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Twin Cities Horror Fest, Flip Phone Halloween, Backwoods Cannibals: A-List 10.23-29

Flip Phone, First Avenue, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch team up for a Halloween dance/drag party.

Flip Phone, First Avenue, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch team up for a Halloween dance/drag party. Darin Kemnetz

Check out this week's top happenings.

WEDNESDAY 10.23

Mark Normand
Acme Comedy Co.

“A little hungover,” comedian Mark Normand answers from his apartment in New York when asked how he’s been doing since the last time City Pages spoke to him. In addition to several late-night talk show appearances, Normand has been building and fine-tuning his set. “I’ve got an hour now that’s really humming, baby,” he says. “It’s all my whacky thoughts put down on paper about racial tensions, drinking, society, PC culture, men and women—it’s no holds barred.” And he’s constantly working on it, even when he’s trying to take a break. “I’m not a shut-it-down kind of guy, even on vacation,” he adds. “When I get back to New York it’s home stuff, paying bills, checking on my apartment, doing spots in the city, working on new material, doing a bunch of podcasts; it never ends.” He likens his struggle to that of a famous figure from Greek mythology. “It’s like Sisyphus,” he says. “You push that boulder up, and it rolls back down, and then you get syphilis.” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$20. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Teac Damsa, 'Loch na hEala'

Teac Damsa, 'Loch na hEala' Colm Hogan

THURSDAY 10.24

Teac Damsa: Loch na hEala (Swan Lake)
Walker Art Center

Bleak yet gorgeous, mythological yet mundane, Michael Keegan-Dolan’s version of the balletic chestnut Swan Lake is fierce and unsparing, but also beautiful. Pointe shoes and tutus are absent. Instead, the convent girls—witnesses to abuse—wear frocks and frolic in a lake of black and transparent plastic. The prince is a depressed, shotgun-toting mama’s boy living in council housing. Yet there’s comedy amid the tragedy, and a movement vocabulary gleaned from classical and contemporary idioms. The score, by the Nordic/Celtic group Slow Moving Clouds, adds aural resonance to the visual feast. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $32-$45. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre

City Pages Iron Fork 2019
Machine Shop

Many have made a meal with a pressure cooker, but few could say it was a gourmet-level dish. The latter is the goal for competitors in this year’s Iron Fork. Armed with a pressure cooker, beef, and a secret ingredient to be announced at the event, the pros will be tasked with serving up something delish. Squaring off will be Brandon Randolph of PUBLIC kitchen & bar, Brian Ingram of Hope Breakfast Bar, Stephanie Hedrick of the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Beef Council’s amateur entrant, Vivian Aronson. The cocktail competition will see Dee Ricci of Al’s Place and Dan Newkirk of Mercy Bar & Dining Room go up against each other. While they sweat, mix, and pressure cook, revelers will be able to sample their way through eats from a variety of restaurants, including Pizza Lucé, Clover Meadow Bakery, and Ike’s Food and Cocktails. A cash bar will offer beer, wine, and liquor for those who embibe. Find tickets and more info at ironfork.citypages.com. 21+. 7 to 10 p.m. (6 p.m. VIP). $35-$40; $45-$55 VIP. 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Ann Patchett
Hopkins Center for the Arts

Ann Patchett has been a great writer for so long, it’s easy to take her talent for granted. She published her first short story in the prestigious Paris Review before she’d graduated from college. Her bibliography includes the exceptional novels The Magician’s Assistant and Commonwealth, and she wrote a memoir, Truth and Beauty: A Friendship about her relationship with the late writer Lucy Grealy. In 2012, TIME magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Oh, and her 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award-winning Bel Canto happens to be one of the best novels of the millennium. It’s safe to assume the fairly prolific Patchett will have a new book coming out shortly, and it will be excellent. Still, her novels never cease to surprise with their poised lyricism and casually proffered insights. Her latest, The Dutch House, a dark tale of class conflict about the waxing and waning fortunes of a pair of close-knit siblings, looks to be another intimate story set against a rich historical backdrop. Patchett comes to town to talk about her career and The Dutch House as part of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library Pen Pals series. Both presentations are sold out, but you can still register for the waitlist online. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. Friday. $45-$55. 1111 Main St., Hopkins; 612-543-8112. Through Friday —Bryan Miller

Walker Art Center Vogue Night

Walker Art Center Vogue Night Walker Art Center

FRIDAY 10.24

The Graffiti Ball
First Avenue

For nearly 100 years, ball culture has thrived in underground scenes. These events are part DIY fashion show, part performance, and part act of defiance. Participants, generally from LGBTQ POC communities, choose from a variety of archetype-based categories where they strut their stuff in hopes of winning prizes and peer respect. You can see ball culture in action this weekend at the not-so underground First Avenue, hosted by DJ Keezy and Fatha Jazz Bordeaux. Entrants will be judged based on things like strut and voguing skills, overall “realness,” body/sexiness, and excellence in face and hair. Prizes range from $50 to $500. Watch the spectacle or enter yourself in the style that calls to you the most. 18+. 10 p.m. $12. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jessica Armbruster

Backwoods Cannibals!
Trylon Cinema

Of all the dire dangers in horror films, few strike a primal a chord quite like the notion of being consumed by cannibalistic fiends. Many tales of bloodthirsty heathens can be found close to home; off the grid, perhaps, but only a stone’s throw away from respectable society. For two prime examples, look no further than Trylon’s frightful double-feature, Backwoods Cannibals! In Wes Craven’s cult classic The Hills Have Eyes (1977), a family expedition turns into a savage fight for survival against a mutated band of cave-dwelling marauders with an insatiable hunger for tourists. Meanwhile, the remote environs of the Sierra Nevada mountain range play host to the murderous frenzy of the darkly comedic second feature, Ravenous (1999). Set in the 1840s, the film concerns a company of soldiers interrupted by an enigmatic stranger who tells a ghastly tale of how the hapless passengers of a stranded wagon train were reduced to consuming one another for survival. Unfortunately for the soldiers, the ghoulish tale proves a mere prelude to a second course of bloodthirsty debauchery. 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday; 9 p.m. Friday; 9:15 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. $8. 2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

Twin Cities Horror Festival
The Southern Theater

Each Halloween season, a slew of theater troupes and performers take to the Southern’s stage with one goal in mind: to scare the crap out of you. And they do it well. Whether you prefer suspense, psychological thrills, creepy effects, or straight-up gore, you’ll find something to freak out over here. Bug Girl uses large-scale puppets to tell the tale of a kid who develops new powers after swallowing an insect. Tim Uren will spin true tales of tragedy—the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Barnes-Hecker Mine collapse, and a haunting family vacation—in Michigan Disasters. Lady monsters attack in Feminine Inhuman, Mary Shelley finds gruesome inspiration in Amp, and things are bloody cult-like in IncarnateLiving Embalming Sessions will cast patrons as dearly departed people waiting to receive burial preparations via two mad scientists. Think of it as a live-action ASMR experience with a macabre edge. Shows and schedules vary; find details at tchorrorfestival.com. $15; multishow packages range from $55-$180. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through November 3 —Jessica Armbruster

Paige in Full: A B-Girl’s Visual Mixtape
Park Square Theatre

Paige Hernandez is a multi-talented creator whose fluid fusion of techniques defies rote categorization. Her autobiographical solo piece, Paige in Full: A B-Girl’s Visual Mixtape, is a dynamically paced show that combines Hernandez’s adept skills as a choreographer, dancer, poet, and memoirist to depict the tumultuous path that led her from a Baltimore childhood to the national stage. Propelling her every deft step of the way is an ever-present adoration of hip-hop culture and its indispensable soundtrack, as exemplified by the turntable accompaniment of Nick the 1da. Under the direction of Danielle A. Drakes, Hernandez recounts her internal journey of self-discovery, reflected in movements that range from vulnerability to tenacity as Hernandez perseveres against her insecurities to embrace her identity. Rejecting diminishing labels of hip-hop norms, Hernandez has forged her own artistic persona and serves as an inspiration for others to do the same. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $16-$30. 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

A few revelers at 2018's Lake Monster Bash

A few revelers at 2018's Lake Monster Bash Lake Monster Brewing

SATURDAY 10.26

Lake Monster Bash
Lake Monster Brewing

With a name like Lake Monster, a business is almost mandated to host a Halloween party. And over the years, this St. Paul brewer hasn’t disappointed. This weekend, the crew will be celebrating the season with beer and spooks. Eight cask infusions will be tapped this day, including a raspberry sour with hibiscus, a double chocolate pastry stout, a double-dry hopped St. Paul Ale with East Kent Goldings (a beloved variety of English hop), and an Empty Rowboat IPA with jalapeño. They’ll also be debuting the impossibly fall-sounding Maple Bourbon Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Come sporting your Halloween finest; prizes will be awarded to the best individual and group costumes. Food trucks at the party will include Med Box Grill, La Tapatia MN, the Herbivorous Butcher, and Pretty Great Cheesecake. The music lineup features sets from the synth-fueled Graveyard Club, rockers the Bad Man, electronic trio Apollo Cobra, folk rockers Gentleman Speaker, and DJ Manny Duke. All ages. 1 p.m. to midnight. $9/$15 at the door. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 612-964-6288. —Jessica Armbruster

Strange Things: A Halloween Party
First Avenue

Halloween falls on a Thursday night this year. That means that we’re getting two weekends’ worth of parties. This Saturday, DJ Shannon Blowtorch and Flip Phone are coming together for a celebration that is one part spooky, one part glam. Costumed revelers will take to the dance floor, creating a spectacle as they move to tunes from Blowtorch and DJ Fancy Restaurant. Raja (season-three winner on RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Meatball (aka Dragula) will be the guests of honor this evening, meeting with fans and taking the stage. A host of queens will give pop-up drag performances throughout the night, and prizes will be awarded for attendees with the best looks. 18+. 9 p.m. $18-$20; $40 VIP. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jessica Armbruster

Fawk: The Super Show
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

The Funny Asian Women Kollective (FAWK) hit the big time when they debut new sketches and comedy routines at the Ordway. For the Super Show, 11 writers, comedians, and performers come together to use humor to take on things like white supremacy, misogyny, and sexual health. FAWK was founded by Naomi Ko, May Lee-Yang, and Saymoukda Vongsay as a way to combat the invisibility of Asian and Pacific Islander women. Together, they will make you laugh... and just might just make you a little uncomfortable, too (but in a challenging way that’s good for you). 8 p.m. $30. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. —Sheila Regan

Maureen Fleming

Maureen Fleming Image courtesy event organizers

Maureen Fleming
The O’Shaughnessy

Born in Japan to Irish-American parents, where she studied buto with Kazuo Ohno (the co-founder of the exceedingly s-l-o-w and minimal movement form), Maureen Fleming has been creating her singular performances since the 1980s. Wildflowers, A Feminine Genesis is one of her most recent works. It’s a sensual, surreal solo inspired by the lush symbolic poetry of William Butler Yeats. Having developed an elastic movement vocabulary following a childhood spinal injury, Fleming wraps her limbs through and around an array of materials (a skein of white silk, a flowering bunch of red fabric, a piece of driftwood) in a sculptural array of poetic visuals that reclaim and re-contextualize female archetypes. Violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire (the Frames), uilleann piper James Mahon, and pianist Bruce Brubaker will perform the music of Philip Glass. 7:30 p.m. $24-$34. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Catherine University, St. Paul; 651-690-6700. —Camille LeFevre

Steel Magnolias
Guthrie Theater

Thirty years after the iconic film starring Dolly Parton and Sally Field, how do you turn a fresh eye to Steel Magnolias? That was easy for stage director Lisa Rothe: She’s never seen the movie. “I know that seems almost sacrilegious to some people,” she laughs. “When I mention that I’m directing it, people quote lines.” Rothe also hadn’t seen Robert Harling’s 1987 play, the movie’s basis, before recently sitting down with the script. “I thought it was very funny,” she says. “These women have an iron will, and they’re all survivors. The way they deal with so many issues is through humor.” Bringing the play to the Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage with an all-female cast and design team, Rothe says she aims to evoke the intimacy of the characters’ “safe space” in a Louisiana beauty salon. Despite the story’s Southern setting, Rothe says its themes of friendship and resilience resonated with her Midwestern roots. “These women are very familiar to me,” she says. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. $15-$94. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through December 15 —Jay Gabler

The Daily Show Writers Standup Show
The Cedar Cultural Center

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has become a reliable source for witty and insightful commentary on our dysfunctional state of national affairs. But just as viewers must occasionally take a break from topical absurdities, if only to preserve their own sanity, the writers behind The Daily Show have taken to the road to recharge their creative batteries. The Daily Show Writers Standup Show turns the spotlight on four talented staff writers, each of whom possesses the credentials of a seasoned comic. David Angelo was named New York’s Funniest Comic at the 2017 New York Comedy Festival. Kat Radley has performed internationally, and opened for local hero Maria Bamford. The Ugandan-born Joseph Opio found his comedic calling while earning a law degree and an accounting certificate. Rounding out the quartet, Matt Koff is a popular fixture on the New York standup scene. His tenure with The Daily Show began under Jon Stewart’s celebrated reign (for which Koff earned an Emmy). While not entirely ignoring national news, the show promises a fuller range of idiosyncratic observations and perspectives, reminding audiences that ludicrous mishaps exist even outside of national politics. 7 p.m. $25. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674. —Brad Richason

TUESDAY 10.29

Party with the Hamm’s Bear
Bull’s Horn Food and Drink

Drinking beer with a dude dressed in a bear mascot costume seems like a rather strange thing to do. Then again, these are strange times. And cheap beer is a universal joy. This Tuesday, the Hamm’s crew will be at Bull’s Horn for a special happy hour celebrating the bar’s first anniversary. Order a Hamm’s pint on draft for $2 or go big with a $3 tallboy. There will be swag giveaways, and the Hamm’s Bear will be in attendance, available for high fives and selfies. 7 to 9 p.m. Free. 4563 S. 34th Ave., Minneapolis; 612-208-1378. —Jessica Armbruster