Ice castles, pond hockey, and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival: A-List 1.22-28

Ice Castles

Ice Castles Anthony Souffle

Check out all the great stuff happening this week in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Frederick D. Somers, 'Gathering in the Light'

Frederick D. Somers, 'Gathering in the Light'


Frederick D. Somers: Borders & Betweens
American Swedish Institute

Gorgeous, saturated colors rendered in oil and pastel. Imagery that lives between representation and abstraction, taking on vibrant motion. This is the work of Frederick D. Somers. He draws inspiration from the woods and streams near his home in Northfield, but also from travels that have taken him abroad, including to Sweden. Like a trip to the Como Conservatory in the dead of winter, Somers’ art brings warmth, movement, texture, and color into these dreary days. Find out more about his work and approach at ASI’s gallery talk on Wednesday, January 22, from 6 to 8 p.m. Free with museum admission. 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. Through March 22 —Camille LeFevre

9x22 Dance/Lab: The Farewell Show
Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

In 2003, Minneapolis dancer/choreographer Laurie Van Wieren—a brilliantly unconventional performer who’s quirky in all the best ways—started 9x22 Dance/Lab. Named for the stage dimensions at BLB, the monthly presentation, which Van Wieren has curated magnanimously and ecumenically over the years, has brought in more than 500 choreographers and 1,500 dancers from around the globe to try out new material. Trusting in the inherent intelligence and benevolence of the Twin Cities dance community and its audiences, Van Wieren set up 9x22 as a conversation between performers and viewers. In her trademark white shirt and black pants, she deftly and disarmingly facilitates discussions about the work, which over the years has varied widely in style and aesthetic. The only limitations? The human imagination... and that tiny stage. Wednesday’s performance marks the end of the series. 7 p.m. doors. Tickets are currently sold out, but the afterparty for well-wishers should spill out into the restaurant following the final show. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3737. —Camille LeFevre

Ice Castles
Long Lake Regional Park

The Ice Castles are back in Minnesota for a sixth installment, this time setting up shop in New Brighton. What started with a guy in Utah trying to build an ice cave for his daughter has become a massive tourist sensation, with locations popping up all over the country. Castles feature tunnels, fountains, slides, and crawl spaces, making it feel like the movie Frozen has come to life. Construction begins in November, as professional ice artisans have been growing, harvesting, and placing up to 10,000 icicles each day to create the structure, which will be lit up by LED lights once it has reached peak winter wonderland. The Ice Castles were unveiled on January 17 and will likely remian open through March—but that’s only if the weather cooperates and stays cold enough to keep the castles frozen. So, realistically, we’re saying they’ll probably be open until at least Memorial Day. Find updates and more info at 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays; noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. $10-$22; reservations are required. 1500 Old Hwy. 8, New Brighton. Through March —Patrick Strait

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival Paul Walsh


Saint Paul Winter Carnival
Various locations

For 134 years, Minnesota has been celebrating winter and showing the world that the weather here isn’t so scary. The party returns this January for 11 days of chilly fun. That includes parades, like the nighttime Vulcan Victory Torchlight Parade and the daytime march for King Borealis. Rice Park is home to the beautiful ice sculptures and the ice bar, where you can order up beer, wine, and specialty drinks. The area will host a slew of happenings, including family festivals, a local makers’ mart, a '90s night, and a dog-friendly happy hour with Hops & Hounds. The Vulcan Snow Park at the Minnesota Fairgrounds is also stacked with things to see and do, such as snow sculpting contests, the giant snow slide and maze, sporting events and competitions, and snowboarding demos. For a complete schedule of events, see the official website,, or call the main hotline at 651-223-7400 for details. Through February 2 —Jessica Armbruster

U.S. Pond Hockey Championship
Lake Nokomis

Every year, in the dead of winter, hockey teams come together to compete in one of the most epic amateur sporting tourneys in the nation. Players come from all walks of life and backgrounds; some are retired professional athletes, others have simply been playing for years at their local pond. Some are from the Twin Cities, and some are from Canada and beyond. Divisions include youth, men, women, and rink rat, for those who are 40 and up, with the winner taking home the Golden Shovel. For those not competing, a warming tent will offer beer and eats from Green Mill, and there will be a special section for an all-ages open skate. For complete game schedules, see the official U.S. Pond Hockey website, 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. 5001 Lake Nokomis Pkwy. W., Minneapolis. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

L-R: Jamel Shabazz, 'Father and Sons,' Harlem, c. 1990; Gordon Parks, 'Black Muslim Schoolchildren,' c. 1963

L-R: Jamel Shabazz, 'Father and Sons,' Harlem, c. 1990; Gordon Parks, 'Black Muslim Schoolchildren,' c. 1963 L-R: Collection of Minnesota Museum of American Art/©The Gordon Parks Foundation; courtesy the artist and the MMAA

A Choice of Weapons, Honor, and Dignity
Minnesota Museum of American Art

The camera, particularly in the hands of Gordon Parks and Jamel Shabazz, is a powerful weapon through which black dignity, humor, and humanity are unflinchingly documented. Parks famously captured life from the Jim Crow era through the Civil Rights movement, creating now-iconic images of emotional and socio-political resonance. Inspired by Parks’ work, Shabazz has been chronicling youth culture, the hip-hop scene, and black visual culture. Together, these champions of black life have documented an evolution of empowerment. Robin Hickman-Winfield, CEO and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions and a great-niece of Parks’, curated the exhibition. An opening reception will be held this Thursday, January 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. Check online to RSVP ( 350 Robert St. N., St. Paul; 651-797-2571. Through April 19 —Camille LeFevre

Grey Rock
Guthrie Theater

Palestinian playwright and director Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Grey Rock follows Yusuf, a former television repairman living in the West Bank who intends to forge his own path to the stars by building a rocket in his shed. Despite a complete lack of financial resources, government support, or scientific proficiency, Yusuf commits to his goal with unwavering conviction. Internationally acclaimed actor Khalifa Natour makes a convincing case as Yusuf, heading up the production’s five-person Palestinian cast. Delivered with English dialogue, Grey Rock is the inaugural work commissioned and presented by the Remote Theater Project, an organization devoted to developing new works by international artists for international audiences. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $9-$32. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

"2019 McKnight Printmaking Fellowship Exhibition" at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

"2019 McKnight Printmaking Fellowship Exhibition" at Highpoint Center for Printmaking L-R: Justin Quinn, Jenny Schmid


2019 McKnight Printmaking Fellowship Exhibition
Highpoint Center for Printmaking

This week, Highpoint is hosting a reception for the McKnight Foundation’s first printmaking fellows, Jenny Schmid and Justin Quinn. The program was established in 2019, and the first recipients were chosen by a jury of prestigious curators, including Portland Art Museum’s Mary Weaver Chapin and Denver Art Museum’s John Lukavic. The two artists received $25,000, and were able to use Highpoint’s printmaking studio, get technical support, and host studio visits. Schmid, a professor at the University of Minnesota, has been continuing her work of combining mythical characters with contemporary situations using intaglio, lithography, and public art performance. Meanwhile, Quinn takes a tactile, almost sculptural approach to his intricate works on paper. See their new pieces and take in a conversation between Schmid and Quinn led by Faye Hirsch, senior editor at for Art in America, on Friday, January 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Free. 912 W. Lake S., Minneapolis; 612-871-1326. Through February 22 —Sheila Regan

Mark Morris Dance Group

Mark Morris Dance Group Mat Hayward


Mark Morris Dance Group: Pepperland

Nothing like a blast from the past to fight the end-of-January doldrums. Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandPepperland abounds with choreographer Mark Morris’ native wit and theatrical savvy. Dancers in dark glasses and vivid Carnaby Street colors echo psychedelic trips, riffs on Indian music, Asian spirituality, and all the pop-culture folderol of the Swinging Sixties. Morris’ movement borrows from modern and classical Indian dance, ballet, global, and folk dance forms. They make inspired pairings with the infinitely eclectic music of the Fab Four. Well, it’s not exactly their music, rather a reimagining of it by Ethan Iverson, whose bold new arrangements of selections from the album are performed live by a jazz ensemble of trombone, vocals, sax, percussion, and, yes, even a theremin. Expect both a deconstruction and a celebration of Beatlemania. 7:30 p.m. $22-$47. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. —Linda Shapiro

Christopher Titus
Pantages Theatre

When veteran standup comedian Christopher Titus describes his latest work, Stories I Shouldn’t Tell, as consisting of deeply personal anecdotes that he once considered too distressing for a comedy show, audiences should take note. After all, Titus has earned an acclaimed career out of mining humor from the darkest places, whether delving into his own troubled family history (beginning with his earliest special, Norman Rockwell Is Bleeding) or ruminating on the equally unnerving state of national affairs (as on his last production, Amerigeddon). Far from an exhibition of masochism, however, Titus’ material provides a mechanism for coping with life’s more unsavory situations, like coming to grips with criminally negligent parents or recovering from the epic meltdown of a toxic marriage. This combination of hilarity and heartache was especially evident on the comic’s self-titled sitcom (Titus, 2000-02), which developed a cult following that has only grown with Titus’ ongoing series of webcasts. It takes impressive audacity to publicly expose the most harrowing of tragedies. In doing so, Titus demonstrates why he remains a vital comedic talent, expelling collective trauma with the catharsis of laughter. 8 p.m. $29-$49. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Brad Richason

"The Beginning of Everything"

"The Beginning of Everything" Clarence Morgan, 'Nothing is Apparent'

The Beginning of Everything
Katherine E. Nash Gallery

Yes, they’re all artists. But what else do Henri Matisse, Jean Dubuffet, and Käthe Kollwitz have in common? What about such local luminaries as Leslie Barlow, Harriet Bart, Frank Big Bear, Jonathon Thunder, Jim Denomie, and John Schuerman? Drawing. Whether as a way of exploring a project’s inception or as an aesthetic end in itself, drawing is one of the most primal of artistic expressions. In this exhibition, featuring work by nearly 100 artists, the variety of ways in which artists’ past and present deploy the act of drawing receives attention—with results as astounding as they are diverse in technique and subject matter. A public reception will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, January 25. Free. 405 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-625-8096. Through March 28 —Camille LeFevre

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

In 1988, Iranian refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri began an 18-year layover at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris. After losing his papers, he fell into a bureaucratic limbo of Homeric proportions, and began his odyssey of living the better part of two decades at the airport, stranded between worlds. The story would later be (very) loosely adapted in Stephen Spielberg’s movie The Terminal. Before that film adaptation, prolific composer Jonathan Dove found inspiration in Nasseri’s story for the opera Flight, in which the stranded refugee connects a group of strangers awaiting their own departures. The intervening years since Nasseri’s ordeal and Flight’s premiere have only rendered the opera’s themes of humanity transcending dehumanizing borders all the more poignant. Cortez Mitchell sings the lead role in this production, which is conducted by Geoffrey McDonald and directed by David Radames Toro. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, January 30; 8 p.m. Saturday, February 1; 2 p.m. Sunday, February 2. $25-$215. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. Through February 2 —Bryan Miller

Dogs can come in from the cold at Minneapolis Cider Company

Dogs can come in from the cold at Minneapolis Cider Company Nedopekin Yuriy


Pop-Up Indoor Dog Park
Minneapolis Cider Company

During the warmer months in Minnesota, dog parks become hot spots for pups and their humans. It’s a place to meet new buddies, sniff butts, and burn off some excess energy. In the wintertime, however, dogs can get cabin fever as much as their human friends. Walks become shorter, taking a dump outside in the cold is less fun, and the parks are less frequented. But this Sunday at Minneapolis Cider Company, the dog park moves inside for a day of fun regardless of the weather. Well-behaved beasts will be invited to run, jump, and explore a 4,000-square-foot pop-up park (we’re guessing that the space’s pickleball court is being repurposed for the afternoon). Meanwhile, good boys and girls can have their own kind of fun while enjoying drinks from the bar. 1 to 5 p.m. Free. 701 SE Ninth St., Minneapolis; 612-886-1357. —Jessica Armbruster