Can Can Wonderland cranks the whimsy to 11: A-List March 22-28

Jennifer Pennington

Jennifer Pennington

Here are our top picks for things to do this week.

Adventures in Can Can Wonderland
Can Can Wonderland


Mini-golf mecca Can Can Wonderland is already pretty damn whimsical. This Thursday, however, they’ll be going further down the rabbit hole and turning the spectacle up to 11. Those who sign up will play through the main putt-putt course, which will also feature asides into the world of Lewis Carroll. You’ll play a variety of games and solve riddles and puzzles. On occasion, you’ll be ushered into Alice in Wonderland-inspired rooms and areas not generally open to the public. Take some knowledge from a smoking caterpillar and outsmart the Chesire Cat. There will also be special menu items to sample. Tickets and more info can be found at 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday. $12. 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261. —Jessica Armbruster


Trivia for Cheaters
Turf Club

This Wednesday, teams of four will test their trivial knowledge at the Turf Club. There will be 25 questions concerning various topics, all read aloud by host and KARE 11 anchor Jana Shortal. Don’t know the answer? That’s where the cheating comes in. It will cost you, however. The event is a benefit for the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute, a nonprofit organization that offers tutoring and after-school homework help for youngsters in need. While kids shouldn’t cheat, adults at this event will be encouraged to do so, as donations of $100 or more open up options like receiving the first letter to the answer, being permitted to skip a question, or access to your smart phone for one query. Registration and more info can be found at 7 p.m. $5 to watch; teams are requested to raise at least $100 before the evening (which will be used to cheat, natch). 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. —Jessica Armbruster

Mike Vecchione
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Many comedians have taken experiences from former jobs and turned them into movies, TV shows, and websites. Mike Vecchione, a criminal justice major in college, has had no such luck. “I haven’t figured it out yet,” he says. “If anybody has any ideas, I’ll run with them.” Onstage, Vecchione continues to talk about his life, but has taken a different approach. “I’ve been journaling more because there are so many instances in our lives, if you think about it, in which funny things happen.” Weird things occur everywhere, Vecchione notes. “You just make a note of it: ‘Oh, this weird thing happened at the grocery store today.’ If you write it out, you see all the opportunities that might be funny in there. There’s these little instances in your day that I’d overlook if I didn’t write them down.” 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

Drew Michael
Acme Comedy Co.

“In my experience, and given the people I know that have done this for a while, you kind of get the sense that the story is never as cute as you would hope,” says comedian Drew Michael about his entry into standup. “It’s rarely, ‘Oh, I was the funniest person.’” Growing up Michael was inwardly focused, primarily due to hearing loss. “The ear doctor recommended hearing aids. I tried them for a little bit, but I didn’t want to be different,” he says, “and I didn’t want people to think anything was wrong, so I didn’t use them.” About the time he started doing standup he went back to using them. “Those two coincided, and one hand helped the other. The more I would do standup, the more I would be out with people.” That helped improve his human interactions greatly. “It was a learning process. I had to learn social skills and basic things people take for granted, like figuring out how talking to people worked.” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson



Paul Schmelzer: Signifier, Signed
Law Warschaw Gallery

For the average autograph hunter, the goal is to get famous people to sign their name on photos, pieces of paper, or paraphernalia. Paul Schmelzer has a different goal. When he approaches Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and athletes, it’s not their own name he desires, but his own. Over the years, he has amassed a pretty extensive collection that is, by all accounts, 100 percent unique. There’s Yoko Ono, Civil Rights hero U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and filmmaker Wim Wenders. Through these signatures, Schmelzer has gotten the rich and famous to collaborate with him on his ongoing art project, turning the practice of celebrity worship on its head. The selection reveals Schmelzer’s own tastes and, in a way, reflects back at the people he admires in a very simple, human way. These autographs will make up the exhibition “Signifier, Signified” at Macalester College. There will be an opening reception 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 23. Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, 130 Macalester St., St. Paul; 651-696-6000. Through March 29 —Sheila Regan



The Weather Diaries
American Swedish Institute

What is it about Iceland that has us in such thrall? Is it the dynamic yet barren landscape? The artwork coming from the region that somehow integrates the best of modern design with indigenous influences? The artists who are often our chosen arbiters of the cool and innovative (think Björk and Ben Frost)? How about West Nordic fashion? If you’re unaware of that last one and curious, then “The Weather Diaries” is a must-see show. The exhibition explores all of these impulses — including the work of North Atlantic fashion designers — to explore the landscapes of Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands in vibrant, multimedia fashion. Created by American Sarah Cooper and Austrian Nina Gorfer, the show juxtaposes their large-scale photographs exuding an Old Masters painterly quality with installations that include a 55-pound beaded collar, knitted garments, mannequins in tailored suits, and constructions of tulle, feathers, and bone fragments. There’s also an eponymous documentary that explores Cooper and Gorfer’s work. There will be an opening reception Friday, March 24, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $15-$20. After that, the show is free with admission ($10; $7 seniors; $5 ages 6-18). 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. Through July 2 —Camille LeFevre


The Three Musketeers
Theatre In the Round

When literary fidelity and modern sensibilities are fused with the deftness demonstrated by Ken Ludwig in his adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, audiences have reason to cheer. Retaining the swashbuckling spirit of the original novel, the play follows an aspiring adventurer named d’Artagnan who journeys to Paris in the early 1600s with dreams of joining the world-renowned Musketeers of the Guard. As membership in this elite squad isn’t granted easily, d’Artagnan soon finds himself set to duel three of the guard, a precarious prospect that proves merely a prelude to further dangers involving true love and treasonous plots. Ludwig’s script takes its greatest liberty by inventing a wholly new character, Sabine, sister to d’Artagnan and equally skilled with the sword. The revision proves a refreshing corrective to long outdated damsel-in-distress narratives, while retaining the camaraderie of one for all and all for one. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $22. 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through April 16 —Brad Richason




Smoke Signals 2017
Insight Brewing

At Insight’s Smoke Signals 2017, the Minneapolis beermakers are going all out with a special lineup that features a new wild ale (Brewmaster’s Secret Garden), plus at least six rare casks: the hoppy Habanero Hell Chicken, fruity varieties Mango Dankbot and Pineapple Sunken City, the unique Black Bird Dark Sour, the coffee and honey-sweet Triple Shot Banshee Cutter, and the S’mores Stout. The highlight of the day, however, is the food that pairs with those tasty beverages. The barbecue-themed event will boast eats from Bark and the Bite, plus two more food trucks. They’ll be competing in the Smoke Signals BBQ Championship. Other things to sample and enjoy this afternoon include hand-rolled cigars (find them at the bonfire), coffee drinks from UP Coffee Roasters, and live music all day long, headlined by the Brass Barn Polka Band. Noon to 10 p.m. Wristbands cost $2 or a non-perishable food item donation. 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-722-7222. —Loren Green


Northrup King Nights
Northrup King Studios

This Saturday, 25 artists working in the Northrup King building will open their doors for a party showcasing their work. Check out Betsy Ruth Byers’ glacier- and climate change-inspired paintings in the Kolman & Pryor Gallery. Stop by the Icebox Gallery for travel photography by Tom Bartel (former owner of City Pages). He’ll be sharing 33 images snapped in 20 countries. Leni L. Erickson’s jewelry uses Tibetan prayer beads with stone beads from Albert Einstein’s home. K. Daphnae Koop’s mixed-media pieces blend a variety of elements for a collection worth exploring. See the work of all of these artists and more this weekend. 6 to 10 p.m. Free. 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-363-5612. —Jessica Armbruster



Arctic Market: A Winter Pop-Up
Lakes & Legends Brewery

Support local artists with a Belgian farmhouse beer in your hand. This week, the Minneapolis Craft Market pairs with Lakes & Legends for a laid-back Sunday. The brewery, located on Lasalle Avenue near Loring Park, provides a rustic, woodsy atmosphere. While sipping pints, guests can rummage through things like hand lotions and glazed mugs. “There will be some professional artists and others who make art as a part-time side gig,” says market founder Hayley Matthews-Jones. “There’s an interesting mix.” That mix includes goldsmiths/jewelers 3 Jäg Design; Uptown art and clothing boutique Showroom; August Fischer Makers, who design goods like cutting boards and totes; and All Are Welcome Here, an organization that makes “Love Your Neighbor” yard signs. “It’s important for local artists to have an outlet that gives them an opportunity to meet customers,” Matthews-Jones says. “Websites like Etsy are saturated.” Swing by Lakes & Legends Brewery from noon to 5 p.m. for fresh tastes and rare finds. Free. 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis; 612-999-6020. —Jamie Hudalla




The Future Is Female Festival
The Playwrights’ Center

Since the 2016 presidential election, all kinds of radical exhibitions, resistance theater festivals, and protest art have come to fruition. One such happening is the Future Is Female Festival, dreamed up by Brooklyn-based playwright Mya Kagan. Refashioning the 1970s slogan “The Future Is Female” as a clarion call to create more opportunities for women of all backgrounds, the festival will take place in cities across the country during March, Women’s History Month, and features 10-minute plays. In the Twin Cities, TFIF is being presented in collaboration with the Playwrights’ Center for one night only. It’s a chance to see an assortment of short plays by talented female playwrights here in town, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. For more info, visit 7 p.m. $5. 2301 Franklin Ave. E., Minneapolis; 612-332-7481. —Sheila Regan




Orpheum Theatre

Matilda stands as one of Roald Dahl’s most revered creations. A five-year-old girl is exiled to a joyless boarding school where the headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is far more intent on breaking spirits than nurturing young minds. Matilda’s fanciful fight against the forces of conformity personifies youthful empowerment, a factor that makes the touring production of the acclaimed Broadway adaptation an appealing proposition for audiences of all ages. The musical adaptation by playwright Dennis Kelly and lyricist/composer Tim Minchin develops a roster of affably eccentric figures under dazzlingly choreographed arrangements from Peter Darling. The work has been recognized with a plethora of honors, including four Tony Awards and a place in the Guinness World Records for scoring seven Olivier Awards. Co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Dodgers (the theater, not the baseball team), this Twin Cities premiere will alternate three young actresses in the title role: Hannah Levinson, Jaime MacLean, and Jenna Weir. Under the direction of Matthew Warchus, this crowd-pleasing production suggests that even the most jaded adults are susceptible to the revolutionary power of imagination. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $39-$145. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. Through April 2 —Brad Richason