Beer Dabbler, Norseman turns two, Tonya and Nancy go opera: A-List 2.21-27


Aaron Davidson

This week's top events include a beer party, a birthday happening, and the return of Tonya and Nancy: The Opera. Come take a look. 


Ty Sassaman


Tonya and Nancy: The Opera
Various locations

It’s easy to get caught up in figure-skating fever these days thanks to the glamour of the 2018 Olympics and the darkly fantastic I, Tonya bringing the notorious ’90s scandal back into the spotlight. But if you still haven’t had enough ice drama, never fear: Tonya and Nancy: The Opera is back. The piece follows the story that shocked the figure-skating world: Top athlete Nancy Kerrigan was attacked with a collapsible baton, and it turned out that Tonya Harding’s then-husband Jeff Gillooly (and possibly Harding herself?) hired the hitman. Created in 2006 by composer Abigail Al-Doory Cross and writer Elizabeth Searle for the American Repertory Theatre, Tonya and Nancy captures all the drama in true operatic style. Mixed Precipitation first produced the piece in 2010, and revisited it for the 2014 Olympics. This time, performances will be supplemented by a viewing of the Pyeongchang games, along with commentary by skating competitors, coaches, and comedians. For tickets, go to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Blackstack Brewing (755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul; 612-369-2932) and 10 p.m. Saturday at Bryant-Lake Bowl (810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3737). $10. Through Saturday —Sheila Regan

Drew Michael
Acme Comedy Co.

Now based in New York City, comedian Drew Michael started doing standup in his hometown of Chicago. Once known for its sketch and improv scene, the Windy City is now drawing comics from all over the country. “It has the best of both words,” he explains. “You get the big-city opportunities without the New York or L.A. pressure of the industry watching you and wondering about what everyone else is doing. That kind of stress can be detrimental to experimentation and creativity.” Growing up, he was never one to make people laugh. “I wasn’t the life of the party, or the class clown,” he says. “Comedy to me was always a way of looking at things more so than an ability to get along with people.” Michael doesn’t necessarily think of himself as hilarious, but his way of interpreting things is. “I can look at things and explain them and articulate them in a way that is funny.” 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 —Brad Richason


The sauna is open and free on select dates at the Walker. Bruce Silcox


Winter At the Walker
Walker Art Center


This season, the Walker Art Center has embraced the cold by hosting its free Thursday nights both indoors and outside. In addition to the galleries being open to explore, moonlight snowshoe tours at 6 and 7:30 p.m. will take guests through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Bring your own shoes, or borrow a pair for free. If you need to warm up, take a peek inside the Little Box Sauna, which will be at the museum through March 3 (you can sign up for a proper session at, tickets are $20). At this week’s event, Alyssa Baguss and Jenny Undis of Lunalux will also share their brightly colored maps that track weather patterns and how they have changed over recent years. 5 to 9 p.m. Free. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.—Jessica Armbruster

Jeff Dye
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I’m being pulled in all different directions,” says comedian, actor, and TV host Jeff Dye when we reached him on his cell phone at LAX. “I’m not used to this level of calendar.” Indeed, Dye is all over TV, including NBC’s Better Late than Never, while still trying to steadily do standup. “I was a standup comedian first,” he notes. “That was my first love, my true love. I didn’t even know I wanted to do TV stuff, but then I got on Last Comic Standing and they were like, ‘Have you ever thought about doing TV?’ I said, ‘No, I just want to do comedy.’” Then they told him how much he could make. He also realized he’d get a lot more exposure doing TV. “So, I said, ‘I’ll do TV!’” He’s been balancing both ever since. “I’ve always been the class clown, the goofball,” he says. However, that was never his intention. “I’m a simple guy and I had some learning disabilities when I was a kid. In class, I would say things that were serious in my head but everyone laughed. The teacher would say, ‘Jeff, that’s not funny.’” He soon realized that the way he thought wasn’t the way other people thought, and that they found it funny. “I decided to capitalize on that.” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson


Dan Norman


Guthrie Theater


In the world of theater, a tension has always existed between artistic vision and commercial prospects. Such a situation is explored in Paula Vogel’sIndecent, a dramatic reenactment of the controversy that arose from the Broadway premiere of Sholem Asch’s culturally defiant God of Vengeance. Concerning a Jewish brothel owner whose aspirations are dashed when his daughter falls in love with a prostitute, God of Vengeance served as a provocative exploration of morality and faith. Indecent recounts the fascinating history of the work, from its conception through its contentious reception, including the excisions made to placate offended sensibilities. Vogel depicts the gripping history of this influential work as an emblem of the expressive yearning that drives all great art. Under the direction of Wendy C. Goldberg, this production boasts an ensemble of seven actors and three musicians juggling over 40 roles. The show is previews through February 22. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in March; 7 p.m. Sundays in February. $29-$77; $15 previews. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through March 24 —Brad Richason

Gaga Carnival
Can Can Wonderland

A sprawling warehouse space filled with oddities and delights, Can Can Wonderland seems like it was made for weird, late-night parties. This week, Flip Phone will test this out with an epic Lady Gaga-themed happening. There will be a dance floor blasting tunes from all eras of the icon’s music career, from “Just Dance” to “Joanne.” There will also be drag from the likes of RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Max and Phi Phi O’Hara, who was last seen at First Avenue raising funds to aid Puerto Rico. After a few Gaga-inspired cocktails, head to the karaoke stage to sing your heart out. The mini-golf courses and arcade games will also be open (though you need to pay to play them). Come in your Gaga-influenced best; at the stroke of midnight there will be a costume contest. Tickets and more info can be found at 18+. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. $10/$12 at the door; $20 for admission plus a drag meet-and-greet. 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-925-2261. —Jessica Armbruster

Trylon Cinema

As the movie industry has come under increased scrutiny for the dearth of substantive roles for actresses, appreciation has been shown to those early filmmakers who dared to depict women as more than mere foils for leading men. Three such works will take the weekend spotlight at the Trylon Cinema, screened on rare 35mm prints courtesy of the Library of Congress. Accompanied by the music of Dreamland Faces, these silent classics present female figures in ways far removed from shrinking-violet stereotypes. The five-minute short Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy (1909) is an oddity, employing an array of trick photography to depict the fever dream of a smoker bedeviled by mischievous sprites. A fantasy of another sort is offered by Her First Flame (1920) when a newly elected female fire chief (inhabiting a subverted world where women do the outside labor and men are expected to be homemakers) must battle a raging blaze to rescue her imperiled sweetheart. Lastly, feature film Phil-For-Short follows orphaned tomboy Damophilia (or Phil) Illington as she flees from a lecherous suitor, disguises herself as a man, and sets out to win the heart of an embittered professor. These films remain pioneering examples of the creative vivacity that arises when diverse representation is embraced as a standard of storytelling. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 and 7:15 p.m. Sunday. $12. 3258 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through Sunday —Brad Richason


Image courtesy event organizers


Norseman’s 2nd Anniversary
Norseman Distillery

This Saturday, Norseman Distillery will celebrate the second anniversary of their cocktail room, where they’ll be slinging their Minneapolis-made concoctions all night. Try the refreshing Lucky Dragon (hibiscus tea, pineapple-chipotle gin, lime), the healing Penicillin (ginger, lemon, honey, harvest whiskey), or the really weird-sounding Rituell (aquavit, brown butter). There are usually a few really tasty non-alcoholic drinks on the menu as well. Edibles include meat and cheese plates, fried-chicken tacos, and deviled eggs. In an attempt to escape the dreary late-February doldrums, 1970s/Hawaiian-style threads are encouraged. Winter evenings in Minnesota are long, so make the most of it by celebrating with local cocktails in Norseman’s industrial space, which is a nighttime treasure. There will also be giveaways and other customer rewards throughout the party. 5 p.m. to midnight. Free. 451 Taft St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-643-1933. —Loren Green

Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival 2018
Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Now in its ninth year, the Beer Dabbler brings thousands of revelers to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to sample a plethora of brews. At the event, the biggest outdoor fest of its kind in Minnesota, there will be over 160 breweries and more than 500 different beers to try. They will include exciting beers from local companies like Bent Paddle, Surly, and Barrel Theory, as well as efforts from out-of-state makers such as WarPigs, Pipeworks, and the Brewing Projekt. Live music will be provided by St. Paul rapper Dem Atlas, and there’s also a silent disco and a meat-and-cheese tasting planned. Expect a smorgasbord of food, drink, and entertainment amid snow, sleet, and maybe even a little sunshine. Tickets and more info can be found at 21+. 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. $45-$55; $90 VIP; $20 designated driver. 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-288-4400. —Loren Green

Solo Emerging Artist Celebration
Guthrie Theater

From the ninth floor of the Guthrie Theater, home of the intimate black-box Dowling Studio stage, visitors can obtain a striking perspective of the Twin Cities. An even more insightful view, however, will be offered from within the Dowling Studio during the inaugural Solo Emerging Artist Celebration. Underscoring the venue’s commitment to producing culturally inclusive works, the event will showcase three singular artists performing original pieces under a rotating repertory schedule. Informed by a heartfelt sensibility forged as a female Muslim refugee of Somali descent, Ifrah Mansour will perform her much lauded piece How to Have Fun in a Civil War, a multi-sensory presentation that recalls her memories as a seven-year-old living amid violence. Lending his own experiences as a black American, prolific actor Antonio Duke will channel the all-too-often unheard voices of the African-American community, bringing forth observations that challenge historic and contemporary social bias. Similarly, performance artist A.P. Looze will delve into the humanity inherent to issues of transgender identity, reflecting on the bigotry of stringently defined notions of normality, whether expressed as political policy or from within one’s own family. Showtimes vary, check online. $9. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through March 11 —Brad Richason


Alice Blangero


Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo


Looking for a way to get your romance on? Or ignite some smoldering embers of love? There’s perhaps no greater romance than the star-crossed love ofRomeo and Juliet. Now set it to the choreography of classical ballet. Sure, Shakespeare’s tale of young passion, generational familial warfare, selfless helpmeets, and fake deaths gone awry has plenty of drama. And, of course, everyone dies in the end. But French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s two-act version, with 50 dancers filling the stage, promises plenty of filmy tulle, wispy choreography, heart-rending emotion, and pulse-pounding action set to Prokofiev’s iconic score. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. $32-$74. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. Through Wednesday, February 28 —Camille LeFevre

Patrick Nathan
Black Dog Café

Author Patrick Nathan turns the adolescent mind inside out in his debut novel, Some Hell. The story starts with what appears to be the suicide of a father in suburban Minnesota. His teen son, Colin, struggles with his role in his father’s death while simultaneously coming to grips with the realization that he’s gay. A predatory teacher, rejection from his best friend, depression, and shame create a toxic cocktail that cloud Colin’s worldview. With the help of his estranged grandfather, he inches toward self-acceptance. The rest of the family doesn’t cope so well. Colin’s siblings scatter, and contact among them is sparse. Colin’s mother, Diane, enters therapy, but spends her sessions entertaining impure thoughts about her shrink. Ultimately, the death and its aftermath force Colin and Diane to confront emotions that they couldn’t—or wouldn’t—acknowledge before. Some Hell has already garnered buzz for its edgy honesty, including several starred reviews and mentions on “most anticipated” lists in Esquire and Bustle. Nathan launches the book, out from Graywolf Press, with fellow novelist Kaethe Schwehn on Tuesday night at Black Dog Café. 6 p.m. Free. 308 E. Prince St., St. Paul; 612-387-8803. —Erica Rivera

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