Super Bowl shenanigans, kung-fu movies, party at Surly: A-List 1.31-2.4



This week's top events in town include outdoor parties, sporting events, and that little thing called Super Bowl weekend. Come take a look.

Kara Carmichael at the Great Northern

Kara Carmichael at the Great Northern


Surly’s Ultimate Winter Feast
Surly Brewing Company

Winter won’t stop Great Northern and Surly Brewing from throwing an outdoor festival. This Wednesday, they’ll be grilling, frying, and pouring treats in the beer garden. On the menu: venison sausage, rainbow trout skewers, duck pastrami pickle roll-ups, and potica, a honey-nut pastry roll. Mucci’s Italian will also be serving up fried sweets. A bonfire will keep revelers warm, as will the 612 Sauna Society. Enjoy a snowy lawn game with Minnesota kubb leagues and tunes from DJ Brian Engel. Tickets score you a free beer or non-alcoholic beverage. The brewpub will also offer pints and its regular menu indoors. Find tickets and more info at 5 to 8 p.m. $35 for food and beverage experience; free to attend. 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 763-999-4040. —Jessica Armbruster

Tim Harmston
Acme Comedy Co.

Before speaking to City Pages, comedian Tim Harmston was Skyping with his lovely and hilarious wife, Mary Mack. “I have the dog in Minnesota and she is by herself in New York,” he explains, “so she had her daily Skype session with Dingo, our hound dog.” The couple has been touring together quite a bit lately. “It’s not a husband-and-wife show,” Harmston points out. “I do my set and she does her set, then we do our sets together as sort of a mash-up, and we have a running commentary of what we’re doing at that moment.” When the two got married a few years back, they were both touring extensively. “We figured it would be easier if we did this together, so we just decided to do that and it’s been a lot of fun.” Their different but complementary styles reflect their relationship. “Yeah, that’s a good way to put it,” he laughs. “I think it does work. I’m the on-time person. She’s the late person. I’m the guy that forgets to pay the bills and she remembers to pay them.... My style is I write jokes and one-liners and she tells stories.” 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

Lil Duval
Joke Joint Comedy Club

Lil Duval comes out of the Atlanta comedy scene. He moved there from his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. Born Roland Powell, he took his stage name from his birthplace, Duval County, Florida. In 2001, while competing in a comedy competition in the Bay Area, he was noticed by Cedric the Entertainer’s road manager, who invited him to join the comedy veteran’s standup tour. In 2005, Duval was a finalist on BET’s Coming to the Stage comedy competition. He is also a series regular to MTV2 programs Guy Code and Hip Hop Squares, and has hosted the video clip show Ain’t That America. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Wednesday; 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. Thursday. $35. 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale; 651-330-9078. Through Thursday —P.F. Wilson

Kristie Bretzke, 'Bruce'

Kristie Bretzke, 'Bruce'


Kristie Bretzke: Coal Room
Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art


After swooning over the glassy surfaces and shadowy desolation of her poolscapes and delighting in the meticulous line and light of her modern architectural paintings, one can’t help but be excited for Kristie Bretzke’s new series of moody portraits. Illumination and shadow are exquisitely balanced, brushstrokes delineate and obscure defining features, and psychological states emanate from the canvas. Reportedly the artist was inspired by the chiaroscuro-like ambience within a basement coal room she encountered at an artist retreat on the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. There will be a public reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 1. Free. 250 Third Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-247-1244. Through February 16 —Camille LeFevre

Mia Ice Maze
Minneapolis Institute of Art

The fall corn mazes are long gone. This weekend, however, the Minneapolis Institute of Art will have its own maze for you to explore on the front lawn. This creation is made of ice, and it’s free and open to all. Put on some sturdy footwear and make your way through. At various points you can stop and check out sneak previews of what you will find inside at the museum’s latest exhibition, “Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty,” which opens this Saturday. Opening-day festivities on Thursday include hot cocoa and family fun from 5 to 9 p.m. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Unser Imagery

Unser Imagery


The Toxic Avenger
Phoenix Theater

Proving that no source material is too deranged for a musical adaptation, the gloriously grotesque vigilantism of The Toxic Avenger will be brought to local stages by Minneapolis Musical Theatre. Created by Troma Studios, purveyors of shamelessly schlocky cinema, The Toxic Avenger remains arguably the company’s crowning achievement, infusing the superhero narrative with a wondrously gratuitous supply of sex and violence. The film follows a hapless young man who, upon being doused in toxic waste, is transformed into a monstrous mass of muscle. The story provides an excuse for a cartoonish assortment of psychopaths to be dispatched with gory inventiveness. Excepting some minor restructuring by playwright Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change), the musical doesn’t stray far from the source. Sure, it places greater emphasis on environmental activism and puts more focus on the central romance between “Toxie” and blind librarian Sarah, but the chaos remains. The merrily over-the-top musical contributions come from David Bryan, who has demonstrated aptitude for power ballads as a member of Bon Jovi. Directed by Ryan McGuire Grimes, with Tristan Sima as the titular hero and Rachel Schmidt as his amorous flame, The Toxic Avenger looks to be entertaining, unhinged fun. For tickets, go to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Monday, February 19; 2 p.m. Sundays. $18-$30. 2605 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-377-2285. Through February 25 —Brad Richason

Judy Chicago, 'Birth Trinity'

Judy Chicago, 'Birth Trinity'


Birth Project/After Birth 
Catherine G. Murphy Gallery


Why does the past seem so determinedly part of the present, particularly when it comes to a re-recognition of and resurgence in women’s agency and art? There are so many reasons, but this dual exhibition brings us back to the female body with a renewed sense of intimacy and immediacy. When Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” and then the “Birth Project” riled up the arts scene 30 years ago, their iconic imagery and modes of fabrication were largely dismissed by white male critics. And yet, they revolutionized ideas about the content, materiality, and making of feminist art. Here, in two adjacent galleries, are screen prints, needle works, and textiles from Chicago’s “Birth Project,” alongside a show with work in myriad media that explores post-feminist feminist responses to works like Chicago’s. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Catherine University, St. Paul; 651-690-6637. Through March 16 —Camille LeFevre

Luminary Loppet
Lake of the Isles

This year, the City of the Lakes Loppet hosts an expanded festival of winter races and challenges, including cross-country skiing, fat tire bike rides, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. On Saturday night, the Luminary Loppet will focus more on the recreation aspect of these seasonal activities. Choose your footwear carefully; boots, snowshoes, and skis are all welcome as revelers make their way along a candlelit path on Lake of the Isles and Bde Maka Ska. Stop and listen to an ice-based music ensemble, watch fire dancers, and explore the ice forest. Photo ops include Easter Island-style sculptures, an ice pyramid, and an installation dubbed “Ice-Henge.” Festival-goers score a glow-stick to light their way, and stops on the route feature bonfires, hot chocolate, and healthy snacks. The event ends in the festival’s beer and food-truck garden; your registration gets you a celebratory pint and free admission to the rock concert. All ages; the Luminary Party is 21+. Register at 6 to 9 p.m. $20-$40; $10 party-only. 2500 Lake of the Isles Parkway, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Jane Wunrow

Jane Wunrow

Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty
Minneapolis Institute of Art

For those of a certain age, the return of Robert Wilson is a drop-everything-and-go event. The avant-garde theater director (Einstein on the Beach) has collaborated with varied talents including the late Merce Cunningham, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, and Lady Gaga. Perhaps in an effort to create an immersive exhibition environment not unlike that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute (best known for radically altering our sensory experience with shows like “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” and “China: Through the Looking Glass”), Mia invited Wilson to help create 10 galleries that explore an aspect of life within China’s imperial palace during the Qing dynasty, which ruled for more than 250 years. Original soundscapes, ambient lighting, and objects that invite contemplation are part of the performative aspect of the exhibition. So is your response. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through May 27 —Camille LeFevre

Pupper Bowl
Bauhaus Brew Labs

It’s not too often that sports intersects with cute, but that is exactly what puppy bowls are about. The best one we could find this weekend is at Bauhaus Brew Labs. Why is it the best? Because it will be live and in person. Games will be happening throughout the day, with dogs in teams of five competing in leagues based on their weight and age. The goal: to get a toy into the endzone. Each matchup will be followed by a free-play session, which should make for some good people- and pup-watching over pints. Pets are welcome, costumes are encouraged, and the whole thing concludes with a dog parade—adorable! If you want to sign your canine up for the fun, $10 gets them on a team and scores you two pints of beer. If you’re looking to watch the official Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet this Sunday, Eastlake Craft Brewery (920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-224-9713) will be screening it on loop starting at 2 p.m. Oh yeah, they’ll have a TV reserved for the Super Bowl, too. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free; $10 for your puppy to compete. 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-276-6911. —Jessica Armbruster

Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Scholars at the Lanting Pavilion Qianlong, period 1790

Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Scholars at the Lanting Pavilion Qianlong, period 1790 Mia

Seeing Voices: A Solo Exhibition from Jane Wunrow
Gamut Gallery

Few would describe migraines as “beautiful,” but to see Jane Wunrow’s artwork, one might experience them that way. A graduate of the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, Wunrow has suffered from classic migraines for almost two decades. She uses pen and ink, powdered graphite, powdered charcoal, gouache, and collage to create large-scale visual representations of the aura, disorientation, and dizziness that accompany her unpredictable bilateral headaches. Big slashes of black and silver cut across circular formations in a piece called Disturbance, while I Make My Bed in the Darkness resembles a planetary formation, complete with thin rings around it and a bright yellow blaze at its center. Wunrow, who considers her migraines an “opportunity” to perceive the world anew, shares a series of creative manifestations of this debilitating ailment in “Seeing Voices,” her first solo exhibition at Gamut Gallery. The opening-night reception includes a noise set and visual projections by sound artist Michael Masaru Flora from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, February 3.There will also be an artist’s talk at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 3. Free; $5 opening reception. 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis; 612-367-4327. Through March 3 —Erica Rivera

'The Kid with the Golden Arm'

'The Kid with the Golden Arm'


The Shaw Brothers’ Kung Fu Style
Trylon Cinema 

Hugely influential in sparking the martial-arts craze that swept through America in the 1970s, Shaw Brothers Studio was foremost among the Hong Kong production companies that defined the kung fu genre. Overseen by two brothers, Run Run and Runme Shaw, the studio specialized in mythic tales of preternaturally skilled fighters, often seeking revenge against a formidable army of villains. Honoring that legacy, Trylon Cinema is screening rare 35mm prints courtesy of film collector Dan Halsted. The series opens with The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978), an epic tale of a young man who dedicates himself to mastering the shaolin arts in order to avenge the oppressed. Vengeance also propels The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984), wherein an aspiring Buddhist must set aside his pacifist vows to oppose the forces that destroyed his family. Essentially an extended series of fight sequences, The Kid with the Golden Arm (1979) uses the treacherous transport of gold as a setup for the evil Chi Sha gang (popularly known as the Deadly Venoms) to battle the equally ferocious heroes. Closing out the series, Bastard Swordsman (1983) centers on an orphan with a mysterious past taking a stand against the Invincible Clan, relying upon his heart, soul, and mastery of the ancient silkworm technique to smite his enemies. 3 p.m. Sundays; 7 and 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. $8. 3258 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through February 27 —Brad Richason

Super Bowl LII
U.S. Bank Stadium

Let’s get one unpleasant truth out of the way: Unless you have inside connections and/or thousands of dollars to burn, you won’t be attending Super Bowl LII. That said, there will be plenty of opportunities for revelry as the Twin Cities plays host to this gargantuan spectacle for the first time since 1992. The NFL will be hosting a Super Bowl Experience in the Minneapolis Convention Center over the week preceding Super Bowl Sunday, offering fans the chance to meet special guests, peruse gridiron history, and shop for mementos. Even those without the slightest interest in the game will find memorable diversions throughout the Twin Cities, especially along the newly renovated Nicollet Mall, which has been outfitted as the centralized artery for ongoing concerts and special events. There will also be concerts out at Mystic Lake. While bars and restaurants are certain to be packed on game day, the temporarily expanded 4 a.m. closing time should make up for the longer lines. All things considered, Super Bowl LII looks to be winter’s biggest party, even without setting foot inside the stadium. 5:30 p.m. Watch it for free on your TV! 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; 612-777-8700. —Brad Richason