Hot dudes tear off their clothes at State Theatre: A-List 4.12-18

Image courtesy event organizers.

Image courtesy event organizers.

This week in recommended events we have a strip tease for the ladies and gents who like their dudes well-oiled, an all you can eat pork and beer fest, and the return of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Come take a look.

Magic Men Live!
Historic State Theatre

Are you ready for a night full of oiled-up dudes, uncomfortable bulges, and seriously questionable copyright infringement? Magic Men Live! brings to life some of the sexiest movies of all time, including performances inspired by Magic Mike, Fifty Shades of Grey, and 300 (for those who apparently have a things for swords and CGI). There will be sexy dancing, comedy skits, and theatrics, but the real reason for coming out is the audience participation. If you’ve never been to an all-male revue, it’s basically two hours of batshit insanity, with the audience leaving their inhibitions at home with their husbands, boyfriends, and babysitters, and raging in what has the potential to become the biggest bachelorette party you’ve ever seen. Performed by the dudes from Premier Gentlemen, this show brings all the glitz and dicks of a Vegas production to the theater district of Minneapolis. Grab your girlfriends and start coming up with excuses as to why you’re going to be rolling in at 2 a.m. covered in oil and glitter. 8 p.m. Saturday. $24-$79. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Patrick Strait 


Matt Richards
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Standup comedian Matt Richards wants to relocate to the United Kingdom. “Police violence is getting crazy in the United States,” he tells an audience. “That’s why I’m moving to England this summer. Cops there don’t have guns. You know how they arrest people in England? Politely.” Adopting an English accent, he imagines a scenario: “Excuse me, sir? You’re being rather naughty. Take these handcuffs, go home, and when you realize how naughty you’ve been, turn yourself in.” He’s not sure he’d be able to adapt to life in Britain, though. “All my knowledge of the U.K. came from Harry Potter movies. If I go over there and it’s not like Harry Potter, I don’t what I’m going to do.” Actually, Richards is far too busy with projects here to go overseas. He is currently hosting WeTV’s Ghosts in the Hood, which, as the title implies, is a ghost-hunting program centered on urban neighborhoods. He is also a regular on MTV2’s Joking Off. 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $13-$22., 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

(The King of the Belgians)


Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
St. Anthony Main Theatre and other locations

Audiences seeking true representation of the larger world need only peruse the progressive programming of the 36th annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF). The multi-week event features an impressive 350 films from over 70 countries. Commencing and closing with two Minnesota premieres (respectively, the lavish adventure The Lost City of Z and the buzz-worthy mockumentary King of the Belgians), MSPIFF categorizes its programming around such major themes as contemporary global concerns, black cinema, LGBTQ lives, and women and film, a collection showcasing female filmmakers. Minnesota Made offers a local spotlight, while worldwide perspectives are explored with categories such as Asian Frontiers, Cine Latino, Images of Africa, and Midnight Sun (Nordic). Moving beyond feature-length films, MSPIFF also showcases a wide selection of documentaries and short films, while Frame Forward: Cinema Expanded explores experimental works. This year’s festival also offers tributes to Frederick Wiseman and Sarah Pillsbury, a slate of special events, panel discussions, and a virtual and augmented reality exhibition. The MSPIFF website,, gives full details on all selections, encouraging audiences to make their own schedules as wonderfully idiosyncratic as the festival itself. $6-$13 single tickets; special packages available. 115 Main St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-4723. Through April 29 —Brad Richason

Haters Roast: The Shady Tour
Pantages Theatre

Roasts are always unpredictable, but this one is likely to shock even the most grizzled comedy fans. An all-star cast of queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race will take the stage for one night only, and nothing will be off-limits. Alaska, Kim Chi, Trixie Mattel, Jinkx Monsoon, Phi Phi O’Hara, Latrice Royale, Bob the Drag Queen, and host Ginger Minj will be hammering away on everything — politics, love, social media, and even each other — in a no-holds-barred burn fest that will certainly not be suitable for all ages (though technically there is no age limit for the show). This has been one of the hottest tickets across the country, selling out venues everywhere they go. That means you better get a jump on it if you want to witness the most fabulous verbal massacre outside of your family’s Easter dinner. 8 p.m. $26-$170. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Patrick Strait

Shapiro & Smith Dance
The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

Shapiro & Smith Dance takes its 30th anniversary as an opportunity to celebrate women of valor on all fronts. Company director Joanie Smith has invited ladies whose jobs involve physical skill and danger, such as firefighters and police, to the Thursday night performance. There, they will witness Smith’s astonishing 2010 work “Bolero,” this time performed by all women. Using Ravel’s score, Smith has molded a dance that sparks references to a 21st-century zeitgeist spinning out of control. In a recent rehearsal, a band of stridently athletic women catapulted across the floor in a fluid, constantly shifting group dynamic. Sometimes they resembled Amazonian warriors, sometimes they were people cast adrift in an anarchic world where terrorism, global warfare, and cyberspace anxieties collide. Women also rule in a restaging of “Moonlight,” a work of swoon-worthy Romantic lyricism set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Smith also reprises her 2011 work, “Burning Air,” about the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894. It’s a piece that summons all the pity and terror of, as she explains, “huddling in 18 inches of water, next to wild foxes and deer, hoping the firestorm passes over.” The men get their moment in a new trio, “A Naked Man’s Shirt,” in which Smith examines power and competition with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $29. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through Saturday —Linda Shapiro

Joyful Riders Club: Thursday Ride II
Surly Brewing Company

We’re now into the second week of 30 Days of Biking. Weekly rides and happenings are in full swing, and the weather is making it much easier to partake than in past, snowier years. One such weekly happening is the Joyful Riders Club’s Thursday Ride. They’ll be meeting at Surly Brewing Company at 6 p.m. All ages and skill levels are welcome, as this will be a slow, low-stress roll from Minneapolis to New Bohemia on West Seventh Street in St. Paul. Mario Macaruso and Patrick Stephenson, 30 Days of Biking friends, will lead the way. Can’t make it this week? The group will be meeting every Thursday through the month of April, and the club continues to ride monthly year-round. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 763-535-3330. —Jessica Armbruster

Matt Bergman
The Joke Joint Comedy Club

There’s no shortage of comedians who were inspired by giants like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Bill Hicks, and Mitch Hedberg. “The first two comedy shows I ever went to were Gallagher, and that was followed by Carrot Top,” says comedian Matt Bergman. “Both comics you might describe as two of the hackiest comics, but I remember watching them at the time and laughing and everyone else laughing.” Bergman was intrigued that these comedians could get that kind of response from a room full of people. “I think I was addicted to that,” he adds. While the comedy world has been kinder to Carrot Top, Gallagher remains a controversial figure (his 2011 appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and other public outbursts have dipped into career-killing territory). Bergman found Gallagher to be a nice guy when he taped a show with him on Axis TV called Gotham Comedy Live. “I had a conversation with him, and told him I saw him when I was 16. He asked, ‘What’d you learn from me?’” Bergman recalled how Gallagher met fans before and after performances. “I thought that was pretty cool. I thought comics disappeared into the green room after the show. I would never introduce myself to people before a show — that would be terrifying.” 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


(Sherry Muyuan He)


Art Is Why I Wake Up in the Morning
Soo Visual Arts Center

Sherry Muyuan He’s exhibition at Soo Visual Art Center is all about how people connect through sharing knowledge. Guests won’t just be looking at art demonstrating this, however; at the opening reception, they’ll be invited to learn and share as well. The pieces featured in “Art Is Why I Wake Up in the Morning” are inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo, where He’s random meeting with a stranger resulted in an origami-learning session. At the opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 14, He will be inviting guests to create their own books, fashioned after breakfast items. There will be four items — eggs, toast, fruit, and cheese — all bound using a different technique. Come and learn and see the show. Free. 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263. Through May 20 —Jessica Armbruster

Surly Brewing Showcase
Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room

Most folks have tried the super-hoppy Surly Furious and the caffeinated Surly Bender by now. But at this special evening at Stanley’s, a few rare unicorn brews will be on draft. There will be Eight, a golden-hued oat wine/barleywine-style ale aged in a rye whiskey barrel; Nein, an imperial smoked Dunkelweizen, inspired by travels to Germany, with notes of clove and banana; Ten, a pale “old ale” featuring vanilla-sassafras flavors; 2016 Darkness, a spicy, chocolatey, coffee-imbued Russian imperial stout; and the 2017 barrel-aged Darkness. Yes, Furious will also be available. Start your weekend off with a pint. 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Free. 2500 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-2529. —Jessica Armbruster

Don’t You Feel It Too?
Planned Parenthood

It’s time to dance for the revolution. Each year on Good Friday, protesters show up at Planned Parenthood facilities around the country. This year a counter-protest, called Solidarity Day, has been organized. For the local event, Don’t You Feel It Too brings its healing movement of love to the nonprofit, whose funding has been a major battleground topic in this year’s lawmaking session. DYFIT is known of its quirky brand of public art, facilitating dance sessions featuring headphones-wearing participants on sidewalks, in streets, at art festivals, and in other public spaces. As the political climate continues to heat up, DYFIT has launched a new series, Welcome to the Fire, which brings the love to conflict zones, exploring the group’s relationship to activism. Bring some headphones and a playlist full of music you love, and get ready to move. Folks are welcome to join at any point throughout the day. For more info, visit 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 671 Vandalia St., St Paul; 651-698-2406. —Sheila Regan

(Image courtesy event organizers)


The Bacon and Beer Classic
Nicollet Island Pavilion

Spring is here, and the New Year’s resolutions are forgotten. It’s time to loosen that belt as Nicollet Island Pavilion gets deliciously greasy. The Bacon and Beer Classic features samples from over a dozen breweries — including Lagunitas, Indeed, 612, Guinness, Canal Park, and Bald Man — and roughly the same number of bacon-infused dishes from staff at Fire Lake, Pinstripes, O’Cheeze, and others. Enjoy bottomless bacon strips and brew, plus samples of porkified vittles such as Singapore bacon noodles, a rotisserie pork belly BLT, habanero bacon mac ’n’ cheese, and homemade bacon and beer gelato. Giant Jenga, eating contests, and a photo booth provide fun between grazing. Pop some antacids, put on some stretchy pants, and come on down. Tickets and more info can be found at 21+. Noon to 11 p.m. $45-$55. 40 Power St., Minneapolis; 651-642-1049. —Loren Green

Lowertown Pop Minnesota Makers’ Market
Union Depot

This Saturday, the Union Depot will turn into a local makers’ mart as artists, designers, brewmasters, distillers, and others will set up shop and sell their wares. Check out handmade soaps from the Bath Bird, sample Double Take Salsa, or buy some art for your wall from Hagen and Oaks. Other participants include Excelsior Candle Company, Bee Line Honey, Anywhere Apparel, and Taki Watching. Demonstration sessions on cocktail making, aromatherapy, and cooking with Bloody Marys (not just drinking them while cooking) will be offered. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit River’s Edge Academy, a program that educates kids and teens through experiential learning and small class sizes. For tickets and more info, visit 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $10-$15. 214 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700. —Jessica Armbruster

The Bluest Eye
Guthrie Theater

Though beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, racism has a knack for impairing otherwise perfect vision, distorting reality to fit the most atrocious beliefs. Sadder yet is the notion that victims have no recourse. Such is the dilemma faced by Pecola Breedlove, an 11-year-old black girl struggling to grow up amid the virulent racial animosity of 1940s Ohio in Toni Morrison’s debut novel, The Bluest Eye. Pecola’s desperate wish to be granted eyes blue enough to dispel the hatred of the surrounding world is a heartbreakingly earnest hope, but does not offer any solutions to the social debasement imposed upon her community or the harrowing abuse endured in her fractious home. Detailing these conditions with an intimate understanding, Morrison wrote her novel as an impressionistic tragedy presented from myriad perspectives. Retaining the spirit of Morrison’s original vision, playwright Lydia R. Diamond adapted the piece to encompass outside inequities and internal suffering, bringing to life a poignantly rendered coming-of-age story that retains the singular voice of Morrison’s richly evocative text. Featuring the Guthrie debut of director Lileana Blain-Cruz, The Bluest Eye provides a timely perspective on how racism can poison an entire society’s sense of self-worth. The show is in previews April 15-20. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 7 p.m. Sundays. Check online for additional showtimes. $29-$77; $15-$59 previews. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through May 21 —Brad Richason

Tax March MN
Minnesota State Capitol

This Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march to the White House in Washington D.C. to demand that Trump release his tax statements. The movement also calls for increased transparency in politics, including disclosing potential conflicts of interest, business ties, and other situations that encourage financial bias. Folks will be marching in Minnesota, too, and all around the nation. Here in town people will be meeting on the north side of the Veterans’ Services Building (20 W. 12th St., St. Paul). Marchers will make their way from there to the State Capitol for a rally that will include speeches from Mayor Betsy Hodges, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Sen. John Marty, among others. For more info, visit 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. 75 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul; 651-296-2881. —Jessica Armbruster