Unicorns come out to party this weekend: A-List events April 5-11

Jackie Platt, 'Magical Death'

Jackie Platt, 'Magical Death'

Everyone loves unicorns, right? Join the sparkly fun this Saturday at the third installment of the Unicorn Art Show. Other happenings this week include a few beer releases, an evening dedicated to Sade, and the Scottish Ballet. Come take a look. 

The Unicorn Art Show 3
Artspace Jackson Flats

Now in its third iteration, the Unicorn Art Show demonstrates how inspiring something imaginary can be. Over 60 artists have submitted pieces celebrating the mythical unicorn, and when put together, they make a collection that’s a sight to behold. Pieces include a three-headed unicorn beast spewing rainbows, photo-manipulated animals boasting sparkly horns, and gorgeous, glowing mushrooms springing up around a unicorn skull. Some pieces are thematically dark, some are primary-colored and cheery. See them all at this gathering of the kind of people who love rainbows, glitter, fantasy, and friendship. Cosplay is encouraged, whether you’re a My Little Pony kind of gal or a “comfy onesie with a silver horn” kind of guy. Planchette Burns, the Night Corvettes, and Venus De Mars will perform live music. There will also be face painting, henna arts, and eats from Gastrotruck. 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Free. 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-333-9012. —Jessica Armbruster


West Side Story
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Among the most acclaimed of reimagined Shakespeare adaptations — and one of the few to transcend its source material — West Side Story removes Romeo and Juliet from Verona and transports them to a 1950s working-class neighborhood in New York. The two star-crossed lovers continue to be thwarted by forces outside their control, but the blood feud between families is now a turf war between rival gangs. Arguably the most compelling aspect of West Side Story is the musical treatment by lyricist Stephen Sondheim and composer Leonard Bernstein. The songbook includes Broadway favorites “Tonight,” “Maria,” and “I Feel Pretty.” This collaborative production between Teatro del Pueblo and the Ordway looks to honor the original treatment while connecting with current social tensions. Under the direction of Bob Richard, this production pairs local standout Tyler Michaels (a former City Pages Artist of the Year) with New York-based soprano Evy Ortiz, who is reprising a role that garnered critical acclaim during the most recent national Broadway tour. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, plus Sunday, April 9; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $29-$129.50. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. Through April 16 —Brad Richason

Crash and Burn VI
Acme Comedy Co.

Four headliners. Seven shows. Make a new act or die trying. That’s the official tagline for the sixth annual Crash & Burn. The brainchild of Acme favorite Tim Slagle, the weeklong event has become a must-see for comedy fans who want a peek behind the curtain. “It gives you a chance to see how the sausage gets made,” says Slagle. “If you come to the Tuesday show and see the nervousness of us performing our jokes for the first time, and then come back Saturday to see how it’s progressed all week, you really get an idea for how the process works and how the act develops.” For the comics themselves, the rules are fairly simple: The material performed has to be all new. They can work on those jokes throughout the week (or trash them entirely), but by Saturday the performers are expected to take the stage with no notes and a mostly polished set. While the potential for, well, crashing and burning might seem high, Slagle insists that the quality of these shows is anything but amateur, with Martha Kelly from FX’s Baskets, Emily Galati, and Bryan Miller set to perform. “I’m afraid the audience is going to think we’re faking it,” he laughs. “All of the performers take the writing so seriously and are so talented that I don’t think we’ve ever had a crash or burn.” Will this be the week their luck runs out? There’s only one way to find out. 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 —Patrick Strait



Feel No Pain: A Sade Night
The Machine Shop


This femme-positive night celebrates women by supporting women. Part party, part concert, and part benefit, Feel No Pain will offer a bevy of arts to be enjoyed. Music will be provided by DJ Sophia Eris, plus live tunes from Lady Midnight and Kiana Marie & Proper T, who will be paying tribute to Sade. Sarah White will share video installations to get lost in. Guests can take to the dance floor and move with friends, check out art and artisan items from local female and POC makers and artists, and snack on treats from Wandering Kitchen. Other artists contributing include Charles Jean Pierre (paintings and written pieces) and St. Paul Slim (paintings). Some proceeds from the event will benefit SPIRAL Collective, a group of women who offer free services and support for those with pregnancy and reproductive health needs. 7:30 p.m. to midnight. $20. Tickets are at 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Julian McCullough
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy


“My act is always pretty much autobiographical,” says comedian Julian McCullough. “I do a lot of stories. I do have a couple of Trump-themed things because as a comedian today you just can’t avoid it. I have some current-events stuff now, which is weird for me. That just shows you how crazy the world is.” McCullough mostly talks about, as he puts it, horrible things that have happened to him. “I had a construction accident when I was a teenager,” he reveals. “I almost died. A huge piece of glass went through my arm. It’s kind of scary sounding, but it’s funny,” he insists. “I’m not a one-man-show type of guy, there are a lot of jokes in it.” He also has a story about a tattoo he has that he describes as humiliating. “People will have to come out to the club to hear that one.” McCullough also talks about more recent happenings, like his divorce. “I’m only just now starting to talk about that,” he says, “and being a single dad half the week. I wanted to wait and get some perspective on it.” 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $15-$22. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Saint Paul Almanac Release Party
Black Dog Cafe

The Saint Paul Almanac isn’t a typical almanac. Rather than itemizing important dates or predicting the intensity of the seasons, this publication captures the cultural climate of the city. Now in its 11th year, the almanac offers a collection of photography, poetry, essays, drawings, and other creative expressions celebrating St. Paul and the people who populate it. For this edition, 23 editors came together to select pieces from a pool of 443 submissions. The collection includes cover art by Joy Spika, photos and artwork curated by Tio Aiken, and chapter titles translated into Dakota by Lisa Yankton. “Today discord and uncooperativeness mark our society,” says executive editor Pamela Fletcher. “We came together to demonstrate that connecting on this path involved conscientious, empathetic listening and effort to live with this kind of connection and community.” Come together for the opening party this Thursday. The event will include readings, cake, and tunes from DJ Kool Akiem. 7 p.m. Free. 308 Prince St., St. Paul; 651-228-9274. —Jessica Armbruster

All Are Welcome Beer
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company’s latest beer is a world collaboration. This Thursday is the debut of All Are Welcome Beer, a brew made with ingredients originating from North America, Germany, Belgium, India, West Africa, and the Mediterranean. It’s an internationally inspired saison that doubles as a symbol of what we can achieve when we come together. That mission of unity is shared by the ACLU of Minnesota, so Lakes & Legends is hosting a party where revelers will come together for the organization. R.T. Rybak, P.O.S, Lazerbeak, Maria Isa, and others will be behind the bar pouring pints, raising funds, and supporting diversity and inclusivity in the community. Spirited political conversation goes best with a beer in hand, after all. St. Croix Chocolate Co. and the New Bohemia Food Truck will also have treats. 6 to 10 p.m. Free. 1368 LaSalle Ave, Minneapolis; 612-999-6020. —Loren Green

Dave Williamson
The Joke Joint Comedy Club

Dave Williamson’s first experience being in front of an audience was the result of a scam of sorts. “When I was in college, in my major, there were a lot of group projects,” he explains. “There were also a lot of girls in my major, and it seemed like a lot of them were really shy about doing the public speaking part. So, they’d always make me do it. They’d do most of the work, and I’d just get up and do the presentation at the end of the semester.” For a time, though, Williamson worked in the family business. “I’m a fourth-generation car salesman,” he says. “My great-grandfather opened one of the first Cadillac dealerships in Miami.” Williamson was fully entrenched in the business for a while, but felt that yearning to be onstage. “I’d been doing comedy for quite a long time as a hobby, and it was really where my heart was, so I had a talk with my dad and said, ‘I’m going to give this a try.’ I had a one-year plan and that was eight years ago, and I never looked back.” 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday. $14-$23. 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale; 651-330-9078. Through Friday —P.F. Wilson


The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence
Park Square Theatre

Eliza, a young woman dissatisfied with her flesh-and-blood partner, is the central character in The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, which ponders just how effectively technology can address humanity’s deeper emotional needs. Can the reassuring reliability of machines offer an alternative to the erratic nature of human relationships? Playwright Madeleine George looks far and wide to find a satisfactory answer, from the Victorian era of Sherlock Holmes to the modern marvel of computer systems like Watson, the IBM that famously bested all human contenders on the game show Jeopardy!. Under the seasoned direction of Leah Cooper, this regional premiere at Park Square features the talents of Kathryn Fumie, H. Adam Harris, and Adam Whisner, each demonstrating that humans still reign on the stage (until robotic thespians come along). The show is in previews through April 13. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $40-$60; $27-$37 previews. 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through April 30 —Brad Richason


Lone Star Spirits
Jungle Theater

Marley, with her fiancé in tow, hopes for a quick family visit to her small hometown. Instead, an impromptu reunion unfolds thanks to the unwanted presence of an ex-boyfriend and a female classmate. While the former revels in the halcyon memories of high school football glory, the latter escapes the monotony of small-town motherhood with nights of getting blitzed with her similarly discontented friends. Add to this company the ghostly presence of the town’s founder (a bear-wrestling pioneer) and the stage is set for a surreal evocation into how the lives we attempt to leave behind can continue to haunt us. This regional premiere finds popular mainstays Terry Hempleman and John Catron joined by Christian Bardin, Nate Cheeseman, and Thallis Santesteban, each of the three making their Jungle debuts. Directed by Sarah Rasmussen, the ghostly chains of Josh Tobiessen’s Lone Star Spirits look to be rattled with poignant hilarity. The show is in previews April 5-7. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $35-$45; $15 previews. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through May 7 —Brad Richason

Firkin Fest
The Happy Gnome

A lot can change in 10 years. In 2007, the first Firkin Fest launched, George W. Bush was president, and Twin Cities hopheads were all aflutter over a new startup called Surly Brewing Co. As the local beer scene has grown exponentially, Firkin Fest at the Happy Gnome remains a gathering spot for devoted brew fans. It’s a party that’s less about the length of your beard or your next Untappd level-up, and more about enjoying the wonders of a one-of-a-kind beer. Over 60 breweries will compete for the Golden Firkin, offering their own recipes served out of a classic and underappreciated vessel: the cask. Participating breweries include the aforementioned Surly, plus Steel Toe, Summit, Indeed, and Grand Teton. 21+. Noon to 4 p.m. $50; $10 designated driver. Find tickets and more info at 498 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651-287-2018. —Loren Green

Dog Day
California Building

It’s not too often that galleries encourage pets to attend an event, but that is exactly what Dog Day at the California Building is about. Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome here. This Saturday, over 25 artists on six floors will be in their studios and gallery spaces for an open house for humans and pups. Goodie bags will be given out while supplies last, and coffee and other treats will be available. Share pics of your dog at the happening on social media for a chance to win prizes. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 2205 California St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-5551. —Jessica Armbruster

Unflinching Facades
Soo Visual Arts Center

Two artists who alter and manipulate found imagery will have their work presented in tandem in a show titled “Unflinching Facades.” While each works in a different medium, Mexico City-based Carolina Borja and local artist Jesse Matthew Petersen both question power and control. Borja employs papier-mâché and Mexican cartoneria sculptures. Catholic imagery, Mexican traditions, and culture clashes are themes that abound in her pieces. Petersen, meanwhile, scans clippings from fashion magazines, which he then digitally alters and prints out on vinyl paper, resulting in an exploration of the intersection of capitalism and eroticism in our culture. Work by the two artists will be on view at SooVAC along with a second show, “The Mirage of Damnatio Memoriae: New Work by Matthew Yaeger,” which also features collage and manipulation as a tool for inquiry. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Free. 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263. Through May 20 —Sheila Regan

RAD! Cycles
514 Studios Event Center


For many cycling enthusiasts, the ’70s and ’80s were a golden era for BMX bikes. At this benefit for the Cycling Museum of Minnesota, rides from the two decades will be on display along with gear, clothing, and posters. During the event, Duluth artist Adam Swanson will be creating a bike-inspired painting live; revelers can bid on it at the silent auction should they desire to take it home. A cash bar featuring beer from Fair State and appetizers from Crave are also part of the party. All proceeds will benefit the museum. 7 to 9:30 p.m. $30. Find tickets at 514 N. Third St., Minneapolis; 612-486-2553. —Jessica Armbruster


Time/Keep: David Malcolm Scott and Rebecca Krinke
Rosalux Gallery

Consider reading, or rereading, Jennifer Egan’s novel The Keep before seeing this show. The fictional world centers on a tower; it’s a thing worth fighting for, but also a place of imprisonment. The story is an apt prelude to visiting Rebecca Krinke’s latest installment in her fantastical bed series. Her new piece, also called The Keep, is black and feathered. But the work is also charred and upside down, and the walls signal a container of desire and the monstrous in a single, chilling gesture. Krinke’s installation is paired with David Malcolm Scott’s watercolors, including a 30-foot-long scroll that abstractly conveys whole galaxies coming into being amid terrestrial shifts in time. There will be a public reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 8. Free. 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-747-3942. Through April 30 —Camille LeFevre


Scottish Ballet

English choreographer Matthew Bourne does not so much unpack classic ballets, operas, and films as dismantle and reassemble them into witty and sometimes terrifying theatrical homages. Variously described as a poet of the erotic, an over-the-top showman, and a master of both psychological tension and visceral thrills, Bourne defies categorization. His boldly transgressive dance/theater has recast Swan Lake into a tale of forbidden homosexual love, filling the stage with feral, bare-chested male swans. With references to The Postman Always Rings Twice, his 2001 Car Man turned Carmen into a ballet-noir set in a 1960s Italian-American community. Now he’s tackled that most effervescent of Romantic ballets, La Sylphide. Performed by the venerable Scottish Ballet with a live orchestra, Highland Fling abounds in tartan tutus and a hallucinatory mix of gritty nightclubs, druggies, and a grubby sylph out to seduce her wholesome victim, James. Some have dubbed it the “Trainspotting ballet.” But then 19th-century Romanticism had plenty of respect for the drug-altered state. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” anyone?) 8 p.m. $54-$74. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. —Linda Shapiro