Fashion Week MN, a Jucy Lucy party, Red Eye Theater finale: A-List 9.19-25

Cake After Dark, part of Fashion Week MN

Cake After Dark, part of Fashion Week MN Boudoir by Eve

Here are this week's top events.


For colored girls
Penumbra Theatre

There could hardly be a better time, or a better venue, to revisit Ntozake Shange’s Obie-winning 1974 play, which she called a “choreopoem.” Twenty poems set to music and dance are performed by a multigenerational cast of women of color, drawing attention to issues of domestic violence and sexual assault while celebrating the healing energy of women’s solidarity. For colored girls, which made Shange the second black woman (after Raisin in the Sun author Lorraine Hansberry) to have a play on Broadway, emerged from the same Black Arts Movement that produced Penumbra itself. Artistic director Sarah Bellamy and her father, Lou Bellamy, are co-directing; Ananya Chatterjea (Ananya Dance Theatre) choreographs. “The same rhetoric that is used to establish the Black Aesthetic,” Shange said in 1979, “we must use to establish a women’s aesthetic, which is to say that those parts of reality that are ours, those things about our bodies, the cycles of our lives that have been ignored for centuries in all castes and classes of our people, are to be dealt with now.” 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $15-$40. 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul; 651-224-3180. Through October 14 —Jay Gabler

Illuminate the Lock

Illuminate the Lock Image courtesy event organizers


Illuminate the Lock: Returning the River
Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam

The Upper St. Anthony Falls will be transformed into an interdisciplinary public artwork this weekend for the second annual Illuminate the Lock. With performance, music, and visual projections, the no-longer-operating lock and dam becomes an immersive experience of creative delights. This year’s piece, Returning the River, includes a story written by Molly Van Avery, who will be narrating from a boat in the lock chamber. Ritika Ganguly will sing from a higher location, Dameun Strange will provide the soundscape, and there will be projections on the water created by Mike Hoyt. Just as a warning: This performance isn’t for people who are afraid of heights (though it is all perfectly safe). Regardless, it is pretty darn cool to see this large piece of engineering repurposed for a unique art experience. 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Free. 1 Portland Ave., Minneapolis. Through Saturday —Sheila Regan

Fashion Week MN
Various locations

Fashion Week MN arrives twice a year to keep Minnesotans looking good with a variety of parties, pop-up shops, special sales, and more at studios, boutiques, and bars around the cities. The 10-day celebration is going big this year, with an expanded schedule featuring over 20 different happenings. Highlights include Fresh Traditions, which showcases Hmong designers; Full Fashion Panic, MCAD’s annual runway show with crazy looks inspired by manga, anime, and cosplay; pieces by Nigerian-Minnesotan designer Aisha Umar of Fulbekloset at the Uptown VFW; a spooky catwalk hosted by the macabre Conspiracy of Strange Girls; and HWMR: Leaders of the New Skool, an outdoor fashion show honoring black excellence curated by Richard Moody. Pop-up shops include a vintage/mid-century market in the Food Building and a fashion-forward night at Radisson Red. Other events include podcast tapings, a high-drama runway helmed by local photographer Shelly Mosman, and so much more. Find tickets and more info at Through September 30 —Jessica Armbruster

Dan Soder
Acme Comedy Co.

Comedian Dan Soder had no intention of pursuing a career in his collegiate fields of study: journalism and political science. “I went to the University of Arizona,” explains the Colorado native. “I got the degree for my mom, but jumped into standup when I was 21.” He was interested in those subjects, though. “I wanted to know how it worked,” he says, “how media and the government function.” He also picked up a useful skill set for his comedy career. “Print journalism taught me how to write a nice, tight, concise lede, which is really just a premise.” Fifteen years on, Soder has maintained the same style, but lately has been looking to go deeper with his material. “The best part about standup,” he says, “is you keep evolving. I’m more comfortable going to darker places now, which I’ve always wanted to do. It’s nice not being afraid to say, ‘Fuck it, I want to talk about stuff that I want to talk about.’” 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

'Her's a Queen'

'Her's a Queen' L-R: Neal Medlyn, Miriam Must (photo by Søren Olsen)


Her’s a Queen
Red Eye Theater

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with sadness that we say goodbye to collaborative team Miriam Must and Steve Busa, who are retiring from running Red Eye Theater after doing so for decades. It will also be Red Eye’s final performance in its current Loring Park space, which the theater has called home since 1989. They’re not going out without a bang, however, so you should definitely see Her’s a Queen, Neal Medyln’s sendup of pop-culture and celebrity. Busa directed the piece, Must performs in it, and they’ll be joined by a team of talented artists. In true Red Eye fashion, there will be absurdity and weirdness, with bears, nuns, and Britney Spears all making appearances. A goodbye party after the final show will send the two artists off in style. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sunday, September 23. $20; $10 students; pay-as-able Sunday; $35-$50 closing night ($15 party-only). 15 W. 14th St., Minneapolis; 612-870-0309. Through September 29 —Sheila Regan

Shaatranga: Women Weaving Worlds
O’Shaughnessy Auditorium

With this piece, Ananya Dance Theatre’s fifth in a series on the theme “work women do,” indigo and one of its global manifestations, blue jeans, are the drivers of the work. “Shaatranga” means “seven colors” in Bangla. The work by this company of color seeks to expand the notion of indigo/blue metaphorically in order to enlighten viewers on the array of ways women exist in the world. That the company, led by artistic director and choreographer Ananya Chatterjea, accomplishes this through movement, music, lighting, and media is a feat in itself. Fierce and focused, the dancers transform the material into magical dance works of uncompromising force and community. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $19-$29. 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651-690-6700. Through Saturday—Camille LeFevre

The Agitators
Park Square Theatre

The Agitators is a fascinating historical drama that retraces the evolving relationship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, two tireless advocates of equality. The Mat Smart-penned work offers a grounded perspective on momentous events in U.S. history, including the Civil War and its aftermath as racism took on new forms following the abolition of slavery. Likewise, the entrenched sexism of our society made female emancipation a distant dream. In their mutual struggles against bigotry, Anthony and Douglass forged a friendship that could be as tempestuous as it was enduring. Directed by Signe V. Harriday, this regional premiere stars the exceptional duo of Emily Gunyou Halaas as Anthony and Mikell Sapp as Douglas, manifesting two social crusaders whose remarkable relationship remains a model for respecting our differences even as we push toward a common goal. The show is in previews through September 27. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Wednesday, September 25-26; 2 p.m. Sundays. $25-$60. 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through October 28 —Brad Richason

"Number Pushers"

"Number Pushers" Tynan Kerr

Tynan Kerr: Numbers Pushers
Hair and Nails Gallery

Bold and gorgeously rendered like a Matisse gone haywire, the work of MCAD alum Tynan Kerr (who now lives in L.A.) startles with color, shape, and the juxtaposition of recognizable forms with abstractions. He uses pigment bound in beeswax and egg yolk to achieve his eye-popping effects. In addition to paintings, Kerr also delves into notions of technologies ancient and modern with chainsaw carvings (coated in neon wax and plaster) and a potato-powered device. He shows in Minneapolis on a fairly regular basis, but this exhibition takes his experiments in materiality and intellectual inquiry in new directions. There will be an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, September 21. Free. 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis; 612-229-0585. Through October 20 —Camille LeFevre

Hannibal Buress
Historic State Theatre

In addition to being a standup comic, Hannibal Buress is an actor, activist, writer, and producer. Sometimes the streams cross, as they did a few years back when a bit about Bill Cosby talking down to black youth while being accused of rape sparked an interest in claims against Cosby. Buress has found great success as a headlining standup, moving from clubs to theaters in just a few years. This past year, he did a run of shows at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. “I went to the store by my house and bought eight deodorants,” he told an audience there. “And the guy working there said, ‘Oh, you’re very stinky today, huh?’ I’m like, ‘No, man. As long as I don’t die soon this is an excellent purchase. I’m always going to need deodorant.’” He then reflected on the merits of buying in bulk. “That’s probably the worst time to die,” he said, “when you’ve just bought in bulk. ‘Please don’t kill me, I just bought seven months’ worth of toilet paper. It was a good deal, I was thinking of my family.’” 7:30 p.m. $37-$47. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —P.F. Wilson

Is God Is
Mixed Blood Theatre

Subversive satire Is God Is delivers enough bloodletting for a spaghetti western while simultaneously pondering provocative questions on racial inequity, class division, familial obligation, and the morality of vengeance. Echoing ancient tragedies, Is God Is follows the wrathful path of African American twin sisters intent on inflicting brutal retribution upon a father who nearly incinerated them as children and left their mother on the verge of death. Layered with thought-provoking subtext to counterbalance the wanton carnage, Is God Is earned playwright Alesha Harris an Obie Award earlier this year for a production at Soho Rep that also garnered awards for the headlining cast of Alfie Fuller and Dame-Jasmine Hughes. The latter will reprise her role for Mixed Blood Theatre under the direction of Nataki Garrett, reforming a collaborative duo that previously won acclaim for Pussy Valley and An OctoroonIs God Is looks to be an exhilarating production, tallying the casualties of revenge and finding humanity in the carnage. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Free first-come, first-served tickets; $35 for guaranteed seating. 1501 Fourth St. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-6131. Through October 14 —Brad Richason

"Colors from the North"

"Colors from the North" L-R: Alison Aune, Kirsten Aune


Alison Aune + Kirsten Aune: Colors from the North
American Swedish Institute

The color and pattern explosion happening at the American Swedish Institute (currently via the marvelous Gudrun Sjödén exhibition) is complemented by this show of work by the Aune sisters from Duluth. How craft and heritage intersect in art is on view here. So are the influences of folk art and contemporary Scandinavian design. Alison paints; Kirsten works with stencils and screen printing. Delightful patterns and vibrant colors are integral to their oeuvre. Like Sjödén, the Aunes also have a growing international following. There will be an artists’ reception on Wednesday, October 3, from 6 to 7 p.m. 2600 Park Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4907. Through October 28 —Camille LeFevre

Hounds and Hops
City Pages Parking Lot

For the second year, City Pages is taking some time to hang out in our parking lot with pups. This afternoon festival will feature a variety of attractions for dogs and humans alike. Meet with canine-focused organizations and businesses, including purveyors of adorable fashions (Lucy & Co.) and tasty eats (Raw Bistro Pet Fare, NutriSource Pet Food), plus the self-improvement experts of the Twin Cities Obedience Training Club. Famous dogs, aka the best kind of celebrity, will also be stopping by. Meet Ego, a border collie who spends his weekends hanging out in nature and sleeping in a tent, and local French bulldog Gus Gus, whose Instagram @GusGusintheCity features adventures all around the Twin Cities. There will be food truck eats, including Thai Thai Streets Food, 9 Yum Yum Ice Cream, and barbecue from the Fabled Rooster. We’ll have beer from 612Brew, as well as non-alcoholic options. Find tickets and more info at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $10; $5 kids (under 5 are free). 802 N. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-372-3700. —Jessica Armbruster

10 Year Anni-Hootenanny
Blue Door Pub

The Twin Cities has a long, proud history with the Jucy Lucy, a glorious burger, served at several rival businesses around town, that is stuffed with molten lava-style cheese. In recent years, the burgers have hit a new level of popularity, thanks in part to Blue Door’s creative “Blucy” menu, which goes well beyond the original American cheese and fried onion options. Saturday celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the first Blucy, and Blue Door is celebrating with an all-day party stuffed with fun at its University of Minnesota location. There will be live music from the likes of Purple Funk Metropolis, rockers Porch Knights, psych rockers General B and the Wiz, and DJ DeadMusik, among others. Beyond the Blucys, there will also be wing and beer specials, plus a special blueberry honey IPA by Indeed on tap. Giveaways and other fun more festivities round out the event. 2 to 10 p.m. Free. 1514 Como Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-367-4964. —Loren Green


Best of the Wurst 2018
Sociable Cider Werks

The Best of the Wurst is a parking-lot party featuring sausage and bratwurst specially crafted for the annual event. The all-you-can-eat sampling festival will include cased creations from Borough, Red Stag, Ingebretsen’s, Fig + Farro, Lowry Hill Meats, and New Bohemia, among others. FairVote Minnesota will oversee ranked choice voting in order to pick the supreme sausage. Nothing pairs better with sausage than beer; August Schell Brewing Company will be serving their Oktoberfest, 1905 VT, and Witbier. The music of Johnny Cash, performed by local cover artists Church of Cash, will help revelers dance off some of those meat sweats in between courses. Find tickets and more info at 2 to 6 p.m. $25; $40 (includes two beers and a gift); $75 VIP. 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-758-0105.—Loren Green