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Video games at Science Museum, dive bar V-Day eats, fruity beer: A-List 2.13

"Game Changers" at the Science Museum

"Game Changers" at the Science Museum L-R: Fruit Ninja, Dance Central, Minecraft

Here are our top picks for happenings this week.

Marlon James

Marlon James Mark Seliger

WEDNESDAY 2.13

Marlon James
Fitzgerald Theater

Man Booker Prize-winning author and Macalester College professor Marlon James is back to wow readers with Black Leopard, Red Wolf, an epic tale that combines historical fiction, fantasy, and African folklore. This is the first installment of the Dark Star trilogy, which centers on the search for a missing boy. Each of the three books will examine the same event from different perspectives, leaving the reader to surmise who is telling the truth and who is lying. The unreliable narrator is a longstanding device in African storytelling, and James takes the position that “if you end up being deceived, that’s your problem.” As the narrative unfolds, the story winds through antiquated cities and vivid landscapes, introducing readers to a ragtag bunch of characters including a human flesh-eater, bloodthirsty hyenas, giants, mermaids, witches, trolls, conjoined twins, and a shape-shifting man-animal. Queerness, gender fluidity, and hot-button topics like female genital mutilation also come into play. While this 600-plus-page tome spiked with graphic violence isn’t an easy read, it is a rewarding one. 7 p.m. $25-$30; $50 VIP. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-290-1200. —Erica Rivera

Cy Amundson
Acme Comedy Co.

Working as a standup has put comedian Cy Amundson more in tune with what’s going on around him. “Every comic is so different in how they perceive stuff and how they write,” he notes. “I would say—and I’d say this is true of most any comic—the longer I’ve been doing it, the stronger my filter is. When I was younger, a joke would come in, and it would take me forever to figure out how to write it, why to write it, and how exactly it should look and sound.” And while he finds different things funny as he gets older, he says that could also be true if he were, say, a plumber. “You laugh at different stuff when you’re 34 than when you were 24. I just try to talk about whatever is currently happening to me,” he adds. “The things that happen when you’re older—getting married, buying a house—are different than when you’re a dumbass kid.” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18; $30 Valentine’s Day. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Dive Bar Prix Fixe Dinner

Dive Bar Prix Fixe Dinner Bull's Horn

THURSDAY 2.14

Dive Bar Prix Fixe Dinner
Bull’s Horn Food And Drink

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about flowers, chocolate, and stuffed animals. Sometimes the best way to a person’s heart is with unpretentious, tasty food. There’s a reason that reservations to White Castle on this day sell out and pizzas lovingly shaped into hearts remain popular. Bull’s Horn, a neighborhood beer joint, is getting in on a little V-Day action as well, offering a prix fixe dinner geared toward low-key lovers, BFFs, and anyone else who is hungry. For $12 ($24 if you’re rolling big and picking up the tab), you’ll be treated to a three-course meal of bar food. For round one you can choose between chicken wings and cheese curds. The second course is a burger and chips, and the meal ends with the dessert choice of school cafeterias everywhere: pudding. Plunk down another $8 (or $16 if you’re not going Dutch) for a bubble pairing where you can down a Miller High Life 40 or split a bottle of Ruffino Prosecco. 3 to 9 p.m. $12 per person. 4563 S. 34th Ave., Minneapolis; 612-208-1378. —Jessica Armbruster

Lashed But Not Leashed
Guthrie Theater

Martha Graham Cracker—aka Fernando Steven (Dito) Van Reigersberg, co-founder of Pig Iron Theatre Company—is a Philadelphia-based drag performer who has been delighting audiences with a mix of drama, comedy, sass, and song for almost eight years. He calls the “Martha” persona an example of “monster drag,” meaning she’s clearly a man (hairy chest and all) presenting as a woman (or should we say parading?). A live band backs up Martha through a zinging evening of diva-driven charm. The name? Van Reigersberg reportedly studied briefly at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. The show is the second of three presentations in the Guthrie’s Get Used To It: A Celebration of Queer Artistry festival. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 10 p.m. Saturday. $9. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through Saturday —Camille LeFevre

Ben Gleib
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Ben Gleib has tried dialing back the political bits in his act, saving that material for his podcast, Last Week on Earth. However, last summer at a gig in Chicago, he was compelled to dive back in. He was telling a joke about women making duck faces in photographs, and followed it with a line about how we elected a president who looks like a duck. A woman in the audience wasn’t having it and yelled, “Don’t talk about the Donald.” Gleib hadn’t planned to make any more jokes about Trump, but things took a turn. “Don’t talk about the Donald?” he responded. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought this was America, how weird.” He then proceeded to do another five minutes on the president and freedom of speech. So watch out, hecklers. “I’m doing more improv and crowd work in my act,” he says. “People coming to see me should see a different show every night. It’s not that weighty to think about.” Well, that’s the case on most nights. 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23; special Valentine’s packages available. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

"Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection"

"Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection" L-R: Glenn Ligon, 'Self-Portrait at Eleven Years Old'; Alice Neel, 'Charlotte Willard', Kehinde Wiley, 'Untitled'

Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection
Walker Art Center

Anyone who has ever struggled with understanding or appreciating art may find the perfect way in here. This exhibition, drawn from the Walker’s collections, is organized by galleries into five sections: self (portraits), inside (the interior domain), outside (landscape), everyday (still life), and everything (abstraction). The words may be quotidian, but the artwork isn’t. And yet, whether a piece is by a modern master or young innovator, the paintings, sculpture, drawings, photos, and video work presented here demonstrate how artists continue to reinvent genres and look for unconventional approaches to investigating the ordinary. See it first at Thursday night’s Winter at the Walker event, which will include author readings, tours, a movie screening, and more from 5 to 9 p.m. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through September 19, 2021 —Camille LeFevre

Casks & Candy
Insight Brewing

This Valentine’s Day, Insight will be offering a variety of bubbly... beer. So if you and your sweetie prefer pints to flutes, this event is for you. Throughout the day the brewpub will be tapping a mix of their classic beers with a fruity twist. The tart Troll Way already has notes of peach and lemon, but this Thursday they’ll be adding mango to the mix. Saison Sunken City already packs a punch with a high ABV thanks to its use of sauvignon blanc grapes. Now it’ll be amped up even more with raspberries. Finally, brut IPA Lovely Vision has a date with peaches. There will be free candy to snack on, and J+D Foods will be stopping by, too. 4 to 10 p.m. Free. 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-722-7222. —Jessica Armbruster

"Unloved Creatures" at Rogue Buddha

"Unloved Creatures" at Rogue Buddha L-R: Heather Renaux, John Sauer, Eli Libson

FRIDAY 2.15

Unloved Creatures
Rogue Buddha Gallery

For Valentine’s Day weekend, Rogue Buddha has a special exhibit in store. The show’s conceit is that all creatures—even nasty and scary ones—are deserving of love. Come for Heather Renaux’s forlorn fairies, Alex Kuno’s naughty country maids, Eli Libson’s interstellar space monsters, and John Sauer’s desolate fighter pilots. The works are a mix of titillating kitsch and melancholy whimsy, with a side of frightening sad sacks. There will be an opening reception on Friday, February 15, from 7 to 11 p.m. Free. 357 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-3889. Through March 13 —Sheila Regan

6 Year Anniversary Party
612Brew

Northeast Minneapolis beer hall 612Brew is celebrating turning six with a multi-day birthday party. Each day will feature a variety of happenings and deals. Special beer releases include the Unrated After Dark Black IPA on Friday, and the Seven Second Dance Party MPLS Style IPA and Passion Fruit Seven Second Dance Party on Saturday. Red Wagon Pizza and J+D Foods will offer a menu infused with 612Brew selections. Saturday’s offerings include special tours with doughnuts from Glam Doll, freebies and flight specials, a free beer hour from 5 to 6 p.m., and a dance party until close. 2:30 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday. Free. 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-930-4606. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

Game Changers
Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Museum’s latest exhibition, “Game Changers,” will turn the space into a 10,000-square-foot arcade loaded with 100 playable games, including rare machines from the ’70s and ’80s and a giant dance game setup. You’ll also learn a bit about the history of video-game creation thanks to a retrospective covering over 40 years and 30 designers. There will be rare concept artwork, creator interviews, and interactive stations exploring things like game music, design, and more.The show breaks things down into three categories: The Arcade Heroes (landmark games like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids), the Game Changers (unexpected and influential hits like Diablo III, LEGO Batman 3, Rock Band 3, Sonic the Hedgehog), and the Indies (games that made it big without massive early backing, such as Angry Birds, Minecraft, and Castle Crashers). You’ll be able to play them all for the price of museum admission. 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-221-9444. Through May 5 —Jessica Armbruster 

The Government Inspector
Theatre In the Round

When Russian playwright Nikolai Gogol crafted The Government Inspector in 1836, he probably didn’t envision a day when the play’s depiction of shameless avarice and buffoonery could be perceived as anything but satire. As it stands, contemporary audiences can ponder the uncanny parallels between the 19th-century farce and our 21st-century reality when Theatre in the Round Players mounts the production. The Government Inspector focuses on a disgraced former clerk who finds himself mistaken for the titular figure, an official assigned to investigate corruption in a small village. The bizarre turn of fortune leads the impersonator into a series of surreal encounters with a motley procession of crooked politicians, enablers, and preening would-be consorts, all angling to curry favor with a man who has no actual authority. Paced with a madcap energy in keeping with an anarchic spirit, this modern adaption by Jeffrey Hatcher should resonate with audiences. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $18-$22. 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through March 10 —Brad Richason

"Of the North" at Public Functionary

"Of the North" at Public Functionary Jacob Aaron Schroeder

SATURDAY 2.16

St. Gaila Party
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

With soothing sweet honey and a tart raspberry finish, St. Gail Raspberry Honey Ale is a bright and colorful reminder that things aren’t always dreary in winter. At the first-ever St. Gaila Party, Lakes & Legends has brewed up four variations to debut throughout the day, and there will be a best-dressed competition for those with a flair for fashion. Gastrotruck has a custom menu designed for St. Gail pairings, and the Minneapolis Craft Market will be selling locally made goods. When visiting, don’t forget: Lakes & Legends validates for parking discounts at the LPM and Hyatt ramps. 6 p.m. to midnight. Free. 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis; 612-999-6020. —Loren Green

Robert Baril
Sisyphus Brewing

A few years ago, Robert Baril realized that he wasn’t writing from the heart. “The comedians I idolized never really talked about themselves,” he explains. “They just did jokes about current events, and that’s the kind of stuff that I liked and thought I could do. But I realized that I was writing jokes that I thought those guys would write, instead of being myself.” In the two years that have passed since the release of his debut album, Sex and Politics, Baril has started to let the audience learn more about him, including his love life and his new role as a step-grandpa (he got engaged this past July). “I’ve always been a grandpa at heart,” he says. “I could spend all day drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, watching World War II documentaries, and complaining about things. Marrying a grandma and becoming an acting step-grandpa really isn’t that much of an adjustment.” This week, he’ll record a new album of material at Sisyphus, but he hasn’t completely abandoned his political material. “I still like to talk about whatever the hot-button topics are in the world right now, but I don’t really need to be super opinionated about them,” he says. “Whether it’s the military or marriage equality, I talk about things in a way that means they’ll have a longer lifespan then having to remember the political punchline of the day.” 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $10. 712 Ontario Ave. W., Ste. 100, Minneapolis; 612-444-8674. —Patrick Strait

Of the North: Jacob Aaron Schroeder
Public Functionary

Stories of LGBTQ mental health, queer identity, homophobia, and toxic masculinity are fused in St. Paul artist Jacob Aaron Schroeder’s first solo exhibition. An installation of mixed-media and sculptural work, the exhibition functions—conceptually and, in many ways, literally—as a sort of altar to gender non-conforming, transgender, and queer experiences. Schroeder conducted his research in St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Virginia, combining narratives both urban and rural. The result illuminates object, place, and space to reveal the pain and poetry of lives lived. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, February 16, and an artist’s conversation at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 23. Free. 1400 12th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-978-5566. Through March 9 —Camille LeFevre

Spearwave V3.N1/Grand Opening
Soomaal House of Art

Soomaal House of Art is getting new digs. The arts organization, which showcases work by Somali artists, has been hosting events and exhibitions around the Twin Cities since forming in 2016. These happenings have been held at local mosques, art galleries, community centers, and libraries. Now Soomaal will have its own space to call home. The grand opening takes place in conjunction with the reception for Soomaal’s latest exhibition, which will include a new portrait series by artist Yasmin Yassin, as well as work by graphic designer and visual artist Kaamil A. Haider. For Soomaal’s discussion series, Spearwave, Yassin and Haider will be joined by poet/playwright Abdi Phenomenal and poet Khadija Charif, who will also perform. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. 2200 Minnehaha Ave., #200, Minneapolis; 612-220-3089. —Sheila Regan

SUNDAY 2.17

Barrel Aged Week
Town Hall Brewery

Town Hall has been barrel-aging beers for 18 years now, and even managed to win an award for Czar Jack imperial stout before barrel-aged beer had its own category. The brewpub’s barrel program continues to grow, and this week’s festival points the spotlight directly at their big, bold, and complex creations. That will include offerings like Manhattan Reserve, Twisted Trace, ET Wee, and Foolish Angel. The week kicks off with growler presales, where Town Hall will reward those who wait in line with free coffee and cheap breakfast burritos. Then they’ll release more beers each day. This event also features two one-week-only menu items, two chef-driven beer and dinner pairings, and a limited supply of bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup for sale to take home. Show up early to reserve some growlers, and return throughout the week for more beer. 1430 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-8696 Through February 24 —Loren Green

'Falsettos'

'Falsettos' Marc J. Franklin for Playbill

TUESDAY 2.19

Falsettos
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

Falsettos, a musical by William Finn and James Lapine, was ahead of its time when it premiered in 1992, with a story centering on the emotional bonds among a gay man named Marvin, his lover, his ex-wife, and his young son. Underscored by evocative musical numbers, the narrative radiates empathy for marginalized characters who will never possess the luxury of supposed normalcy. Falsettos’ 2016 Broadway revival by Lincoln Center Theater proved a critical and popular hit, amassing five Tony Awards. Twin Cities audiences will now have a chance to appreciate that same heralded staging when the touring production (lead by Broadway standouts Nick Adams, Eden Espinosa, and Max von Essen) makes a stop at the Ordway. Even as the social progress of recent years is assailed by bigotry, Falsettos revels in an emancipation from such intolerance, proposing that families are founded on love and acceptance. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $48-$117. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. Through Sunday —Brad Richason