Pride parties, beer happenings, dance nights, and more: A-List 6.21-27

Aaron Davidson

Aaron Davidson

This week's happenings around town include Pride gatherings galore, a beer party, and 60-plus food trucks heading to Uptown. Come take a look.


Pride Parties
Various locations

Pride weekend is here, and with it comes a variety of dance nights, performances, parking-lot parties, and more. Things kick off on Wednesday as RuPaul’s Drag Race icon Latrice Royale will take the stage at Hell’s Kitchen (80 S. Ninth St., Minneapolis). Will she lip sync for her life and offer sage, Oprah-esque words of wisdom? Let’s hope so. The show is at 9 p.m. and tickets run $18-$20. The Saloon (830 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis) will be celebrating 40 years at Pride with a three-day block party that includes special happy hours, food trucks, arcade games, DJ tunes, live music, and a drag show hosted by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Carson Kressley. Grown and Sexy Pride VII will take over First Avenue and 7th St. Entry (701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis) on Friday, with performances from Dykes Do Drag, DJ Shannon Blowtorch, burlesque artist Sweet Pea, and many more (tickets are $10-$14 and the show is at 9 p.m.). Flip Phone will be queer bombing the Twin Cities with two parties. On Friday, they’ll host Planet Glitter at Union Rooftop (731 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis). Here you’ll find pop-up drag from Aja (also from RuPaul’s Drag Race) and friends, plus glitter stations to help you get your sparkle on. Tickets are $10-$20, and the party starts at 9 p.m. Then on Saturday, Flip Phone will be at First Avenue for more drag and a dance floor fueled by pop hits. Parade rooftop parties on Sunday include happenings at Union, 4 Bells, and Crave. —Jessica Armbruster

Capture the Flag
Washburn Fair Oaks Park

Who says summertime games like Capture the Flag are just for children? The Grown-Up Club hosts fun nights for adults who want to spend an evening playing like kids. Instead of firing up your Nintendo Wii, head out to the grassy lawn at Washburn Fair Oaks Park, where you’ll meet and form teams with players who also want to take a break from adulting. You may have a beer gut and a little bit of a wheeze from all those cigarettes (gotta get started on quitting, right?), but we’re all a little older and slower these days anyway. During the games, new friendships will be forged, rivalries will become legendary, and beers will be used to salute afterward at a nearby pub (you can’t be a kid forever, after all). 6 to 8:30 p.m. Free. 200 24th St. E., Minneapolis; 612-230-6400. —Jessica Armbruster

Sammi Jones
Magers & Quinn Booksellers

When Minnesota native Sammi Jones first tried out for the Fargo-Moorhead Derby Girls team, she could hardly stay upright on her roller skates. But with enough determination, grit, and guts, she not only made the team, she kicked some serious ass doing so. Christened Toni Crush, she quickly picked up derby lingo, honed her skills, and overcame concussions. She chronicles this daring journey in the new memoir, Derby Girl. The book isn’t just about bouts and jamming and picking a derby wife, however; it’s also an excruciatingly honest story about navigating family dynamics and new relationships, coming to terms with her sexuality, suffering the consequences of alcoholism, and struggling to make a living as a writer. With Derby Girl, Jones candidly confronts the confusion and ambiguity during a period of her life when nothing was certain except her love for skating. These days Jones, who now lives in the Twin Cities and is an assistant editor for a trade magazine, skates on the North Star Roller Girls team. 7 p.m. Free. 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611. —Erica Rivera

Asif Ali
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I’m a great uncle,” comedian Asif Ali tells an audience. “But I recently ruined my nephew’s birthday party, because I’m an adult and I use logic, and he’s 7.” Ali asked his nephew what kind of theme he wanted for the celebration. “Superheroes,” the boy replied. His nephew wanted to be the Incredible Hulk, to which Ali told him that there are “two things that have to happen for you to become a superhero. Hulk is not a superhero. One, you have to start off like a regular loser. Two, something awesome happens to you and you get all these cool powers and your life is clearly better.” He used Spider-Man/Peter Parker as an example. “The Incredible Hulk is Bruce Banner, a guy that’s already killing it in science. He gets into a radioactive accident, and when he gets angry he turns into a giant green dumb-ass.” A successful actor, Ali has appeared on Modern Family, New Girl, and Wrecked, which parodies Lost. 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $13-$22. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Intermedia Arts

Add the always fantastic Queertopia to your list of Pride activities this week. Now in its 12th year, this festival of visual and performance art attempts the impossible: to top its own sizzling legacy of showcasing righteous queer voices from diverse spectrums of the community. This installment will be hosted by Lisa Marie Brimmer and MikeQueenz, bringing together queer and trans bodies in revolt against violent oppression. The lineup includes powerhouse art collective Free Black Dirt, the fabulous “Big Gay Mexican” Hector Chavarria, and breathtaking dance artist Holo Lue Choy, as well as visual art from the likes of Akiko Ostlund and Chandler Daily. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. $15/$18 at the door; $5-$25 sliding scale Wednesday. 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4444. Through Saturday —Sheila Regan


Tig Notaro
Historic State Theatre

After battling some serious health problems in the past few years, comedian Tig Notaro feels great. “I am utterly happy and healthy, as far as I know,” she says, “and do not have a complaint in the world. It’s embarrassing, frankly.” The way she discussed her health problems onstage, along with other personal challenges she was facing at that time, helped vault her to the level of comedian’s comedian. Her act has drawn praise from noted contemporaries like Louis CK and Sarah Silverman. Comedy fans have known for years that she is absolutely hilarious with her low-key, deadpan delivery. Before doing standup, she worked as a music promoter, a job that paid dividends when she switched to comedy. “Knowing that an artist or performer has to focus on getting themselves to a certain place before any industry executives can really step in and do something for their career was something I learned,” she says. “You have to get your contraption off the ground first before someone is going to want to step in and assist in keeping it afloat.” With Fortune Feimster. 8 p.m. $30-$79. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —P.F. Wilson

Kaleena Miller Dance: Shift
Southern Theater

Happy feet all around! Kaleena Miller Dance is back with Shift. Created by Miller, founding member of the exuberant troupe Rhythmic Circus and co-director of the Twin Cities Tap Festival, the piece will be performed every night to different live music. The musicians are all notable locals: Reid Anderson (the Bad Plus), JT Bates (Alpha Consumer), Alexei Caselle (Kill the Vultures, Roma Di Luna), and Leah Ottman (LOTT, Fog). This week’s show is an excellent opportunity to not only see how tap is being preserved and extended in the Twin Cities, but how sound influences movement and vice versa. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $20/$24 at the door; $12 students. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre


Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back to the Fifties Weekend
Minnesota State Fairgrounds

One of the greatest signs of spring is when the flora begins to bloom in a burst of colors. That moment is fleeting, however, as spring in Minnesota is usually over pretty quickly. Vintage car owners pick up that mantle in the summertime, flaunting their candy-colored wheels on the main drags of our cities. Back to the Fifties Weekend will celebrate these vehicles, as hundreds will be lined up along the streets of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. There will be muscle cars, hot rods, and trucks. Chat with owners about their experiences working on their vehicles, or simply admire their projects up close. During festivities there will also be swap meets, an arts and crafts fair, kids’ fun, and live entertainment. Save yourself the stress of sitting in traffic on Snelling and be sure to check out for a free ride pass. Tickets and more info can be found at 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. $12; free for kids 12 and under. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-288-4400. Through Sunday –Jessica Armbruster

2017 Beer Dabbler
Loring Park

This year brings the sixth annual Pride Dabbler to the Twin Cities. Held before the big festival kicks off on Saturday, this Dabbler offers a lineup of 50 Minnesota breweries, each of which has come up with a Lady Gaga-themed beer. As people drink, they’ll enjoy tunes from the Flip Phone crew, Lady Lark, and Apollo Cobra. Celebrate local makers while basking in the outdoors — rain or shine. Tickets and more info can be found at A portion of ticket sales benefit Twin Cities Pride. 21+. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. $45-$55; $20 designated driver. 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis. —Loren Green

Dancing On the Belly Of the Beast
The Ritz Theater

What does it mean to suddenly lose a parent as an adult? That unmooring, infused with grief and how one transitions into a new sort of normal, is the subject of Off-Leash Area’s latest production. It’s the sort of topic this dance-theater company deals with so well. Emotional complexity, the intricacies of family dynamics, and creativity amid debilitating physical and psychic despair are fully within the purview of co-artistic directors Jennifer Ilse and Paul Herwig. Here, they are joined by a cast of MSP dance notables, including Karla Grotting, Christine Maginnis, Sally Rousse, and Ray Terrill. All have lost parents, and bring raw experience and dancer virtuosity to a performance laced with truth and authenticity. 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. $10-$30 suggested donation. 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-361-6960. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre


Twin Cities Pride
Loring Park

Twin Cities Pride is huge and expansive, with lots of happenings to enjoy. Do you love a great parade? They’ve got you covered (11 a.m. on Sunday). There are comedy showcases (such as Fortune Feimster and Tig Notaro on Thursday), live music, theater performances, documentary screenings, and sporting events (including a St. Paul Saints night). And then there’s the annual festival in Loring Park, the big ol’ LGBTQ meet-and-greet where you can connect with organizations, social groups, artists, and businesses all celebrating Pride. Now, some may wonder: Do we need a Pride Festival anymore? Hasn’t equality been achieved? Same-sex marriage is legal, right? There are still plenty of critical issues, including trans rights, the fight against bathroom bills, struggles against all kinds of discrimination, and terrifying persecution in countries around the globe. It’s more important than ever to come out and stand united against hate, but also to celebrate the strength and vibrancy of the community. For a full schedule of happenings and locations, visit 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the park. Free. 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

One Man Star Wars
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Being a globally recognized brand with a devoted fan base, ubiquitous merchandise, and a slate of film projects planned even beyond the foreseeable future, the Star Wars franchise seems to be without boundaries. Even so, earlier generations will recall a time when the galaxy far, far away was defined by “The Trilogy”: Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983). Like so many impressionable kids of the early ’80s, Canadian comic Charles Ross spent his formative years obsessing over these three films. Not content as a passive viewer, however, Ross used his 400-plus screenings as background research for creating his own highly condensed one-man recreation of the trilogy. Not only does Ross portray each of the characters in his production, he also uses his voice to mimic the iconic John Williams score and act out (sans props) the special effects. Perhaps most impressively, the entire saga is wrapped up in a whirlwind hour and change. Though spiked with the occasional comic aside, Ross approaches the material with a fan’s affection, a perspective that has made his unusual endeavor a hit with like-minded audiences around the world. As for those with only a passing knowledge of the trilogy, the show serves as an effective cram session in Star Wars lore before the franchise’s next blockbuster sequel/prequel/expanded adventure. 8 p.m. $26-$57. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. —Brad Richason

Global Water Dances
Stone Arch Bridge

According to the United Nations, unsafe water kills more people worldwide than violence, and that includes war. This Saturday, 90-plus cities will celebrate our most precious resource through dance. For the Minneapolis installment, taking place at Stone Arch Bridge along the Mississippi River, local choreographers Rae Eden Frank and Lori Mercil have teamed up to create a free performance full of color, dance, and movement. It’s all in collaboration with Global Water Dance originator Marylee Hardenbergh. They’ll be joined worldwide with happenings in Flint, Berlin, Dehli, Paris, and more. Expect drumming, new choreography, and audience participation, rain or shine. 5 p.m. Free. 212 SE Second Ave., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster


Uptown Food Truck Festival
Uptown Minneapolis

When it comes to food trucks, even the most ravenous foodies can be challenged to keep up, searching block after block for the latest culinary sensation from these portable kitchens. Rather than trawling the Twin Cities, however, the hungry should head to the Uptown Food Truck Festival, where more than 60 restaurants on wheels will be parked in one convenient location. Paying no admission, attendees can stroll the area, sampling as their appetites and budgets allow. In addition to a vast array of burgers and encased meats, the fest features an ambitiously diverse menu informed by global influences. Parked alongside the independent trucks, visitors will find four-wheeled ambassadors for such brick-and-mortar restaurants as Market Bar-B-Que, Anchor Fish & Chips, and Betty Danger’s Country Club. To tempt taste buds even more, vendors will offer a signature dish for $5. Craft beers will be available to wash down each course, while two stages of music and a selection of carnival games provide opportunities to expend some calories before bellying up for the next round. Though last year’s fest did face criticism over lengthy lines and overcrowded space, organizers have sought a remedy by expanding the grounds to deter congestion, and allowing for open entry into the air-conditioned quarters of Calhoun Square. With so many delectable options, this festival might just represent the pinnacle of al fresco summertime snacking. The Food Truck Festival will also head to Anoka (July 22) and St. Paul (August 19). 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Free. 3001 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. —Brad Richason


Cy Amundson
Acme Comedy Co.

When it comes to walking the line between being a nationally recognized comedian and maintaining your local street cred, no one does it better than Cy Amundson. An alumni of Acme Comedy Co.’s open mic night, Amundson has been splitting his time the past few years between Minnesota and Los Angeles. He’s appeared on Conan, Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, and Adam Devine’s House Party. He’s also begun dabbling in the world of acting and voice acting. This week, he’ll return to his home club with a two-night stretch at Acme to record his sophomore comedy album. While he has been on a tear through the West Coast, Amundson has stayed true to his Minneapolis roots with recent appearances at the Hopkins Comedy Festival and a headlining stint at Acme back in January. It’s been three years since his last album, Lovesick in Toledo, was released; this week will be your chance to see how he’s grown as a performer on the stage where it all began. 18+. 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. $15. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Wednesday, June 28 —Patrick Strait