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Golden Girls Bar Crawl, arcade games at Bad Weather, Wordplay lit fest: A-List 5.8

Golden Girls Bar Crawl

Golden Girls Bar Crawl Darin Kamnetz

Here are this week's top happenings.

'Autonomy'

'Autonomy' Rich Ryan

THURSDAY 5.9

Autonomy
Saint Paul Rivercentre

The latest production from Mixed Blood Theatre, Autonomy, sets a new standard for audacity. Eschewing the traditional staging model, this new work from playwright Ken LaZebnik places participants into small groups, gives them earbuds, and ushers them onto the floor of the Saint Paul RiverCentre for a 90-minute expedition to the year 2022. The story: Amid revolutionary social changes wrought by self-driving cars, a teenage “technonerd” is on the run from nefarious corporate forces bent on establishing a new world order. Fueling dramatic tension with heart-racing action, this multimedia presentation imaginatively blends live performance, video projection, choreographed lighting, and original music. The most fascinating feature, however, will undoubtedly be the collection of some 54 vehicles, each exemplifying an evolution in automotive design and performance. Audiences will encounter classic Corvettes, stylish BMWs, a misbegotten DeLorean, a rare Amphicar, and iconic vehicles like the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and a Batmobile. Raising urgent questions of environmental responsibility and individual liberty, director Jack Reuler brings Autonomy revving to life with a 19-member ensemble consisting of such Mixed Blood alumni as Ansa Akyea, Harry Waters Jr., Malachi Caballero, Raul Ramos, Taj Ruler, Randy Reyes, and Michael Laskin. Find tickets at www.mixedblood.com. 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday; 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $38. 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-265-4800. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

John Heffron
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Onstage, comedian John Heffron likes to talk about what’s going on in his life, particularly his marriage. He’s certainly not shy about offering relationship advice to young people in the audience, but there’s always a big dose of humor. “I joke about marriage because it’d be really boring on stage if I went on and said, ‘I love marriage. My marriage is awesome.’ See how that’s not funny at all?” His wife, meanwhile, takes it all in stride. Her only occasional criticisms are of his actual performances. “It’s never about the jokes. She’ll bust me if she thinks I’m phoning it in. I get that more often than, ‘Don’t talk about that!’” 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $16-$23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Q-Stage: New Works Series
Phoenix Theater

The sixth edition of 20% Theatre Company’s Q-Stage: New Works Series is here. The performance festival showcases artists working in a variety of forms—such as soundplay, visual pieces, and storytelling—as they draw on their queer experiences and identities. This installment features four experimental performances created by local queer artists. The first weekend includes Taylor Seaberg’s loosely autobiographical audio/visual play “Weirdo_Indigo_Child,” and “Displacements and Diaries,” an immersive work of prose, film, live vocal composition, and theater by Dua Saleh. Next week features Keila Anali Saucedo’s “Brujeri-a for Beginners,” which explores the complexities of spirituality, and D. Allen’s “Net/work,” which simulates and shares the poet’s experiences with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $5-$25 sliding scale. 2605 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-377-2285. Through May 18 —Sheila Regan

Alaska Thunderfuck

Alaska Thunderfuck Darin Kamnetz

FRIDAY 5.10

Alaska 5000
The Pourhouse

The Golden Girls Bar Crawl is tomorrow. But first, Alaska 5000 (aka Alaska Thunderfuck) will pay tribute to the four fine ladies and toast to the twilight years. Along with her friend Jeremy Keller, she’ll pay tribute to enduring friendship, living life to its fullest, and senior citizens. Expect some parody skits and some musical interludes (including the theme song, “Thank You for Being a Friend,” and “What’ll I Do?,” a little ditty sung by Bea Arthur on the show). Find tickets at www.eventbrite.com. The early show is all ages, and the later one is 21+. 7 to 10 p.m. $35; $65 VIP. 10 Fifth St. S., Minneapolis; 612-843-2555. —Jessica Armbruster

Bad Weather Outdoor Arcade
Bad Weather Brewing Company

One weekend each year, Bad Weather Brewing kicks the cars out of its parking lot for something far more important: old arcade cabinets and pinball machines. Enjoy full-on gaming action in the sun, with tents providing protection from a gamer’s true nemesis: glare. Expect to find classic arcade games; last year’s collection featured Donkey Kong, Tetris, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a Pac-Man Battle Royale 4-Player. You can also also play pinball machines, skeeball, ping pong, and cornhole. Pajarito and Parlour Bar will set up pop-up restaurants, and food trucks Habanero Tacos, Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub, and MN Nice Cream will stop by. Special beer releases this weekend include the return of hazy IPA Fog of War and Golden Bramble, a pineapple wheat beer. For just $5, you get unlimited access to all the games. Plan ahead for travel, though, as parking will be limited. All ages. 3 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Free; $5 for unlimited gameplay. 414 W. Seventh St., St. Paul; 651-207-6627. Through Sunday —Loren Green

Black Label Movement: Teamwork 2.0
Ritz Theater

Choreographer Carl Flink creates dances with blunt physicality and provocative themes that are complexly layered. His fearless company, Black Label Movement, explodes into space with a combo of unfettered physicality and meticulous control. This year’s spring fling, Teamwork 2.0, features the premiere of Flink’s newest work, “Morituri te Salutant” (Latin for “we who are about to die salute you,” the declaration gladiators made in ancient Rome before their battles began). The layers of design—movement, original sound, absurdist costumes, live animation—combine to create a shattering world in which the BLM movers seek survival and humanity in the face of mounting desensitization. Also on the program are Flink’s poignant and resonant “This Bleeding Heart” and “Canary,” which he describes “as a surrealistic vision of a prom night at the bottom of a coal mine.” Find tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday. $20; $10 students. 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612- 436-1129. Through Sunday —Linda Shapiro

Heavy hitters are here for Wordplay Fest.

Heavy hitters are here for Wordplay Fest. L-R: Stephen King photo by Shane Leonard, Amy Tan, Marlon James photo by Jeffrey Skemp

SATURDAY 5.11

Wordplay Festival
Various locations

The Loft Literary Center is throwing the Coachella of book festivals. The three-day event kicks off with a concert Friday night at First Avenue featuring the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band composed of some of the festival’s highest-profile guests (Stephen King! Amy Tan! Dave Barry! Our own Marlon James!). The weekend will feature interviews, readings, and a variety of special events at several locations, including the Guthrie and Open Book. Many of the ticketed special events are sold out, but the bulk of the festival takes place on outdoor stages in St. Paul, and wristbands are a mere $10. Many of the biggest names will appear on the main stages, including the aforementioned Remainders along with Mary Karr, Julie Schumacher, Tommy Orange, and many more. For details on tickets and the full schedule, go to loftwordplay.com. Event prices range from free to $10-$40. Through Sunday —Bryan Miller

Spring Craft’za
Grain Belt Bottling House

Folks searching for a really cool last-minute Mother’s Day gift need look no further, as you’ll find plenty of potential gifts at the spring installment of Craft’za. The event, held in the massive Grain Belt Bottling House, will feature over 60 vendors selling a variety of items. Mom may appreciate the hand-painted wood earrings of Burly Babe, the candy-colored pottery of Dad and Kiddo, or oh yay’s stash of planters, complete with tiny wooden signs proclaiming love for mom. There’s plenty to investigate for yourself, too. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 79 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Ira Glass: Seven Things I’ve Learned
Historic State Theatre

Ira Glass’ most recent live talk series, Seven Things I’ve Learned, has a simple origin. “What’s different about this [talk] is that it’s just really an excuse to tell seven interesting stories that are fun to tell an audience, along with video and audio that I share,” says the host of This American Life. The seven stories have changed since he first began touring with this presentation. Some are derived from his popular radio show, while some he’s found through other means. An accomplished journalist and broadcaster, Glass has come to really enjoy performing live. “It’s nice to be in front of people,” he says. “It’s very different than being on the radio. When I’m talking on the radio, I’m in a soundproof room, and in a theoretical way I am talking to people, but it’s a little bit abstract. But to be in an actual room with people... when there’s something funny they laugh, and it’s just a much more enjoyable experience.” 8 p.m. $24-$53.50. 805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —P.F. Wilson

Golden Girls Bar Crawl

Golden Girls Bar Crawl Darin Kamnetz

Golden Girls Bar Crawl
The Pourhouse

Back in the ’80s, a television program following four women who were just trying to figure things out became a hit. The show starred Blanche, who was always up for sexy fun; ditzy and kind Rose; take-no-shit Dorothy; and master of one-liners Sophia. Oh yeah, and all of these women were senior citizens. Thirty-five years later, The Golden Girls endures. This Saturday, the Flip Phone crew will honor these four iconic women in the best way they know how: with a bar crawl. Folks will dress up as their favorite character and convene at the Pourhouse. There, the crowd will once again go for a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of Golden Girls. Then the masses will break up into four different groups, making their way to bars including Mercy, the Saloon, Union, and Seven. At each stop there will be a variety of fun performances, activities, and drink specials. Ten percent of all bar sales from this event will benefit OutFront Minnesota. Find tickets at www.eventbrite.com. 21+. 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $20; $40 with event T-shirt. 10 S. Fifth St. #11, Minneapolis; 612- 843-2555. —Jessica Armbruster

Out of the Box Opera
Pillsbury Artist Lofts

Audiences are part of the action in Out of the Box Opera’s new production, The Amazing Adventures of Acis and Galatea, the Wonder Nymph. This immersive reconception of George Handel’s 1718 opera, Acis and Galatea, which in turn is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, takes place in four different locations in and around the Pillsbury Artist Lofts. Stops includes the hydro power tunnels underneath the building and the rooftop, which features view of Minneapolis’ skyline. The opera, directed by David Lefkowich with musical direction by Lara Bolton, draws on comic books for inspiration. There’s also a good dose of Greek mythology here, with cyclops battles, epic love, and vocal fireworks. Soprano Siena Forest stars in the production. You may remember her from Out of the Box’s Diva Cage Match, where singers squared off inside a boxing ring. She’s joined by tenor David Walton and Andrew Witzkowski as the cyclops. Five ensemble singers make up the Greek chorus. Find tickets at and more info at BrownPaperTickets.com. 5, 7, and 9 p.m. $60; $75 VIP. 315 Main Street NE, Minneapolis; 612-963-5660. —Sheila Regan

Lit Crawl 2019
Various Locations

This weekend, Wordplay Festival takes over the Twin Cities with a variety of happenings. One easy entry point into the myriad of events is Saturday’s Lit Crawl, an event filled with beer, books, and games. Highlights include Autoptic’s Spring Showcase at Morrissey’s Irish Pub, where zine and comic creators will share new works; Bryant-Lake Bowl hosting book-themed games, such as Literary Death Match and Nerd Jeopardy; and wild storytelling from Word Sprout at Red Stag. Other venues include Highpoint Center for Printmaking and Zoe’s Cafe. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. —Jessica Armbruster

Unique Pop Up

Unique Pop Up

SUNDAY 5.12

Unique Markets’ Spring Pop-Up
Machine Shop

This Sunday, Unique Markets invites local businesses and emerging makers to set up shop and showcase their wares at this pop-up party. Around 40 vendors will be on hand, sharing items that include visual art, home goods, beauty and wellness products, and food. That includes skull-embossed leather wallets from Howl + Hide, wood-frame glasses from Lifted Optics, baby blankets featuring awesome women (Dolly Parton! Malala Yousafzai! Laverne Cox!) by Abbey’s House, and chocolate bars packed with things like local honey, rose petals, and lavender. The $5 admission scores you a cloth tote bag, plus access to DIY sessions and drink stations. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5. 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-940-9647. —Jessica Armbruster