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Golden Girls Bar Crawl, old-school and MN-made arcade games: This week's top events

Darin Kamnetz

Darin Kamnetz

Beer, video games, dog parties, and local art. What more could you want from a jam-packed week of happenings?

Art 4 Shelter

Art 4 Shelter

 

WEDNESDAY 5.9

8th Annual Art 4 Shelter
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Each year, Minnesota artists come together to help the homeless, donating beautiful works to the Art 4 Shelter benefit for Simpson Housing Services. During the party, guests can check out pieces and take them directly off the walls to purchase them. Though you won’t know the artist until you check the back, this is your chance to nab a Jim Denomie, a Ruthann Godollei, or a Jodi Reeb, and you can feel extra happy about it because you are contributing to an organization that offers support and housing for people in need. This year, the event is moving to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Prices will be low, with 5-by-7 inch pieces set at $35, and 8-by-10 inch works going for $90. Find more info at www.art4shelter.org. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. —Sheila Regan

Claire Dederer
Magers & Quinn Booksellers

Something happened to New York Times best-selling author Claire Dederer around age 44. The married mother of two was subsumed by despair, too distracted to work, and unusually libidinous. “I felt more like a 17-year-old boy: horny, sleepy, confused,” she writes in her new memoir, Love and Trouble. In an attempt to understand the sudden resurgence of her sexual appetite, she retreated to her study and unearthed photographic and journal remnants of the “disastrous pirate slut of a girl” she once was. Her unconventional upbringing—including separated parents, her mother’s young lover, and an assault by a sexual predator—may explain why, as an adult, Dederer committed to a quiet, stable domestic life on an island near Seattle, but that understanding didn’t resolve her newfound restlessness. Throughout this blunt and intimate coming-of-age/midlife reckoning memoir, Dederer experiments with form, using the alphabet, a map, open letters, a psychological case study, and instructional writing (such as “How to Have Sex with Your Husband of Fifteen Years”) to keep the narrative engaging and playful as she deconstructs sexuality, aging, and family ties. 7 p.m. Free. 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611. —Erica Rivera

Ryan Stout
Acme Comedy Co.

When they’re at a comedy club, observes Ryan Stout, “people have a lot of expectations that are already in place,” he says. “But typically, just as humans in day-to-day life, our expectations are almost always wrong.” To be able to misdirect audiences with a joke is fairly easy based on that. “On my new album, How to Be an Audience, I kind of play with those expectations and pick them apart.” He further describes his approach as weaving a tapestry from audience reactions. Humans often think we have things figured out only to discover the answer isn’t what we thought it was at all. “Usually it’s something that makes a lot of sense, and you think, ‘I never should have been that upset about that in the first place.’ We just want to tell ourselves everything is going to be okay,” Stout says. “So we tell ourselves stories, and those stories don’t always make sense, which is kind of the crux of my new hour: things that feel good but don’t make sense.” 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

L-R: Charles Campbell, Erinn Liebhard, Brian J. Evans, Rory Wakemup

L-R: Charles Campbell, Erinn Liebhard, Brian J. Evans, Rory Wakemup

THURSDAY 5.10

The Right Here Showcase
Off-Leash Area Art Box

The Right Here Showcase returns for a fourth year this May. The two-week festival of new work by mid-career artists has moved to the Art Box, Off-Leash Area’s new home, to fill each weekend with a mix of dance, performance, and audience participation. The first week features dancer and choreographer Erinn Liebhard, and Charles Campbell, who explores economic inequities in a work performed by dancers Megan Mayer and Erika Hansen. The second week’s lineup will include dancer and performer Brian J. Evans in his last local show before he moves out of Minnesota, and Anishinaabe artist Rory Wakemup, who mixes pop culture, video games, Native history, and activism into his energetic works. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays. $10-$30 sliding payscale. 4200 E. 54th St., Minneapolis; 612-724-7372. Through May 20 —Sheila Regan

Promo

Promo

FRIDAY 5.11

Jay Pharoah
Varsity Theater

When America first met Jay Pharoah, it was because he was really, really good at being other people. The SNL alum became a household name thanks to his dead-on impressions of everyone, including Barack Obama, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and even Nicolas Cage. But after leaving the show two years ago, Pharoah has been hard at work, letting the world know he has his own voice and he’s not afraid to use it. In addition to a nonstop touring standup schedule, he recently starred in his own TV series for Showtime (the too-soon canceled White Famous, where Pharoah plays a talented black comedian making the jump to crossover celebrity), took on his first dramatic role in the Steven Soderbergh psychological horror film Unsane, and got crazy-ripped. (Seriously. The New York Times just did a feature about Pharoah and specifically called out his abs.) But he’s still a comedian and impressionist first, and this week he’ll be bringing his arsenal of celebrity voices and personal life experiences to the Varsity. From his impression of Jay-Z to his stories about navigating post-SNLfame, Pharoah’s comedy is on the cusp of making the leap from theaters to arenas, which means this could be one of your last chances to see those abs up close. All ages. 7 p.m. $20-$35. 1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-217-7701. —Patrick Strait

Outdoor Arcade Party
Bad Weather Brewing Company

This weekend, Bad Weather Brewing hopes to spark nostalgia in your heart. From Friday through Sunday, the brewpub will have over 30 classic arcade games on its patio and in its parking lot, and they can be played endlessly for a $5 cover charge. Think Space Invaders, Pac Man, and Donkey Kong. Bar games like skee ball, pinball, and ping-pong will also be available if you’re even more old-school. Food trucks will be stopping by each day, and Bad Weather will have special beers on tap, including the hazy IPA Fog of War, the Helles Lager, and Anomaly, a passion fruit sour ale. They’ll also have tasty staples like the red IPA Windvane, Hopcromancer, and Ominous, a double brown ale. So push those “punch” and “dodge” buttons until your thumbs bleed. This event is all ages, and kids are welcome. 3 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Free; $5 for unlimited arcade game play. 414 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 651-207-6627. Through Sunday —Loren Green

Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater: Matinee
Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

The prodigiously talented performers of Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater tackle a short story by fabulist author Robert Coover. For Matinee, artistic co-directors Stuart Pimsler and Suzanne Costello partner with filmmaker Andrew Welken to transform a mash-up of genre films into an immersive theatrical experience. The work explores the complexities of relationships and changing realities through a narrative puzzle that shifts locations, from train cars to shabby hotel rooms to wilderness vistas—and that’s just for starters. Matinee revives the thrilling days of yesteryear, when cinema was for millions the chief purveyor of dreams and escapism. While honoring these la la lands, the work also unpacks the promises of the dream merchants who created them. Since its premiere in 2017, the production has toured nationally. It should be even sharper and more luminous this time out. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $20-$30. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through Sunday —Linda Shapiro

Anthony Jeselnik
Pantages Theatre

Adopting an onstage persona callous enough to be classified as sociopathic, Anthony Jeselnik seems to delight in playing devil’s advocate, all but daring audiences to laugh at the most blatantly distasteful of jokes. With lesser comics such an act could quickly grow tired, but Jeselnik’s carefully calibrated routine has clever setups that anticipate and subvert expectations before paying off with deftly timed delivery. Riffing on an ever-escalating series of social taboos, Jeselnik evokes helpless laughter that could be categorized as a kind of cathartic blasphemy. Even so, his brash approach follows a defiant comic tradition, one that less audacious comedians abandoned in a bid for mass appeal. Jeselnik seems to recognize that his brand is for a crowd that can find the humor in the nastier side of human behavior. 8 and 10:30 p.m. $38. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Brad Richason

Taking Shakespeare
Gremlin Theatre

In John Murrell’s Taking Shakespeare, Murph, a college student who would rather play video games than struggle through the work of some Elizabethan playwright, is brought under the tutelage of an aged teacher. Though the professor (known as Prof) is not without doubts concerning her own effectiveness, the two find themselves forging an unexpected connection in their study of Othello. Guided through the once-impenetrable text, Murph is taken aback by his emotional reaction to the tale, just as Prof is compelled to view the narrative through her student’s refreshingly unaffected perspective. It’s within this shared character growth that Taking Shakespeare is elevated from the “inspirational teacher reaches a gifted but troubled student” trope as the multigenerational pair share a vulnerability in their responses to a timeless work of art. Produced by Gremlin Theatre, this local premiere features the headlining duo of Linda Kelsey and John A. W. Stephens under the adept direction of Peter Christian Hanson. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Monday, May 21; 3 p.m. Sundays. $28; pay half your age for those under 30. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 651-228-7008. Through June 3 —Brad Richason

Pints and Pups

Pints and Pups

SATURDAY 5.12

Pints & Pups
Boom Island Brewing Company

Boom Island is dog-friendly every day. This week, however, the canine focus is more charitable, as the taproom is set to host a fundraiser for the Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue. They will also be showcasing adoption-ready pups from Pet Haven, a local rescue organization founded in 1952. Beer fans can drink Belgian-style pints for a cause, and prospective adopters can meet foster pets in person. There will also be a best-dressed contest for pups, a dog DNA kit raffle (if you want to find out your pooch’s breed), and other fun activities, proving that the ultimate beer pairing is a friendly dog. 1 to 6 p.m. Free. 2014 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-227-9635. —Loren Green

Golden Girls Bar Crawl 2018
Various locations

Day drinking is a time-honored activity best done with friends. This Saturday, the Flip Phone peeps invite you to celebrate those silver and gold friendships while toasting to the ultimate friend show, The Golden Girls. This bar crawl starts at the buttcrack of dawn, but the fun you will have makes it worth your while. Each route is named after the fab four. So choose who you will follow, be it the sexually progressive Blanche, the sweet and kind Rose, the no-bullshit Dorothy, or the mischievous Sophia. Each group will make its way to a variety of downtown bars, including the Pourhouse, Union Rooftop, Mercy Restaurant, Shouthouse, and the Saloon. At each stop, you’ll find Golden Girls-themed entertainment, including drag performances, singalongs, and trivia. Dress as your favorite character (you don’t have to dress in theme with your route), and get to Pourhouse early, where they’ll be attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as a Golden Girl under one roof (yes, that is a thing). Ten percent of all proceeds from bar sales will benefit OutFront MN. Find tickets at eventbrite.com. 21+. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. $27.39. —Jessica Armbruster

Birthday Bash: 8th Ed.
Urban Growler Brewing Company

Glitch is an organization that is all about supporting locally made digital games. Throughout the year, they offer grants, programs, fellowships, and more to promote the Twin Cities gaming community. This Saturday, they will be celebrating eight years with a party featuring all kinds of treats. Venture into the arcade area for free video games made by Minnesotans. Snack on doughnuts and beer. Stop by the photobooth, and learn a little bit more about what Glitch has coming up. Do you have a game you’d like to add to the arcade? Sign up online to contribute. 6 to 10 p.m. Free; RSVP at eventbrite.com. 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul; 651-340-5793. —Jessica Armbruster

2018 Craftstravaganza
Grain Belt Bottling House

Craftstravaganza is bringing makers together again for one epic sale. Whether your aesthetic is lumbersexual, twee, edgy punk, or bohemian, you’ll find something here worth checking out. There will be tassel hoop earrings (Willow Tree Jewelry), Prince-inspired soap (Minnesoapa), gig posters (Aesthetic Apparatus), and candles that crackle (’Sota Cracklers). Shop for your baby, your pup, your rocker boyfriend, your dear sweet mom (Mother’s Day is tomorrow), and yourself. Find a list of all the local vendors at craftza.com. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 1215 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-781-0700. —Jessica Armbruster

Thaïs
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Before heading over to the Cowles Center for its season-closing show, Fellow Travellers, the Minnesota Opera wraps up its annual run of five productions at the Ordway with what promises to be an especially lavish presentation. Thaïs, a somewhat lesser-known opera written by Jules Massenet near the dawn of the 20th century, is a classically French production. In late 1800s France, the shows performed at the Paris Opera or the Opéra-Comique were heavily stylized and almost always included elements of ballet (even if such numbers had to be inserted into operas written elsewhere). Thaïs is a story of passion in conflict with conviction, as a monk working in ancient Egypt on behalf of the Roman Empire is tasked with converting a seductive courtesan to Christianity—but finds that it’s she who has a powerful effect on him. The title role is played by homegrown Minnesota star soprano Kelly Kaduce, last seen at the Ordway originating the role of Wendy in the Minnesota Opera’s fantastic original production of The Shining. Kaduce is joined by Grammy winner Lucas Meachem as the monk Athanaël, and Gerard Schneider as the monk’s old friend, who has fallen under Thaïs’ spell. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday May 12-19; 2 p.m. May 20. $25-$200. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. Through May 20 —Bryan Miller