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Pond hockey and loppet races are your sports fixes this week: A-List 1.24-30

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

This week's top events feature lots of sports (hockey! curling! skiing! biking!), the always-epic Saint Paul Winter Carnival, and a great happy hour screening of RuPaul's Drag Race. Come take a look.

Comedians come to Joke Joint this Wednesday to help the Olympic team.

Comedians come to Joke Joint this Wednesday to help the Olympic team. www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling

WEDNESDAY 1.24

Standup Send-Off for U.S. Olympic Curling
Joke Joint Comedy Club

Traveling to South Korea for the Olympics is expensive. For the U.S. Olympic curling team, this is a challenge when it comes to bringing family out to be with them this February. That’s why world champion curler and new(ish) comedian Dean Gemmell is helping to raise funds with a special one-night celebration at Joke Joint. “A lot of members of the men’s and women’s teams are from Minnesota,” Gemmell says. “I know how expensive it can be to have people travel around the world to be with you when you’re competing, so I decided I wanted to do something to help them out.” Gemmell will be performing alongside New York comedian Ben Hague, as well as locals Ryan Kahl and Joe Christianson, making this the only comedy show where even if you hate comedy, you can meet a bunch of Olympians. In addition, there will be auction items that are perfect for curling nerds, including Olympic-worn gear. But the real question is: Will this be a show full of curling jokes? “I don’t usually do much curling humor. It’s too hard to explain it to a non-curling crowd,” says Gemmell with a laugh. “But for this show I might have to do a little bit.” Come for the curling humor, and stay for more curling humor. Go America! 21+. 8 p.m. $30. 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., St. Paul; 651-330-9078. —Patrick Strait

Cy Amundson
Acme Comedy Co.

It’s been a big year for comedian Cy Amundson. This past fall, the Minneapolis native was tapped to host ESPN’s Sportscenter on Snapchat. “They had a certain way of doing their app,” he explains, “and when you do something new, people take a minute to adjust. But it seems to have really taken off and I’ve heard nothing but positivity from inside and outside of ESPN.” It’s been a bit of balancing act for Amundson between standup and sportscasting, but so far it’s working out. “I’m out in Bristol, Connecticut, doing Sportscenter three days a week, then I have Thursday through Sunday to do standup. It’s diminished my desire to be on the road as much, but the drive to become an even better comic hasn’t disappeared.” The new gig hasn’t changed his standup set. “I would say it’s a nice break. I have always loved sports quite a bit, and they let me bring humor to it, but I didn’t want to suddenly become a sports comedian. I’m doing what I’ve always done onstage and talking about my life and my experiences.” Cincinnati native Mike Cronin will feature. 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

Darrin Johnson

Darrin Johnson

THURSDAY 1.25

Saint Paul Winter Carnival
Various locations

With an influx of visitors expected for the Super Bowl, the organizers of the 2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival are more determined than ever to demonstrate the festive side of our frozen climes with expanded events and dates. The celebration will mark its 132nd season with its three signature parades (the Moon Glow Pedestrian, the King Boreas Grand Day, and the Vulcan Victory Torchlight), as well as such popular standards as the coronation of winter royalty, a winter fun run, and ice carving and snow sculpting contests. A more recent highlight, the Autonomous Snow Plow Competition, returns to challenge young minds to devise robotic innovations. Of the many new attractions, the U.S. Olympic Committee-sponsored Team USA Winterfest aims to draw attention to the 2018 Winter Games with the help of former Olympians and activities such as “bobsled boomerang.” Rice Park will once again serve as the carnival’s main stop, where the snow-encrusted environs will be adorned with a garden of ice statuettes, a giant ice castle, and live music all three weekends. Even more fun can be discovered at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds where the Vulcan Snow Park offers two Polar Plunges, a giant snow slide, and lawn mower and bar stool ski races. For complete prices and event schedules, see the official website, www.wintercarnival.com, or call the main hotline at 651-223-7400 for details. Through February 10 —Brad Richason

The Maids 
Grain Belt Warehouse

Dark & Stormy Productions’ The Maids is certain to elicit powerful reactions. Though it was written by French playwright Jean Genet in the 1940s, time has only amplified the central themes of the provocative piece. The story begins with two maids playacting the petty commands of their employer and daydreaming of their eventual revenge. With every disparaging dictate, the acrimony escalates until the pair begin to consider if their dark fantasies could become a reality. Into the simmering cauldron of resentment, their oblivious employer enters. Characterized by an undercurrent of wicked, satiric humor, The Maids not only critiques the corruptible nature of power, but the way perception is perverted through our own highly susceptible sense of self-identity. Starring a powerhouse trio of Emily Bridges, Jane Froiland, and Sara Marsh (who also serves as director), this electrifying work is certain to provoke questions of how we define ourselves when culturally assigned labels are ripped to shreds. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, plus Monday, January 29. $39; $15 for those under 30. 77 13th Ave. NE, Studio 202, Minneapolis; 612-401-4506. Through February 17 —Brad Richason

RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars 3
The Saloon

RuPaul’s Drag Race is back for another installment; this season is the third iteration of the All Stars editions. Whether you’re living cable-free or you just like cheap booze, the Saloon will be throwing weekly parties where you’ll be able to keep up with the show, as it will be screened on 21 (?!) TVs in the bar/restaurant/dance club. If that’s not enough, you’ll also find it on three large projection screens. With this camaraderie comes a pretty solid happy hour: Rail drinks, domestic beers, and Prairie vodka and gin cocktails will set you back a mere $3.50. Should you get hungry, there’s a chicken nugget basket for the same price. Be sure to RSVP at [email protected] for the chance to win a $50 bar tab and a bottle of Prairie booze. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 830 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-332-0835. —Jessica Armbruster

U.S. Pond Hockey Championship
Lake Nokomis

Yeah, the Super Bowl is pretty cool and all, but can we talk about the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships for a second? It’s a pretty big deal, and it happens right here in the Twin Cities every year at Lake Nokomis. It all started when founder Fred Haberman noticed a bunch of guys playing hockey on Lake of the Isles. “Obviously, Minnesota should have a pond hockey tournament,” he thought, “since so many folks here grow up playing the sport.” So he started one, and it’s grown exponentially since the first tournament in 2006. Under new ownership since 2010, the event attracts world-class players from all over the U.S. and Canada, and it’s completely free to watch. The four-day competition is divided into a number of different divisions, from professional to amateur, with men’s leagues, women’s leagues, co-ed leagues, and leagues for those who are 40-plus. Whether you participate or just watch the show, it’s a great celebration of the way hockey is supposed to be played: on a pond (er... lake). For complete game schedules, see the official U.S. Pond Hockey website: www.uspondhockey.com. 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 —Sheila Regan

John Schuerman

John Schuerman

The Human Anomaly
Gordon Parks Gallery

Having long curated shows that focus our attention on evergreen topics such as gun violence, environmental destruction, and technological disruption—including works by such influential national artists as Sue Coe—John Schuerman now has his own exhibition of mixed-media drawings. The exquisite precision of his detail rivals Durer’s engravings; his collage-like assemblages of cut outs, shape, and line challenge our perceptions of Baudrillard’s simulacra and simulation; the patterns generate new locations in time and space. Beautiful to look at, the works boldly test our capacity to behold. There will be an opening reception and artist talk from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 25. Free. 645 E. Seventh St., Library and Learning Center, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul; 651-793-1631. Through February 2 —Camille LeFevre

Amy Miller
Royal Comedy Theatre

“I grew up in the East [San Francisco] Bay,” says comedian Amy Miller. “Big family, youngest kid, not a lot of money, a little bit of chaos. Well, a lot of chaos.” When she started doing comedy, some in her family were surprised to learn she was funny. “I think I knew I was funny and I think some of my family knew too,” she says. “There’s a very special skill you build as the youngest kid in a big family where you don’t talk a lot but when you do you make it count.” Miller says she mostly raised herself in that hectic environment. “I have three older siblings and there were a lot of other kids in the house at the time. Cousins, drifters, other kids from the neighborhood that didn’t want to be at their own houses.” In raising herself, Miller became very interested in religion, becoming a Baptist. That lasted until her 20s, but it inspired her current podcast, Who’s Your God?, on which comedians discuss their spiritual beliefs. 21+. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $20. 809 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 612-666-0809. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

A Disappearing Act
Southern Theater

London-based performance company Single Shoe Productions has taken on the challenge of finding humor in the fleeting nature of existence. Billed as “a comedy about the end of life,”A Disappearing Act is a dynamic production that builds on the chemistry company co-founders Filipa Tomas and Bradley Wayne Smith first displayed with their critically acclaimedCrazy Glue. Whereas that work utilized aspects of clowning, mime, and dance to depict a moving portrayal of the evolving stages of love, so too is the specter of death materialized by A Disappearing Act. Adding yet another intriguing layer of stagecraft, their newest creation imagines the presentation as a memorial service for a departed magician mourned by his son and assistant. Invigorated with live musical accompaniment and unpredictable audience interaction, A Disappearing Act reflects on cultural attitudes toward death, but rejects the grim solemnity of a funeral dirge. Instead, the interplay suggests the endless depths of poignancy, mystery, and even merriment to be found in mortality. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $12-$24. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

Olaf Otto Becker

Olaf Otto Becker

FRIDAY 1.26

Vanishing Ice
Weisman Art Museum

Heartbreaking and necessary, this exhibition organized by the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington, celebrates the global environmental significance of ice as well as the aesthetic values inherent in ice’s richly variegated beauty. The show’s 47 works, created between 1860 and 2017, are grouped into three geographical regions: Alpine, Arctic, and Antarctic. Glaciers, icebergs, and frozen landscapes are shown in ways that stress the effects of climate change. Also on view outside is an installation of stacked ice, by Jyoti Duwadi, that will slowly melt over the course of the exhibition. Inside, a sound installation by Kelsey Bosch captures the booms of calving icebergs, the tinkle of rustling ice shards, and clashes of pancake ice. There will be an opening reception on Friday, January 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. Free admission; RSVP is requested for the opening party. 333 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-625-9494. Through May 13 —Camille LeFevre

Storied Lives: Women and Their Wardrobes
Goldstein Museum of Design

Many of the items in the Goldstein’s collection, which now includes upward of 34,000 objects, are a mystery in terms of ownership. More than 22,000 of those pieces, dating back to 1760, are apparel and accessories from around the globe. This new exhibition focuses on the wardrobes of three working women in the 20th century. To find out who, you’ll need to visit. And not just to look, but also to learn how and why these women wore what they did. Exploring the strategy behind seams, stitches, and style reveals just how both personal pleasure and professional promotion inform what women wear. There will be an opening reception on Friday, January 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. 1985 Buford Ave., McNeal Hall, University of Minnesota, St. Paul; 612-624-7801. Through May 13 —Camille LeFevre

Star Tribune

Star Tribune

SATURDAY 1.27

City of Lakes Loppet
Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun)

While some folks freak out over the Super Bowl, others get more excited over winter sports season. The annual City of the Lakes Loppet is for those in the latter category. This year, the festival has spread out over two weekends. There will be races testing endurance and speed at all skill levels, whether your preferred method of travel is dogsled, snowshoe, ice skates, fat tire, or skis. Take in the snow sculpting contest, or bring the kids to the SuperCarnival, where a variety of ski challenges await them. The popular Luminary Loppet will take people on a self-guided tour with ice forests, fire dancers, and bonfires to discover. The adventure ends with live music and a brew in the beer and food-truck garden. Find the full schedule for this packed event at www.loppet.org/cityoflakesloppet. Most happenings take place on Saturdays and Sundays, but there are also a few things to see and do Monday through Wednesday. Many events are free, some are ticketed. 3000 Calhoun Pkwy., Minneapolis. Through February 4 —Jessica Armbruster

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Northrop

As if we weren’t already thrilled to welcome back this dynamic company of unflagging energy, stylistic integrity, and artistic invention, Hubbard Street recently announced that a work by Crystal Pite has been added to the program. The Canadian choreographer and founder of Kidd Pivot, a multidisciplinary company of thrilling physicality and intellectual rigor, already set our hair on fire with “Dark Matters” and “Betroffenheit,” a gripping, visually arresting journey through trauma, addiction, and recovery created with and starring—attention sci-fi/fantasy geeks—Jonathon Young, who played Tesla in Sanctuary. “One Flat Thing,” a work by Pite’s mentor, William Forsythe, who deconstructed ballet to generate the hyper-virtuosic stage body, is also on the program. Pieces by Nacho Duato and Lou Conte round out the evening. 7:30 p.m. $26-$62. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. —Camille LeFevre

Doggie Depot/Championship Cat Show
Union Depot/Roy Wilkins
Whether you’re a dog or a cat person (or both), you’ll have options this Saturday. The Doggie Depot invites people to chat about pups with experts, shop from local vendors offering dog-themed wares, and meet with canines up for adoption. Dogs will also be taking the stage this afternoon for the crowning of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Doggie Royal Court. The event is free, and runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union Depot (214 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700). Meanwhile, Saintly City Club’s Annual Championship Cat Show will feature felines of all breeds pampered to the max. Shop from kitty vendors, meet some fluffy fur babies, and see the crowning of cat royalty. This event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 to $4, and the fun takes place at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium (175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-989-5151). —Jessica Armbruster

Christina Tavera

Christina Tavera

Art and Identity Project
Augsburg College

The Hagsfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion opens this weekend with a dedication ceremony showcasing the permanent works from local artists that will be on display throughout the building. See a large triptych created by Ta-Coumba Aiken reflecting on his journey with cancer, and his metal sculpture that looks a bit like a DNA strand. Alyssa Baguss interprets solar and wind patterns visually, while Augsburg alum Amy Rice references botanical textbooks, antique letters from Minnesotans, and Augsburg students in her colorful pieces. Other artists involved include Tina Tavera, Rory Wakemup, and Andrea Stanislav. Discover these works of art throughout the center, which will create a rich experience for the students and guests who will eventually use the building. For now, the general public gets a sneak peek at all the wonderful art. The event includes music by Augsburg students, hors-d’oeuvres, and refreshments. 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Hagsfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion, Seventh Street and 21st Avenue South, Augsburg College, Minneapolis; 612-330-1000. —Sheila Regan

Dead Man Walking
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Even some seasoned opera-goers balk at the perceived dissonance between a Renaissance-born artform and a contemporary story. Don’t be one of those people. Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir of her time spent counseling a convicted killer awaiting his execution in 1980s Louisiana inspired an Oscar-winning 1995 movie, and it also has all the elements of classic opera: murder, high emotions, tragic inevitability, and a quest for spiritual redemption. Perhaps that’s why it has become the most-performed new opera of this millennium, boasting music from the acclaimed Jake Heggie and a libretto from multiple Tony Award winner Terrence McNally (RagtimeKiss of the Spider Woman). Dead Man Walking should also contrast nicely with the Minnesota Opera’s May production of Thaïs, about a far more dubious spiritual advisor. Mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin co-stars as Sister Helen alongside Seth Carico as the doomed man in this production directed by Joel Ivany and featuring conductor Michael Christie. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 8 p.m. Saturday, February 3. $25-$200. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. Through February 3 —Bryan Miller