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Weird Al burlesque, X Games, skateboard art: A-List 7.18-24

The X Games

The X Games ESPN

Check out this week's roundup of great happenings.

The Torchlight Parade

The Torchlight Parade Dusty Hoskovec

WEDNESDAY 7.18

Minneapolis Aquatennial
Various locations

Now in its 78th year, the Minneapolis Aquatennial is a celebration of the city. In addition to longstanding favorites like the Torchlight Parade (Wednesday) and the massive fireworks finale (Saturday), this year’s party will include yard games on Hennepin County Government Center’s South Plaza (Wednesday) and lunchtime piano performances (Thursday). For those looking to put the “aqua” in Aquatennial, Wednesday’s Loring Park Family Fun Night will include free canoeing and paddling instruction from Wilderness Inquiry, and the always popular Twin Cities River Rats water ski show is happening Thursday and Friday nights. Sadly, the Aquatennial Beach Bash, with milk carton boat races and sandcastle building, is no more. However, the Minneapolis Fire Department and Kids’ Zone will still be a part of the festivities. Run the Torchlight 5K, pick up your 2018 Skipper Pin, and get ready for the “Best Days of Summer” once again. For a complete schedule, check out www.aquatennial.com. Through Saturday —Patrick Strait

Andy Kindler
Acme Comedy Co.

After appearing at Acme, Andy Kindler will be off to Montreal to deliver his State of the Industry address at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. “The thing is, the Louis C.K. stuff happened after last year’s speech,” he says. “So I haven’t had a chance to gloat in Montreal about how I was one of the first people to call him out just based on my own bitterness, jealousy, and envy. Now who backed the right horse?” On the social media front, Kindler has been unusually quiet as of late. “I was addicted to Twitter,” he confesses. “I was spending too much time on it. In the old days you’d work on material, but today there are way more ways to waste time. I’m getting better at not getting into arguments with robots on Twitter, because that was a problem.” 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

THURSDAY 7.19

Summer X Games
U.S. Bank Stadium

The X Games has elevated athletic risk-taking to precarious new heights since making their debut in 1995, providing a showcase for the most astonishing maneuvers to be attempted in the categories of skateboard, BMX, and Moto X. Whether on two wheels or four, the field of intrepid athletes will be gathering to compete at U.S. Bank Stadium for a second consecutive year. Held over four days, the X Games also invites spectators to partake in related activities, autograph sessions, and concerts (including Kaskade, Brother Ali, Ice Cube, and Zedd). See p. 8 for more, and find more info at xgames.espn.com/xgames. $20-$750. 900 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis; 612-338-4537. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

"Cracked Pavement"

"Cracked Pavement" L-R: Work by Dylan Strait, Kevin Horn

Cracked Pavement
Gamut Gallery

With snow and ice covering the ground for much of the year, it’s amazing that the Twin Cities skate scene has been going strong for decades. As national pro athletes arrive in Minnesota to compete in the X Games at U.S. Bank Stadium, Gamut Gallery will be going local, revisiting our history and culture through skate-inspired art. Jeremy Lindvig reworks and restores vintage skate decks, repairing the wood and iconic artwork. Kevin Horn captures skater moves with a rare subtlety and skill. Dylan Strait’s inky illustrations will give older skaters flashbacks, recalling the classic skate-punk aesthetic: crushed beer cans, zombie faces, miscellaneous filth. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 19, featuring a pizza truck, raffle, and music by DJ Slamdunkapher. Local film shorts will screen during a closing-night party from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, August 3. Free; $5 for opening and closing receptions. 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis; 612-367-4327.Through August 3 —Jessica Armbruster

Beth Dow: Prediction Error
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Pictures lie; photographer Beth Dow will be the first to tell you this. But our brains don’t always give us accurate information, either. When processing new data, we draw from our bank of previous experience. Often, we’re right. But sometimes our brains make what’s called a “prediction error.” Through still-life photographs of fruit and flowers, Dow explores what happens when we can’t quite make sense of what we’re seeing. In her conceptual landscapes, she takes viewers through the Badlands in full color, a departure from previous exhibitions of black-and-white images of formal gardens and rural scenes. In her series “The Valley,” she examines topography through an eerie, almost extraterrestrial lens that will make you question everything you thought you understood about landscape photography. Dow was born in Minneapolis and raised in Brooklyn Park by a photographer father, Ron Dow, who passed away last month. His influence, she says, is scattered throughout this show, which takes place in the same museum where he exhibited in 1967. There will be a public reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 16. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through October 28—Erica Rivera

Maronzio Vance
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I’m looking at comedy differently now,” says Maronzio Vance. “It’s always been a business, but it’s more a business now than ever before because you as a comedian are a business. I don’t think comics look at themselves as a business. We look at ourselves as artists and entertainers, which we are, but at the same time you’ve got to brand yourself. You got know what you’re selling.” To that end, Vance resists doing late night talk shows. “No one watches late-night TV anymore,” he says. “The people you’re going to see on late-night TV, you’re already following on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You see what they’re doing all day long.” For the first time in his career, he feels like he’s moving in the right direction after parting ways with a manager who didn’t understand him. “I used to joke, ‘I’m not black enough for black people, but sometimes I can be too aggressive for white people.’ I’m in the middle.” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday through Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

"Black and White Blues"

"Black and White Blues" Marc Norberg

Black & White Blues
The Show Gallery

The M (otherwise known as the Minnesota Museum of American Art) hasn’t closed up shop during its renovation. In fact, the museum with the incredible collection is on the move and more active than ever. This exhibition is one example: A partnership with the Show Gallery and the Lowertown Blues and Funk Fest that presents Marc Norberg’s dynamic black-and-white photographs of iconic blues musicians. During the opening, there will be live music by Erik Christenson, followed by Ken Valdez (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday). Other times, recordings by the performers immortalized in Norberg’s photos will play in the gallery. Those recordings and the photos were collected in a 1995 book, as well. The opening party is on Thursday, July 19, from 6to 9 p.m. Free. 346 N. Sibley St., St. Paul; 651-419-8022. Through July 29 —Camille LeFevre

Third Thursday: Bike Night
Minneapolis Institute of Art

[Editor's note: This event has been rescheduled for July 26 due to weather concerns.] This Thursday, folks from the Twin Cities cycling scene will be hanging out in Mia’s backyard, sharing a bit of their bike love with revelers. Ride through the open doors to this outdoor party, where you’ll find folks from 30 Days of Biking, the Cycling Museum of Minnesota, One on One Bicycle Studio, and Powderhorn 24, a 24-hour summertime bike race. Pose for pics in the photobooth, listen to tunes, and make some art. Beer, wine, and eats from the likes of Fro Yo Soul and Cafe Racer will be available. Meet at Surly Brewing for a pint and a friendly ride to the event around 4:30 p.m. (ride at 5:30 p.m.). 6 to 9 p.m. Free. 2400 S. Third Ave., Minneapolis; 612-870-3000. —Jessica Armbruster

Rhythm & Flow
The Lab Theater

Danny Buraczeski, one of the world’s most revered jazz choreographers and founder of the former Minneapolis company JAZZDANCE by Danny Buraczeski, was in town recently to produce his 1998 work “Points on a Curve” with Eclectic Edge Ensemble. It’s that troupe’s 15th anniversary. To celebrate, artistic director Karis Sloss also invited Zoe Sealy, Karla Grotting, and Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner—all fundamental to the development of jazz movement in the Twin Cities—to show works as well. A variety of EEE’s work will also be performed. When asked about the future of jazz dance in the Twin Cities, Buraczeski has said the new generation includes “Karis and her company.” 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $20/$25 at the door; $17 students. 700 First St. N., Minneapolis; 612-333-3377. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre

Get ready to get Weird.

Get ready to get Weird. Image courtesy event organizers

FRIDAY 7.20

Al-Stravaganza
Mounds Theatre

If it exists, someone finds it sexy. In the case of Weird Al, many people find the man and his tunes sexy. Tight and Nerdy is the world’s first—and, let’s be realistic, probably only—Weird Al Yankovic burlesque troupe. This weekend, they will take to the stage of Mounds Theatre for two nights of raunch and randiness inspired by the iconic parody genius. There will be accordion jams, odes to Spam, and other fusions of titillation and tribute. Each evening will feature a costume contest, games, and themed cocktails. Plus, on Saturday night, a top-secret movie screening goes down following the show. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $20/$25 at the door; $35 VIP. 1029 Hudson Rd., St. Paul; 651-772-2253. Through Saturday —Jessica Armbruster

The Floating Library

The Floating Library David Eberhardt

SATURDAY 7.21

The Floating Library
Phalen Park Beach

Just in time for National Library Week, the Floating Library returns to Lake Phalen. Yes, that’s right, it’s a library that floats in the middle of a lake. On this raft you’ll find an oasis of art books and reading material for your pleasure and perusal, along with friendly merfolk librarians who will guide you to reading material that strikes your fancy. To get to the Floating Library, all you have to do is rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat, available at the shore. (Paddle boats are highly recommended for their ease and convenience in the reading-and-paddling department.) The library is filled with books created and donated by artists, submitted through an open call process. It’s a great opportunity to check out some zines and indulge in visual delights, all while blissfully soaking in the sun on a beautiful lake. For more info, visit thefloatinglibrary.org. 1 to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free. 1400 Phalen Dr., St. Paul.Through August 5 —Sheila Regan

Witch District Stitch
Hair and Nails Gallery

Downtown dance darling Kristin Van Loon and her cohort Ryan Fontaine combine their interests in this lively event at their gallery, Hair and Nails. Screen-printed details from Fontaine’s paintings find their way into wearable art by Los Angeles artist/musician Rachel Blomgren, worn by models dancing through the galleries and backyard sculpture garden. Clothing by local artist/musician Rebecca Spangenthal will also be on display in the garden. Meanwhile, movers Laurie Van Wieren, Amal Rogers, and Hijack (Van Loon and Arwen Wilder) perform on the walls, in the basement, and under the trees. Yes, there’s music, too. And Fontaine’s new painting and sculpture show, “The Confounding Variable,” will be on view. 7:30 to 11 p.m. Free. 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis; 612-229-0585. —Camille LeFevre

Red Hot Art Festival

Red Hot Art Festival Image courtesy event organizers

Red Hot Art Festival 2018
Stevens Square Park

Before the massive art shows featuring national touring artists take over downtown and south Minneapolis, Red Hot Art will bring the local creative community together for two days. Over 150 Twin Cities artists will be showcasing their work, including screen printers, jewelry designers, and oddity collectors. There will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, kids’ fun, and more each day. Around 20 different musical acts will play tunes over the weekend, and food trucks will be stopping by. All of it comes with cool downtown views just around the corner. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. 1801 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Hand to God
Jungle Theater

Teenage angst can manifest in myriad ways. Hand to God’s young protagonist, mild-mannered Jason, unleashes his repressed emotions through an offensive puppet named Tyrone. The situation takes an even more troubling turn when it becomes clear that Jason views Tyrone not just as a separate entity, but a demonic being capable of possessing his very soul. Played out on Jason’s hand, this Jekyll and Hyde struggle is exacerbated by the play’s setting, an otherwise sedate church-basement gathering of the Christian Puppet Ministry, a group led by Jason’s anxious mother, overseen by the local pastor, and attended by two other teens. Soon enough, the staid room and its hapless inhabitants are subjected to a weird battle pitting virtue against vice. Beyond its scathing humor, Hand to God works as a poignant character study, especially when performed with the emphatic nuances of Riley O’Toole (reprising the role after an acclaimed production with Utah’s Salt Lake Acting Company), under the assured direction of Jungle Theater’s resident director, Christina Baldwin. The show is in previews July 18-20. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $37-$47. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-7063. Through August 19 —Brad Richason

The Toy-Oh-Tah ArtCar

The Toy-Oh-Tah ArtCar Image courtesy event organizers

Annual Art Car + Art Bike Parade
Lake Harriet

Art Cars and Art Bikes have special powers: They can make you smile while sitting in traffic, they add whimsy when they’re simply parked in your neighborhood, and they’re a unique sight in a sea of Hondas, Fords, and Chevrolets. For the past 24 years, Art Car owners have come together each summer to ride in front of spectators. Head to the Rose Garden this Saturday, or any nearby grassy knoll, as these steel works of art slowly make their way around Lake Harriet. Past years have seen cars decorated with mosaic tiles, lipstick kisses, and toys. Come watch the parade, then spend an evening at the beach or get some ice cream. 6 p.m. Free. 4124 Roseway Rd., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

MONDAY 7.23

LALA Festival
Red Eye Theatre

The Live Art/Live Artfully (LALA) Festival returns for its second year with a week full of experimental performances, discussions, artist speed dating, and more. Featuring both local and New York artists, this year’s festival emphasizes the importance of building a healthier, more inclusive national performance community. There will be self-help book explorations, drag queen evenings, afro-punk sessions, and meditations on sexual intimacy and kitsch. Highlights include Paige Collette’s delightfully poignant The Monica Meditations, a piece about the Monica Lewinsky scandal that was previously part of the New Works 4 Weeks festival at Red Eye. See it Thursday night, along with Michael R. Jackson’s Burning to a Crisp Under the Hot White Ga(yz)e, a new work about black queer identity, and Stacey Rose’s Legacy Land, in which two sisters revisit their dark past. Be sure to check out Monday’s kick-off event, a talent show starring all of the artists in the festival. Find the complete list of times and locations at lalafestival.com. Prices range from free to $10. Locations vary, though many happenings are at Red Eye: 15 W. 14th St, Minneapolis. Through July 29—Sheila Regan