Crazy and amazing movie posters from Ghana: A-List 5.24-30

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

This week in cool things to do we have an anime convention with all-you-can-eat ramen, a weekly party outside of U.S. Bank Stadium, and a movie where Bruce Lee joins forces with Popeye to take on Dracula and other baddies.

Ghanian Movie Paintings: Weird, Wild, and Wonderful
The Parkway Theater
In the 1980s, an industry known as mobile cinema formed in Ghana. Armed with a television, a VCR, a tape, and a generator, businesses would travel to various electricity-free villages throughout the country and host makeshift movie nights. They would screen films from Ghana and Nigeria, kung-fu flicks, Bollywood selections, and blockbuster action and comedy schlock from Hollywood. As with any business, there was a need for marketing. Stitching two flour sacks together for a canvas, artists would paint their own movie posters. The results were amazing. For Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin Williams in old-lady drag assumes a ninja-like pose as he slams a broom handle through someone’s eye. Cujo, the killer dog, looks adorable when painted to have the body of a doberman and the head of a bloodhound. In another poster, the Terminator swims through a sea of blood and guns, the “o” in his name forming a playful heart. See these posters for yourself at Parkway Theater this weekend. Nightly movie screenings include The Running Man (featuring Jesse Ventura!); The Boxer’s Omen, described as a kung-fu horror mashup with a heavy dose of psychedelia; and The Dragon Lives Again, a cinematic masterpiece that follows “Bruce Lee” as he goes to hell, joining Popeye to fight Dracula, James Bond, Clint Eastwood, and the Godfather. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday. Movies start at 9 p.m. $5-$10. 4814 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-3030. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster


Marina Franklin
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy
“I try not to watch other comedians on purpose,” says Marina Franklin. “I impersonate a lot, and part of my act is doing a lot of voices. Sometimes I can imitate specific comics quite well, so I try to stay out of the room so I don’t lift anything by accident.” Franklin’s easygoing manner is a hit with audiences. “I think it’s just a part of being authentic,” she states. “If you’re not high energy in person, why would you be high energy onstage?” Franklin notes that off stage she is very easy-going. “People find me approachable and I think likable. I don’t get upset about too many things.” Her subtle nature also comes through in her comedy. “The thing I have to fight,” she adds, “is being a sassy black comedian. When I started, there was lot of pressure to do that and I thought that’s what audiences like. I can imitate that, but it’s not who I am.” 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

Mary Mack
Acme Comedy Co.
“I like doing Memorial Day week because it’s really laid-back,” says Mary Mack of her upcoming gig at Acme Comedy Co. “It’s the start of summer, a lot of people go up to their cabins here in Minnesota, but people will stay at the beginning of the week and come out to shows.” As she sometimes does, Mack will bring her own feature act, this time a comic named Claudia Colgan. “I’m going to pull her up onstage with me sometimes because I think she’s so great.” Colgan will stay with Mack and her husband, fellow comic Tim Harmston. “We have another comic that just moved in, too, so it will be me, Tim, Claudia — Mike Lester is going to host, so I don’t know if he needs a place to stay. It’s going to be like a comedy commune here.” Mack, it seems, may have stumbled onto a side business: a comedy bed and breakfast. “I don’t want to run the breakfast part of a bed and breakfast unless breakfast is at noon. How about bed and brunch?” 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

Party on the Plaza
U.S. Bank Stadium
One of the perks of the warmer seasons in the Twin Cities is that free outdoor festivals pop up everywhere. One such ongoing happening is Party on the Plaza. Even if you can’t afford a ticket to the X Games or the Vikings, you can still hang out at the new stadium, as there will be weekly happy hours outside for the next four weeks. Each Wednesday, you’ll find food and beverages for sale, and there will be lawn games for those who need to stretch their legs after a day at the office. The musical lineup includes Tim Mahoney (May 18), Chris Hawkey (May 25), Kat Perkins (June 1), and G.B. Leighton (June 8). 4:30 to 8 p.m. Free. 900 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-338-4537. Through June 8 —Jessica Armbruster

The MADS: Live Movie-Riffing with MST3K’s Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu
Riverview Theater
Sometimes, bad movies need a little something extra in order to become so bad they’re good. That’s exactly what the crew of Mystery Science Theater 3000 did on public access television and Comedy Central in the mid-’90s. This weekend, MST3K’s Frank Conniff (he also played the aptly named TV’s Frank on the show) and co-founder Trace Beaulieu (who also starred as Dr. Clayton Forrester and the voice of Crow T. Robot) will somehow manage to shine a turd. There will be a different crappy movie each night of this two-day engagement, and the mocking will be live, so expect some off-the-cuff laughs. There will also be a meet-and-greet before the show. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $20/$25 at the door. 3800 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-7369. Through Thursday —Jessica Armbruster


David Hamlow: Mirror Stage
Minnesota Museum of American Art
One person’s trash is another person’s art, as you’ll see in this exhibition at the MMAA. Collecting bits of cardboard and plastic from residents in the Pioneer Endicott building, where the museum is located, artist David Hamlow has created found-object sculptures and geodesic structures from materials that might have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Along with his watercolors and drawings, Hamlow’s up-cycled art looks at the impact that the trash humans create every day has on the environment. The art will also evolve over the course of the show, as various participatory projects will make some of the pieces grow and change. There will be an opening reception featuring Hamlow and the show’s curator, Christopher Atkins, from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 25. Free. 141 E. Fourth St., the Historic Pioneer Endicott, St. Paul; 651-797-2571. Through July 30 —Sheila Regan


AniMinneapolis 2017
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Lovers of anime are uniting for three days of fun this weekend. Their world is an expansive and immersive one, with fandoms ranging from kid-friendly fare to series exploring more adult themes. AniMinneapolis will celebrate it all. There will be video-game sessions, including a Pokemon tournament, or go old-school and bust out a board game. Cheer on cosplayers at Saturday afternoon’s masquerade; take in panel talks covering TV shows such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and kinks like yaoi (guy-on-guy romance); and make new friends at meetups covering just about any interest, including manga, Kingdom of Hearts, Lolita fashion, and J-pop. Try your hand at love at the date auction, and break the ice by taking them to Friday’s ball. The evenings will also be filled with room parties, DJ dance sessions, and nerdcore concerts. Free pop, ramen, and other snacks will keep revelers sustained throughout shenanigans. For tickets and more info, visit Noon to 1 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $40-$52; $110 platinum registration. 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-370-1234. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

365 Days/365 Plays
Penumbra Theatre
In 2002, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks orchestrated one of the most audacious undertakings in contemporary theater. Having already endeavored to write one play a day for an entire year, Parks compiled the resultant works into 365 Days/365 Plays. Rather than attempting a single performance of the gargantuan piece, Parks set out to have the individual plays split among a host of companies from across the United States, each of which would stage synchronized premieres. The gambit was more than a mere stunt, however, as the diversity of geography, demographics, and performance venues underscored the crosscultural scope of the ambitious work, reflecting an America that continues to be shaped by people from all walks of life. Revisiting the work after 15 years, Full Circle Theater has entrusted 45 of the 365 plays to an ensemble cast, selecting pieces reflective of the current state of America. Co-directed by Rick Shiomi, Martha B. Johnson, and Harry Waters Jr. (with added “cameo directors” James A. Williams, Stephanie Lein Walseth, and Lara Trujillo), 365 Days/365 Plays: A 2017 Remix looks to present an invigorating succession encompassing everything from slapstick satire to heartrending tragedy, each examining the American psyche with an understanding forged in a common humanity. For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sundays. $25; $10 students and seniors. 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul; 651-224-3180. Through June 11 —Brad Richason

Up: The Man in the Flying Chair
Park Square Theatre
Those unfamiliar with Up: The Man in the Flying Chair might go into Theatre Pro Rata’s latest production expecting a wacky comedy. The storyline, after all, centers on a man named Walter Griffin, who achieved his greatest fame by ascending 16,000 feet on a lawn chair tethered to helium-filled balloons. But while this work from playwright Bridget Carpenter is not without flourishes of idiosyncratic humor, there’s a suffused gravitas grounding this tale of an incurable dreamer chasing a long-lost sense of freedom. Like an artist without an outlet, Walter has never been able to recapture the intoxicating sensation of transcending the responsibilities that have come to define his middle-aged, middle-class reality. Though his wife and teenage son have shown a prior affinity for Walter’s eccentric aspirations, his unreliability in the midst of personal and financial upheaval has only wrought disorder. Thankfully Theatre Pro Rata is countering the weighty subject matter with the casting of two of the Twin Cities’ most charismatic performers, John Middleton and Shanan Custer, in the lead roles of Walter and his wife. Directed by Carin Bratlie Wethern, Up: The Man in the Flying Chair suggests that those in pursuit of lofty goals would do well to maintain an emergency landing pad. For tickets, visit 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus preview shows May 24-25; 2 p.m. Sundays. $40-$60. 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through June 11 —Brad Richason



Light Grey Art Lab: Iceland’s Huldufólk
American Swedish Institute
Our collective passion for all things Icelandic continues unabated, fueled in part by the American Swedish Institute’s fantastic photographic explorations of Nordic fashion in “The Weather Diaries.” Now the museum is teaming up with Light Grey Art Lab for “Iceland’s Huldufólk,” in which the fabled unseen folk and folklore of the volcanic island are of particular interest. Trolls, fairies, and other mythical creatures embedded in the landscape of the Icelandic imagination are explored by artists who traveled there as part of Light Grey Art Lab’s residency program. Prints, photography, and other works will be available for viewing and purchase. Free with admission. 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. Through July 9 —Camille LeFevre

3rd Annual Crawfish Boil
Bent Brewstillery
For the third consecutive year, Bent Brewstillery is bringing the flavors of Louisiana to Roseville, boiling them in a pot, and serving them peel-and-eat style in the taproom. The crawfish boil is a feast, a family-friendly party, and an opportunity to check out a unique business that makes beer and gins. There will be cocktail stations serving Bent concoctions, and plenty of beer on tap. A plate of eats and a pint of brew costs $12, with crawfish, taters, corn, and chicken and sausage jambalaya. Nordic Blonde, Scottish IPA Moar, selections from the ExperimentALES collection, and the always interesting Funked Up series (wild and sour brews) will also be for sale. The event starts at noon, but the crawfish are in limited supply. Plan accordingly if you’re stopping by this Brewstillery event. All ages. Noon to midnight. Free. 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville; 844-879-2368. —Loren Green

Cinema in the Cemetery: Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Minneapolis Pioneers & Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
There will be lots of movies to watch in various parks this summer, but cemetery screenings are a bit rarer. This Memorial Day weekend, Trylon cinema is teaming up with Friends of the Cemetery to present another film. Before the show, go on a history hunt and explore the grounds, searching for “treasure” items using your smartphone. The movie, Steamboat Bill, Jr., stars Buster Keaton and starts at dusk. The burly Steamboat Bill, who needs help running his business, is disappointed when his college graduate son (Keaton), who he hasn’t seen since birth, shows up skinny and wearing a beret. Then Junior falls in love with the daughter of his rival. When a tornado hits the town, will Junior save the day? Will Steamboat Bill get over himself and learn to be a little more open-minded? You’ll have to watch to find out. Dreamland Faces will provide a live soundtrack to this silent-era classic. Drinks and snacks will also be for sale. 7 p.m. $10. 2945 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-8484. —Jessica Armbruster


Twin Cities Fetish Week
Various locations
While Minnesotans are known for being nice, we’ve also got some edge when it comes to the bedroom. This week, ditch your usual once-a-week missionary sex routine and come out for the kinkiest event of the year. Twin Cities Fetish Week kicks off Monday, and features a taste of nearly every kink, fetish, or fantasy you can imagine. From the goth-inspired Hard Mondays at the Saloon, to Ground Zero’s Forbidden Thursday featuring everything from body painting to bondage, to the Minneapolis Rubber Ball at Concord Exchange, this week is guaranteed to have something that will shock and intrigue even the most experienced connoisseurs of kink. Prices and locations vary throughout the week (there’s no cover for Hard Mondays at Saloon, but the Knights of Leather Tournament will cost you $190 for all three days), and everyone is invited to participate — or just casually take it in as a spectator. Find your finest latex bodysuit, dust off your paddle, get that chest waxed now, and get ready to let your kink-flag fly all week long. Find a complete schedule online at Through June 4 —Patrick Strait


Quinton Skinner
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
It’s the middle of the night in Minnesota when a teenage girl and her two younger brothers are woken by their father and told their mother has abandoned them. The foursome pack what they can into suitcases, pile into the car, and set out for California in search of her. That’s the compelling opening scene of Odd One Out, a wry novel by Minnesota Monthly’s senior editor (and former City Pages theater critic) Quinton Skinner. What begins as an ill-advised road trip becomes a convoluted drama told through the points of view of middle child Kevin, college-aged daughter Sam, and the lost-and-found mother. Along the way, hard lessons are learned. “Life is going to disappoint you,” Sam realizes. “Best know that going in, and settle for the small pleasure of irony, rather than expecting the clouds to part and meaning to reveal itself. And don’t expect too much from people, especially the ones you love. They simply aren’t capable of shouldering the burden.” What the narrative loses in momentum as it skips ahead in time it gains in depth as the family members uncover the mysterious truths of the people they thought they knew best. 7 p.m. Free. 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611. —Erica Rivera