Puppy Bowl at Bent, Midwest photography exhibition: A-List 1.10-16



This week's top events include a dog-friendly beer party, a photography exhibit showcases the North, and a sugar-cube castle contest. Come take a look.

L-R: Work by Lisa Brenner, Teresa Paschke

L-R: Work by Lisa Brenner, Teresa Paschke


A Common Thread
Textile Center

The annual “A Common Thread” exhibit showcases the talents of the Textile Center’s many members. Works by more than 100 artists will fill the walls with a joyful abundance of fiber art. The non-juried collection reveals the many ways that fiber artists explore the form. There will be a wide variety of pieces, including stitchwork, woven items, dyed cloth, and wearable art. Experienced artisans along with artists newer to the medium will be part of the show, which highlights the craft and artistry of well-made pieces while also celebrating innovation and rethinking traditions. There will be an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 10. 3000 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-436-0464. Through March 10 —Sheila Regan

Liza Treyger
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

In 2017, Lisa Treyger was named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 Comedians You Need to Know. “I live in Hell’s Kitchen and I do feel cool about it,” Treyger tells an audience, “but I also share a bed with platonic female friend.” In the early days of her standup career, she lived with her parents—at their insistence. They were patient and supportive, noting she was making progress each year, so they weren’t upset with her career choice. “I was a receptionist at a hair salon for five and a half years,” she explains to a crowd. “Where are my sociology majors at?” She also worked as a nanny. “I like working with kids because I’ve had pens thrown at me by adults,” she states. “I’d rather be with happy kids. I always would bring them bubbles, and these kids would go nuts. For me to be that happy I’d have to be eating Brie cheese, watching The Mindy Project, and getting furiously fingered. All at once.” Helping her charges with their homework, however, was not her forte. “Is that a decimal point? I can’t help you.” 16+; 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. $16-$48.95. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Costaki Economopoulos
Acme Comedy Co.

Last year at Acme, Costaki Economopoulos recorded his latest album, appropriately titled Live at Acme. “I’m looking forward to returning. It’s easily one of the best comedy clubs in the country,” he says. “Then I’ll return to Minneapolis in February as a credentialed member of the media to cover the Super Bowl goings-on. If it can’t be a Falcons appearance, I’m rooting for the home team to be there.” In 2017, the sports enthusiast saw his Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs both make it to the playoffs in the NFL and NCAA, respectively. His football podcast,Quick Snaps, also continued to grow this past season. 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Russ White

Russ White


Loose Change: New Drawings by Russ White
Hopkins Center for the Arts

Artist Russ White’s latest series explores the meaning of the word “wealth.” There’s financial wealth, which can grant access to the material things that make life more pleasant. And then there is spiritual wealth, which is measured on a less quantitative, more fluid scale. For “Loose Change,” White creates photo-realistic drawings of everyday people. These large works, inspired by the portraiture found on our coins and paper money, invite viewers to question their definition of wealth, and what it means in an era where the vast majority of us are financially in the have-not category. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, January 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 952-548-6485.Through February 11 —Jessica Armbruster

Out There: Mercurial George
Walker Art Center

A bowl and flour sifter on an old card table. Bedding strewn on the floor. Some synth music and strobe lights. Montreal performer/choreographer Dana Michel moving haltingly around the stage. A former sports fanatic—she was a competitive runner and played football—Michel now makes solo works inspired by aesthetic disjunction, cultural disorder, sculptural practices, and what she calls “the bulimic logic of hip-hop.” Mercurial George is part of the Walker Art Center’s Out There 2018, which provides performance junkies with works beyond the norm. In Michel’s piece, realities are juxtaposed and time is multidimensional. Your senses and perceptions will be stretched. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $25. 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through Saturday —Camille LeFevre

Robyn Thorsen, 'Flyover'

Robyn Thorsen, 'Flyover'


The North Mobile Photography Exhibition

Several years ago, a cultural branding effort was undertaken in the Twin Cities to change our geographical nomenclature from Midwest to “the North.” While that hasn’t completely taken hold, some of us are still adamantly referring to our location as the North. That goes for FilmNorth, too, where the small but mighty Marsden/Gustafson Gallery resides. This winter, they held a competition asking participants to submit photography that communicates their concept of North. The results are in. Photographer Pei Ketron selected 60 images that include stunning landscapes in all seasons, as well as cultural iconography, animals, and sports. Among the image makers are Susan Biggs, Ali Inay, Shinano Emanuele Katagiri, and Cate Vermeland. There will be a public reception Friday, January 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 550 Vandalia St., Ste. 120, St. Paul; 651-644-1912. Through January 30 —Camille LeFevre

A Steady Rain
Gremlin Theatre

Thanks to the casting of Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman, A Steady Rain was a sensation on Broadway in 2009. The piece is a claustrophobic character study involving two emotionally crippled Chicago cops. Childhood friends, the men have developed a co-dependent relationship, as recovering alcoholic Joey follows the lead of the domineering Denny, a supposed family man whose marital commitment is as pliable as his sense of ethics. When a shocking event triggers Denny’s reckless impulses and incites a succession of tragedies, Joey is compelled to weigh loyalty against self-preservation. Bracingly written by Keith Huff, known for his work on House of Cards and Mad MenA Steady Rainrecounts spiraling corruption via alternating monologues, as Denny and Joey attempt to placate interrogators. As such, the hardboiled narrative offers a showcase for the formidable acting of Dustin Bronson and Peter Christian Hansen. Under the direction of Ellen Fenster, the intensity of this Gremlin Theatre production will likely be further heightened by the intimate staging, allowing audiences a close view of shared madness. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Monday, January 22; 3 p.m. Sundays. $28. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 888-718-4253. Through February 3 —Brad Richason

Black Label Movement
The Ritz Theater

After performing at the Cowles Center for the last five years, Black Label Movement heads to the Ritz in northeast Minneapolis this year. This January show highlights how the company keeps audiences on their toes through collaborations with scientists, artists, and movers of all kinds. BLM’s two-week, eight-performance season will offer two premieres. “Animal Velocity” was developed as part of James Sewell Ballet’s Ballet Works series, and “I am a rope, bringing this down…,” was made with textile artist Anne Swan. Swan’s work will also be seen as part of a concurrent gallery exhibition that includes past BLM collaborating artists Lara Hansen and Bill Cameron. Repertory pieces returning to the stage include “Hit,” a gravity-defying exploration of physics and violence from 2011, and “Merge,” created with Afro-Brazilian company Contempo Physical Dance in 2016. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturdays; 2 p.m. January 20; 4 p.m. Sunday, January 21. $20. 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-339-3003. Through January 21 —Sheila Regan

L-R: Work by Ashely Peifer, Tara Costello

L-R: Work by Ashely Peifer, Tara Costello


Fuse/Surprise Party
Rosalux Gallery

Ashely Peifer’s mixed-media works juxtapose shape and pattern on panels. Tara Costello explores our notions of horizon lines in her paintings, through compression and expansion. Together, they’ll launch Rosalux Gallery’s 2018 exhibition schedule. Peifer’s almost childlike forms—which conjure references to hula hoops, scalloped collars, wrapping paper, jump ropes, and candy—are infused with a sense of nostalgia that nudges viewers into memory. Conversely, in her paintings, Costello combines mark making and rich colors and textures in abstract expressions of time, place, and perspective. There will be a public reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, January 13. Free. 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-747-3942.Through January 28 —Camille LeFevre

Jungle Theater

The Jungle Theater’s 2018 season opens with what’s either a one-man or a four-man retelling of Moby Dick, depending on whether you count the three bluegrass musicians who share the stage with the narrator. Leo Geter, whom you may remember as Rich from Footloose, writes and directs this play, which evolved from a 2015 Fringe show called White Whale. As Jim Parker, Nate Sipe, and Kevin Kniebel (the latter two members of Pert Near Sandstone) provide a soundtrack, a middle-aged Ishmael (Jack Weston) recounts the unforgettable adventure he had in his youth. “It gives the audience an experience close to what it’s like reading the book,” explained Geter in a promotional video. “It’s kind of overwhelming, and then it just sort of leaves you, drops you, and you’re left to contemplate the vastness of the story, of the universe, what’s transpired, and the desire we all have to seek out something beyond ourselves and experience the unknown.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $35-$45. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through February 4 —Jay Gabler

The Last Five Years
Artistry at Bloomington Center for the Arts

Drawing on his own life, writer/composer Jason Robert Brown sought to depict both the euphoria of falling in love and the heartache that can ensue. The Last Five Years approaches the theme through a time-splintered storyline. The piece alternates between the perspectives of Cathy and Jamie, a couple in their early 20s. Brown throws in a further twist with Jamie recounting their relationship from the beginning to the end, whereas Cathy remembers their time in reverse, envisioning their story from the end to the beginning. Only at the point of the wedding do their narratives intersect. The vibrant score regularly interjects levity, emphasizing that the joy of the present isn’t dampened by the eventual future. Under the guidance of director Elena Giannetti and musical director Anith Ruth, this energetic new staging from Artistry features Aly Westberg O’Keeffe and Ryan London Levin as the imperfect lovers. The show is in previews Friday, January 12. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus some Wednesdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $12-$41. 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington; 952-563-8575. Through February 11 —Brad Richason 


Puppy Bowl Pre-Super Bowl Party
Bent Brewstillery

Just because the patios are closed doesn’t mean you can’t take your dog out for a drink, as local brew pubs have been hosting canine-friendly happenings well into the dead of winter. This Sunday, Bent Brewstillery welcomes you and your fur baby out to pre-game before the big event: Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. (Oh yeah, and the Super Bowl.) At this happy hour, football jerseys are encouraged, and there will be prizes awarded to those who come demonstrating their team spirit, whether four- or two-legged. You can pick up a jersey for your pup, too, with all proceeds from sales benefiting No Dog Left Behind. Every pint sold will also raise a $1 for the cause. 2 to 5 p.m. Free. 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville; 844-879-2368. —Jessica Armbruster

Four Dances
Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

Wondering who to watch on the local dance scene in 2018? Try this group of young self-starters, whose creativity isn’t reserved solely for movement on a concert stage; some of them are also filmmakers, scholars, administrators, actors, musicians, and singers. When Julia Gavin Bither, Non Edwards, Laura Levinson, Kerry Parker, and cohorts cram onto Bryant-Lake Bowl’s tiny stage, expect a mixed-media sensation that breaks boundaries, traverses genres, eliminates gender, and boldly investigates the cultural status quo. There will be lots of movement created by these four emerging choreographic voices. 7 p.m. Sundays and Mondays. $8-$15 sliding scale. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3737. Through January 22 —Camille LeFevre




Sugar Cube Ice Palace 
Midpointe Event Center

In late January, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival will be constructing a massive ice castle to dazzle all who visit. Before that massive project gets underway, folks will be creating their own magic structures out of sugar cubes. Saccharine architects are welcome to work solo or in teams, and flashy digs using movement and lights are encouraged. The results will be showcased this Tuesday at the Midpointe Event Center, with all proceeds benefiting the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation. The party will also include drinks, food samples, and live music. Find tickets at 5 to 7 p.m. $10. 415 Pascal St., St. Paul. —Jessica Armbruster