St. Pat's Day, censored art, a grownup B-day for 'Mister Rogers': A-List 3.14-20

Star Tribune

Star Tribune

This week's top events include cheap pie parties for Pi Day, a studio re-opening, and a comedy gigs galore. Come take a look.


Pi Day Twin Cities
Various locations

In math, pi is a constant. The dependable number, best shortened to 3.14159, is an all-star champ, frequently showing up in formulas throughout mathematics and physics. Every year geeks and other smart people celebrate this useful number, fittingly, on March 14. But you don’t have to be a numbers expert to score holiday deals. The Herbivorous Butcher (507 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-208-0992) will host a pie-filled pop-up with vegan treats from 4 to 6 p.m. Stop in for a $3 slice, or pre-order an entire pie for $20. Varieties include key lime, strawberry Pop Tart, banana split, and grasshopper. Black Forest Inn (1 E. 26th St., Minneapolis; 612-872-0812) is hosting a pi party where bakers will compete for top honors. A $10 donation benefits the WTF Comedy Festival, and scores you a night of pie sampling from 7 to 10 p.m. If cheesecake is more your thing, consider heading over to Muddy Paws (7600 W. 27th St., St. Louis Park; 952-922-2833), where slices will set you back $3.14 from 5 to 8 p.m. Go for traditional varieties, or be adventurous and order one of the whiskey-flavored slices. Ante up an additional $.86 for access to the syrup and toppings bar. —Jessica Armbruster

L-R: 'Harness,' image stills from interviews with children.

L-R: 'Harness,' image stills from interviews with children. Essma Imady


Essma Imady: Thicker Than Water
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Syrian artist Essma Imady reflects on the experiences of immigrant and refugee children in “Thicker Than Water,” a mixed-media exhibition at Mia’s MAEP Gallery. Through film footage and reimagined objects, Imady examines how kids’ identities are formed, and how they understand complex concepts like war, displacement, and home. Footage of interviews with refugee children in Istanbul are presented alongside everyday—but altered—items. There’s Receiving Blanket, made from a soft, touchable material with an image of twisted metal that represents the sharp edges of a broken home. For Comfort Object, a teddy bear has been stuffed with a mother’s weight in lead. These pieces meditate on parental anxiety in the general population and in refugees, and how that anxiety is passed on to children. Imady fled Syria with her now-husband in 2011 after protests erupted near Arab International University, where she studied art. She completed her B.A. at St. Cloud State University and her MFA at MCAD. The couple has a four-year-old daughter who prompted Imady’s own questions about what it means to be Syrian. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 15. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through June 24 —Erica Rivera

The Sklar Brothers
Acme Comedy Co.

The Sklar Brothers have done what few comedy duos have achieved: developed a truly organic standup act. It helps that, as twins, they’ve known each other since birth. “We’ve thought about doing stuff separately—and we have done stuff separately—but I think we quickly understood this is a cool and unique thing,” says Jason. “There aren’t a lot of twins in comedy, and if we do it well we will stand out among other comedians and among other teams. If we stopped doing this and went and did our own things, we would know how to be on stage, and how to write jokes and do material. But we’d also be starting over in a lot of ways. We’ve spent 25 years working on our team, and it would be a shame to leave it.” “It’s nice too,” adds Randy. “Because we can talk about things from our childhood and everybody’s on board and they believe it.” 18+. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Corey Adams

Corey Adams

Corey Adam
Sisyphus Brewing

Corey Adam has been a big part of the Twin Cities comedy community for nearly a decade. That’s why it may come as a surprise that he’s just releasing his first official album of material this week. “I released an album of just crowd work a few years ago, because I wasn’t ready to put out a full album but I needed something I could sell on the road,” he says of 2015’s No Joke. The new release, aptly titled Jokes, will take a more traditional approach, featuring material that Adam has built through countless hours onstage over the past several years. To celebrate, Adam will host a special album-release party at Sisyphus Brewing, the same room where he recorded Jokes last year. While he has performed for strangers all over the country, he says that the pressure he feels around this album is more personal than anything he’s done before. “With the crowd work album, if people didn’t like my sick burns or whatever, I didn’t care. If people don’t like this album, I’ll probably cry and quit comedy and go get a day job.” 8 p.m. $5. 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis; 612-321-8324. —Patrick Strait

Jessimae Peluso
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I’m just out here trying not to get diabetes or die,” says comedian Jessimae Peluso. The Syracuse native relocated to Los Angeles from New York City. She loves the West Coast. “New Yorkers talk about L.A. and vice versa,” she says. “People are assholes everywhere, the only difference is the weather. I grew up in the Snow Belt. If it’s 75 and sunny I’m happy.” Onstage, she’s still talking about her life experiences. “It’s pretty relatable,” she says. “I’m bold and honest, but it’s also a little goofy.” Life has changed for the 35-year-old Peluso. “My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” she says, “and I’m a new aunt. I have a niece and nephew. It’s great. I can be a part-time mom and then just give the kids back.” She’s also no longer dating assholes. “That’s when you know you’re an adult,” she adds. “When you see your dad in Depends and you’re not dating assholes, you know you’re an adult.” Nice guys offer other benefits as well. “My skin has cleared up and I’m sleeping better.” 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

Allen Ruppersberg, 'Howl' installation

Allen Ruppersberg, 'Howl' installation


Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968-2018
Walker Art Center

Fasten your seatbelts. We’re heading back to the future with this retrospective of Allen Ruppersberg’s still-fresh multimedia works. From an assemblage of blinding neon posters (The Singing Project) to more traditionally conceptual work (e.g., an aquarium serving as a luminous blank canvas), this exhibition covers more than 30 years of the his work, which has a distinctive eye toward mass culture. Installations. Photo narratives. Drawings. Films. This collection has it all, including You & Me, a public artwork first shown as a billboard on the High Line in New York City. Dig through the layers or dwell on the surface quality. There’s much to behold. An After Hours preview party will feature live music from Frankie Lee, tunes from DJ Bill DeVille and Cyn Collins, a book-making workshop, and appetizers and drinks starting at 9 p.m. Friday, March 16. The show is included with museum admission; tickets to the After Hours reception are $15. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through July 29 —Camille LeFevre

Censored; Artists Respond
Artspace Jackson Flats

Controversy erupted in February at Artspace Jackson Flats, a live/work space in northeast Minneapolis, over a series of female nudes. As reported by City Pages, the body-positive exhibition, curated by Kristin Harsma, faced censorship when residents of the building were offended by the artwork. Management told Harsma that she needed to adjust the placement of the works. This month, a new show featuring residents of the building and guest artists emerges at Artspace in response. Pieces will take on the topic of censorship directly. The exhibition takes place in two different areas. In the more public Yellow Gallery, the work will all be self-censored as artists explore the ways that they have been censored or silenced. The larger Gray Gallery, which is a bit more secluded, will highlight work that some have deemed offensive. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 16; and open hours Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-333-9012. Through March 25 —Sheila Regan

The Canterville Ghost
Theatre in the Round

Haunted-house yarns have long followed a pattern: An unwary family moves into a cursed abode only to suffer a series of supernatural incidents until the malevolent spirits are banished or the traumatized homeowners take flight. Never an artist to be constrained by convention, the witty Oscar Wilde subverted those expectations with one of his earliest novellas, The Canterville Ghost. Opening at Theatre in the Round Players in an adaptation by Marsha Chamberlain, Wilde’s insightfully humorous play tells the story of an American family moving into Canterville Chase, a notorious mansion in rural England. Legend has it that the spirit of the original inhabitant, Sir Simon Canterville, has been haunting the manor for hundreds of years. Instead of being dissauded, the enthused new owners actually welcome every eerie encounter with the resident phantom, causing the vexed ghost to grow increasingly exasperated with his failure to terrify. This twisting of genre standards works to upend expectations, giving Wilde license to poke fun at ghost-story conventions even while engaging in their frightful pleasures. 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $22. 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through April 8 —Brad Richason

Chris Juhn

Chris Juhn


St. Patrick’s Day Parades
Minneapolis and St. Paul

This weekend, the downtown streets of the Twin Cities will be rowdier than usual, as St. Patrick’s Day festivities march through Minnesota. If you normally miss the St. Paul parade due to it being in the middle of the day, then you’re in luck this year, as the holiday falls on a Saturday. At the stroke of noon, politicians, unions, local businesses, bands, and others will make their way through the city in a sea of green. This is the 52nd year for St. Paul’s parade, which travels Fifth Street starting at Broadway, then makes its way around Rice Park before turning on Washington to Fourth Street. Afterward, consider heading over to Landmark Center for family-friendly fun including traditional dance, music, and food and beer. Or start your day-drinking adventure at the Liffey, O’Gara’s, Emmett’s, or the Dubliner. Lowertown’s 12welve Eyes Brewing is launching a charity series on Saturday, called Craft That Cares, which will raise funds for good causes. On St. Patrick’s Day, one dollar of every beer sold will benefit the St. Patrick’s Association. Meanwhile, one city away, find the 50th annual Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This celebration marches at 6:30 p.m. along the length of Nicollet Mall. Though the parade is later in the day, people will start celebrating as soon as the bars open. Some nearby Irish pubs include Kieran’s, the Local, O’Donovans, and Kelly’s. Metro Transit offers free rides starting at 6:30 p.m. and running until 3 a.m., but keep that cell phone fully charged in case you end up needing to take a Lyft instead. Find more info on the parades at and Free. —Jessica Armbruster

Dirt and Bones
Form + Content

Two artistic powerhouses whose multi- and mixed-media installations embrace scale, materiality, nature, and culture with an integral approach linking the personal and the political, Judy Onofrio and Sandra Menefee Taylor are not to be trifled with. In this exhibition of wall pieces and installations, they both use natural materials as their medium to explore Earth as a partner, the transitory nature of life, and a distinctly feminist perspective on art making and meaning. The work is arresting, intriguing, and exhilarating. It’s a perspective we need more of to bring us back to the essence of our own bones as well as the greater world of engagement. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 17. Free. 210 N. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-436-1151. Through April 21 —Camille LeFevre

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

In Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, originally based on a play by Victor Hugo, working-class people find themselves oppressed by the Duke of Mantua, a lecherous, grabby-handed ruler who thinks he can foist himself on his female subjects without recourse. “When you’re a duke, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he might have said, hypothetically. When the hunchbacked jester Rigoletto schemes to protect his daughter from the Duke’s unchecked advances, he sets in motion one of opera’s most famous misfortunes. So either Verdi and Hugo successfully articulated timeless extremes of human behavior way back in early 1800s, or we’re all currently living in a grand tragedy. Regardless, this classic of the repertory from one of opera’s great composers will grab you by the aria. Olafur Sigurdarson stars as the doomed Rigoletto alongside Marie-Eve Munger as his daughter Gilda and Joshua Dennis as the Duke. Austin Regan directs this production conducted by Michael Christie. Show dates vary; check for tickets and more info. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 25. $25-$200. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. Through March 31 —Bryan Miller

Minefaire: The Ultimate Minecraft Fan Experience
Saint Paul Rivercentre

Much like SimCity and Overwatch, Minecraft is a sandbox video game with a massive following. So massive, in fact, that it’s the second-best-selling game of all time. Minecraft invites players to create structures using various-sized cubes. Along the way there is player exploration, resource hunting, and battles. As you work on making your cube building, there are encounters to be had with things like zombies and chickens, and opportunities to jaunt off to an alternate dimension. This weekend, Minefaire will revel in all things Minecraft. There will be plenty of chances to play the game live, or try your hand at new virtual reality creations. If you prefer a dose of the real world, join families in a LEGO building session. Costumes are encouraged, and a contest will award prizes to the best getups. Vendors, workshops, Q&A talks with YouTube gamers, and other fun will round out the two-day happening. Find tickets and more info at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $49-$69. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Image courtesy the venue

Image courtesy the venue

Studio Grand Opening
Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio

The artsy businesses on Minnehaha Avenue have been doing some shuffling as of late. When Moon Palace Books moved two blocks down the street to Minnehaha and Lake, Ricardo Levins Morales moved his art studio, previously at 38th and Minnehaha, into the vacated spot located next to Peace Coffee and the newly remodeled Trylon Cinema. The studio boasts posters, cards, and buttons featuring Levins Morales’ message-driven art. People who care about anti-racism, workers’ rights, the environment, immigrant rights, and other social-justice causes will find affinity with the artist’s beautiful pieces, which are sometimes poignant, sometimes pithy, and often emotionally charged. For the last eight years, the studio has been as much a store as a community space frequented by activists and rabble rousers, hosting meetings on occasion. In addition to making art, Levins Morales has been a stalwart in the progressive community for decades. The grand opening will include sales, refreshments, yoga for kids, and performances. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. 3260 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-455-2242. —Sheila Regan

Rocket Man
The Crane Theater

We’ll soon be ready for spring cleaning, a ritual that can compel personal re-assessments as one decides what to discard and what to retain. This introspection is followed to an extreme degree in Rocket Man, a sci-fi-tinged drama from contemporary playwright Steven Dietz wherein the lead character, Danny Rowan, places all of his possessions on his front lawn accompanied by a sign reading, “Here’s my life. Make an offer.” This unorthodox behavior provokes consternation and concern from family and acquaintances alike, but Danny is merely following an inner conviction that parallel universes exist and that one can, if materially and psychologically unencumbered, journey to those worlds. Even under the scrutiny of his estranged wife and daughter, Danny pursues his obsessive quest to find a place where all of life’s possibilities intersect. This Stuart Gates-directed production for Theatre Pro Rata offers a charismatic cast headlined by Matt Wall. And while string theory, alternate realities, and time travel are mind-bending concepts, those inclined to contemplate the nature of existence will find much of fascination in the way Rocket Man charts a course for a more extraordinary life. For tickets, go to 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, plus Monday, March 19; 3 p.m. Sunday, April 1. $20-$40. 2303 Kennedy St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-234-7135. Through April 1 —Brad Richason


Twin Cities PBS Presents: Mister Rogers’ Birthday
Twin Cities Public Television

For adults of a certain age, Mister Rogers taught us very important life lessons: feelings are okay, empathy brings us together, and kindness makes the world better. On the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, TPT is encouraging adults to come together, reflect on these lessons, feel nostalgic, and indulge in whimsy. During this grownups-only party, episodes from the iconic children’s show will air on a big screen. There will also be puppet performances from In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, which recently delighted audiences with the Mister Rogers-inspired Make Believe Neighborhood. There will also be an open bar, snacks, and birthday cake. While this event is free, registration is requested; visit the happening's Eventbrite page for more details. 7 to 9 p.m. Free; donations welcome. 172 E. Fourth St., St. Paul; 651-222-1717. —Jessica Armbruster