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ArtCars and ArtBikes cruise around the lake: A-List 7.19-25

Monique Menard's ArtCar Van Go.

Monique Menard's ArtCar Van Go. Dave Lewis

This week's top events include a canine film festival, a few free street parties, and ArtCars at Lake Harriet. Come take a look.

(Dusty Hoskovec)

WEDNESDAY 7.19

Minneapolis Aquatennial
Various locations
Now in its 77th year, the Minneapolis Aquatennial gives you the opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun events. The Torchlight Parade and 5K downtown run are always popular (both are on Wednesday), as is the Twin Cities River Rats’ water ski show on the Mississippi River (Thursday and Friday) and the grand finale fireworks near the Stone Arch Bridge (Saturday night). Following up on the success of last year’s Candid Canines Film Festival, the show is moving to a bigger location and joining the Aquatennial lineup (see Thursday). A Caribbean festival, a tennis competition, and a makers’ night round out the list of happenings. For a complete schedule, check out www.aquatennial.com. Through Sunday —Patrick Strait

Rick Gutierrez
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
“I had a great childhood, but we were poor,” says Rick Gutierrez. “I found out being funny got me a lot of attention. It was great being the crazy little kid that ran around making everyone laugh.” Unfortunately, the young Gutierrez had trouble with bullies. “When people don’t like you or you’re bullied, you try and make them laugh. Or at least make them look like an ass. You have to be a good athlete too, though. I ran a lot. I was a small kid.” Well, at least at first. The summer before high school, Gutierrez went through a growth spurt. “All those guys that used to beat me up? I went back for blood and my pound of flesh,” he says. “I became a bully a little bit.” He insists he only went after the guys who had hassled him, though. Onstage, Gutierrez talks about other childhood experiences as well as being a husband and father. In 2014, Gutierrez’s special, I’m Not Mad, I’m Just a Parent, debuted on Netflix. 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $13-$22. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Dave Page
Common Good Books
Many Minnesotans know that F. Scott Fitzgerald was born and lived substantial portions of his life in St. Paul, but how much did his Summit Hill roots influence his writing? A lot, according to Fitzgerald scholar and author Dave Page. In his new book, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer & His Friends at Home, Page pulls from 33 years of research via letters, scrapbooks, diaries, interviews, and the census to fully examine Fitzgerald’s ties to his birthplace and the people who populated it. Page reveals how Minnesota residents and local landmarks worked their way into Fitzgerald’s stories, from the man who arrived at the wrong party in full camel costume in “The Camel’s Back” to the Cathedral of St. Paul’s appearance in “The Popular Girl.” Page also reveals how haunts like W. A. Frost and the University Club, and destinations like Old Frontenac and White Bear Lake, factored into Fitzgerald’s lively social life. These tales are accompanied by Jeff Krueger’s stunning architectural photographs. 7 p.m. Free. 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989. —Erica Rivera


(Mia)

THURSDAY 7.20

Third Thursday: Bike Night
Minneapolis Institute of Art
With this week comes the Mia’s annual Bike Night, a party dedicated to all things cycling. If you plan to ride to the event, meet up with the Joyful Riders Club at 4:30 p.m. at Surly Brewing Company for beers and bikes. Once at the museum, riders will be treated to live music from Catbath. Pop into the photobooth to commemorate your evening. Have your ride inspected for safety by the Farmstead Bike Shop crew, and chat with other local businesses, organizations, and clubs celebrating cycling in the Twin Cities. There will be a cash bar and food as well. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. —Jessica Armbruster

Candid Canines Film Fest
Target Field Station
Dog lovers who have patiently endured the popular wave of viral cat videos will want to circle July 20 on their calendars. Proving that every dog must have its day, Target Field Station will be hosting the Candid Canines Film Fest. Like the events celebrating their feline counterparts, this screening offers 40 minutes of films documenting the wonderfully inscrutable nature of dogs. Held as part of the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the Candid Canines Film Fest offers multiple screenings over a leisurely five-hour period, and welcomes attendees to settle in with their own chairs and blankets. It’s only right that the event would include dogs, so visitors are encouraged to bring their four-legged fur balls to the show. As for those who believe their Fido could be a potential breakout star, videos can now be submitted for consideration via the event’s website, candidcaninesfilmfest.com. Target Field Station will also host a variety of vendors for guests to check out between screenings. Proceeds from the event will be directed to Can Do Canines, an organization dedicated to matching assistance dogs to those coping with a range of disabilities. 4 to 9 p.m. Free. 435 Fifth St. N., Minneapolis; 612-348-3848. —Brad Richason

Mother King
Public Functionary
Public Functionary continues to expand its innovative, inclusive programming in thrilling ways. Larger arts institutions should pay close attention. Premiering this weekend is OperaWorks 52’s first production. Mother King is a piece based on the life of Alberta Williams King, mother of Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot and killed while playing organ for morning services in her church. Poet Venessa Fuentes wrote the libretto. Dameun Strange composed the score. They’re also the force behind OperaWorks 52, and intend to change traditional notions of opera by producing new pieces that explore and celebrate the stories of people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. Illumination is their goal, along with stretching what opera is past recognition. Six local vocalists, including Liz Gre as Mother King, plus a 12-member instrumental ensemble, should lift the roof of the warehouse-turned-gallery with songs of love, tragedy, disruption, and joy. 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. $8-$12. 1400 12th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-978-5566. Through July 29 —Camille LeFevre

Ryan Singer
The Joke Joint Comedy Club
Most comedians are reflexively pegged as downtrodden, unsentimental cynics—and rightfully so. Ryan Singer, however, takes a more wondrous approach. On his podcast, Me and Paranormal You, the widely respected comic’s comic suggests it’s more fun to believe. On the show, a variety of guests, including renowned standups like Shane Mauss and Kyle Kinane, share their most supernatural—or just plain weird—experiences. The podcast is more about fantastical exploration than revealing some grandiose hidden truths about the world. Fortunately, there’s plenty of levity to balance out the somewhat serious subject matter, thanks to Singer’s ease and waggish sensibilities. It’s this kind of comic relief that makes Singer’s standup so thoroughly enjoyable, making him one of the stronger crossover acts on the alt-comedy circuit. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $14-$26. 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale; 651-330-9078. Through Saturday —Raghav Mehta

(Joe Sinness)

Joe Sinness: The Flowers
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Does life imitate art or is it the other way around? Local artist Joe Sinness offers no easy answers but instead plays it both ways, combining portrayals of real-life queer folk with remnants of old-Hollywood glamor. “The Flowers,” his new exhibition opening at the MAEP gallery at Mia on Thursday, revels in the overlap between desire and performance, everyday people and iconic celebrities. Cinematic panoramas, portraits, still lifes, and theatrical sculptures transform the quotidian into utopian fantasy, teasing the viewer with possibility and pleasure. Sinness incorporates colored-pencil drawings, vintage physique magazines, and film interpretations of cruising to create provocative images that depict carnal yearning as a form of empowerment. His intricate, seductive, and erotic interpretations of marginalized communities are often paired with natural elements like clouds, fruit, and flora. His is a refreshing, winsome take on the broad spectrum of human sexuality. The North Dakota-born, Minneapolis-based artist is a graduate of St. John’s University, and holds an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 20, and an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 21. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through October 29 —Erica Rivera

’66: Talkin’ Bout My Generation
Open Eye Figure Theatre
Seeking to recreate the feeling of the period while underscoring its connection to the modern day, Chronofon Productions is mounting a reprisal of the popular production ’66: Talkin’ Bout My Generation. Centered on the titular year, the show features a talented quartet of storytellers/performers: Bradley Greenwald, Diana Grasselli, Prudence Johnson, and Dan Chouinard. They’ll enact a fictional radio broadcast, playing disc jockeys, commentators, and news reporters as they explore the transformative year in United States history, a period following the assassination of John F. Kennedy but before the succession of further tragedies (punctuated by occasional triumphs) that would define the second half of the decade. Few aspects of American life reflect that year’s curious blend of idealism and disillusionment quite like its compelling music. The quartet, accompanied by guitarist Dean Magraw and bassist Gary Raynor, will perform those songs in richly evocative arrangements. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Monday; 4 p.m. Sundays. $18-$26. 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis; 612-874-6338. Through July 30 —Brad Richason

Garbage
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
During the exhaustively covered grunge boom of the mid-1990s, Garbage were a welcome respite. They certainly shared some similarities with world-weary contemporaries like Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, but sonically they exuded something more brassy and polished. Trading in grime for gloss, Garbage delivered trippy industrial pop that crept onto the Billboard charts thanks to the band’s undeniable smarts and lead singer Shirley Manson’s sultry vocals. In their coffee-table autobiography, This Is the Noise That Keeps Me Awake, which was co-written with former Rolling Stone contributor Jason Cohen, the band chronicle their 20-year journey in and out of the mainstream with tour photos and studio anecdotes that will delight both Garbage devotees and the devotedly nostalgic. The band, which includes famed Nevermind producer Butch Vig, will be signing books and other merchandise at Magers & Quinn. 6 p.m. Free. 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611. —Raghav Mehta

(Image courtesy the standup)

FRIDAY 7.21

Janelle James
Acme Comedy Co.
How does a woman from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, wind up in comedy? For Janelle James, it happened far away from that tropical paradise, at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She went there to study pre-med. “But only because I didn’t know what to do,” she says. “Everyone needs a doctor. I always picked the hardest path.” Shortly after starting standup she dropped out of school. These days she headlines clubs across the country when she’s not featuring for Chris Rock. While she prefers headlining, being a middle has its advantages. “I’m a pretty good comic, you can put that in there,” she laughs, “but it’s a pretty cake position to be in, I think. Even if the fans are there for someone else and even if it doesn’t go well—and it usually does—they don’t remember you by the time the headliner comes out.” In her set, James mostly talks about personal experiences and how they impact her, such as auditioning for movie and TV roles. “It’s a demoralizing experience,” she tells an audience of what it’s like to gaze about the audition room. “You see all the different versions of yourself: if you were in shape, if you got enough sleep, if you never did drugs. Nine times out of 10, I’m the worst version of myself.” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Wednesday Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Eclectic Edge Ensemble Presents: Foot Flight by Night
The Lab Theater
Local jazz composers and musicians fuel Eclectic Edge Ensemble’s dance version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Previewed last year, Foot Flight by Night gets an evening-length debut this weekend, with dancers using movement to tell the story of fairies, lovers, actors, magical hijinks, and more. Choreographed by EEE’s artistic director, Karis Sloss, who is determined to bring jazz dance back to the front and center of the Twin Cities dance scene, the production takes artistic license here and there. Regardless, it’s still a charming tale of love, magic, and the humor that comes from mistakes, all told in the dance company’s whimsical and technically masterful style. The piece is set to music by local composers Richard Sloss, Brian Just, Reese Kling, and Nathaniel Kling. Things kick off on Thursday, and Friday night’s performance will include a post-show party. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $17-$20; $15 students. 700 First St. N., Minneapolis; 612-333-3377. Thursday through Sunday —Sheila Regan


(Red Hot Art)

SATURDAY 7.22

Red Hot Art Festival
Stevens Square Park
While the larger fests around town will host artists from around the nation this summer, Red Hot Art Fest has always gone all local. This year, the Stevens Square Park celebration is turning sweet 16. For two days, thousands of revelers will find hundreds of Twin Cities artists exhibiting and demonstrating their trades, including printmakers, comic artists, painters, and jewelry designers. Around 20 bands will take the stage mid-afternoon into the evening, including France Camp, the Misanthropes, and Farewell Tenney. Food trucks will keep crowds nourished, and there will also be family activities and lawn games. Follow the event at www.facebook.com/RedHotArt. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. 1801 Stevens Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

23rd Annual ArtCar + ArtBike Parade Cruise
Lake Harriet Rose Garden
In a sea of cars stuck in gridlock, these vehicles will always stand out. And while traffic is never any fun, spotting an ArtCar in the mix can brighten your day. This Saturday, ArtCars and ArtBikes will come together at the historic Rose Garden to cruise around Lake Harriet. Bring a picnic blanket and find a spot with a good view as the vehicles slowly roll by. Keep your eyes peeled for the car inspired by van Gogh’s Starry Night and the mosaic car covered in tiles. There will also be rides with critters attached to the roof, bikes festooned with flowers and lights, and all kinds of other colorful creations. 6 p.m. Free. 4124 Roseway Rd., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

MONDAY 7.24

Still Kickin’s 2nd Birthday
Bauhaus Brew Labs
Two years after Nora McInerny started the local grassroots charity, Still Kickin is, well, still kicking. The nonprofit has exploded into one of the most visible and well-known organizations in the Twin Cities, spotlighting stories of struggle and strength while raising funds through apparel sales, run clubs, and fitness classes. Each month, the organization chooses a new hero, and that month’s revenues are then donated to that person or organization. Past recipients have included sick kids, families with mounting health bills, and folks with developmental disabilities who will be impacted should new health bills pass. This week, Still Kickin celebrates its second birthday with a bash at Bauhaus Brew Labs. They’ll be unveiling the 2017 Still Kickin Summer Pale Ale created by the Northeast brewery, and sharing highlights and stories from the past 12 months. You’ll be able to pick up Still Kickin swag, including a special commemorative birthday pint glass. One of the highlights will be learning what McInerny and company have in store for year three. This is a free, kid-friendly event. It’s guaranteed to be more fun than any other two-year-old’s birthday party you attend all year, so get down to Bauhaus on Monday night. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-276-6911. —Patrick Strait