Norseman turns 3, 'Dr. Who' at Can Can, queens compete for Miss LUSH 2019: A-List 2.27

Norseman Distillery turns 3 this week.

Norseman Distillery turns 3 this week. Image courtesy event organizers

Check out our picks for top happenings this week.

Beer and bacon at Urban Growler

Beer and bacon at Urban Growler Image courtesy event organizers


Bacon & Beer Days
Urban Growler Brewing Company

At Urban Growler, the staff enjoy two things during every shift: a beer and a bit of bacon. The team will be sharing these two loves with their customers this week (Wednesday is National Pig Day, after all) when they’ll create a flight that pairs five specialty beers with crisp, smoked, salted pork. The beer menu is yet to be fully released, but it will include a dark coffee stout, a sweet maple California common, a rum-barrel aged porter, and Cowbell Cream Ale, their versatile flagship brew. Pig out on other treats as well, such as bacon mac ’n’ cheese, BLTs, candied bacon, and a one-time bacon sampler plate. 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Free. 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul; 651-340-5793. Through Thursday —Loren Green

Pete Lee
Acme Comedy Co.

Back in December, Pete Lee appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for the fourth time. While that would be a bragging point for a lot of comedians, Lee, always humble, grateful, and pleasant, isn’t one for that. His memory of the night before is almost as entertaining as his jokes were. “I slept on an air mattress in my empty apartment,” he recalls. “I had already packed up everything and gotten rid of my furniture to move out to Los Angeles, so I only had the air mattress and my suit hanging up on the other side of the room.” This week, one of the funniest and most likeable comedians to ever come out of Acme will return to the place where he got his start. “I just celebrated my 21st anniversary in comedy,” he says. “I did my very first set at Acme, so to be able to come back and get to be a part of the club is really special to me.” In addition to his late-night appearances and nonstop touring schedule, Lee can be seen regularly on Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar, talking about whatever’s going on in the world at the moment. But even with all of his success, he still gets just as charged up for Acme as he did over two decades ago. “Louis [Lee, Acme’s owner] has been such a mentor to me,” he says. “I have so many great friends there, and getting to work with the newer comics is so much fun.” 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

Jodi Reeb, 'Morning'

Jodi Reeb, 'Morning'


Jodi Reeb: Re-imagined Landscapes
Concordia Gallery

The polar vortex and an accident with the city’s water main disrupted the opening reception in January for artist Jodi Reeb’s latest exhibition, “Re-imagined Landscapes,” at Concordia Gallery. This week, she’s giving it another try. The show features Reeb’s mixed-media work, created using photographs and encaustic paint (aka melted beeswax). The effect is luminous, with pieces that have an almost cinematic quality, and somehow also evoke the melancholy mood of a rainy day. Reeb focuses on the horizon line for this collection, exploring its metaphorical possibilities as she uses her memory to recreate landscapes. Meanwhile, sculptor Priya Thoresen’s latest exhibition, “Material Presence,” uses ceramic materials in unconventional ways to create three-dimensional objects. The public reception on Thursday, February 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. will celebrate both shows, which are running concurrent in the space. 1301 Marshall Ave., Concordia University, St. Paul; 651-641-8278. Through March 1 —Sheila Regan

Third Birthday Party
Norseman Distillery

This week, Norseman Distillery is turning three with a three-day party. Scheduled events include art, booze, and prize giveaways. Guest bartenders will sling a variety of tasty drinks: Michael Senich (Fhima) will be in on Thursday, Jon Olson (Esker Grove) takes over Friday, and the grand finale on Saturday will feature both dudes making drinks. Things kick off on Thursday with the opening of a gallery show featuring work by self-taught abstract artist Emily Quandahl, and a boombox-themed mural reveal from Impulse Creative. Jon Wipfli’s Animales BBQ food truck will be stopping by on Friday and Saturday to serve up meat and other eats, and tattoo artist Taylor Dees will be onsite inking interested folks. Revelers will also have a chance to win a coveted Norseman coin, a pretty penny that scores you a free drink at the bar on each visit. Every drink you order during the party enters you to win, or you can make a bid for one during the daily auctions, the proceeds of which will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 1 p.m. Saturday. Free. 451 Taft St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-568-6299. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

Aida Rodriguez
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

People have all kinds of jobs before becoming standup comics. Aida Rodriguez was a model.

“I started when I was in high school,” she says. “I’ve always been very tall. I did enjoy it to some degree, but it just wasn’t for me. I got tired of being hungry all the time.” A self-described goofball, she was always drawn to comedy. “My mom told me recently that when I was little I used to grab a broomstick and be the entertainment in our house. So I finally came back to my first love.” Born in Boston, Rodriguez didn’t spend much time in Beantown, as her parents soon moved to the Dominican Republic. “My father was an undocumented worker,” she explains. She eventually moved with her Puerto Rican mother to that island. “We then moved to south Florida so I could have a better life.” It was while doing Jamie Foxx’s radio show that she finally decided to do standup. “They kept telling me, ‘You should be doing standup.’ So one day I just did it. And I kept going back and here I am.” Rodriguez’s sometimes bawdy set focuses mostly on relationships and her day-to-day life. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Gabriel Rutledge

Gabriel Rutledge Image courtesy the standup


Gabriel Rutledge
Joke Joint at Camp Bar

At first glance you might mistake comedian Gabriel Rutledge for musician Dave Grohl. “I do look super northwest, there’s no getting around that,” he says with a laugh. “Before I had long hair and a beard I got a lot of Tim Curry, but as soon as I grew the beard it was Dave Grohl.” Coincidentally, Rutledge used to be a rock drummer. “I was in a few bands that toured the country,” he says. “I was almost 27 when I started comedy.” It was on a whim that he went to an open mic at the Comedy Underground in Seattle. “I liked it enough to keep going back.” He was also encouraged by the apparent lack of competition. “It’s nice to compare yourself to other open-mic comedians because some of them are legit insane people. You think, ‘You know what? I’m pretty good. This makes a lot of sense.’” Not one for current events, Rutledge talks about his personal life and being a—mostly—stay-at-home dad. 8 p.m. Friday; 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $20-$25. 490 Robert St. N., St. Paul; 651-330-9078. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Alternative Motion Project: 8
The Lab Theater

For its eighth season, Alternative Motion Project (AMP) pulls out all the stops. The program includes three world premieres: a whirlwind for nine dancers with music performed live by the 55-person Symphonic Winds with soprano Lindsay Kesselman, a piece by Laura Selle Virtucio with an original score by sound designer Dan Dukich, and a piece influenced by a survey sent to supporters. A fourth work, a duet for two women, debuted during Doug Varone’s choreographic mentorship program last year. That aural and kinetic feast explores a panoply of emotions and relationships with verve. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (post-show events follow); 2 p.m. (ASL interpreted). $17-$20; pay-as-able Sunday. 700 N. First St., Minneapolis. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre

Mamma Mia!
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

There’s a fitting symmetry to Mamma Mia!, the tremendously popular Broadway musical inspired by the tremendously popular songs of ABBA. While the group’s output was sometimes critically dismissed as insubstantial pop, such assessments tended to overlook the Swedish band’s inspired mastery of cascading harmonies and soaring melodies. The invigorating power of ABBA’s music remains undeniable, especially when a dance floor is involved. Such music also happens to make the perfect soundtrack for a jukebox musical, as recognized by British playwright Catherine Johnson, who, utilizing a catalog of ABBA tunes, crafted an escapist tale of romantic longing. Set on a fictional Greek island, the story follows a young woman who is determined to identify her biological father on the eve on her nuptials. Because Dad could be one of three men, each is invited to the wedding, an action that unsettles the lives of all involved, especially her mother, who long resolved to keep these relationships in the past. Bursting with a nonstop array of romantic complications, this Michael Brindisi-directed work makes no apologies for its aspirations to intoxicate audiences with immaculately crafted pop. Showtimes vary, check online at $53-$93. 501 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; 952-934-1525. Through September 28 —Brad Richason

Joffrey Ballet

Joffrey Ballet Cheryl Mann


The Joffrey Ballet

Fresh off its recent world premiere in Chicago, the resplendent Joffrey Ballet company’s newest work, Anna Karenina, packs Tolstoy’s 800-page novel of passion and power into 13 brisk scenes with a running time of two hours. Created by choreographer Yuri Possokhov, with music by Ilya Demutsky (performed with live orchestra), the two-act work tells the tale of a married noblewoman who succumbs to Count Vronsky, a dashing yet ignoble cavalry officer. The impeccable dancers, performing classical ballet in the midst of dazzling contemporary stagecraft, convey an imaginative staging of the story. Possokhov has been lavished with critical and popular acclaim for transforming the canonical novel into a 21st-century ballet. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $33-$75. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre

Dr. Who Party
Can Can Wonderland

This Saturday, the Doctor and friends will arrive in our present day to party in St. Paul. The evening will feature a variety of performance, cosplay, and spectacle in the already surreal Can Can Wonderland space. Burlesque performers and drag artists will be geeking out, Dr. Who-style. Sexy shimmying in a fez, drag angels, and disco-fueled Daleks are all on the table. Test your knowledge of this epic, multi-decade-spanning show during a trivia session, and hit the dance floor until your TARDIS calls you home. 21+. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. $5. 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 004, St. Paul; 651-925-2261. —Jessica Armbruster

Kamaree Williams (in pink) wears her crown at Miss LUSH 2018.

Kamaree Williams (in pink) wears her crown at Miss LUSH 2018. FB


Miss LUSH Pageant 2019

While many pageant shows have grown dated, stale, or downright creepy, drag pageantry continues to give us the glitz, tackiness, and glamour at the heart of these competitions. This Sunday, up to 10 queens will vie for the jewel-encrusted crown that will make them Miss LUSH. To win, they’ll have to jump through a variety of hoops in three challenging categories. First, they’ll strut on the catwalk in their boldest couture. Then they will charm judges with their wit, eloquence, and sass during an interview. Finally, the talent show portion should keep things weird and wild until reigning queen Kamaree Williams bestows her crown upon this year’s winner. 18+. 7 to 10 p.m. $10. 990 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-208-0358. —Jessica Armbruster

Demetri Martin
Historic State Theatre

Formerly a staff writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien and once a regular on The Daily Show, 45-year-old Demetri Martin has cultivated a wryly detached persona fixated on the eccentricities of everyday minutia. Through his singular blend of cerebral absurdities and clever one-liners, Martin has refined his signature approach to comedy. His offbeat focus has yielded a plethora of material, including his most recent release for Netflix, The Overthinker. Through it all, Martin’s cult following can rely on his performances to incorporate a mixture of droll quips, self-performed musical backing, and an oversized sketch pad, which he uses to document idiosyncratic notions. Less predictable has been Martin’s new willingness to inject more personal diversions into his act. Delving into anecdotal storytelling has lent an entirely new dimension to his material, one that invites far more relatability without sacrificing any of his anomalous humor or wired creativity. 8 p.m. $39.50. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Brad Richason 

Kim Gordon and Dimitri Chamblas

Kim Gordon and Dimitri Chamblas Manuela Dalle


Kim Gordon and Dimitri Chamblas
American Swedish Institute

A renowned choreographer and a rock icon will come together at the American Swedish Institute this week for a wild performance organized by St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series. French dance-maker Dimitri Chamblas (dean of CalArts) will team up with alt-queen Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth). She will create sounds, he will respond with movement, and vice versa. Watch them strum, vibrate, huddle, and soar together in this free-form work birthed in the museum’s galleries. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for cocktails and to explore ASI’s current exhibitions, which include the surreal artwork of Erik Johansson. The performance will take place in the grand hall, followed by a post-performance talk with the dynamic duo. Find tickets and more info at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. $50; tickets are sold out (wait list available). 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. —Jessica Armbruster