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Quirky commercials from the U.K., Euro Christmas Market, local pop-ups: A-List 11.28

British Arrows returns in 2018

British Arrows returns in 2018 MoneySuperMarket

Here are the top happenings for this week.

WEDNESDAY 11.28

Ian Bagg
Acme Comedy Co.

Ian Bagg is a standup comedian from British Columbia who now makes his home in L.A. Known for his crowd work, Bagg has some advice for his audience: It’s okay to be offended. His set includes chatting with the crowd and tales inspired by his personal life. “I live in Long Beach,” he says, “where crime meets sand. If you want to play a game called ‘Will my car be there tomorrow?’, Long Beach is your town.” He explains, “it isn’t like West Hollywood where they steal your whole car. They stole my driver’s side window once. It took me 10 minutes to figure out it was gone. If you can steal a car piece by piece, you’ll never get caught.” Purchasing a house in Long Beach has inspired Bagg to start a podcast, called Ian Bought a House, which he co-hosts with contractor Mike Benedetto. 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

Celeste Barber

Celeste Barber Image courtesy the standup

THURSDAY 11.29

Celeste Barber
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Though she has been a successful actor for years, appearing in several TV series in her native Australia, Celeste Barber has gained worldwide attention thanks to Instagram. It’s on that social media platform that she humorously recreates the photos, videos, and posts of the famous. She has amassed five million followers, four million of those following in the past 18 months. The mother of two is helped in her social media antics by one of her two step-daughters and a husband she modestly describes as “universally hotter” than she is. “I did one on a surfboard when I was in Bali,” she told Australia’s Today Show last year. “Lady Gaga had done yoga on a surfboard because, obviously. So, I did yoga on a surfboard. It didn’t go well, the surfboard flew up and smacked me on the nose. My husband asked, ‘Is my surfboard all right?’” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $25. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Get thee Behind Me, Santa
Strike Theater

Seeking out phillip andrew bennett low’s latest endeavor is never a wasted effort. The prolific low is equally skilled on the stage and behind the curtain, adept at playwriting and performing, lending his talents to collectives (such as Rockstar Storytellers, which he co-founded) or taking the solo spotlight. Last year, low added “comic fantasy novella author” to his résumé with the publication of Get Thee Behind Me, Santa. Subtitled “An Inexcusably Filthy Children’s Spoken-Word Musical for Adults Only,” the delightfully deranged parody imagines Saint Nicholas as a time-traveling detective who teams up with Jesus of Nazareth to determine what’s gone wrong with Christmas. Adapted for the stage by Joey Hamburger (best known for his idiosyncratic work with Sheep Theater), the unhinged holiday noir features original music by Pablo Jones. Director Derek Dirlam (a charismatic actor in his own right and part of the radio theater group Conundrum Collective) will oversee the talented local ensemble igniting this festive roast of yuletide rhetoric. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. $12-$15. 824 18th Ave. NE., Minneapolis. Through December 8 —Brad Richason

Freedom Daze
The Southern Theater

Where did Islamophobia come from? Playwright Aamera Siddiqui attempts to find out in her play Freedom Daze, presented by Exposed Brick Theatre. Delving into the sea of misinformation in the media and on the internet, the piece explores how the U.S. became a place where it is acceptable to treat Muslim people as second-class citizens. The play is directed by Suzy Messerole, who recently gained international fame as a gold medalist at the Gay Games with her synchronized swimming team, the Subversive Sirens. Messerole brings Siddiqui’s play to life, using multimedia to tell a number of stories. Segments include “The Girl in the Yellow Dress,” “They Hate Freedom,” and “The Terror Alert Is.” All draw on true stories as they ruminate on the origin of hate. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $12-$24. 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811.Through December 9 —Sheila Regan

Joe Bob Briggs

Joe Bob Briggs

FRIDAY 11.30

Joe Bob Briggs: How Rednecks Saved Hollywood
Parkway Theater

Film critic Joe Bob Briggs has no use for mainstream movies. “Their slickness, the three-act formula, the ‘up’ endings, the movie star system,” he tells City Pages, “It’s a recipe for boredom.” Briggs gained national attention when he started hosting horror movies on cable TV, parlaying his cult success as one of the only critics in the country willing to review the kind of exploitation movies that ran at his local Dallas drive-in—everything from his beloved Texas Chain Saw Massacre to less influential fare like Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. He’s best known as the host of the 1990s TNT late-night staple Monstervision, where he guided viewers through a wonderland of cable-edited sleaze (and the occasional legit horror classic). Briggs is back in the hosting chair with a series of monster-movie marathons on streaming service Shudder, and the dry-humored raconteur is also touring with a show about the history of rednecks in America, packed with over 200 clips and references from his encyclopedic knowledge of the best—and worst—of cinema. 21+. 7 p.m. $20/$25. 4814 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-8080. —Bryan Miller

Lewis Black
Pantages Theatre

It was just two days after the midterm elections when City Pages got ahold of Lewis Black. “It’s just great, everything is just great,” he grumbles into his cellphone. “It’s the same all the time now.... No facts, no reporting, no sense of what the truth is, no one stepping up. The level of madness has not changed.” While voter turnout was up, Black was not encouraged. “It’s not a good turnout until everyone votes,” he states. “People that don’t vote should be fined. That’s what you have to do, that’s the deal.” Of course, there’s the concern that some voters are not informed on the issues or candidates. “I want them voting,” Black continues. “I don’t give a shit. Their responsibility is to walk into that voting booth. That’s your assignment as an adult. You do it so your children will do it, and you do it for the people who died so you could do it. We can’t tell other countries democracy is great unless we do it, and we don’t. It’s absurd.” For this tour, Black is taking a slightly different approach to his social and political commentary. “It’s things I’ve found while traveling the country,” he says. “Like the difference between a chicken nugget and a buffalo chicken tender.” It sounds silly, but he elaborates. “I think that demonstrates some of the underlying problems we have as a nation. I’m finding ways to talk about what’s going on without talking about what’s going on.” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $59.50-$85. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. Also Saturday —P.F. Wilson

European Christmas Market

European Christmas Market Image courtesy event organizers

European Christmas Market 2018
Union Depot

Winter weather doesn’t stop European countries from having open-air holiday markets, and it doesn’t stop Minnesotans either. This season, the Union Depot will once again host this festive event offering a variety of things to see, do, and consume. Shop from local makers working in wood, felt, and wool. Try some hearty traditional food (Gulasch! Roasted nuts! Brats! Crepes!), or stay warm with some Gluhwein, a delicious type of mulled wine. Holiday entertainment, movie screenings, choral acts, bonfires, and family fun round out each afternoon. Find the complete schedule at stpaulchristmasmarket.org. 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Free. 214 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700. Through December 10 —Jessica Armbruster

Painting the Room: A New Improvisation
SpringHouse Ministry Center

What happens when you bring a group of dancers, performers, and musicians together? Come find out at Painting the Room,a collaboration between pianist Thomas C. Lang, violinist Isabel Dammann, and performers Tera Kilbride, Crissy Tolson, and Nora Anderson. The team uses music, dance, and text to create improvisational pieces covering topics such as technology, suburbia, and other aspects of our 21st century existence. The group previously presented a teaser for this show at Icehouse; this Friday you can see the full-length production. 7:30 p.m. $5-$15 suggested donation; pay-as-able. 610 W. 28th St., Minneapolis; 612-353-6292. —Sheila Regan

Amy Rice at Groveland Gallery

Amy Rice at Groveland Gallery Amy Rice, 'Power to the Pollinators'

SATURDAY 12.1

Root Down/Sense of Place
Groveland Gallery

For “Root Down,” Amy Rice brings her vibrantly nostalgic aesthetic, rife with fields of flowers in colors that warm the cockles of our winter hearts, to Groveland Gallery. Her mixed-media work features the natural world she explores and the cultivated landscapes she gardens in the country. As her scope expands from the single flower and the wild garden to encompass whole fields of botanical joy, so does our appreciation of the spirit in her work. Rice’s show is paired with “Sense of Place,” which was curated in collaboration with the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, a magazine which is featuring an issue on the topic. Rice’s work is included, along with prints and paintings by Clara Ueland, Carol Oltvedt, Gaylord Schanilec, and seven other artists. There will be an opening reception for both shows from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 1. 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800. Through January 19, 2019 —Camille LeFevre

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley
Jungle Theater

Director Christina Baldwin calls The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley a “side-quel.” What does that mean? Playwrights Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon have crafted a follow-up to their play Miss Bennet, which itself was a sequel to Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. The twist is that The Wickhams takes place simultaneously with Miss Bennet, in the same house. The new play stands on its own, but it will be particularly rewarding for the many theatergoers who packed the Jungle last holiday season for the company’s acclaimed production of Miss Bennet. Overlapping cast members will return for The Wickhams, with Angela Timberman joining as a housekeeper. “It’s a fun and fulfilling piece of theater by itself,” says Baldwin, “but you do have these little Easter eggs of connection that are fun to find.” The Jungle is on a roll with original literary adaptations this season: The Wickhams is the second world-premiere commission in a row (in this case, a co-commission), following the superb Little Women. “Jane Austen is for everybody,” says Melcon. “I think there is a real opportunity [to] take some of these classic pieces and bring them back with a different perspective.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $35-$45. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through December 30 —Jay Gabler

Grand Meander

Grand Meander Image courtesy event organizers

Grand Meander 2018
Grand Avenue

This Saturday marks the return of Grand Meander, a daylong holiday party along Grand Avenue in St. Paul. The neighborhood will become a winter wonderland, with strolling carolers, trolley rides (or take a trip with a Vulcan via truck), and window decorations adding a festivity to the shops and businesses of the area. Things kick off in the morning with a breakfast with Santa, and other fun to be had includes soup sampling and family activities. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Grand Avenue, from Dale to Fairview, St. Paul; 651-699-0029. —Jessica Armbruster

Arts & Ales
Indeed Brewing Co.

Some of the best holiday gifts are handmade and come with a story. And most good stories start with a beer and a blucy, right? Arts & Ales is a wreath-making class that takes place at Indeed Brewing. But before the art, it kicks off with a pint and a burger courtesy of Blue Door. After you settle in and meet your fellow artisans, GetKnit Events will present a showcase on how to make your own holiday wreath using fraser fir. Start with a beer, a wire frame... and perhaps another beer. In addition to food, drinks, and crafting, tickets also score you an array of decorations to take home, a beer koozie, and a growler deposit. Register for the event at getknitevents.com. 21+. 5 to 8:30 p.m. $65-$75. 711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-843-5090. Also December 9 —Loren Green

Local Holiday Shopping
Various locations

Special holiday markets continue in this weekend in a variety of locations. For those who appreciate a little camp with their Christmas, Betty’s Bizarre Bazaar (Betty Danger’s Country Club, 2501 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-315-4997) will be shilling quirky crafts, gifts, and more from local artists this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the Handmade Holiday Market (Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis; 612-999-6020), revelers can shop local while listening to live music and imbibing Belgian-style beers. Check it out on Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m., from December 1-16. Saturday’s Julmarknad is the American Swedish Institute’s (2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907) holiday market, a cozy affair with shopping, performances, food, music, dance, storytelling, and a bake sale, plus an appearance by Tomte and Santa from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mrs. Kelly’s Tea Tasting (Grain Belt Studios, 79 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis) will invite folks to sample over 100 local, freshly blended teas while checking out tea-related pottery, paintings, honey, snacks, and candy. Proceeds from the event will benefit Perspectives Kids Cafe and the Southern Anoka County Food Shelf. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and non-perishable food items will be collected for admission. —Jessica Armbruster

SUNDAY 12.2

Grand (Re)Opening
Minnesota Museum of American Art

The “M,” as it likes to be known, has been on the move for a while, providing glimpses of its marvelous collection through exhibitions at the historic Pioneer Endicott building. Now the M has constructed a permanent home in the complex, designed to create spaces of inclusivity and community that celebrate artmaking and its potential to bring people together. The grand opening includes live music by Lady Xok, performances by SuperGroup, hands-on art making activities, an exhibition that draws visitors into the depth and breadth of the M’s collection, and a light installation by David Bowen in the M’s new Window Gallery. Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra kicks off the M’s first artist takeover, inviting visitors into her creative process based on Latinx and Indigenous art forms. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 350 Robert St. N., St. Paul; 651-797-2571. —Camille LeFevre