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Holiday markets, birthday beer at Insight, Maria Bamford: A-List 11.13-20

Holiday treats at MN Christmas Market

Holiday treats at MN Christmas Market Dangubic

Check out this week's top happenings.

'A Christmas Carol'

'A Christmas Carol' Dan Norman

WEDNESDAY 11.13

A Christmas Carol
Guthrie Theater

For some 45 seasons, the longest run in regional theater history, the Guthrie has enacted the uplifting tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a cruel misanthrope who would rather see the poor starve to death than suffer their pitiful solicitations for charity. Old Scrooge’s conversion from fanatical miser to devoted humanitarian, courtesy of time-traveling specters, remains one of the most celebrated yuletide stories. That the Guthrie continually showcases inspired creativity from such a well-worn (and oft parodied) source is almost as impressive as the heartwarming potency of the production. This season, audiences can once again anticipate an energetic adaptation, penned by playwright Crispin Whittle for the Guthrie in 2010, brought to life with a dynamic set design. Directed for a third consecutive season by Lauren Keating, the first-rate ensemble will continue to be led by two accomplished actors alternating the role of Ebenezer: Nathaniel Fuller will be featured for most dates, with Charity Jones presenting an alternate take in select performances. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $15-$95. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through December 29 —Brad Richason

Sound Unseen 2019
Various locations

Sound Unseen is a film festival for music lovers, featuring a mix of documentaries, biopics, music videos, and events offering an aurally pleasing cinematic experience. The festival kicked off yesterday with an opening party at the Walker Art Center. Now we have five more days of screenings, parties, and panel discussions. There will be classics, like Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz; nail-biters like Pipe Dreams, which follows five organists as they compete in Canada’s International Organ Competition; and pieces exploring punk music scenes (Punk the CapitalX: The Unheard Music), ska revolutions (Pick It Up! Ska in the Nineties), and legendary stars (Alice Cooper, Michael Hutchence, Gordon Lightfoot). The festival closes out its 20th anniversary with a screening of Boy Howdy: The Story of Creem Magazine, which will include live music from Sick Things, an Alice Cooper/Saint Small tribute band. For a complete schedule and list of showtimes and locations, visit www.soundunseen.com. $12-$20 per screening. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

'Hit the Wall'

'Hit the Wall' Dan Norman

THURSDAY 11.14

Hit the Wall
The Southern Theater

Minneapolis South High graduate Ike Holter has made waves in the theater world, both in Chicago, where he’s a resident playwright at Victory Gardens Theater, and nationally, winning Yale’s Winham-Cambell Literature Prize. He’s also written for the FX show Fosse/Verdon, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. His 2012 play, Hit the Wall, was first produced as part of Steppenwolf Theater Company’s Garage Rep, eventually making its way to off-Broadway. The story follows the events and infinite repercussions leading up to the Stonewall Riots, told through the perspectives of the LGBTQ people who were there. Earlier this year, Mixed Precipitation presented a staged reading of the work as part of the Southern’s Good Night program. Now they’re unveiling a full production, a Minnesota premiere, as part of the Southern’s Amplify series for emerging artists. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $20/$24 at the door; pay as able Saturday matinee. 1420 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-326-1811. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan


Talking Volumes: Lindy West
Fitzgerald Theater

Author Lindy West is here to uplift women and shred male fragility. Her debut book, Shrill, later made into a television series on Hulu, features essays on abortion stigma, period shaming, and the Fat Acceptance Movement. Her new book, The Witches Are Coming, takes on #MeToo hysteria, ripping into people who feel the movement “takes feminism too far.” Succinctly put in one excerpt: “We were just a hair’s breadth from electing America’s first female president to succeed America’s first black president.... And then, true to form—like the Balrog’s whip catching Gandalf by his little gray bootie, like the husband in a Lifetime movie hissing, ‘If I can’t have you, no one can’—white American voters and the electoral college and a few Russian troll farms shoved an incompetent, racist con-man into the White House.” We’re sure West will have some amazing rants to share with Minnesotans when she comes to town as part of the Talking Volumes series. She’ll be chatting with host Kerri Miller, and musical guest Chris Koza will also stop by. 6 p.m. $32.50. 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-370-2953. —Jessica Armbruster

Asif Ali
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I grew up in Arizona, which I don’t recommend if you look like me,” says comedian Asif Ali, whose family is Indian. “I didn’t realize I wasn’t Mexican until I was 15. Not a good time to figure out who you are. I was bummed. I had my quinceañera planned and everything.” Growing up in the Grand Canyon State, Ali was exposed to a lot of people who loved firearms. “‘You gotta have a gun, ’cuz the government is going to take your shit,’” he says, imitating one of his father’s friends. “How come the people who are scared of the government taking their shit don’t have anything worth taking? ‘I have this Die Hard boxed set.’” In addition to doing standup, Ali has been a series regular on Wrecked and Mr. Robinson, and has also appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.DArrested Development, and Modern Family. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $15. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

FRIDAY 11.15

Towards Zero
Theatre in the Round

Agatha Christie whodunits have become a popular tradition for Theatre in the Round, as the 360-degree stage lends elaborate murder mysteries an enticing range of perspectives for amateur sleuths in the audience. Though adapted from a well-regarded novel, the stage version of Towards Zero has become something of a lost artifact over the years, all but disappearing for decades after one very brief London run and a one-week staging in Martha’s Vineyard. The recently rediscovered script, located in 2015 by researcher Julius Green, contains all the signatures of a Christie classic. Taking place in a remote seaside manor, Towards Zero centers on the murderous machinations that ensue when the wealthy Lady Tressilian opens her doors to a motley company of houseguests (ie, suspects), including tennis star Neville Strange, his ex-wife Audrey, and his current wife, Kay. True to Christie’s most sinister narratives, each eccentric guest has a unique motivation waiting to be revealed. The mystery will be unraveled with maximum suspense and humor, as this production marks the fourth Christie production guided by the adept direction of Resch Novak. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $22. 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through December 15 —Brad Richason

Craft'za returns this weekend.

Craft'za returns this weekend. L-R: A pin by LupiLoops, pieces by Fair Play Projects, and art by Mehu Art

SATURDAY 11.16

Fall Craft’za
Grain Belt Bottling

For the past 14 years, Craft’za has been showcasing local artists and helping folks shop local. This weekend’s fall happening is no different, as over 60 Minnesota makers will be setting up shop and sharing their wares. Those include highly giftable items, like cozy hats from Aquarius Knitwear, dried floral arrangements by Minnesola Designs, statement pieces from Jovy Rocky Jewelry, and lip balms and syrups from Apothicare. Are you looking for hand-knit items in the shapes of strawberries, sushi pieces, and slices of pizza? You might find that here, too. Or shop for soaps, small-scale art, gig posters, and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 79 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-465-0234. —Jessica Armbruster

A Trip Around the Sun
Insight Brewing

This Saturday, Insight Brewing will be celebrating five years of beer with a day of food, music, and special releases on tap. New brews, all of which have been aged in liquor barrels, will become available on the hour, starting with the Gravity Well Imperial Stout (aged in a bourbon barrel), followed by a raspberry vanilla brew (also aged in bourbon barrels), a Mexican chocolate beer (aged in tequila barrels), and a coffee cake pint (aged in rum barrels). Delicious eats on hand this day will include Gastrotruck, Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria, and Sasquatch Sandwiches, plus free coffee samples from UP Coffee Roasters and treats from Glam Doll Donuts made with Gravity Well. Tunes will be provided by Weezer cover band Pleezer, rockers Brett Newski & the No Tomorrow, and Parachute Panda closing out the evening. A portion of the proceeds for beer wristbands will benefit Second Harvest Heartland. 2 to 10 p.m. Free; $2 drinking wristband. 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-722-7222. —Jessica Armbruster

Maria Bamford

Maria Bamford Robyn Von Swank

SUNDAY 11.17

Maria Bamford
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

“I’m on the internet, dating,” Maria Bamford tells an audience. “I’m on match-dot-bomb and e-harming-me. So many people are so active and so flexible.” She then voices someone posting on a dating site: “‘I work hard and play hard. I’ll rest when I’m dead. I’ll rest when I’m Ted, and I’ll never be that guy! Got your passport? Let’s go paraglide-biking!’” She responds: “I’ve got to be honest with who I am. ‘I can wear the same outfit for five days, and I can crouch naked in the shower and get real small. I sleep hard, I dream harder. I’ll wake up when it’s time. Got your library card? Let’s go pay off my fines.’” It’s this mix of nonsequiturs, irreverence, and character voices that Bamford effortlessly brings together in one hilarious concoction. Topics like God, TV chefs, and Netflix, to name just a few, all get the treatment in her latest set. Bamford’s unique style has earned her fans in not only comedy audiences but also other comics. 7:30 p.m. $37-$48. 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 651-224-4222. —P.F. Wilson

MN Christmas Market
Nicollet Island Pavilion

Forget Black Friday; holiday shopping season starts up around Halloween these days. That includes ever-popular pop-up markets featuring a variety of vendors. One such event, the MN Christmas Market, is setting up shop at Nicollet Island Pavilion for a daylong mega sale featuring giftable wares. Think candles, hand-knit scarves, kitchenware, and more. This market is also a benefit party, with 7 percent of sales going to the Reel Hope Projects, which helps foster kids find homes. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $1. 40 Power St., Minneapolis; 612-253-0255. —Jessica Armbruster

The Expressionist Figure: 100 Years of Modern and Contemporary Drawing
Walker Art Center

In the richly discordant and resonant world of Anishinaabe artist Jim Denomie, most specifically in the alternative pop-culture universe of Oz, the Emergence, Dorothy is a bare-chested two-spirit in blue jeans and fuchsia flats. She’s holding hands with a gun-wielding Tin Man (who has a faucet for a penis) and a Scarecrow clutching his crotch as they travel down a patchwork road lined with an array of characters. What has that work to do with, say, Willem de Kooning’s Two Torsos, a jazzy sketch of angular mark making? Or Marlene Dumas’ Name No Names, in which a woman with a Marilyn Monroe helmet of gold hair confronts three Weimar-like ink-blot men? These pieces are among the 100 or so works on paper through which artists from Degas to Denomie have examined the human figure. Artistic innovations, rendered in a variety of media—featuring Ben Shahn, Elizabeth Peyton, Rosemarie Trockel, and Kara Walker—are also included. Here the body is dismembered and remembered, brandished and emboldened, made object and subject with aesthetic ingenuity. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through April 19 —Camille LeFevre