Firkin Fest, unicorn art, and corgi races: A-List 4.4-10


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This week we have a very unique comedy festival, a handful of beer parties, and unicorns galore. Come take a look.

Erick Labbe

Erick Labbe


Robert Lepage: 887
Walker Art Center

Robert Lepage’s leviathan set for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and his high-concept extravaganzas for Cirque du Soleil have garnered the French-Canadian director kudos—and some critical kvetching. In 887, co-presented by the Walker Art Center and the Guthrie Theater, memory lane becomes a cabinet of wonders, as Lepage presents a dreamlike remembrance of his boyhood home in Quebec City. Lepage, who wrote and directed this solo tour de force, relates a grid of interlocking tales around the things we can’t quite remember and the things we can’t forget. Employing a set composed of dollhouse-scale buildings and meticulously crafted miniatures, Lepage combines theatrical trompe l’oeil and high-tech scenic transformations to evoke the alchemy of personal and collective histories. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday. $20-$45. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.Through Saturday —Linda Shapiro

Crash & Burn VII
Acme Comedy Co.

Four headliners. Seven shows. Make a new act or die trying. That’s the official tagline for this week’s event. The rules are fairly simple: The material performed has to be all new. Standups can work on those jokes throughout the week (or trash them entirely), but by Saturday the performers are expected to take the stage with no notes and a mostly polished set. The brainchild of Tim Slagle, Crash & Burn has become a must-see series for comedy fans who want a peek behind the curtain. This year’s iteration features Slagle alongside Acme favorite Cy Amundson, plus veteran J. Elvis Weinstein and fast-rising headliner Carmen Lynch. While the potential for crashing and burning might seem high, the show has been an unbridled success for the past six years, making it one of the most creative and fun weeks on the Acme comedy calendar. Will this episode seven be Star Wars good? Or like the seventh Harry Potter movie, where it’s just a bunch of dying and boring shit in the woods? There’s only one way to find out. 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 —Patrick Strait

Five Points
Ritz Theater

Named after the infamously rough section of NYC where in the early 1800s gang allegiance was often equated with hereditary identity, Five Points follows the intersecting paths of two historic figures, an African American dancer popularly known as Master Juba and his equally renowned Irish American counterpart, John Diamond. Lauded for astonishing displays of fleet-footed abandon, these two performers would be famously bound by a series of dance challenges that managed to, in their frenzied improvisation, create such original forms as tap. Local playwright Harrison David Rivers brings this history to life with the nuances of the period, while the New York-based team of Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar amplify the drama with rhythmically propulsive songwriting. In directing this world-premiere production, Theater Latté Da artistic director Peter Rothstein oversees a charismatic cast headlined by Ben Bakken, Lamar Jefferson, and Dieter Bierbrauer. The show is in previews April 4-6. For tickets, go to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $29-$49. 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-361-6960. Through May 6 —Brad Richason




All Are Welcome Beer
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

The folks behind the “All Are Welcome Here” sign campaign are teaming up with Lakes & Legends Brewing Company for a fundraiser benefiting the ACLU. At All Are Welcome Beer, organizers have arranged a lineup of local celebrities, politicians, and artists, such as Mayor Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council member Phillipe Cunningham, arts connoisseur Robyne Robinson, and local music journalist Andrea Swensson. Musical guests include John Munson, Jeremy Messersmith, Maria Isa, and Lazerbeak. Lakes & Legends will be unveiling a brand new beer for the occasion, and you will have a chance to get your photo taken by Brent Dundore, the photographer behind the They/Them project, currently on view at Lush. Of course the real reason to go is to support the ACLU’s important work, but there will be plenty of entertainment and socializing opportunities. 5 to 10 p.m. Free. 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis; 612-999-6020. —Sheila Regan

Rip Micheals
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Rip Micheals hails from Chicago, and is probably most recognized as part of MTV’s Wild ’N Out standup comedy series. Influenced by Bernie Mac and Katt Williams, Micheals has developed a style distinctly different from his heroes’, interacting with audiences as he presents his set. “Don’t cheat,” he advises men in the crowd, “just be honest. It’s better to be honest, because women are smarter than you.” He claims he’s been caught cheating in every conceivable way, and passes the wisdom of his experiences on. “Don’t leave your phone around women,” he cautions. “Take it wherever you go. I don’t care if you’re taking a shower, put it in a Ziploc bag and tie it to your nuts. Women will unlock your voicemail.” They’ll also test you. “Women will let you tell a bold-faced lie just to see what your lyin’ face looks like, so they know.” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $16. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Emmett Ramstad

Emmett Ramstad


Emmett Ramstad: Laying in Wait
Hair + Nails Contemporary Art Gallery

Participatory artwork—whether immersive dance/theater productions that invite (aka require!) people to move from room to room while interacting with performers, or mixed-media installations in which viewers are challenged to calibrate their own experiences—haven’t been this popular since the ’60s and ’70s. But today’s practitioners are certainly engaging in some provocative explorations. One of them is Emmett Ramstad. His new piece asks participants to investigate periods of stasis, those moments in which we wait—whether with anticipation, dread, or boredom. In the waiting rooms he’s created, we get to fish for items through a hole in the floor, experience a sense of distortion, and think about what really is happening in the bathroom. Think of it as the re-contextualization of the ordinary—meaning the results could be extraordinary. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 6, from 6 to 10 p.m., and an artist’s conversation Saturday, April 28, at 7 p.m. 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. Through May 11 —Camille LeFevre

The (Almost) Complete and (Mostly) Accurate History of Alcohol
Brave New Workshop ETC Theatre

From the minds of the guys who brought you A Very Die Hard Christmas comes a new show about the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems: alcohol.The (Almost) Complete and (Mostly) Accurate History of Alcohol tells the story of alcohol’s impact on our culture, from the first Olympics all the way up to what a disaster the North Loop can become on a Thursday night. Josh Carson, the show’s co-creator, says that this “hysterical historical” tells a lot of incredible drinking stories, but that one is greater than the rest. “The greatest drinking story ever told is your own,” he says. “When we were working on ideas for a new show, we realized that alcohol is one thing that nearly everyone has in common.” With a cast full of BNW alumni, the production is likely to make you hurt from the inside, both from laughter and liver failure. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. $20. 824 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-332-6620. Through April 28 —Patrick Strait

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre
The Cowles Center

Along with joyful exuberance, flamenco dance resounds with the drama of personal and political trauma. In this welcome remounting of Susana di Palma’s 1996 work Garden of Names, Zorongo Flamenco teams up with Joe Chvala’s Flying Foot Forum and an international team of artists led by the indomitable di Palma. Garden of Names revolves around Argentina’s desaparecidos, or disappeared—the thousands of activists, students, journalists, and others kidnapped, tortured, and murdered during a period of state terrorism in the 1970s. Based on Lawrence Thornton’s award-winning novel, Imagining ArgentinaGarden of Names centers on the ability of artists to both embody pain and engender healing. This haunting spectacle includes a harsh and splendid solo, originally performed by di Palma to Holly Near’s “Hay una Mujer Disaparicida,” sung by Near and the iconic Ronnie Gilbert. A brilliant expression of anguish and fortitude, it will be performed here by Puerto Rican phenom Jeanne d’Arc Casas. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $30. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through April 15 —Linda Shapiro

L-R: Work by Angel Hawari, Matt Hinz, CL Martin

L-R: Work by Angel Hawari, Matt Hinz, CL Martin


Unicorn Art Show 4
Artspace Jackson Flats

We’re having a unicorn moment right now. In recent years, the magical creature has shown up on sparkly makeup products and pool inflatables, and was an inspiration for a drink at Starbucks. This weekend at Artspace Jackson Flats, unicorns will serve as a muse for local artists in the return of this whimsical exhibition and party. There will be pastel paintings, metal sculptures, and goth shrines festooned with gems. This year’s event, which will feature over 100 artists, is open to all magical creatures, so while the art will remain unicorn-centric, there will also be odes to dragons, mermaids, and narwhals. Check out the art at Saturday’s party, which will include cocktails, tarot readings, face painting, and eats from Gastrotruck. Come in costume, or come as you are (a sparkly freak, that is). 7 to 11 p.m. Free. 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-333-9012. —Jessica Armbruster

11th Annual Firkin Fest
The Happy Gnome

For beer aficionados, rare beer offerings can make for a destination happy hour. So the Happy Gnome’s Firkin Fest, boasting over 60 one-of-a-kind varieties, is an annual pilgrimage for many. Upon entrance, revelers will be bestowed an event glass, which they will fill with samples from breweries both near and far. Local makers will include Steel Toe, Modist, and Lake Monster. Outstate reps such as Mankato Brewery, Milk and Honey Cider (Cold Springs), and Castle Danger (Two Harbors) will be in attendance, and faraway beers will hail from California (Ballast Point), Colorado (Left Hand), and Ohio (Great Lakes). Find tickets at 21+. Noon to 4 p.m. $50; free for designated drivers. 498 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651-287-2018. —Jessica Armbruster

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Guthrie Theater

When the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released in 1967, race relations seemed to be undergoing a profound change in the United States. Coinciding with the national abolishment of anti-miscegenation laws, the film mirrored the cultural zeitgeist in its grounded storyline of a young white woman who shocks her supposedly enlightened parents by revealing that she is engaged to a black man. Rather than becoming an artifact of our nation’s racially divided past, unfortunately, the challenges of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner continue to pervade our culture, making this an ideal moment to revisit the piece via an acclaimed stage adaptation by playwright Todd Kreidler. Directed by Timothy Bond, the striking cast features Maeve Coleen Moynihan, JaBen Early, Sally Wingert, and David Manis. Show schedules vary, go to for complete times. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Saturdays starting April 21; 7 p.m. Sundays. $29-$77. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through May 27 —Brad Richason

Haunted Basement

Haunted Basement

Haunted Basement 2018 Anti-Gala
Squirrel Haus Arts

The Haunted Basement has been freaking people out for over a decade. Once housed in the Soap Factory, they are now terrifying folks in their own space on Hennepin. But before they return for Halloween haunts, the organization must raise funds. This Saturday they’ll be throwing an event at Squirrel Haus that is part rave, part dance party, and part art show. Blacklight and B-movies are the themes of the night; an art show will feature works celebrating both of these things. There will also be blacklight face painting, best utilized on the glow-in-the dark dance floor. Add in snacks, refreshments, and tarot readings, and you have a spooky night. Those who go VIP will end their evening with a special midnight performance from Transvestite Soup’s MN Rocky Horror cast. Find tickets at 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. $15; $40 VIP. 3450 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis; 612-669-8712. —Jessica Armbruster

Running of the Half Pints
Bald Man Brewing Company

Most dogs are kind of goofy—that’s why we love them, right?—but there’s something especially ridiculous about the majestic corgi. They’re short, a little stumpy, and generally happy. Which is why the Running of the Half Pints at Bald Man should be delightful. This dog festival will feature pups racing on a 120-foot track. If you have a corgi, be sure to bring them and sign them up. The cute name game is strong here; dogs with monikers like Bubble Butt, Wiggle Butt, Dewey, and Tedford Woofington are already registered. Vendors selling corgi and other doggy wares will add to festivities. Noon to 5 p.m. $5. 2020 Silver Bell Rd., Eagan; 651-600-3164. —Jessica Armbruster

Gawn! A Reading from Gentry!fication
The 1108 Artists’ Cooperative at JXTA

Local poet and graphic designer Chaun Webster drops his latest opus, GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime, this week in north Minneapolis. The book is a feast of words and images pondering race, geography, and memory. Webster’s rumination on the theme of displacement, particularly in north Minneapolis, is done through images, text, and critical discourse. As Minneapolis faces gentrification issues, both the book and the reading will offer a lot to think about. For the release party, Webster is joined by performance artist/community organizer Lisa Marie Brimmer, with music from Dameun Strange and Kahlil Brewington. 7 p.m. Free. 1108 W. Broadway Ave. N., Minneapolis. —Sheila Regan