want to try things out or you’re a seasoned performer looking to level up. Find the complete schedule at poleandperformingart.com. 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday; 6:15 to 9 p.m. Saturday; 1:45 to 5 p.m. Sunday. $16-$45 daily; weekend warrior passes are $75. 20 Seventh Place W., St. Paul. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

This week the Puppet Lab features work by Eva Adderley (right) and Oanh Vu (left).

This week the Puppet Lab features work by Eva Adderley (right) and Oanh Vu (left). Bruce Silcox

Puppet Lab
Open Eye Figure Theatre

Puppet Lab has returned, this time in a new home. The emerging arts incubator program, organized by Alison Heimstead, was formerly housed at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Now Heimstead brings the innovative project to Open Eye Figure Theatre. This week, artists Eva Adderley and Oanh Vu will share their work. Adderley’s piece, The Deer Child, tells the story of a young animal lover who befriends a magical deer. Vu’s Phantom Loss uses tabletop and shadow puppetry to explore grief and intergenerational trauma through the eyes of a young girl who is trying to communicate with her ancestors. Discover all the places puppetry can take you at this boundary-pushing festival. 13+. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $15. 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis; 612-874-6338. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

Winterfest 2020
U.S. Bank Stadium

This weekend, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s annual winter event moves to a new venue and a new city while maintaining the same high-class fun featuring bottomless beer samples. Over 100 Minnesota-based breweries will pour tastes in the Polaris Club at U.S. Bank Stadium. Expect a diverse collection of dark wintertime brews, barrel-aged wonders, crisp and tart sours, and hops galore. Keeping up with recent tradition, the event isn’t just about the beer, focusing on food pairings and a special menu made to showcase the wide range of flavors on tap. Breweries on hand include Barrel Theory, Modist, Surly, Hoops, Steel Toe, Badger Hill, Utepils, and Disgruntled, among many others. Find tickets and the complete brewery list at mncraftbrew.org. 21+. 7 to 10 p.m. $80; $30 designated driver. 900 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-338-4537. —Loren Green

Art Shanty Projects

Art Shanty Projects Shine on Photos

SATURDAY 1.18

Art Shanty Projects
Bde Unma/Lake Harriet

The Art Shanty Projects bring performers, artists, activists, and community members together for weekends filled with fun on a frozen lake. This season’s artsy ice village returns to Bde Unma/Lake Harriet with a variety of things to see and do. That includes the Flora Sauna, a greenhouse shanty filled with plants; the -7 Degree Entry Danceteria, which spins DJ tunes all day; a shanty featuring a sun-lit LiteBrite; a camera obscura shanty on ice; and a five-seater sauna shanty (be sure to make reservations online for that last one). Each weekend also showcases a handful of guests and causes, including a tiny Art Car Parade (think pimped-out remote-controlled toy cars), live plein air painting, and Brownbody, a group that blends modern dance, theater, social justice, and figure skating into one discipline. Find more info at artshantyprojects.org. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $10-$20 suggested donation. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis. Through February 9 —Jessica Armbruster

Bernarda Alba
The Ritz Theater

The House of Bernarda Alba by Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca might seem like an odd fit for a musical treatment. The tragic tale follows a widowed matriarch whose extreme distrust of the outside world leads her to impose stringent control over her five daughters. But contemporary playwright/composer Michael John LaChiusa found inspiration for melodic longing with his fascinating adaptation, Bernarda Alba. Delving into a family where youthful desires have been repressed, LaChiusa found an ideal scenario for characters to express their passion through music and dance. Bernarda Alba utilizes propulsive Spanish rhythms to revitalize a work that recalls its cultural background, even as its impact resonates in the here and now. Directed by Crystal Manich, this Twin Cities premiere by Theater Latte Da is further complemented by an all-female cast led by Regina Marie Williams. The show is in previews January 15-17. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $33-$53. 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-339-3003. Through February 16 —Brad Richason

"Future Future" at Hair + Nails

"Future Future" at Hair + Nails L-R: Sarah Dwyer, Oakley Tapola

Future Future
Hair + Nails Contemporary Art Gallery

“Future Future,” Hair + Nails’ biannual group show, parses out the old in favor of the new with vibrancy, abstraction, tones of Cubism, and an almost molecular-level teasing out of materiality. The exhibit features 27 artists working in varied media, hailing from locations across the U.S. Looking for new talent? Here’s your chance to discover something different. Local artists Valerie Oliveiro, Drew Peterson, Rachel Collier, and Emmett Ramstad are also on the docket. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, January 18, from 7 to 10 p.m. 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. Through February 23 —Camille LeFevre

SUNDAY 1.19

International Ski Jumping Competition 2020
Bush Lake Ski Jump

It takes a lot of courage to strap on a pair of skis and send yourself down a giant ice slide that’s over 20 stories tall. Yet, somehow, ski jumping exists. See the mind-boggling sport in action this weekend as athletes from Europe, Canada, and the U.S. compete for top honors at the Twin Cities leg of the Midwestern 5 Hills Tour (part of the US Cup Series). This competition is not for the faint of heart, as Olympic hopefuls will be sending themselves down 70-, 25-, and 10-meter ramps, soaring up to 300 feet in the air. Watch it all happen live. Viewing spots include outdoor and indoor locations, and food trucks will be onsite offering all kinds of eats, beer, and hot beverages. 4 to 10 p.m. $10; kids 12 and under free. 8401 E. Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington; 952-484-8956. —Jessica Armbruster

-ING Series: Jenessa Andrea
Studio Apparatus

Jenessa Andrea’s new collection, Pain & Peace, oscillates between poles. Not just the two mentioned in the title, but growth and regression, memory and imagination, poetry and prose. It’s an engrossing journey of work that spills out in fragments, sometimes a single line at a time. It’s also a testament to the power of self-love through self-publishing. Studio Apparatus’ recurring -ING series will host a multi-faceted celebration of the book’s release. Not only will Andrea be reading selections from the engrossing volume of verse, but the poet/designer/musician will also be singing alongside Julian Manzara in an evening that includes an open mic, artwork for sale, and networking opportunities for the creatively inclined. 7 p.m. $5. 106 W. Water St., St. Paul; 612-822-8080. —Jerard Fagerberg