Crashed Ice's terrifying heights, Art Shanties on Lake Harriet: A-List 1.17-23

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

This week's top events include some awesome outdoor festivals, glam art parties, and a handful of comedy shows. Come take a look.

Image courtesy the standup

Image courtesy the standup


Ali Siddiq
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I don’t think America is the greatest country in the world,” says comedian Ali Siddiq, “which is getting me a lot of flak, especially on social media. But that just gives me more material.” His contention is tied largely to the fact that we’re the only industrialized nation that doesn’t offer its citizens universal health care. “Why aren’t we in the streets protesting for free health care? And why do people think it’s a bad thing to give people free health care?” People often ask Siddiq why he doesn’t just move to, say, Canada, and wait in line for medical care and possibly die in the interim? “I’ve been to Canada,” he laughs, “and they all look pretty healthy to me. It’s probably because they don’t have the stress of worrying about getting sick. That will stress you out.” Still the trolls keep hounding him. “One guy on Facebook said, ‘Go back to Africa!’ That was the best he had. I’m not even from Africa; I’m Haitian. How are you going to make me go back to a place I’m not even from?” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$48.95. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Eliot Chang
The Joke Joint Comedy Club

Comedian, actor, and occasional improv performer Eliot Chang is a New York City native who now lives in Los Angeles. Onstage, he talks about personal experiences. “So, one of my friends came out of the closet,” he tells an audience. “When he told me, he was really worried about what I’d think. I guess I disappointed him, because I didn’t give a shit. I had more important things on my mind. He said, ‘Hey man, I’m gay.’ I said, ‘Hey man, do you have the money you owe me?’ Come out but don’t leave your money in the closet.” His friend asked him if he had any questions about his lifestyle. “I said, ‘Yeah, when you’re out with a guy, are you spending my money?’” 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 —P.F. Wilson

Jogge Sundqvist

Jogge Sundqvist


American Swedish Institute


The American Swedish Institute kicks off its 2018 schedule with a new series of exhibitions under the rubric of the handmade. It begins with “CraftBowl,” in which the works of three Swedish master craftspeople—Jögge Sundqvist (wood), Ingegerd Råman (ceramics and glass), and Bertil Vallien (glass)—have been collected in installations that go far beyond simple object displays. During the opening event, in fact, Sundqvist will do his signature “wood, sweat, and woodchips” performance to rock music. The party also includes music by Chris Koza, along with pop-up demonstrations and activities galore. The reception runs from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, January 19. The exhibition is free with admission; the preview party is $20. 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. Through April 8 —Camille LeFevre

Minnesota Dance Theatre: Carmina Burana
The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

First staged in 1978, Carmina Burana has become one of Minnesota Dance Theatre’s most enduring and acclaimed works. MDT founder Loyce Houlton crafted this enthralling piece utilizing a cantata by German composer Carl Off who, in 1936, set 24 poems to music drawn from a medieval manuscript discovered in a Benedictine monastery. The return of the production is always a cause for celebration, particularly since the group continues to employ the scintillating original choreography. Directed by Lise Houlton, Loyce’s daughter, Carmina Burana carries on one of the most cherished legacies in Twin Cities dance without any hint of musty obsolescence. The heightened sensuality is maintained by the collaborative efforts of a vital team of inspired designers, versatile musicians, and impassioned vocalists. Above all else, however, it is the deft movements of MDT’s dancers that most captivatingly convey the essence of yearning and desire. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $26-$45. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

Chris Maddock
The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge

A lot has changed since Chris Maddock recorded his last comedy album back in June of 2011. The biggest shift in Maddock’s life is probably the fact that he and his wife now have a six-year-old son, which kind of explains why he’s waited so long to record a follow-up. “I never stopped doing comedy, but taking care of my kid without daycare has been the focus,” he explains. During that time, Maddock turned his attention to performing and recording sketches with his friends and fellow comedians in the Turkeys, while still helming the infamous Death Comedy Jam open mic at Grumpy’s in downtown Minneapolis. This weekend, he’ll once again take the stage as a solo act for two shows at the Hook & Ladder Theater to record his sophomore album, Country Music Legend Chris Maddock. While he’s been actively performing over the past six years, Maddock says he decided to record a new album this past summer. “Once I set a date, the new stuff started coming out,” he says. “Then I realized that I’m a funny motherfucker.” Now in his 40s, he says that his new material is a reflection of who he has become as both a comedian and a person. “I’m a totally different guy now,” he says. “I turned into a real comic somewhere along the way.” 21+. 8 and 10 p.m. $10. 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-345-7166. —Patrick Strait

From Frame to Film/Stream Capture
MCAD Gallery

For “Frame to Frame,” Tom Schroeder, a media arts professor at MCAD, has curated a lively collection of animated films from international filmmakers that reach far beyond—in approach, aesthetic, and subject matter—what’s celebrated by glossy Hollywood awards shows. Hailing from Slovenia, Australia, Belgium, and Denmark, as well as Canada and the U.S., these innovative films utilize multi-camera techniques, materials like textiles and painted cut-outs, and more traditional methods to investigate diversity and intolerance, reality and absurdity, myth and magic. Also, the same evening, the exhibition “Stream Capture” looks at how our concepts of landscape and nature have been altered by digital technologies. There will be an opening reception for both shows from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 19. Free. 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis; 612-874-3700. Through March 4 —Camille LeFevre

Cardboard Piano
Park Square Theatre

For a bracing reminder of the awful consequences of ingrained bigotry, Park Square Theatre is presenting playwright Hansol Jung’s stirring Cardboard Piano. The Uganda-set drama is structured in two acts, the first of which concerns the love of two female teens, one a local Ugandan, the other the daughter of American missionaries. Compelled to hide their culturally denounced relationship, the girls hold a secret ceremony to exchange matrimonial vows—only to have their private moment broken by the arrival of a child soldier who serves as a prelude to imminent violence. Leaping ahead 15 years, the second act examines the haunting consequences of that fateful night, drawing a connective line between tragic past deeds and the possibility of forgiveness and redemption. Featuring a quartet of actors (Ansa Akyea, Kiara Jackson, Michael Jemison, and Adelin Phelps) under the direction of Signe V. Harriday, Cardboard Piano suggests that, given enough time, even the most appallingly brutal proponents of hate have the potential for change. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus January 23-24; 2 p.m. Sundays, plus February 3 and 17. $25-$60. 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through February 18 —Brad Richason

Crashed Ice
Cathedral of Saint Paul

While gazing on the precariously curved 500-meter ice track—which begins at the Cathedral of Saint Paul before swiftly descending 12 stories to the finish line—it isn’t difficult to appreciate the steely nerves needed to compete in a downhill ice cross skating championship. The annual Crashed Ice competition will return to St. Paul for the seventh consecutive year, marking the inaugural stop in a globe-spanning itinerary that encompasses such cities as Jyväskylä-Laajis (Finland), Marseille (France), and Edmonton (Canada). Though the corkscrewing course conjures anxiety on its own, athletic aspirations raise the stakes even higher, as the reigning men’s champion (and first man to hold the title for two years running), Cameron Naaz, is a Lakeville native aiming for a historic triple victory. Not to be outdone, the women’s circuit offers the deft athleticism of Jacqueline Legere, a professional stunt woman who captured the championship in the 2015-16 season. Look for a complete schedule at 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free; up-close viewing packages run from $10 to $350. 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul.Through Saturday —Brad Richason


The Bird House Shanty

The Bird House Shanty Jill Emmer


Art Shanty Projects
Lake Harriet

The Art Shanty Projects are really something special. The colorful structures pop on a lake against the white snow, creating a spectacular view that is an art installation all on its own. It gets even better when you take a peek inside each one. There, you’ll discover the wonder, delight, and creativity that go into making these little art houses, as most offer programming led by artists, scientists, and performers. So fill up your thermos with hot cocoa and head on over for some whimsy. Formerly housed on Medicine and White Bear Lakes, the Art Shanties are taking up residence this year in Minneapolis at Lake Harriet. Let’s hope the weather cooperates for a month of DIY art, Minnesota-style. For more info, visit 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free. 4235 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-567-6844. Through February 11 —Sheila Regan

Pictures by Mike Lynch: 1955-2017
Groveland Gallery

Hibbing-born artist Mike Lynch has an uncanny ability to capture quiet Midwestern scenes and infuse them with an aching sense of loneliness and subtle loveliness. Whether he’s painting a railyard, a church steeple, or a dive bar, his rural architectural interpretations feel both familiar and timeless. Snow, darkness, and the absence of people are hallmarks of his work, a logical aesthetic given his Iron Range roots and his upbringing by a mine watchman father. This exhibition at the Groveland Gallery, his artistic home since 1979, is a retrospective of his artwork over six decades. Lynch’s ’60s-era drawings and woodcuts will be shown with his ’70s and ’80s lithographs, alongside oil paintings, watercolors, and ink drawings that span the entire breadth of his career. There will be an opening reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, January 20. Free. 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800. Through March 3 —Erica Rivera

Adam Grabowski
Sabes Jewish Community Center 

Comedian Adam Grabowski doesn’t just want to make audiences laugh; he wants to raise awareness about mental health. The Chicago native, who studied psychology and sociology in college, suffers from depression. But it wasn’t until recently that he began speaking publicly about it. His #sayitanyway campaign encourages open dialogue. He sells bracelets inscribed with that hashtag on the outside, and “you’re not alone” on the inside. They’re colored gray, because “just like depression and mental illness, they blend in.” But the 30-year-old, now based in Los Angeles, doesn’t only talk about heavy subjects like depression onstage. He also dabbles in jokes about differences between the sexes while acknowledging that gender is on a spectrum. Grabowski has headlined in 47 states, and has appeared on America’s Got Talent. This week, he performs as part of the Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival at Sabes JCC. 16+. 7:30 p.m. $15/$18. 4330 Cedar Lake Rd. S., St. Louis Park; 952-381-3400. —Erica Rivera

Josh Winkler observes destruction in Calaveras Grove.

Josh Winkler observes destruction in Calaveras Grove. Josh Winkler

Land Body Industry
Katherine E. Nash Gallery

Despair, hope, and transformation infuse the works in this exhibition. The photos, sculpture, and films collected here document the unification of Germany, the closing of the Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn, the 1851 destruction of the Calaveras Grove of giant sequoias, and an orange grove in Palestine that suffered a similar fate. All of this is presented with an eye toward how colonialism, infrastructure, industry, and consumerism have and continue to render the past into a homogenous future. There will be a public reception Saturday, January 20, from 5 to 9 p.m., and a panel talk Thursday, February 1, at 7 p.m. 405 21st Ave. S., Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; 612-624-7530. Through February 10 —Camille LeFevre

Get Lucky
Soo Visual Arts Center

You thought holiday party season was over, didn’t you? Well, there’s still one more celebration for you attend, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Each year, Soo Visual Arts Center puts together a snazzy gala to help in its fundraising efforts for the year. It’s a chance to hobnob with artists and art lovers, taste delicious snacks from local restaurants and breweries, and bid on artwork from SooVAC’s cadre of artists. Check out works by Alyssa Baguss, Andrea Carlson, Amy Rice, Ruthann Godollei, Pay Her, and more. Music will be provided by DJ Mickey Breeze. Also, don’t worry about the parking situation if four wheels are your thing: Just like last year, the gallery is offering complimentary valet parking. 7 to 11 p.m. $50-$60/$65 at the door. 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Ste. 101, Minneapolis; 612-871-2263. —Sheila Regan


The Wiz
Children’s Theatre Company

“I’m not usually one for adapting Eurocentric endeavors and putting an African-American spin on them, but this one is different,” says Lou Bellamy about The Wiz. Its creators, he explains, “came up with something that is uniquely theirs, and ours.” Bellamy is directing a new production of the 1974 R&B musical at the Children’s Theatre Company in a collaboration with Penumbra Theatre. Most of the acting talent will come from Penumbra’s company, with mother-daughter duo Jamecia and Paris Bennett playing Glinda and Dorothy. The show’s setting, says Bellamy, will be inspired by the Great Migration. “Dorothy starts out in a black town in Kansas, of which there were many. The tornado drops her in Coney Island, and that’s where the Munchkins are. She goes to the zoo, where the lion is. The Emerald City is Harlem.” Where does Oz the Great and Powerful hold court? Bellamy doesn’t want to spoil the surprise, but here’s a hint: For actor T. Mychael Rambo, it’s star time. 7 p.m. Thursdays through Fridays; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays; 2 and 5 p.m. Sundays. $15-$64. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-874-0400. Through March 18—Jay Gabler