Tattoo artists come to town, a winter luau, and Out There stays weird: A-List 1.9

Minneapolis Tattoo Art Convention

Minneapolis Tattoo Art Convention Star Tribune

Here are this week's top happenings.


Kurt Braunohler
Acme Comedy Co.
You might have heard comedian Kurt Braunohler on This American Life, where he told the story of how he and his former girlfriend introduced the Amish concept of rumspringa into their relationship. Basically, they took a month off from their 13-year monogamous relationship and dated other people. Well, more than dated. “I’m not particularly fascinated with Amish culture,” he explains, “I just liked that concept as it applied to my relationship and that period in my life.” Braunohler later married someone else. On their second date, his now-wife came to see the show he had created about the rumspringa experiment. “She thought it was weird that it was our second date.” Braunohler hadn’t planned it that way, though. She just came out to watch him perform. “She showed up and said, ‘This is just all about you fucking a bunch of people.’” If you also happened to catch him on late night TV, he insists those appearances aren’t indicative of his full live show. “I don’t think I’ve had a late-night set yet that sums up what it’s like to see me live. I’ve had a few so far, and I think maybe on the next one I’ll nail it.” 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

"Spit Shade 2: Babes, Beasts and Botanicals"

"Spit Shade 2: Babes, Beasts and Botanicals" L-R: Work by Chase Tucker, Chris Norden, Erin Armstrong


Spit Shade 2: Babes, Beasts and Botanicals
Gamut Gallery
Many tattoo artists are passionate about their work, whether they’re creating on canvas or on skin. This Thursday, you’ll be able see what these artistic folks are making when they aren’t designing things like chest pieces and sleeves. Minneapolis tattoo artists Lindsee “Bee” Boyer and Jessi Lawson are the curators for this year’s show, now in its second year, and they have selected 50 different artists who ink tattoos as well as working in acrylics, watercolors, and oil paint. The event might whet your appetite for the Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention, happening nearby this weekend, where you can see these artists working in their other medium. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, January 10, featuring music by BAARD. $10. 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis; 612-367-4327. Through Saturday —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER

Michael Malone
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy
Michael Malone draws comedic inspiration from his personal life, and nothing is off limits. That includes dealing with the death of a parent and having what some would describe as a non-traditional family. He and his girlfriend recently welcomed a baby. His domestic situation is further complicated by his girlfriend’s 19-year-old-sister and her one-year-old. “She was having a rough time, so I, being the good guy, said, ‘Hey, she should move out here with us.” Then she did. “I have jobs around the house,” he explains. “Keeping the babies safe is one. No one tells you how fast they are. I took a 10-minute nap the other day. When I woke up, that baby was gone. The door was open; he was hitchhiking to Vegas.” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $20. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday --P.F. WILSON

"Shattersquelch"; "The Utmost Natural"

"Shattersquelch"; "The Utmost Natural" L-R: Hannah Piper Burns, Ryan Fontaine


Shattersquelch/The Utmost Natural
Hair + Nails Contemporary Art Gallery
Crystalline and evocative as the hoar frost we’ve experienced lately, the work of Portland artist Hannah Piper Burns invites viewers to dive into a technological experience that ignites the physical and sensorial. Meanwhile, Ryan Fontaine’s vibrantly askew blends of representation and abstraction tilt perception into the realms of the surreal. Together, these two offer an essential jolt at a time when we’re all too prone to sensory deprivation. There will be an opening reception for both shows on Friday, January 11, from 7 to 10 p.m. 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. Through February 10 —CAMILLE LEFEVRE 

Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention
Hyatt Regencency Minneapolis
This weekend, the Twin Cities hosts an ink party at the 10th annual Minneapolis Tattoo Convention. For the next three days, revelers will be able to immerse themselves in the world of body art—and art in general. Things kick off Thursday with an art show at Gamut Gallery (see above) showcasing artwork from tattoo artists. Things move to the Hyatt Regency on Friday for an expo boasting a variety of happenings. Tattoo enthusiasts will be able to check out portfolios and possibly schedule a session with artists from around the nation. There will be live entertainment from contortionists, burlesque performers, daredevils, and fans of body-mod suspension. Tattoo contests run the duration of the festival, and highlight the wide variety of styles available these days, such as hyperrealistic portraits, blackwork, and stick and poke. Check out the full schedule at villainarts. com. 2 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. $20; $40 three-day pass; children under 12 are free. 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Through Sunday —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER

Out There 2019
Walker Art Center
To shock you out of a seasonal depression, there’s nothing better than some wonderfully weird art, especially the kind that generates a mental workout. That’s what the Walker Art Center’s been bringing to Minneapolis for over three decades now with Out There: an annual monthlong festival of adventurous performance art from around the world. The event’s international aspect is particularly salient this year, as curator Philip Bither assembles five transnational groups presenting work that responds to life-changing events like nuclear accidents (Berlin’s Zvizdal, about an elderly couple who refuse to leave Chernobyl) and war (Lola Arias’ Minefield, with veterans from both sides of the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas War revisiting the conflict). Rabih Mroué, a Lebanese artist familiar to Out There regulars, opens this year’s festival with a world-premiere performance, Borborygmus, coinciding with the opening of his first U.S.-based gallery installation. In JACK &, Kaneza Schaal and her collaborators explore the toll of prison time and the complicated feelings that accompany release. Showtimes vary, check online at to reserve a seat. 1750 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through February 2 —JAY GABLER

These Shining Lives
Theatre in the Round
These Shining Lives examines the dangers that can take root in societies that deprive workers of any voice in their own safety. Using historical events as a foundation, this 1920s-set drama from playwright Melanie Marnich follows four women tasked with applying numbers on watch faces with a radium-based paint for the Radium Dial Company. In order to obtain the desired level of detailing, the women were instructed to routinely lick the points of their paint brushes, an action that, despite company reassurances, led to hazardous amounts of toxic chemicals being ingested. Presented by Theatre in the Round Players, These Shining Lives draws attention to the often overlooked account of these workers’ struggle to obtain justice, which paved the way for greater protections for the entire workforce. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $22. 245 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through February 3 —BRAD RICHASON

"A Different View"

"A Different View" Jodi Reeb, 'Radiance'


A Different View
University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Jodi Reeb often works with encaustic (beeswax) to create her paintings and sculptures. When she received a 2018 Artist’s Initiative Grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board, she decided to head out to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to look at native flora from the bee’s perspective. Her goal was to better understand the relationship between pollinators and their food, and to immerse herself in the beauty of the plants they—and we—need to sustain life. The result is a new series of works with an ephemeral aesthetic. Combining photography, paint, beeswax, and tissue, the collagelike pieces invite viewers into the rich detail inherent in vast landscapes. There will be an opening reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, January 12, and a free monotype workshop taught by the artist at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 9. Free. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska; 952-443-1400. Through March 11 —CAMILLE LEFEVRE 

Rosy Simas Danse: Weave
Ordway Center for the Arts
At a rehearsal of Weave, choreographer Rosy Simas asked visitors to close our eyes while the thick sound of crashing waves flooded our senses. When we opened our eyes, we saw five performers “washed up” on the stage. Of different races, physical bearing, movement styles, and genders specific and non, they filled the space with meditative inquisitiveness as they reacted to one another, negotiated shared areas, and expressed choreographic personalities. It was a subtle and grounded weaving together of distinct characters with a sense of equality. Simas (who is Seneca, Heron Clan) and her diverse Native/Indigenous/POC collaborators created the work from stories and experiences gleaned during residencies, workshops, classes, and open rehearsals. Composed of cultural storytelling, film, quadraphonic sound, and movement, the piece wraps the audience in a singular, shared experience of indigenous feminist sensibility. 7:30 p.m. $22-$37. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. —CAMILLE LEFEVRE

Winter Luau
Bent Brewstillery
This Saturday, you can take a staycation to Roseville for a trip to “Hawaii” that will only set you back a few bucks and a few hours. Bent Brewstillery will turn their taproom into a winter luau, offering a bit of sunshine in their space, regardless of what is happening outside. They’ll be serving up true island eats at this party, which means you should expect treats showcasing SPAM, a product made in Minnesota and beloved by Hawaiians. This will include a King’s Hawaiian spam sandwich and something dubbed “SPAM-aroni and cheese.” No worries if the notorious canned meat isn’t your thing; there will also be kalua pork, mango slaw, and pineapple on the grill. Tiki-style drinks will flow freely at the bar, and beer specials will abound all day. Noon to midnight. Free. 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville; 844-879-2368. —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER

Xtreme Theatre Smackdown
Stepping Stone Theatre
Some plays take years to write, stage, and perform. Meanwhile, the six short works at Xtreme Theatre Smackdown have all been created in 24 hours. The talented folks at Theatre Unbound, a production company that showcases women theater artists, will once again be challenging themselves to flashes of brilliance (or at least high entertainment). Their journey begins on Friday, as groups rush to write, block, memorize lines, find props, and pull together something that generally appears to be theater by Saturday night. Audiences’ only challenge should be getting to SteppingStone, where they will be treated to shorts aimed at amusing, provoking thought, or just having fun. 8 p.m. $18-$22. 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul; 651-225- 9265. —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER

The Great Leap
Guthrie Theater
Although many Americans didn’t think of China as a basketball powerhouse until Yao Ming joined the Houston Rockets in 2002, the world’s most populous country has been playing roundball since the 19th century. Lauren Yee’s 2018 play The Great Leap was inspired by a trip her father took to China as a member of a club team in the ’80s. In the play, an American college team arrives for an exhibition game in the era of the Tiananmen Square protests. Elements of a classic sports story (the gritty, aging coach, the questing young player) unfold in a turbulent setting—and what basketball story would be complete without an ending that comes down to the final buzzer? Director Desdemona Chiang helms the Guthrie’s production of Yee’s comic drama, aiming for nothing but net as her production takes the court on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. “What Lauren’s play does so beautifully,” she says, “is captures the larger tension between the U.S. and China during the ’80s and distills it into personal relationships. We’re able to read larger concerns, and larger consequences, based on the actions of individual people.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 7 p.m. Sundays. $29-$78. 818 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through February 10 —JAY GABLER

The Children
Jungle Theater
A routine existence seems to have been re-established post-apocalypse in contemporary playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s disturbing dystopian drama The Children. The event that triggered a nuclear meltdown is nearly four decades past. Two married survivors, both former physicists at the plant that leaked doomsday levels of radioactive matter into the atmosphere, have settled into what passes for domestic contentment. But the play’s mounting distress comes not from the immediacy of ecological disaster but from the delayed repercussions that arise in the form of an ex-colleague showing up at their remote cottage after a 38-year absence. Though their visitor’s true motivation isn’t immediately apparent, a sense of dread permeates the estranged reunion, escalating with an intensity that will have audiences hanging onto every curious phrase and gesture. Anxiously examining The Children’s provocative suggestions on complacency and complicity, the Jungle Theater production offers a formidable trio of actors (Laila Robins, Linda Kelsey, and Stephen Yoakam) under the direction of Casey Stangl. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $27-$47. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through February 10 —BRAD RICHASON

Dark beers at Finnegans this week.

Dark beers at Finnegans this week. Getty


Dark Week
Imperial Black Friday and the Darkest Day of the Year have come and gone this season. But winters are long in Minnesota, and there’s no better way to get through the doldrums than with a malty, black-as-night beer. Finnegans is dedicating a full week to dark brew, kicking things off with a Smoked Baltic Porter on Sunday. Each day will have its own special tapping, with Dark Rage Milk Stout, Dark Chocolate Mint Stout, Scottish Stout, Spruce Tip Porter, and a bourbon barrel-aged Dead Irish Poet all on the schedule. Things wrap up on Saturday, January 19, with the release of Caorthannach Russian Imperial Stout, which will also be available in an aged version that has spent time in pinot noir and whiskey barrels. 817 Fifth Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-454-0615. Through January 19 —LOREN GREEN