New Year's Eve parties, an epic 'Lord of the Rings' screening: A-List 12.26

Flip Phone spices up your NYE at Amsterdam

Flip Phone spices up your NYE at Amsterdam Darin Kamnetz

Here are the top happenings in the Twin Cities this week.

Carmen Lynch

Carmen Lynch Image courtesy the standup


Carmen Lynch
Acme Comedy Co.

Comedy sometimes takes you to unusual places. Just ask comedian Carmen Lynch. “I just got back from Greenland and the Bahamas on a military tour,” she says. “It was hard to pack.” Greenland was dark the whole time. “There was no sun when we went. They don’t get sun until February, so even in the middle of the day it was pitch dark outside and it was very cold. When you land, they give you a little lecture on what to do if you see a polar bear, which is what keeps it exciting.” Lynch describes her current set as dark and sarcastic. “It’s kind of autobiographical—my thoughts about anything from family to observational things.” She’s currently fascinated by ghosts, even though she’s never seen one and is not a believer. “I like to talk a lot about religion, too,” she adds. “I’ve always been curious about it. I grew up Catholic, but I don’t go to church. Whatever I want to talk about, I try not to hold back.” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson


Eddie Ifft
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I got this thing called Bell’s palsy, and it proves there’s a God, because it paralyzes half your face,” comedian Eddie Ifft tells an audience. “He’s got a really dark sense of humor if he paralyzes your whole face, but he does half and you’re like, ‘What the fuck?’” He went to the hospital thinking he was having a stroke. The doctors explained to his wife that he had Bell’s palsy. When asked why half his face was drooping, they explained to her that half of his face was frozen, and the part she thought was drooping was normal. “So she asked them, ‘Can you make the frozen half the normal half? Because that looks good.’” It turns out Bell’s palsy is caused by a herpes virus. “My wife,” Ifft continues, “yells in the middle of the hospital, ‘You gave me fucking herpes?’” But it’s not the so-called bad herpes; it’s the one related to the chicken pox. Going to sleep that night, and having to tape his one eye shut, Ifft thought to himself, “I think I’d rather have the bad herpes.” 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday through Monday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 10 p.m. Monday. $20. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Monday —P.F. Wilson

Rana May

Rana May Image courtesy the standup

FRIDAY 12.28

Fuck 2018
Turf Club

This year wasn’t the best. Was it the shootings, bombings, celebrity deaths, or kids eating Tide pods that made it suck? All of the above? Honestly, we have a lot to choose from. Fortunately, comedian Rana May is sending off 2018 with a swift kick to the teeth at her very special roast of everything that happened this past year. Joining her will be the Beach Party comedy crew, composed of Helena Balcziak, Tommy Bayer, and Zachary Kagan, along with Devohn Bland, Ashli Henderson, and Shelly Paul. Together, we’ll be able to comfort each other over the loss of Avicii, the rise of Brett Kavanaugh, and the Kanye West train wreck. There are two shows to allow for maximum grieving; they’ll probably need extra time allotted to really dive deep into “let’s film a dead body in the woods!” YouTuber Logan Paul. 7 and 9:30 p.m. $15. Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. —Patrick Strait

Glow in the Dark Sledding Party
St. Paul Park City Hall

Now in its third year, this glow-in-the-dark sledding event turns a park into a kid-friendly disco-party, complete with fancy lights, projected images, and a plethora of glow sticks to light the way. Taking place on the hill behind City Hall, this St. Paul get-together includes free refreshments, pizza sold by the slice, and a bonfire. Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, this is a great chance to join in the fun, add a little light to your life, and get to know your neighbors. 5 to 7 p.m. Free. 600 Portland Ave., St. Paul. —Sheila Regan

Forever Young

Forever Young Star Tribune


Forever Young Presents: Electric Feel
Turf Club

Next week kicks off with New Year’s Eve. But that doesn’t mean you have to rest up this weekend. Forever Young gets it. This Saturday, the dance-night crew will help you burn off extra energy with a party at the Turf. Tonight, we will revel in the ’00s, an era where indie rock and electronic music played back-to-back on the radio. Think LCD Soundsystem, Bloc Party, Vampire Weekend, Modest Mouse, and the Strokes. DJs FooLProoF and Garrison Grouse will spin tunes from these groups and more. 21+. 9 p.m. $7/$10 at the door. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-647-0486. —Jessica Armbruster

SUNDAY 12.30

Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Riverview Theater

It’s been 15 years since Return of the King was released, capping off the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. While dedicated fans likely have the 4K Ultra HD box set (in addition to a wizard’s staff, the LOTR-themed Risk game, and countless other collectibles), there’s only one time of year to catch all 730 minutes on the big screen in Minneapolis. The annual Riverview Theater trilogy event starts at 10:45 a.m. and runs through a full day, pausing for breaks between extended-version screenings of each film. Put on a costume (there will be a contest for the best looks), get out of the cold, and escape to a fantasy world for a day. 10:45 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 7 p.m. $12/$15 at the door. 3800 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-7369. —Loren Green

Lizz Winstead: I Really Don’t Caravan, Do You?
The Cedar Cultural Center

It’s difficult to imagine many fond memories having been forged in 2018 amid the deceptions of the Trump administration, worsening environmental catastrophes, and our deeply ingrained cultural malaise. But rather than falling into catatonic despondency, homegrown comic Lizz Winstead offers a restorative perspective with I Really Don’t Caravan, Do You? Winstead’s annual year-end summation showcases an exceptional ability to find humor in even the most troubling events, a strength that most famously led to her co-creation of The Daily Show. Unlike entertainers who see the stage as a venue for escapism, Winstead hearkens back to a bolder tradition of using comedy as a means to confront uncomfortable realities. She’ll have no shortage of debacles to draw upon as she, accompanied by musical guest Sam Breckenridge, lampoons the numerous absurdities that defined 2018. 2 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday. $45/$55 at the door; $65 VIP. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-2674.Through Monday—Brad Richason



MONDAY 12.31

6th Annual East Coast Style New Year’s Eve Comedy Show
Sisyphus Brewing

If you want to laugh, celebrate, and be home for a reasonable bedtime, Maggie Faris has your back. Faris will once again host her insanely popular East Coast Style Comedy Show at Sisyphus this New Year’s Eve, alongside comedians Julie Bane and Mohtasham Yaqub. Regardless of whether you hit the early show or the “late” show (it’s at nine, so even that is perfect for sleep enthusiasts), you’ll get to experience the full-blown New Year’s hoopla on the East Coast clock. There are also booby prizes, which have become a staple of Maggie Faris comedy blowouts, and you’ll be home in time to relieve your babysitter before the primetime New Year’s Eve rates kick in. Find tickets and more info at 7 and 9 p.m. $25. 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis; 612-321-8324. —Patrick Strait

Capital City: A New Year’s Eve Celebration
Can Can Wonderland

Can Can Wonderland is a great place to go for special occasions. With artist-designed mini golf, vintage arcade machines, whimsical decor, and fancy cocktails, it has the makings of a party—even on a “normal” night. Well, imagine what it’s like on one of the biggest party days of the year: New Year’s Eve. At this celebration, the venue will have three stages offering simultaneous performances, featuring 70 local artists in total, throughout the night. Fancy Ray McCloney serves as toastmaster, with a guest list that includes puppeteers, aerialists, drag and burlesque artists, and live bands. The evening’s theme, “Capital City,” is a nod to The Hunger Games’ capital city, Panem, a place known for its over-the-top excesses. Pull together your most fabulous future dystopia outfit (or just look as stunning as possible), and gear up for the party of the year in our capital city, St. Paul. Find tickets and more info at 21+. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. $40; $70 VIP. 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261. —Sheila Regan

Tipsy Kangaroo’s Naughty Puppet Revue
Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

The oddities of a standard New Year’s Eve party have nothing on the madcap scenes unleashed by Tipsy Kangaroo’s Naughty Puppet Revue. Created by an irreverent crew of accomplished local puppeteers (whose collective résumé includes work for the Muppets and Disney), each Tipsy Kangaroo show is known for infusing improv comedy with live puppetry. To be clear, these particular puppets shouldn’t be confused with family-friendly entertainment, as the ribald characters voice profanities with a glee that would traumatize their more wholesome polyfoam cousins. Equally distinctive is Tipsy Kangaroo’s eagerness to direct attention behind the curtain, putting the spotlight on the puppeteers as they skillfully animate characters created by the Puppet Forge, a Minnesota company. The crew will respond to prompts from the audience, and the interactive appeal is heightened by the way Tipsy Kangaroo films the performance, screening the framed display on a monitor during the show. In this way, audiences can watch the “televised” results alongside the puppeteers in action. 16+. 10 p.m. $15. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-3737. —Brad Richason

Totally Tubular ’80s New Year’s Eve
Sociable Cider Werks

This New Year’s Eve, Sociable Cider Werks will dim the overhead lights, plug in the neons, and crank up some serious ’80s jams all night long. It will be totally tubular. Like, to the max. While New Year’s might mean champagne for traditionalists, don’t forget that a dry cider provides a similar profile and is nearly just as bubbly. So “Rock the Casbah” with some ’80s dance moves, and show up in your best looks from the era (or whatever clothing you feel fits your mood). To toast the new year, Sociable will give everyone a complimentary Freewheeler, and expect specialty ciders on tap with food by Union Kitchen. If you’re a fan of Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Wham!, and Cyndi Lauper, this is the event for you. Another bonus: There’s plenty of free parking in the lot outside, and the cidery welcomes revelers to leave their cars there overnight. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Free. 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-758-0105. —Loren Green

Flip Phone: Spice Up Your New Year
Amsterdam Bar and Hall

You might know Flip Phone for its epic dance parties. Or you might know the group for its glam drag nights. This New Year’s Eve, Flip Phone will throw a party featuring both of these things in downtown St. Paul. As we wait for the future, this happening will celebrate the past, serving up a heavy dose of the Spice Girls. Other fab and fun bops from the top 40 will be blasted too, thanks to DJ Izzie P. A few drag artists will be showing up for pop-up performances to get you pumped for the new year, and Amsterdam will be serving pints, cocktails, and more leading up to the midnight countdown. 21+. 9 p.m. $15. 6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul; 612-285-3112. —Jessica Armbruster

Transmission Presents: ’80s Prom
First Avenue

This New Year’s Eve, Transmission goes all in for the ’80s at the First Avenue dance night. No corner of the decade will go unspun, as DJ Jake Rudh plans a mix featuring top 40 (Madonna! U2! Cyndi Lauper! George Michael!), R&B (Prince! Chaka Khan!), goth (The Cure! Siouxsie & the Banshees!), and even hits from iconic soundtracks (FootlooseTop Gun!). Looks from the era are encouraged, and a photographer will be on hand to capture the glamour. 18+. 9 p.m. $20. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. —Jessica Armbruster

Hipshaker/Hotpants New Years Eve Throwdown
Kitty Cat Klub

For those who like their dance nights to have more soul than pop, Hipshaker and Hotpants parties cannot be beat. This New Year’s Eve, both groups will be at the Kitty Cat Klub to serve you tunes that are heavy on the bass and rhythm. Expect deep cuts and anthems from soul, funk, R&B, and Latin genres through the decades. The bar will flow with drinks, and the dance floor will come alive as DJs Ben Mena, George Rodriguez, Greg Waletski, and Brian Engel spin songs to help count down to 2019. 21+. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. $15. 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-9800.—Jessica Armbruster