Cine Latino Fest, Halloween fun, Wits returns for one night: A-List 10.30-11.5

Cine Latino 2019

Cine Latino 2019 'Carmen and Lola'

Here's some great things happening this week.

Nate Abshire

Nate Abshire Image courtesy the standup


Nate Abshire
Acme Comedy Co.

Big things are happening for locally based comic Nate Abshire, who may not be locally based for long. “I’m getting ready to record my first album,” he says. The decision to finally record came after much introspection. “I don’t want to say that I don’t work that hard,” he explains, “but I don’t polish jokes that much, and I move on a little bit sooner than maybe I should.” The challenge in organizing his upcoming gig at Acme Comedy Co. has been putting it all together in a way that will make sense. “It’s mostly been about getting all the jokes into a set more cohesively than I usually do. Normally I’m a lot looser.” The album recording is also a way to mark a new era of his career. “The stuff I have now is more storytelling, and I’m excited to move on stylistically.” Abshire, a native of Louisiana, came to the Twin Cities for college and never left. “I just love this city,” he adds. However, he plans to take, as he calls it, a gap year and move to bigger market like New York, Los Angeles, or perhaps Denver. “I haven’t quite decided,” he notes. Catch him while you can. 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

A few entrants at last year's costume contest

A few entrants at last year's costume contest Bull's Horn


Halloween Barhopping
Various locations

For adults who like to celebrate Halloween with a costume and a little booze, you have options this Halloween. A few possibilities: Norseman Distillery (451 Taft St. NE, Minneapolis) will be throwing a three-day celebration this week, offering a mix of free and ticketed events. Things kick off on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. with a spooky new cocktail menu and a juried art show reception. On Friday, the venue will offer a (ticketed) Harry Potter-themed cocktail class. Saturday’s festivities include a family- and dog-friendly afternoon featuring a pet costume parade, followed by a (ticketed) 21+ evening shindig hosted by Flip Phone. Over in St. Paul, Can Can Wonderland (755 Prior Ave. N.) will throw a Halloween soiree with aerial performances, smoking drinks made with dry ice, a costume contest, DJ tunes, tarot readings, and a vintage pop-up. Check it out for $5 from 4 to 11 p.m. If beer joints are more your thing, you might want to stop by Bull’s Horn (4563 S. 34th Ave., Minneapolis), where they’ll have psychics and astrologists, spooky music, a scary selfie station, and the chance to win a free beer each day for a year. —Jessica Armbruster

Halloween Party and Costume Contest
First Avenue

On any given night, First Avenue’s dance floor is a pretty entertaining site. On Halloween, it’s even better, as zombies, Tetris pieces, walking puns, and this year’s pop-culture hits will be drinking, grooving, and chilling in one place. Be sure to come in your All Hallow’s Eve best, because people don’t fuck around here when it comes to cool looks. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best costumes, and the contest is fierce. There’s plenty of fun to be had if that’s not your thing, however, with lots of spectacle, friendly crowds, multiple bars, and DJ sets from Espada, Mike 2600, Rowsheen, Lenka Paris, Smitty, and Roy Freedom. 18+. 8 p.m. $10-$15/$20 at the door. First Avenue, 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jessica Armbruster

Notes from a Séance: A Halloween Delight
Barbara Barker Center for Dance

Shapiro & Smith Dance reprises a sublimely spooky dance-theater work that zeros in on a 19th-century pop-culture celebrity: Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky. In Notes From a Seance, Madame B. reigns supreme over a group of seekers who fall prey to the charlatan side of spiritualism. Card readings, magic tricks, and sensual diversions are on offer at Elysium, the ancestral home of the Professor, a man who is brought to heel by powerful women. Other seekers include a Jesuit, a visionary, an acolyte, and a saucy girl expelled from convent school. The acolyte’s tongue-in-cheek letters home reveal an idea as true today as 150 years ago: Scam artists rule because fools permit it. Beautifully crafted movement in the service of divine silliness evolves into satanic rituals, including a baptism at midnight, demonic exorcism, and ecstatic possession. What more do you need for your Halloween fix? Especially when it’s performed by the company’s splendid dancer-actors, accompanied by Scott Killian’s beguiling music and witty text by Paul Selig. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $20; $10 students; Halloween tickets are two-for-one. 500 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-624-5060. Through Saturday —Linda Shapiro

BareBones Puppets Halloween Extravaganza

BareBones Puppets Halloween Extravaganza Max Haynes

BareBones Puppets Halloween Extravaganza
Hidden Falls Regional Park


Now in its 26th year, the BareBones Halloween Extravaganza is a beloved event that is a seasonal must-see for many. Each year, the story typically dives into themes of death, remembrance, and mourning, but with a tone that is somehow both whimsical and edgy. The puppets are a sight to behold, as things like large-scale skeletons, giant sugar skulls, and apparitions make their way to peace along their illuminated journey. Each event is followed by free hot food from Sister’s Camelot, though you can bring a thermos of hot chocolate as well. Tickets are pay-as-able at the event, but if you have accessibility questions, you can email [email protected] Gates open at 6:30 p.m. each night on Thursday and Saturday. $10-$20 suggested donation. 1305 S. Mississippi Blvd., North Gate, St. Paul. Also Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

Feed Your Head
Sparkle Theatricals

Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter tea party is the inspiration for Sparkle Theatrical’s new production, Feed Your Head, an immersive performance where the audience becomes part of the show. At this curious event, you’ll be cast as a new employee of the Best Butter Company. Your guide, Bunny, is your orientation leader. As you follow her on your tour, you’ll smell, see, hear, and taste things along the way. That’s thanks to eats from Rochdale Farms and Baker’s Field, and scent design by the Olfactory Scent Studio. Feed Your Head is going to eventually become a film and virtual reality experience; this is your chance to check out the first phase of a bigger project. So enter this dream world made reality by writer J.J. Kaiser, director C.J. Renner, and a team of designers, illusionists, and visionaries. There will be a preview night with shows at 6:30 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30. Find tickets at and more information at 6:30, 8, and 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $35. 2306 Robbins St., St. Paul. Through Saturday —Sheila Regan

Jack Jr.
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Comedian Jack Assadourian, better known by his stage name Jack Jr., was destined to be in the family business. Growing up, his parents owned the Ha Has Comedy Cafe in North Hollywood. Jack still performs there, hosting a regular Wednesday night show. That’s when he’s not headlining clubs across the country or featuring for pals like Jeff Garcia, Brandon T. Jackson, or Damon Wayans Jr. “When I was little,” he tells an audience, “I thought I was white, because I lived in a white neighborhood, and all my friends were white.” Jack is of Mexican, Lebanese, and Armenian heritage. “I’m jealous of white people,” he continues. “You’re all so happy. Your holidays are amazing. It looks like an episode of 7th Heaven. Everyone’s on time, everyone knows each other. My house isn’t like that. At my house we have Mexicans, Armenians, Lebanese, a black guy, a baby mama, kids running around everywhere. It feels like you’re at the DMV.” 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Lorelei Ramirez

Lorelei Ramirez Promo image


Lorelei Ramirez
Phoenix Theater


Art, standup comedy, writing: Lorelei Ramirez does it all for Alive! (For Now). Growing up, Ramirez was interested in art, and went to New York City to attend art school. Then reality set in. “I found out that it’s really hard to do art if you’re not someone from money,” they explain. “To actually have a career in art is really hard. I still have friends that are in the scene, and they are struggling financially.” Ramirez still pursued art, but also got interested in standup comedy and writing. For the former, they didn’t go to clubs, instead creating shows independently with friends, mostly in the LGBTQ community. “We were just fooling around,” they note, “and would occasionally perform at clubs. But club spaces can be toxic.” For Ramirez’s show at Phoenix Theater, fans will be treated to a wide variety of their talents. “It’s mixture of my standup, drawing, poetry, and I do some crowd-work stuff.” The show was developed when Ramirez was asked by a community theater if they could indeed put all of their disciplines together in one show. “That was the challenge, and it’s the first time I’ve successfully done it.” 7 p.m. $17-$20. 2605 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-377-2285. —P.F. Wilson

Art Attack/California Dreaming/Open Casket
Various locations

This weekend, three buildings housing nearly 500 artist studios will open their doors, inviting people to see exactly what Northeast creatives have been up to. Hot off the announcement that the building has been purchased by Artspace, Northrup King Studios (1500 Jackson St. NE) hosts Art Attack, showcasing a mind-boggling 350 artists. Check out ceramic work ranging from practical mugs to showy large-scale sculptures, giftable jewelry, and dog portraits in a variety of styles. Over at the California Building (2205 California St. NE) is California Dreaming, featuring more than 50 open work areas, studios, and shops. Check out Aldo Moroni’s collection reflecting on his 45 years creating work in Minneapolis. Drink some java at Mojo Coffee, and score some affordable art at Studio 201’s show and sale. You may want to end your day (or start your evening!) at Open Casket, Casket Arts Community’s (681 17th Ave. NE) art party highlighting 80-plus artists. On the fourth floor you’ll discover free live music, while the basement will offer special cocktails and burlesque performances. On the street, food trucks will be selling smoked meats and Egyptian treats. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Cine Latino 2019

Cine Latino 2019 L-R: 'The Cordillera of Dreams,' 'Carmen and Lola,' 'Another Day of Life'

Cine Latino Film Festival 2019
St. Anthony Main Theatre

The state of international cinema has never been quite so varied, in part thanks to the increased accessibility of filmmaking tools allowing aspiring artists to pursue their vision. This vitality continues to propel the Cine Latino Film Festival, now in its seventh year under the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul. The weeklong schedule of screenings includes some 14 features, each contributing to this year’s theme of cinema with a conscience. Standouts among the eclectic lineup include Chilean documentary The Cordillera of Dreams (winner of Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival), the Roma/lesbian drama Carmen and Lola (winner of Best Supporting Actress and Best New Director at the 2019 Goya Awards), and the blended animation/live-action piece Another Day of Life (winner of Best Animated Feature at the 2019 Goya and European Awards). Enhancing this year’s fest are special events, including a panel featuring four female filmmakers (Marcela Arteuga, Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Veronica Haro, and Ruth Zachs) who will discuss filmmaking as a medium for storytelling. Find tickets, times, and more info at $6-$12 general admission; $20 opening night; ticket packages range from $20 to $75. 115 Main St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-4723. Through November 7 —Brad Richason

The Song of Summer
Mixed Blood Theatre

Forward-looking Twin Cities theater companies have been rushing to present the work of playwright Lauren Yee, and no wonder: Her pieces blend personal stories with a historical sweep and a highly relatable enthusiasm for pop culture. Last winter the Guthrie gave an extravagant production to The Great Leap, and this season’s Mixed Blood production of The Song of Summer will be followed by Ten Thousand Things doing The Hatmaker’s Wife and a Jungle/Mu co-production ofCambodian Rock BandThe Song of Summer is a romcom that pairs a returning rock star with a hometown friend who might be something more. When the play premiered earlier this spring in Rhode Island, audiences swooned, comparing it to a Hallmark card—in a good way. The show’s sincere emotions coexist with a timely consideration of what artists and audiences do when an undeniable earworm has some problematic lyrics. “[It’s] simultaneously heartwarming and breathtaking,” promises Mixed Blood artistic director Jack Reuler. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 4 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $35. 1501 Fourth St. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-6131. Through November 24 —Jay Gabler


Wits Reunion Show
Fitzgerald Theater

Created and hosted by John Moe, Wits had a five-year run (2010-15) that offered a singular blend of improv comedy, freewheeling conversations, and refreshingly laid-back concerts. Premised on an eclectic pairing of adept artists (particularly musicians, comedians, actors, and writers), Wits regularly generated moments of inspired absurdity as participants riffed off one another, deriving off-the-cuff spontaneity from sketches, stories, and songs. The free-form levity was a rare treat for those audiences bearing witness to a one-of-a-kind performance—and a challenge to the more structured mandates of national broadcasting. As such, it’s particularly fitting that the highly anticipated Wits Reunion Show will not be transmitted or streamed. The one-night-only performance (held at the program’s original home, the Fitz) is a strictly live event, one that promises to reprise such signature features as “Murder Cat,” “Pop Song Correspondences,” and “Cop Squadron.” The biggest question centers on the guest list. Moe has been secretive, promising only that humorist John Hodgman will be joined by a number of surprise participants. 7 p.m. $35-$55. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-370-2953. —Brad Richason

Jonathan Herrera Soto

Jonathan Herrera Soto Image courtesy Mia


Jonathan Herrera Soto
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Jonathan Herrera Soto’s exhibition, “In Between/Underneath (Entremedio/Por Debajo),” is simply stunning. Housed at the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s MAEP Gallery, the show features the faces of missing and murdered journalists, temporarily etched into the floor. There’s also a wall of text-based print works and other objects. Together, the collection feels like a vigil, but also a call to action. For the last day of the show, Herrera Soto will give an all-day performance. He will work on cleaning the floors and erasing the remainder of the installation, much of which has been worn away already as visitors were allowed to step and walk on the etchings. The installation serves as a reminder that speaking truth to power is still a dangerous practice, and deserves all the support we can give to it. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., in the MAEP Galleries, Minneapolis; 612-870-3000. —Sheila Regan

Dark Arts Festival 2019
A-Mill Artist Loft Building

Folks looking to cap off Halloween weekend with something just a little bit spooky can check out this pop-up happening on Sunday. A family-friendly event, the Dark Arts Festival will showcase 20 local artists giving macabre takes on makers’ arts. So whether you’re looking for a kinda gross zombie portrait, darkly enchanting jewelry, cute yet sinister embroidery pieces, ominous salvaged home goods, or some horrifying ceramics with teeth, you’ll have plenty to explore and consider. Live music and performances will keep crowds entertained, as will hands-on craft sessions, tarot readings, and face-painting for kids. Noon to 8 p.m. Free. 315 SE Main St., Minneapolis; 612-339-1034. —Jessica Armbruster