Loppet races (with dogs!), Pupper Bowl, and a big gay Super Bowl party: A-List 1.29-2.4

Skijoring at City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival

Skijoring at City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival Anthony Souffle

Here's this week's top happenings.


'Jogging' Marwan Tahtah


Guthrie Theater

Lebanese conceptual artist Hanane Hajj Ali’s one-woman show, Jogging, is a contemplative tour of a Beirut neighborhood and the diverse inner lives of those who make up the community. As the primary narrator, Ali invites the audience into her head as she runs along her route, reflecting on the tragedies and triumphs that have shaped her conflicted and scarred city. Along the way, the narrative broadens, transforming Ali into a series of Arab women contemplating their roles as students, activists, wives, and mothers. This composite of myriad female figures honors the complexity of a culture that is often viewed by Western audiences through a limited lens. Ali counters such reductive impressions with her energetic portrayals, authenticity, and audience interactions. Rising to the forefront of Ali’s musings is Medea, an ancient figure whose heartrending sacrifices are drawn to parallel those of contemporary Middle Eastern women. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday. $9-$32. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

Michael Palascak
Acme Comedy Co.

City Pages caught up with comedian Michael Palascak via phone from his home in Los Angeles, where he was busy taking care of his son. “I talk about being a dad some,” he says of his set. “It’s more about making fun of myself. My mom told me, ‘You better not talk about him onstage. He’s not something you use for material.’” Palascak also discusses being a comedian who travels the country. Growing up, he wanted to be an athlete, even going as far as trying out for his college baseball team at Xavier University in Cincinnati. “I didn’t make it. That’s when I started doing acting and improv.” Comedy followed when he moved to Chicago. It was something that was in him for a long time. “I just had an insane level of confidence from an early age that I could make people laugh—even though I didn’t,” he explains. “I thought, ‘I can make people laugh, they just don’t know it yet.’” Palascak has performed on nearly all of the late-night talk shows, and will be recording his shows at Acme for a new album. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$20. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

"Making Reference"

"Making Reference" Jamie Robertson


Jamie Robertson: Making Reference
Juxtaposition Arts

The portrait photography of Houston-based artist Jamie Robertson is somehow deeply personal, historical, and detached—all at once. “This series allows me to explore the history of black women in the Americas and how they were seen,” she says, “while simultaneously allowing me the agency of self-representation to confront perceptions of my own identity.” Her work is highly evocative of the past, referencing colonial-era images of black women from the Caribbean and South America, but is also critical of who originally did the framing: white people of wealth. There are typical signifiers of past eras here—think flowers in the hair and large gold hoop earrings—but also moments of vulnerability and modernity as she contemplates how subverting and recreating such histories can lead to self-reflection. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, January 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. Free. 2007 Emerson Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-588-1148. Through March 7 —Jessica Armbruster

"When the Mists Lift"

"When the Mists Lift" Chholing Taha, 'Arrival of Wintermaker'

When the Mists Lift
Metropolitan State University

Cree artist Chholing Taha breathes fresh sensibility into traditional idioms. As vivid as waking dreams, her paintings and textiles feature bright colors and detailed imagery, often in bold relief against backgrounds of elusive figures or symbols. In this solo show, curated by John Schuerman, the Anoka-based artist creates work that comes to her mind fully formed. The harmony and balance conveyed may seem more decorative at times, while telling a long-forgotten story at others. Uplifting and restorative, Taha’s pieces are a visual palate-cleanser in today’s world, offering a reprieve that enlightens the spirit. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, January 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. 700 Seventh St. E., Gordon Parks Gallery, St. Paul; 651-793-1300. Through February 27 —Camille LeFevre

"Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection"

"Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection" Harriet Bart


Harriet Bart: Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

Harriet Bart creates acts of artistic alchemy. Since her first solo exhibition at the WARM Gallery in downtown Minneapolis in 1978 (Bart was a cofounder), she’s been generating profoundly mesmerizing and evocative work (including artist books, mixed-media installations, and object-based totems) using metals, stone, wood, paper, words, and fabric. Her purpose is to commemorate, draw attention to, or signify. At times she is examining aspects of her own life, at others remembering victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City or American troops killed in Iraq. In this retrospective, which Bart organized in collaboration with Laura Wertheim Joseph, curator of exhibitions at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, her decades of heart-stopping brilliance and innovative rigor are on full display. Her work is nothing short of awe-inspiring. There will be an opening reception and preview party Friday, January 31, from 7 to 10 p.m. Free. 333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis; 612-625-9494. Through May 24 —Camille LeFevre

City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival
Theodore Wirth Park

Winter weather rarely stops Minnesotans from having outdoor fun. In fact, there are plenty of sports that can only be enjoyed in the dead of winter. See a sampling of these things at the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival, a three-day celebration of cold-weather athleticism. Most events can be found at Theodore Wirth Park, where folks can watch or compete in a variety of tournaments and races. Those include broomball, fat tire biking, cross country ski sprints, and skijoring, an adorable race wherein humans on skis are pulled by dogs. Other fun to discover includes a snow sculpting contest, a beer garden, a family-friendly festival, and the Luminary Loppet, a nighttime candlelit stroll around Lake of the Isles. For the complete schedule, visit 5 to 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Prices vary, but most events are free to watch. 1339 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-230-6400. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Bryant-Lake Bowl

The Cinematic & Audio Visual Experimentation (CAVE) Festival is back and ready to blow your mind with works that push outside the traditional mold. In addition to film screenings by local and national artists, the multi-day event includes panel discussions and a cyanotype workshop. This year’s featured filmmakers are Nazli Dinçel, a Turkish-born artist who makes her work by hand in a film lab in Milwaukee, and Margaret Rorison, a filmmaker/curator based in Baltimore, who will lead the workshop. There will be an evening of pieces by University of Iowa MFA artists, plus a showcase of Minnesota artists. The festival culminates with a reception at the Walker Art Center. 7 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A panel talk (11 a.m.) and a reception (1 p.m.) will be held Sunday at the Walker Art Center. $5-$15 sliding scale. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3737. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

Yoshitoshi, 'Picture of Penance under the Waterfall at Mount Nachi,' (1859)

Yoshitoshi, 'Picture of Penance under the Waterfall at Mount Nachi,' (1859)


Yoshitoshi: Master Draftsman Transformed
Minneapolis Institute of Art

In 2017, Mia acquired close to 300 works by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839–1892) from the Edmond Freis collection. Considered by art experts as the last major artist of the traditional Japanese woodblock print, Yoshitoshi’s technical ability to transform changing cultural tastes into exquisitely detailed work is captured in this exhibition of more than 40 works. Sketches, drawings, paintings, and printed works are on display in an exhibition that follows the artist’s career as Japan transitioned from a feudal to modern society. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through April 8 —Camille LeFevre

The Ugly One
Open Eye figure Theatre

Theater doesn’t always need to play coy. “In The Ugly One, we’ve dropped all subtlety,” says director Amy Rummenie. “It tears along at farce-like speed, and the wit is razor-sharp. It’s a nearly dizzying script, using sharp character turns to veer from scene to scene without pause.” German playwright Marius von Mayenburg has been compared to his unsparing American contemporary Neil LaBute, so get ready to wince with recognition of the hard truths in this satire about a man who seeks to improve his underwhelming appearance with plastic surgery that works all too well. Walking Shadow Theatre Company is presenting this short and punchy play at Open Eye Figure Theatre, a cocoon-like space that is always somehow redolent of its namesake company’s macabre, darkly comedic aura. That should prove a perfect fit for The Ugly One, says Rummenie. “I love how that demure proscenium arch frames the stage, focusing us in on the action.” With scene changes “in the blink of an eye,” she adds, “this will have to be all about the action.” Find tickets at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Tuesday, February 4, and Wednesday, February 12; 2 p.m. Sundays. $15-$38. 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis. Through February 16 —Jay Gabler

Pupper Bowl at Bauhaus Brew Labs

Pupper Bowl at Bauhaus Brew Labs liveslow

Pupper Bowl
Bauhaus Brew Labs

January was a rough month for Vikings and Packers fans, but the Pupper Bowl has something that will bring people together—even people who don’t know (or care!) what the first part of this sentence means. Pupper Bowl very is loosely inspired by the Super Bowl, but with dogs. The day begins with an adoption event at 11 a.m., sponsored by Ruff Start Rescue, followed by dog... football. There are three weight classes that attendees can buy into for $20 (advance registration recommended). That scores you a beer and a bandana, and you get to watch your confused pet try to score for your team. The competition should be fierce, but adorable. Other canine fun his weekend includes live TV viewings of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl on Sunday at Stanley’s (there will be mutt loaf on the menu) and at the Block in St. Louis Park. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free to watch; $20 to compete. 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-276-6911. —Loren Green

Doggie Depot
Union Depot

Once again, the Union Depot is hosting a dog party as part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The morning starts off with a dog and human yoga session (sign up online to reserve a spot), followed by things to see and do, regardless of your species. Dog-friendly breweries, restaurants, and peddlers of pup-themed paraphernalia will be in attendance with samples, coupons, and items for sale, and a brewery passport featuring these businesses will also be available for purchase at the event. The happening will culminate with the crowning of the canine king and queen of the carnival. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free. 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul; 651-202-2700. —Jessica Armbruster




Doves and Guns: The Films of John Woo
Trylon Cinema

John Woo’s enormously influential action films are revered for an escalating intensity and gunfights that play out with balletic grace. Demonstrating the filmmaker’s signature style with five of his most memorable works, the Trylon Cinema is presenting Doves and Guns: The Films of John Woo. The series begins with The Killer (1989), the Hong Kong thriller that brought Woo international acclaim via the story of a principled assassin (played by Woo’s frequent star, Chow Yun-Fat) seeking redemption while being pursued by gangsters and one particularly obsessive police detective. Woo’s U.S. debut, Hard Target (1993), presents Jean-Claude Van Damme as a Cajun seaman who runs afoul of a demented organization that makes sport out of hunting the homeless. Even more brazenly outlandish is Face/Off (1997), wherein Nicholas Cage’s cop and John Travolta’s criminal swap identities in an effort to lethally thwart the other. The series concludes back in Hong Kong, with two movies that straddle both sides of the law, Hard Boiled (1992) and A Better Tomorrow (1986), both featuring iconic Chow Yun-Fat performances, as a ruthless police officer in the former and as a tormented Triad mobster in the latter. Showtimes vary slightly each week; visit for the complete schedule. Sundays through Tuesdays. $8. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through February 25 —Brad Richason

The BIG GAY Superbowl Party

The Super Bowl is all about spectacle, binge drinking, eating trashy food, and laughing at the halftime show. Level up your celebration by adding drag to festivities. While the big sporty soap opera plays live on 11 giant screens, you’ll be able to gorge on a buffet of traditional eats (think wings, nachos, popcorn, and even vegan and vegetarian options). Every touchdown scores you a round of Jell-O shots in the team’s color/flavor. Adding a little glitz to the organized chaos will be sets from queens, including host Victoria DeVille, and a cash bar should ensure that you’ll roll into work on Monday with at least a little bit of a salt or booze hangover. RSVPs are recommended, so call to reserve a spot. 5 to 10 p.m. Free; $10 for buffet eats. 990 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-208-0358. —Jessica Armbruster