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Wrestlepalooza, Kennel Club Dog Show, glam rock at Can Can: A-List 1.2

L-R: The Great Sasuki, Arik Cannon, Colt Cabana, and Kimber Lee

L-R: The Great Sasuki, Arik Cannon, Colt Cabana, and Kimber Lee Images courtesy event organizers

Here are our top happenings for this week.

WEDNESDAY 1.2

Derek Hughes
Acme Comedy Co.

Derek Hughes is known for mixing comedy and magic, with his act usually relying more on the latter. When he performs for corporate clients, it’s almost entirely magic. “Comedy these days is a tricky business, so to speak, with our sensitive culture,” he says. He’s dropped some jokes that are “not offensive,” he notes, “but the audience doesn’t know if it’s okay to release and laugh.” For example, he used to do a bit after a woman from the audience would help him with an illusion. “As she was going back to her seat I’d say, ‘Hey, that was great, maybe you should quit your job and become a magician. You could a female magician, a master magina.’” Hughes even had T-shirts designed by a Minneapolis artist, because the joke killed. “I don’t do it anymore because I can feel the audience go, ‘Can we laugh at that?’” That said, he still feels he can open up more in a club setting like Acme. “I had this revelation a few years ago. I was doing colleges and clubs, and there’s a very distinct difference between those. At a college or corporate event, the audience is sort of the unified group and the entertainer is the outside guest.” A club, on the other hand, is a group of strangers coming together to form a larger group that’s there to see the entertainer. “I’m the host, and the audience members are my guests, and in that environment I feel like I can say and do what I want.” 8 and 10:30 p.m. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

THURSDAY 1.3

Des Bishop
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

A bit of a handful as a teenager, Des Bishop was shipped off to Ireland from New York City by his parents when he was 14. The Emerald Island has been home ever since. Sounding more like fellow comic Pete Correale than, say, actor Liam Neeson, Bishop describes himself as an Irish guy with a New York accent. “Irish people don’t really see me as an Irish person,” he notes. “Honorary at best. And Americans don’t see me as a normal New Yorker; the accent confuses them. However, if I get totally comfortable, or I’m in a really bad mood, the New York accent is very strong.” He started comedy while in college in Ireland and quickly caught the attention of industry professionals there. Comedian Eddie Brill, who used to book David Letterman’s show, saw Bishop and invited him to perform at Caroline’s the next time he was in New York. “I was clueless as to how to perform in the States,” he recalls, “so, I went up and pretended to be Irish and talked about America.” It was the polar opposite of what he had been doing, and it didn’t work. “I knew what to do the next time, though.” Now he discusses subjects that are relatable to audiences in both countries. “I talk about getting older, nostalgia for the past, taking care of aging parents, and social issues like sexual taboos.” 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

Land O'Lakes Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show

Land O'Lakes Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show Getty

FRIDAY 1.4

Land O’Lakes Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show
Saint Paul Rivercentre

For the next three days, dogs and their humans will be in downtown St. Paul to show off their beauty, skills, and strength. Around 1,600 pups will compete for Best in Show honors. New this year is the Azawakh, a West African breed used to guard and hunt. Dogs will show us how awesome they are through a variety of challenges, demonstrations, and competitions, including disc catching, scent work, skijoring, and, amazingly, freestyle dancing. In total, 103 breeds will showcase their amazingness in hopes of winning an award. Dog tours will be offered each day, taking animal lovers behind the scenes and giving them a sneak peek at what they will see onstage. A dog expo will highlight local businesses, products, organizations, and more during the weekend. Find tickets and more info at landolakeskennelclub.org. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. $9; $7 seniors; $5 kids 12 and under. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

The Father
Gremlin Theatre

In The Father, contemporary playwright Florian Zeller’s devastating drama, an elderly man lives in defiance (if not outright denial) of his rapidly advancing dementia. But even those who possess the most immutable of wills can be subject to debilitating delusions. The man facing this particular ordeal is André, an authoritative figure whose rigid sense of order has long governed all areas of his life, including his approach to parenting, a fact painfully evident to the grown daughter who must now care for him. Or must she? Familial responsibility is just one of the dilemmas confronted in this thought-provoking play. Directed by Ellen Fenster, this area premiere from Gremlin Theatre offers a spotlight role to Craig Johnson, with supporting turns from Miriam Schwartz, Peter Christian Hansen, Emily Grodzik, Matt Wall, and Olivia Wilusz. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Monday, January 14; 3 p.m. Sundays. $25-$28. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 651-228-7008. Through January 27 —Brad Richason

CONsole Room 2019
Hilton MSP Airport/Mall of America

For the past five years, CONsole Room has hosted multi-day events celebrating all things Dr. Who. This year, they’ll return for three days of talks, room parties, workshops, and more. Celebrity guests include Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant opposite the third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), and Neve McIntosh, who plays Madame Vastra, an ancient lizard who finds herself awakened in 19th-century England (where she lends her skills to Scotland Yard and marries a human woman, naturally). Panels will cover a variety of topics, including plot inconsistencies, the science behind some of the ideas presented in the series, and the beloved (and often terrifying!) Christmas specials. Other fun to be had includes a cosplay contest, Dr. Who seed art, a vendor market, artist alley, and workshops covering things like sci-fi makeup, prop building, and fan-fiction writing. Find more info at console-room.com. $35-$50; VIP and weekend passes also available. 3800 American Blvd., Bloomington; 952-854-1687. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

"The Curious Case of Mary Toft" at Rosalux

"The Curious Case of Mary Toft" at Rosalux Amelia Biewald, 'G-Spot'

SATURDAY 1.5

The Curious Case of Mary Toft
Rosalux Gallery

In The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos’ new film fantasia of royal rivalries, Queen Anne keeps quarters with 17 rabbits—one for every child she’s lost. What would Mary Toft, an 18th-century Englishwoman who in 1726 apparently began giving birth to rabbits, have thought? She’d probably consider Queen Anne an amateur. Toft’s rabbit babies were allegedly a thing that had scientists baffled. Minneapolis artist Amelia Biewald was intrigued, and took up this odd case as inspiration and subject matter for her new exhibition, “The Curious Case of Mary Toft.” Biewald’s installations merge myth, mystery, science, and scandal into dreamy representations that seemingly drift through time with potent possibility. Tom Tozer’s hard-edged abstractions provide quite the counterpoint in this joint exhibition. There will be an opening reception for both shows on Saturday, January 5, from 7 to 10 p.m. 1400 Van Buren St. NE, #195, Minneapolis. Through January 27 —Camille LeFevre

Glam Rock Dance Party
Can Can Wonderland

Can Can Wonderland isn’t just a mini-golf course. It also hosts dance nights, theater productions, free tap-dance lessons, and more. This Saturday, they’ll be going glam (and a little goofy) at their Glam Rock Dance Party. Throw on some glitter, head into the ballroom, and dance to DJ tunes until the wee hours of the morning. Or try to pull off your best Bowie impression at the karaoke station. The air guitar competition may win you a prize if you’re good at make-believe, and surprise performances will also keep people entertained. 21+. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. $2. 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul. —Jessica Armbruster

Wrestlepalooza XIII & XIV
First Avenue

The biannual collision of rock, wrestling, and burlesque known as Wrestlepalooza has gotten so massive that it can’t be contained in just one evening. For the first time ever, Wrestlepalooza takes place on back-to-back nights at First Avenue, with different matches at each show, new surprises, and one Hollywood megastar. For wrestling superfans, both nights will feature the legendary Great Sasuke coming all the way from Japan to throw down at First Ave, along with indie mega stars like Colt Cabana, Arik Cannon, Shane Strickland, and Kimber Lee. There will also be world-class burlesque with Sweetpea and Joy Coy taking the stage, while Dillinger Four will be on hand to provide the soundtrack to each night of hard-hitting mayhem. But the biggest deal of this year’s Wrestlepalooza is undoubtedly the appearance of David Arquette. Yeah, the actor. Dewey from all four Scream movies. Arquette has recently jumped head-first into the world of pro wrestling, and will be stepping in the ring for the first time in Minnesota on Sunday night. There are still tickets available for Arquette’s local debut, but if history is any indicator that won’t be the case come fight night. 18+. 7 p.m. Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. $27/$35 at the door. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. Through Sunday—Patrick Strait

"Absentia"

"Absentia" Laura Migliorino, 'Blue Mirror'

Absentia: Abandoned Past
Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts

Abandoned spaces can be mysterious, beautiful, or completely unnoticeable. For photographer Laura Migliorino, they can also be deeply personal. Rather than focusing on empty storefronts, rusted and overgrown amusement parks, or rundown schools, she chooses to explore homes. “The project began when we placed my mom in a nursing home due to advanced dementia,” she states in a press release. “This marked the beginning of a process of loss, and the slow dismantling of our family home.” With her eye and a camera, she examines the relationships we build with the places we live in, as well as how shifts in occupants can bring about renewal and new life. See her work at her first solo show in the Twin Cities. You may already be familiar with her pieces; some of her photography is already part of the Walker’s permanent collection. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. There will also be an artist’s talk Saturday, January 19, at 2 p.m. 6666 E. River Rd., Fridley; 763-574-1850. Through February 2 —Jessica Armbruster

Free First Saturdays
Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center hosts kid-friendly fun the first Saturday of every month. This weekend is no different, with plenty of special activities planned. This installment will feature local authors and explorations in the color wheel. Illustrator and author Tamara Shopsin will be teaming up with photographer Jason Fulford to talk about what different colors mean to them. The two have released quite a few children’s books, including This Equals ThatFind ColorsThese Colors Are Bananas, and A Pile of Leaves. Award-winning poet Bao Phi will read from A Different Pond, his picture book following a father and son as they fish in Minneapolis. Craft projects, short film screenings, and other creative fun will be available for free this afternoon, too. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. —Jessica Armbruster

Dennis Hopper: American Nightmare at Trylon

Dennis Hopper: American Nightmare at Trylon 'True Romance'

SUNDAY 1.6

Dennis Hopper: American Nightmare
Trylon Cinema

Actor Dennis Hopper, who died in 2010, was an incorrigible nonconformist who crafted electrifying performances in a wide range of films, stealing the screen in low-budget indies and studio blockbusters alike. While his career trajectory veered from acclaimed heights to precipitous depths, Hopper insisted on following his muse, turning in haunting portrayals of outcasts enduring on the margins of American society. The latest retrospective at Trylon Cinema, Dennis Hopper: American Nightmare, offers a thrilling compendium of fringe figures living against the odds. Starting with Hopper’s directorial debut, The Last Movie (1971), the series leaps into artistic abandon, as the film subverts narrative expectations to follow a former Hollywood horse wrangler in search of a utopian paradise in Peru. Shot in expressionistic black-and-white, Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish (1983) presents Hopper as a regretful father mired in alcoholism. In the underrated The American Friend (1977), Hopper portrays a lifelong crook who finds an unlikely accomplice in a terminally ill picture framer. On a more deranged note, Blue Velvet (1986) earned Hopper accolades for his terrifying portrayal of a sadomasochistic killer menacing a nightclub singer and her would-be protector. And in True Romance (1993), Hopper brings empathy to his role as a father resolved to protect his wayward son at any cost. Showtimes vary, check trylon.org for more info. $8. 2820 E 33rd St, Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through January 29 —Brad Richason