Galentine's Day, side-eye memes, and queer night Daddy at First Ave: A-List 2.7-13

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Marcel Michelle Mobama Kashi

This week's top events includes a queer-friendly dance night, a V-Day shopping party, and a celebration of friendship. Comes take a look.

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Image courtesy Theatre Latte Da

WEDNESDAY 2.7

Assassins
The Ritz Theater

With recent productions including Ragtime and an immigration-themed Man of La Mancha, Theatre Latté Da is accustomed to bringing national politics to the musical stage. Assassins, though, is a little more direct. Stephen Sondheim’s 1990 musical explores the stories, and the psyches, of men who have killed (or attempted to kill) American presidents: John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, and others. “At the core of the piece,” explains director Peter Rothstein, “is what happens when people feel disenfranchised, what happens when people think they’ve been promised some idea of America and that fails them.” This is charged material, and Rothstein is going to make sure we can’t keep ourselves at a safe remove. The show opens in a shooting gallery, and the entire Ritz Theater stage is going to become a midway—with the audience invited to participate. “The theater opens an hour before the performance starts,” explains Rothstein. “The actors are all working the carnival, the bar is onstage; it’s popcorn and peanuts and carnival games. The carnival is a big part of the commentary on the piece, and I would love the audience to feel like they aren’t just observers. It’s impossible in 2018 to think you’re not part of this carnival.” 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-339-3003. Through March 18 —Jay Gabler

Jimmy Shubert
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Jimmy Shubert thinks that sometimes we don’t appreciate how good we have it. “I was watching this show about conjoined twins,” he tells an audience. “I felt bad for them. You see that and it puts your bullshit in perspective.” He elaborates. “You take things for granted being one person. Can you imagine if someone was connected to you?... I love my brothers, but to have to share a kidney, a spleen, and a liver with one of them? Two Irish guys, one liver; that would never work out.” Shubert is a veteran comic, whose career goes back to the glory days of the Comedy Store in L.A. During his time there, he wrote jokes for comics such as Yakov Smirnoff, Jimmy Walker, and Louie Anderson, while also building his own act. Sam Kinison was so impressed with Shubert that he took him on the road as feature. Today, Shubert headlines clubs and theaters across the country. 16+. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$48.95. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

Magic 8 Ball
Bryant-Lake Bowl

Theresa Madaus is back at the Bryant-Lake Bowl for the second-annual Magic 8 Ball, an evening of dance, drag, and glittery audacity. Local performers Paige Collette, Julia Davidson, Jeffry Lusiak (aka PussPuss), and Megan Mayer will join Madaus for an evening of no-holds-barred extravagance. Presented by Lipsync Lesbian, the show will also include a little tidbit from Madaus’ reunited dance group, Mad King Thomas. Some of the members have moved to other cities, so we don’t get to see their awesomeness as frequently here in the Twin Cities these days. Expect the unexpected with a mashup of high and low art. 7 p.m. $10-$16 sliding scale. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3737. —Sheila Regan

Jackie Kashian
Acme Comedy Co.

Though she’s from Milwaukee originally, and now lives in Los Angeles, Jackie Kashian considers the Acme Comedy Co. to be her home club because that’s where she got her start. Recently, she was at a club in a city where one would think the audiences would be very savvy about comedy: New York. Well, Long Island specifically. “The room was a little too well lit,” she says. “At the late show Saturday there was a couple making out so hard, she was in his lap.” Kashian, who had a full view, addressed them. “Guys, you genuinely have to stop, because I’m up here trying to think. You either have to leave, or we can stop the show and watch you guys. That might be worth $17.” Kashian has appeared several times on Conan, and still hosts her long-running and popular podcast The Dork Forest, on which she interviews the famous and not-at-all famous about a specific hobby or interest. She also co-hosts The Jackie and Laurie Show, a podcast about standup comedy from a woman’s perspective, with fellow comic Laurie Kilmartin. 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

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Side-eye screen grab at an awards show

THURSDAY 2.8

Microcinema #1: Relatable Side Eye
The White Page

In the internet era, no meme is as ubiquitous as the reaction gif. When typed-out words can easily be misconstrued as earnest, the side-eye, hell-no, and head-shaking gifs let people know you’re silently disapproving of them from afar. This Thursday, Altered Esthetics and the White Page gallery are teaming up for a short film series featuring meme-able short videos full of side eyes, charismatic glances, head tilting, and more. You can contribute to the fun as well; send your short film to aefilmfest@gmail.com. 7:30 p.m. Free. 3400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

FRIDAY 2.9

They Are Waiting for You
Walker Art Center

To conclude her exhibition “Laure Prouvost: They Are Waiting for You,” the French-born conceptual artist presents a world-premiere performance in collaboration with artist Sam Belinfante and choreographer Pierre Droulers. It’s also her first major production for the stage, which will include film, movement, and a score performed live by local and New York musicians. Prouvost has made several films in the past in which she plays with conventional narrative and communication modalities by distorting sound, sight, and meaning with wit. Her artwork does something similar. By interweaving movement, sound, found objects, painting, fiction, and fact, she challenges and transforms expected meanings into a restless discourse about the nature of language and understanding in a fractured yet increasingly interconnected world. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through Saturday —Camille LeFevre

Chris Kattan
New Hope Cinema Grill

If you were alive in the ’90s, chances are you’ve done an impression of Chris Kattan. Maybe not of the actor himself, but of one of his iconic characters from Saturday Night Live: Mango, Mr. Peepers, the Butabi Brothers from Night at the Roxbury (the one with Will Ferrell where they head-bopped to “What Is Love”). This week, Kattan is taking on the role of standup comedian when he stops by the New Hope Cinema Grill for two nights. Since his time on SNL, Kattan has consistently appeared on the small screen, with recent roles in the Adam Sandler Netflix western The Ridiculous 6, as well as several seasons on the ABC sitcom The Middle. Last year, Kattan was back in the spotlight as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, showing the world that his dance moves aren’t limited to head-bops. While he’s more known for his sketch and improv skills, Kattan has reinvented himself as a standup these past few years, sharing anecdotes from his career, giving longtime fans a look behind the curtain at some of his most famous onscreen moments, and connecting with new generations of fans who have found his sketches and films online. This is your chance to get that 2001 VHS of Corky Romano autographed by Corky himself. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $25-$35. 2749 Winnetka Ave. N., New Hope; 763-417-0017. Through Saturday —Patrick Strait

The Pirates of Penzance
Park Square Theatre

With its swashbuckling humor centered on a farcical romance, The Pirates of Penzance is one of the most enduring operettas of famed collaborators Gilbert and Sullivan. This clever adaptation by Doug Scholz-Carlsen presents the hijinks in a rollicking new context. Framing the original tale as a story-within-a-story, Scholz-Carlsen has incorporated Gilbert and Sullivan as characters aboard a steamship on a New York-bound passage to premiere the titular work. Inspired by the real-life 1879 journey (Pirates being the sole Gilbert and Sullivan work to receive its worldwide debut in the United States), Scholz-Carlsen amplifies the humor with a twist in which the new operetta’s hotly anticipated book and score have been mistakenly left behind. Frantic to save the show, the duo resort to using whatever resources are at their disposal (including spontaneously drafted shipmates) to recreate the production. The upheaval of the makeshift show allows for a comic chaos perfectly aligned to the irreverent sensibilities of the source material. This production features an acclaimed cast, headlined by Bradley Greenwald and Christina Baldwin. The show is in previews through February 15. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays, plus Saturday March 3 and March 24. $25-$60. 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through March 25 —Brad Richason

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Pao Houa Her

SATURDAY 2.10

Pao Houa Her: My grandfather turned into a tiger
Midway Contemporary Art

Pao Houa Her takes on myth and memory in a new exhibition at Midway Contemporary Art. In an Instagram post, the artist describes a family legend in which her grandfather turned into a tiger after he died during the Vietnam War. He frightened the other villagers, so his wife asked him to leave. Using that story as a starting point, Her’s exhibition demonstrates her understated sense of humor and knack for playing with the unexpected. A Hmong artist who immigrated to the United States from Laos, Her is a wonderful portrait photographer, capturing the subtleties of her subjects’ characters, infusing each image with her provocative, inventive way of seeing the world. This show is a must-see. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, February 10. 527 Second Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-605-4504. Through April 7 —Sheila Regan

Daddy: Queer Variety Show and Dance Night
First Avenue

When Daddy takes over Icehouse, tickets typically sell out fast. The LGBTQ cabaret will be able to accomodate a few more friendly freaks at First Avenue. Daddy is a versatile party, filled with dance-floor fun, burlesque, drag, live music, and performance art all in one raunchy, sex-positive evening. Consent and respect are important to the founding members, musician Brent Pennington and Fist You podcaster Archie Bongiovanni, making it even sexier for queer communities where safety is always a concern. Tonight will feature sets from Nick Jordan, Symone Smash It, DJ KEEZY, Marcel Michelle Mobama, Thunder Thighs Latex, and more. Daddy also raises money for local queer nonprofits, making this a feel-good show in more ways than one. 18+. 9 p.m. $10/$12. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jessica Armbruster

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Joe Sinness

Portraits: New Works by Joe Sinness
Soo Visual Arts Center

Artist Joe Sinness honors the diverse LGBTQ players of the Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League in this series of colored-pencil portraits. The show marks the 40th season of the league, which began as a single team formed at the Saloon on May 6, 1979. That summer, they played a number of charity games, including a victorious one against the Minneapolis Police Blue Team that drew hundreds of spectators to Parade Stadium. The following year, they formed a league, adding “Goodtime” to the name as a nod to the fellowship and community of the program. For this SooVAC show, Sinness honors the league’s history while featuring the athletes that make up the 36 teams and 600 players. By highlighting all the different folks from all kinds of backgrounds, Sinness illustrates their individuality and strength. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, February 10. 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263. Through February 27 —Sheila Regan

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L-R: Crankosaurus Press, Auslandish Co., B+D Custom Gifts

SUNDAY 2.11

XOXO
Modist Brewing Company

There’s something special about homemade gifts, but not everyone is crafty. So consider going for the next best thing: handmade gifts. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Minneapolis Craft Market is heading to Modist for a day of romance, beer, and slow jams. Whether you’re shopping for your sweetheart, looking for a gift for your BFF, or just want an excuse to day drink and shop, you can do that here. There will be a variety of makers sharing their wares; check out stationery, gorgeous gemstone jewelry, items for dogs, and classic V-Day gifts like chocolate, rings, and flowers. Noon to 5 p.m. Free. 505 N. Third St., Minneapolis; 612-454-0258. —Jessica Armbruster

TUESDAY 2.13

Galentine’s Day
Sisyphus Brewing

Valentine’s Day is one of the most awkward and overrated holidays of the year. So consider celebrating it with your friends instead of a date. On V-Day eve, Sisyphus will be toasting to friendship, one of the most powerful bonds of love there is. In addition to beer, revelers will be able to order up waffles and bacon from an onsite food truck. Local makers like La Lunette jewelry will set up shop, should you feel the need for some retail therapy for yourself or your BFFs. Drag queens will cap off the night with a playful game of Blingo (it’s bingo but more glam). 6 to 10 p.m. Free. 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis; 612-444-8674. —Jessica Armbruster

The Humans
Orpheum Theatre

By the time The Humans was honored with the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, Stephen Karem’s electrifying drama was already being heralded as a new American classic. Firmly rooted in the anxieties of the current age, Karem has sought to embody cultural malaise with this study of one splintered family coming together for Thanksgiving. Though the setup might sound familiar, The Humans proves anything but predictable as the weary members of the Blake family attempt to span the vast divisions between one another. The effort is further encumbered by the cramped setting, a tiny apartment in New York’s Chinatown where Brigid and her boyfriend, Richard, are hosting her family, who are visiting from Scranton, Pennsylvania. While Brigid’s father and mother bring their own parental judgements, the presence of the elderly family matriarch is shadowed by dementia. Talk of ill health and worsening finances accumulate until normalcy cannot hold the dual weight of desperation and fear pulling this family apart. Thankfully, Karem’s insightful writing is robust enough to moderate the escalating tension with compassionate humor, a coping mechanism sure to resonate with anyone who has ever longed to escape an awkward family gathering. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $29-$135. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. Through February 18 —Brad Richason


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