Celebrate majestic facial hair at Beard-A-Whirl: A-List May 17-23

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Kelly Loverud

This week's A-List features Art-A-Whirl happenings, indoor and outdoor festivals, hip-hop performances, goth fun, and cosplay. Come take a look. 

Beard-A-Whirl
Dangerous Man Brewing Co.
Anyone can grow a filthy neck beard, but it takes a true artist to craft award-winning facial hair. The furry-faced masters will be putting it all on the line this weekend, when the Minneapolis Beard & Mustache Club and Dangerous Man Brewing Co. team up for a beard-off of epic proportions. The competition is open to beardos and beard-enthusiasts alike, as awards will be handed out for the best women’s craft beard, kids’ craft beard, moustache, Dangerous Man Beard (six inches and under), Even Dangerouser Man Beard (six inches and over), and a freestyle competition, where any and all facial hair types are welcome. The ultimate of all these categories will be awarded Best in Show, and take the honor of being the Grand Marshall of Art-A-Whirl. If that’s not enough, they’ll also score free beer from Dangerous Man for one full year. For those who choose not to have a luxurious field of hair growing from their faces (or for those who can only grow spotty peach fuzz), you’re welcome to come and enjoy some brews while paying your respects to the finest beards in the Twin Cities. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free; $20 to compete. 1300 Second St. NE, Minneapolis. —Patrick Strait

WEDNESDAY 5.17

 

Eifman Ballet: Red Giselle
Northrop Auditorium
Red Giselle, one of Russia-based Eifman Ballet’s most celebrated works, follows the tumultuous story of Olga Spessivtseva, a Russian dancer who fled her homeland in 1923, following the communist revolution, and rose to fame as one of the most universally acclaimed prima ballerinas of the 20th century. The trauma of the past and the pressures of the present, however, resulted in a devastating breakdown that left Spessivtseva in the care of a New Jersey hospital for the next 20 years. Red Giselle stands as an electrifying rendering of Spessivtseva’s legacy, conveyed through the art form that she commanded. The piece follows the events of her life, from the harrowing communist uprising, through the intoxicating years of international stardom, to the despair of her encroaching mental illness. Set to a score fusing Tchaikovsky with Bizet, Red Giselle will close the Northrop season with a gripping tribute to a dancer whose otherworldly movements made her a legend, but whose fragility proved all the more human. 7:30 p.m. $30-$76. 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-624-2345. —Brad Richason

Hopkins Comedy Festival
Royal Comedy Theatre
Nearly one year ago to the day, Hopkins’ first and only comedy club opened its doors to the public. Owner Michael Edlavitch has goals of turning the 50-seat club into a fixture of the Twin Cities comedy scene by bringing in a mix of comedy that appeals to a variety of audiences. “People relate to comedians, and our audiences aren’t always just white men,” says Edlavitch. “At the same time, we don’t have specific nights that have a certain ‘type’ of performer. There isn’t a women’s night or an urban comedy night; we just want talented performers.” This week, Hopkins will become the center of the Twin Cities comedy world with the first-annual Hopkins Comedy Festival. The six-day festival kicked off Tuesday with Mary Mack, and will showcase an insanely deep and eclectic lineup of comedians this week, including Chad Daniels, Mo Alexander, and Joe Cocozzello. One of the best parts of the celebration will be the opportunity to see these national headliners in such an intimate setting. The headliner on Saturday night, comedy megastar Todd Glass, will perform at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Who knew that Hopkins could be so funny? Visit royalcomedy.com/#festival for tickets and locations. 8 p.m. daily; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $20-$22.50. 809 Mainstreet, Hopkins; 612-666-0809. Through Sunday —Patrick Strait

Ragamala’s 25th Anniversary Party
A-Mill Artist Loft Building
Ragamala Dance Company is turning 25 this week, and hosting a party to celebrate. Founded by mother-and-daughter team Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, Ragamala is rooted in the ancient South Indian dance form bharatanatyam. Together, they reimagine ancient traditions with a contemporary context and aesthetic. Over the years, the company has delighted audiences and won a slew of national awards while also striving to seek new connections through collaborations with artists and musicians. This Wednesday, raise a glass to toast their successes. There’ll be light appetizers and an open bar for the occasion, plus a raffle. The company will look back on their past work, showing slides, videos, and photos. Ragamala will also announce its upcoming season. You can RSVP and find more info at events.ragamaladance.org. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. $25 suggested donation. 315 Main St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-339-1034. —Sheila Regan


THURSDAY 5.18

Steve Martin and Martin Short
Orpheum Theatre
Two comedy giants will grace the stage of the Orpheum this week. For two nights, Martin Short and Steve Martin will perform standup and music, share film clips, and discuss their lives in show business. Joining them will be the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, the bluegrass band with which Martin frequently performs, and pianist/keyboardist Jeff Babko. Martin was first recognized for his work on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late ’60s, while Short began his rise to fame in Toronto’s Second City Comedy troupe and its related TV series, SCTV. Both received a boost from Saturday Night Live (Martin as a host, Short as a cast member). The two are close friends, and have appeared in several films together, including Three Amigos and the Father of the Bride movies. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday. $79-$199. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. Through Friday —P.F. Wilson

Joe List
Joke Joint Comedy Club
Joe List and Sarah Tollemache, both comedians by trade, are getting married soon. “We’re getting married in August,” List reports. The couple has been together for over six years. “It’s definitely nice [being with a comedian], because you know all the same people and work for all the same people,” he muses. “You both have a sense of the business and the art form, so that helps.” Occasionally, they get to work together on the road. “We do a fair amount. Hopefully we’ll do more in the future. It’s nice. It feels like you’re not on the road, because you’re with your significant other. It doesn’t feel as isolated and lonely.” Onstage, List focuses on telling stories from his life, past and present. “There are so many comedians, and standup’s been going on for so long that it’s hard keep having original stuff. So I try to keep it real personal,” he says. “I have a lot of stories about my childhood and my family and a little bit of sex stuff. I do a lot of observational stuff about going to the gym, for example. It’s basically sex, anxiety, and trying not to lose my mind.” 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $14-$26. 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale; 651-330-9078. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Paddling, Mushing, and Woodshedding
Common Good Books
Canoeing, dog-sledding, and cabin-building are three common activities enjoyed up North. However, these endeavors are rarely explored through the female lens. This Thursday at Common Good Books, a trio of women will tear down stereotypes as they share a bit from their writing. Reporter Julie Buckles (Paddling to Winter) will speak on her year-long canoe journey from Lake Superior to Wollaston Lake, where she stayed until spring. Blair Braverman, who is currently preparing for the 1,100-mile Iditarod, explains how she learned to drive sled dogs in Norway and her experiences working as a tour guide on an Alaskan glacier in Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube. Minnesotan Sarah Stonich will go into how, as a newly single mom of a 12-year-old son, she left the city to build a cabin on 40 acres of wilderness in Shelter: Off The Grid in the Mostly Magnetic North. Adventure vicariously with these three tough, fearless authors as they draw parallels between their exterior environments and their understanding of their interior world. 7 p.m. Free. 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989. —Erica Rivera

FRIDAY 5.19

2017 Art-A-Whirl
Various locations
Now in its 22nd year, Art-A-Whirl is an epic festival that takes over northeast Minneapolis for three days of open studios, special receptions, sales, demonstrations, kids’ activities, and so much more. Hop on a bus and head over to one of the major artists’ studios — Casket Arts, Northop King, and California Building are all good places to start — where you’ll find food trucks, live music, and hundreds of artworks. Breweries, restaurants, and other businesses with parking lots or space inside to spare will be hosting pop-up gallery shows and hands-on fun as well. Able Seedhouse will turn into a mini skate park with print, graphic, deck art, and more on display. The Food Building will boast snacks and art, as will Chowgirls, who will be serving up creative takes on the TV dinner and speciality cocktails. Kids (and kids at heart) may want to stop by Grace Lutheran Church, where people will be coming together to build a giant city out of cardboard boxes. Many bars and beer halls will also have special happenings, such as extended patio hours and all-day performance schedules. For more info, visit nemaa.org/art-a-whirl. 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Mixtape
The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
This weekend, hip-hop collaboration returns to the Cowles stage for performances that celebrate and explore breaking, house, street, and other styles. The event is led by b-boy Jason (J-Sun) Noer, whose 2013 hip-hop trilogy left him thirsty for more. “I felt like I didn’t go far enough with that,” he says. “With this performance, I wanted to ask tough questions and touch on deeper issues within hip-hop, so I looked for people with really strong voices.” Those strong voices include 18-year-old twins Iman and Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin, who together form the Sage Award-winning Al Taw’am; choreographer Magnolia Yang Sao Yia, who explores being Hmong, American, and an activist through dance; street artist Herb Johnson III; performer Ozzy Dris; and STRONG Movement founder Darrius Strong. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $22-$25. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

 

SATURDAY 5.20

Psycho Suzi’s Outdoor Waterfront Festival
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
Thanks to Art-A-Whirl, there will be many art, beer, and patio parties in northeast Minneapolis this weekend. But none will be more adorable — or coconutty — than the celebration at Psycho Suzi’s. This party is dog-friendly, and costumed pups will be parading through the patio in hopes of winning prizes (registration runs from noon to 2 p.m.). In between petting pooches, you can sip special coconut cocktails, enjoy State Fair-themed eats, and order up brew from food trucks. Live music runs from 4:30 to 10 p.m., and includes the Soviettes, the Rope, Blinds, and the 99ers, followed by a Transmission dance party with DJ Jake Rudh that will take revelers into the wee hours of the morning. Noon to close. Free. 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-9069. —Jessica Armbruster

MSP ComicCon 2017
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Fans of comic art will convene this weekend at the Minnesota Fairgrounds for two days filled with cosplay, kids’ fun, and freebies. Over 230 creators will be visiting, including writers, inkers, pencillers, and more. That includes Jen Bartel (Jem and the Holograms), Shelli Paroline (Adventure Time), Benjamin Percy (Green Arrow), and Keith Pollard (Spider-Man). Commission some art, or bring some of your own samples for feedback. Collectibles and other fun items will be for sale as well, and grab bags will be given away while they last. For tickets, visit squareup.com/store/MCBA. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $13/$14 ($1 with canned good donation); kids 9 and under are free. 1265 Snelling Ave. N., Grandstand, St. Paul. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

teamLab: Graffiti Nature–Still Mountains and Movable Lakes
Walker Art Center
The hubbub over the reopening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is escalating. Meanwhile, in conjunction with that event, the Tokyo-based teamLab is preparing to open its garden of delights, “Graffiti Nature,” inside the Walker Art Center. Imagine a digitally created immersive environment filled with luminescent plants, amphibians, and reptiles. That’s what these “ultra-technologists,” as they call themselves, create. You’re invited to participate. Scan your own drawings of flora and creatures into their system, and watch them grow, move, and disappear. In other words, you get to create, with help from teamLab, your very own environments and beasts. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through September 10 —Camille LeFevre

 

For Directions Art Crawl
Two Rivers Gallery
Five different galleries are teaming up for a joint exhibition featuring 10 indigenous artists. Taking place during American Indian Month, the Twin Cities-wide event is a testament to the strength of the local community, showcasing our wealth of creative spaces nurturing Native American and indigenous artists who have roots in Latin American countries. Hosted by All My Relations Arts, the American Indian Movement Interpretive Center, Two Rivers Gallery, Electric Machete Studios, and the new Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center (the event is part of their ongoing grand opening), “For Directions” highlights artists working with themes such as identity, decolonization, resistance, and survival. Saturday’s gallery crawl begins at 4 p.m. on Franklin Avenue, where the three Minneapolis venues are located. At 6 p.m., a bus will take folks to St. Paul for an opening reception at Electric Machete on the West Side, and departs again for Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center in Dayton’s Bluff at 7:15 p.m. The bus heads back to Minneapolis at 8:30 p.m. Featured artists include Todd Bordeaux, Neto Ybarra, Andre Perez, Holly Young, Karen Goulet, and Xilam Balam. Check out tworiversarts.com for more details. 4 to 9 p.m. Free; donations accepted. 1530 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-879-1780. —Sheila Regan

City Pages Beer Fest
The Shops at the West End
Equal parts social scene and tasting party, City Pages Beer Fest has been pouring samples for over 20 years. Plan to drink some brew you’ve never tried, dance to tunes from the White Keys, mingle and people-watch, and then circle back for another beer you’ve never had. Your options include selections from locals like Castle Danger, Fair State, and 56, plus national choices such as Bear Republic, AleSmith, and Horny Goat. Choose from over 100 beers, and snack on treats like pizza, pastries, tacos, and more. Tickets for VIP score you early entry, full pint pours, and bottomless snacking. Grab an umbrella and a bottle of sunscreen, make some Lyft reservations, and celebrate summer. Find tickets at beerfest.citypages.com. 21+. 5 to 9 p.m. $35/$60 VIP; $10 designated driver. 1621 W. End Blvd., St. Louis Park; 763-450-0554. —Loren Green

SUNDAY 5.21

Sebastian Maniscalco
Historic State Theatre
Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco recently became a father for the first time. And while much of his life changed overnight, he says that it won’t change his comedy. “I can’t do it. I can’t be one of those dad comedians that just talks about their kids all of the time.” Maniscalco has become one of the most buzzed-about comedians around, thanks in part to his latest special, Why Would You Do That?, which was Showtime’s most-watched comedy or variety special of 2016. His signature skepticism on everything from online food reviews to his interactions with fellow new parents have helped him reach a like-minded audience that doesn’t really understand most people’s life choices. That said, Maniscalco admits that his newfound fatherhood has made him soften his stance on some things that used to baffle him. “I have a lot more sympathy for parents who have a crying baby on a plane,” he says. Sympathy aside, don’t expect the Chicago native to have lost any of his signature edge. “If you start talking about being a parent and having a kid, you’ve lost half the audience,” he says. “I’m still living my life and finding new experiences that everyone can relate to. That’s where I find the best material.” 8 p.m. $43.75. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Patrick Strait

MONDAY 5.22

Goth Prom XIV: Abyss
The Saloon
Dark times call for dark wave. If you agree, you may want to check out Goth Prom, a yearly gathering held on the darkest day of the week: Monday. So dress in your macabre best, whether you prefer to emulate Robert Smith, a Steampunk bad-ass, a vampiric creature of the night, or a pastel goth. Adding to the spectacle will be fire artists, acrobats, and burlesque performers. Or take to the dance floor, where DJs — including Jake Rudh, Fenris, Nitrogen, evil DJ petey, Nightstalker, EndIf, and Spleen — will spin hard and melancholy tunes to suit your mood. This event benefits the Minnesota AIDS Project. 18+. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. $7; $5 with charity donation (art supplies, personal care items, gently used books). 830 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-332-0835. —Jessica Armbruster


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