Northern Spark, pride party at Insight, and other things to do this week

Northern Spark

Northern Spark Dan Norman

Here are this week's top events.


Joe Zimmerman
Acme Comedy Co.

The last time he was in town, comedian Joe Zimmerman was fascinated with self-help books. “I did a lot of jokes about it, got a book proposal of my own out of it, and now I’m all fixed up.” Onward and upward then. “I would say I’ve branched out a little back into history stuff and science-type topics, and then also stuff going on right now that I find interesting like the royal wedding and National Geographic admitting to years of racism.” Zimmerman was shocked by how many people watched the former. “Do I care about this? And I started think about it and heard people deliberating, ‘Oh, is she just wanting to be a princess or does she really love him?’ I don’t know why we should care. I could probably love somebody if I could be princess.” Zimmerman was actually at the same school as Prince William back in the day. “I studied abroad at St. Andrews for a semester,” he reports. “There would always be sightings. ‘Prince William is at the quad, we should check it out!’ But I never had any interest. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do, just stare at the prince?” 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

Image courtesy Walker Art Center

Image courtesy Walker Art Center Cameron Wittig


ICON SAM: Temple Dances
The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

The Hennepin Center for the Arts in downtown Minneapolis was originally a landmark Masonic Temple, erected in 1888. One hundred and thirty years later, fearless choreographer/performer Sally Rousse has taken on the whole darned edifice, creating an immersive performance experience that guides audience members through the building and into its multi-layered history. ICON SAM (an anagram for “masonic”) features works that Rousse commissioned by area choreographers Wynn Fricke, HIJACK, Lise Houlton, Judith Howard, Judith Brin Ingber, and Sossy Mechanics. Audiences will be led throughout the eight-story building—its alleys and hallways as well as the grand studios and theaters that originally housed the meetings and secret ceremonies of Masonic Temple Lodge No. 19. Audience members will be treated as Masonic initiates, divided into small groups and guided through installations such as the Hall of Memories, where timelines of what happened here will be open to audience participation. (Share a memory!) Equally a celebration of the building’s architectural wonders and its historical transitions (it once housed a beauty parlor and several businesses, and now harbors a host of arts groups), the performance also honors the spirit of all the people who have rehearsed and performed there (including Mikhail Baryshnikov and Prince). The evening incorporates thrills, chills, and stylistic innovation. So while HIJACK offers an audacious homage to the architecture, Megan McClellan performs a virtuosic solo with tables in the Illusion Theater Lobby, Wynn Fricke creates a ritual, and Rousse dares to dance on a balcony railing. Audiences will literally be on their feet throughout the performance, so comfortable clothes and shoes are in order. 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. $25. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-206-3636. Through June 24 —Linda Shapiro

Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Sorry About Last Night is the duo of Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson who have been performing together since 2011. The pair also host the hit podcast Guys We Fucked: The Anti-Slut Shaming Podcast, on which they interview guys they’ve slept with as well as adult film actors and fellow comedians. While technically a comedy duo, they aren’t the kind who stand next to each other and crack wise while exchanging barbs. Instead, the two appear onstage together to start the show then split up to do individual standup sets. Fisher discusses, among other things, body image and the never-ending obsession people have with selfies. Hutchinson riffs on growing up with a mother who suffered from mental illness, as well as lighter topics like her disdain for engagement photos. They reconvene to talk about Bridget Bishop, the namesake of their current tour. Bishop was the first woman executed during the Salem witch trials in 1692. 16+. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $23. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin, 'Kauai'

Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin, 'Kauai'

Gathering Light
Artistry at Bloomington Center for the Arts

Capturing a tremendous sense of moodiness with black-and-white infrared film, photographer Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin unearths strata of visual metaphors in her images. Landscapes are her subject. Her film selection allows her to reveal both the visible spectrum and the infrared light that lies beyond the eye’s capabilities. Light and shadow, and the liminal places between, are accentuated in her work, resulting in images that invite contemplation on place, and our place in the landscape as witnesses. Free. 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington; 952-563-8575. Through August 5 —Camille LeFevre

Open Eye Figure Theatre

Last year, veteran costume designer Sonya Berlovitz ventured into playwriting with a workshop production of Familie. The show featured her sister, actress Barbra Berlovitz, and mom, Jennie Berlovitz, in a poetic, semi-autobiographical tale about family, relationships, and time. Sonya, who is known for her work with Moving Company and many other dance and theater organizations around town, brings the piece back this weekend for an expanded show with new choreography by Laurie Van Wieren. Last year’s production was a delight, due in no small part to the charming performance and personality of Jennie, who is now 98 years old. With song, dance, vaudeville, and projections, this is a heartwarming, humorous, and joyful event. 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday. $18; $15 seniors. 506 E. 24th St., Minneapolis;612-874-6338. Through Sunday —Sheila Regan

Inbox at the Art Box
The Art Box

Mini-fests of dance and performance continue to spring up in the Twin Cities. The latest is presented by Off-Leash Area in its new venue, the Art Box. Ten artists are featured in new work over the weekend, including the gorgeous and fleet Denise Armstead, the Palestinian-American artist Leila Awadallah (who performs with Ananya Dance), and Ariella Brown (who has worked with concert hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris and also makes her own site-specific work). Emerging and established, the choreographers here reflect the diversity of live art happening locally and indicate who to watch in the years to come. Find tickets on 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. $10-$25 sliding scale. 4200 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis. Through Saturday —Camille LeFevre

Northern Spark

Northern Spark Bobby Rogers


Northern Spark 2018
Downtown Minneapolis

Nocturnal arts festival Northern Spark has undergone a transformation: The latest iteration of the community-focused gathering will not be a one-night dusk-to-dawn affair, but will instead take place over two consecutive evenings, commencing at sundown and concluding at 2 a.m. each night. Despite the abbreviated hours, there should be ample time to enjoy festivities thanks to the three host sites—the Commons, Minneapolis Central Library, Nicollet Mall (between Third and Eighth Streets)—being so centrally located. Not only are these venues in close proximity to one another, each underscores Northern Spark’s goal of accessibility, a mission reinforced by this year’s theme of commonality. Like a recurrent thread running through the multimedia displays, activities, and ongoing performances, Northern Spark continues to foster an inclusivity vast enough to honor our wonderfully diverse Twin Cities community. Find locations and more info at 9:02 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Through Saturday —Brad Richason

Romeo and Juliet
Various locations

“No one has bought a ticket,” says Joseph Papke about the particular pressure of presenting Shakespeare in the park. “No one has to sit there and listen to you. If they stay, it’s because what you’re doing is engaging them.” This is the fifth year Papke’s company Classical Actors Ensemble is bringing the Bard to Twin Cities green spaces, and they’ve seen their audiences steadily increase. Papke says they’ve gone from, “Oh, hey, there’s 30 people today! That’s great!” to, “Oh my God, there’s like 250 people here.” This year, the company is breaking with tradition and presenting a tragedy instead of a comedy. They’re not hitting us with Lear, though: They’re staging Romeo and Juliet. “It actually is a fantastic balance of comedy and tragedy,” says Papke. Even if you just caught the Guthrie’s 2017 production, Papke believes the timeless tale is worth seeing again. “There’s something to the experience of going through the story with actors in an intimate, real-world setting in the beauty of our local parks.” Find times and locations at Through July 15 —Jay Gabler

Jenna Klein

Jenna Klein

Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Stone Arch Bridge

The best place to spend Father’s Day weekend (with or without your dad) is the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. Taking over the riverfront area of St. Anthony Main, the festival is the third largest in Minneapolis, attracting thousands of visitors each year. You like live music? Check out the three stages of free concerts. You want art? More than 200 artists will show off an incredible array of work using any material you can imagine. There’s also a classic car show, a beer sampler, and family activities, meaning that you could have three entirely unique days of sweaty summertime fun. Best of all? You can tell your dad you brought him along because it’s his day—even if you don’t care about him at all. For more info, visit 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 212 SE Second Ave., Minneapolis. Through Sunday —Patrick Strait

Vector 9 v9: A Benefit for Robert’s Shoes Displacement Fund
Moon Palace Books

A fire destroyed the Roberts’ Shoe Store building on Memorial Day weekend, displacing dozens of artists and collectives. Since then, the Twin Cities community has been stepping up to help. Almost immediately, crowdfunding campaigns were set up to aid folks who lost equipment, years of work, and personal items. This week, people who want to assist can stop by Moon Palace Books for a comedy and music showcase where funds will benefit artists affected by the fire. Hosted by Devohn and Xochi de la Luna, the event will feature a comedy open mic, plus sets from Helena Balcziak and Madi Tentinger. The Miami Dolphins will headline the music portion of the evening, with Tongue Party, Gather Data Pray for Death, and Crash Cuddle also taking the stage. 7 to 11 p.m. $5-$15 sliding scale donation. 3032 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis; 612-454-0455. —Sheila Regan

L-R: Maia Maiden (photo by BFresh Photography); New Black City

L-R: Maia Maiden (photo by BFresh Photography); New Black City Images courtesy event organizers

Rooted: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening
Wellstone Center

This project, which won a 2014 Sage Award for Outstanding Dance Performance, continues on in celebration of the foundations of hip-hop. Created and curated by Maia Maiden, this year’s dynamic event showcases the diverse talents of hip-hop performers in the Twin Cities, and also includes special guests from South Africa and New York. Fleet of foot, with raps and rhymes that help drive the rhythms, the show celebrates the cultural roots of the dance form. It’s also the only choreographers’ evening focused exclusively on dance under the hip-hop umbrella. Don’t delay: These shows sell out fast. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 179 E. Robie St., St. Paul; 651-789-2500. Through Saturday —Camille LeFevre

Park Square Theatre

Baskerville is playwright Ken Ludwig’s rollicking adaptation of one of author Arthur Conan Doyle’s most iconic Sherlock Holmes tales, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Centered on a murder on the foggy moors of a grand estate, the play features all the trappings that a Holmes fan could want—an intriguing mystery, deductive reasoning, enigmatic suspects, and even the suggestion of supernatural terrors—all channeled through Ludwig’s signature humor. Lending another twist, Park Square has cast two tremendously talented women in the leading roles with McKenna Kelly-Eiding portraying Holmes and Sara Richardson stepping into the part of his indispensable assistant, Dr. Watson. Directed by Theo Langason, in this production the duo will pursue the villainous culprit among 40 characters, all of whom will be portrayed by just three adept actors: Eric “Pogi” Sumangil, Ricardo Beaird, and Marika Proctor. The show is in previews June 15-21. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus June 19-20; 2 p.m. Sundays, plus Saturdays June 23-30. $25-$60. 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through August 5 —Brad Richason

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto


Pride Kick-Off Party
Insight Brewing

Pride isn’t just about the big parade and festival in Loring Park. The month-long celebration also features picnics, family happenings, sports meetups, and more all around town. This Saturday, Indeed will honor the LGBTQ community with OutFront Minnesota. In addition to its regular beer menu, the brewery will tap five fruity special casks: golden ale Sashay Away Strawberry, a banana hefeweizen, a blood orange IPA, the blueberry-laced Saison You Stay, and a Crazy Aunt brew with kiwi. Frozen bananas will provide sustenance, as will eats from Butcher Salt. A photobooth, performances from drag kings and queens, DJ tunes, and inflatable unicorn jousting round out the event. Noon to 5 p.m. $2 suggested entry fee (all admission sales benefit OutFront Minnesota).  2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-722-7222. —Jessica Armbruster

West Side Story
Guthrie Theater

A major new staging of West Side Story is set to occupy the Guthrie Theater this summer. Artistic director Joseph Haj is handling the directorial reins, and he has cited the work as a personal aspiration. Much of the enduring appeal of this Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim piece stems from the iconic songs, including “Maria,” “Cool,” and “I Feel Pretty.” But even without them, West Side Story would still command attention for its ill-fated love affair between Tony and Maria, teenagers whose attraction defies the violent rivalry of their respective neighborhoods. This story has only gotten more relevant in recent years, as the hostility of the Jets (self-defined as true Americans) toward the Sharks (Puerto Rican immigrants) parallels the xenophobia still aimed at those deemed unworthy of the American dream. Boasting contemporary choreography from Maija Garcia and a vibrant cast headlined by Marc Koeck (as Tony) and Mia Pinero (as Maria), this West Side Story looks to be a poignant retelling of an endlessly relevant tale. The show is in previews June 16-21. Showtimes vary, view complete schedule at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 7 p.m. Sundays; 1 p.m. Saturdays. $34-$92. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through August 26 —Brad Richason

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

Mixed Culture 2018
Fair State Brewing Cooperative

The term “sour beer” is one of the biggest misnomers in the beer world. While some beers made using mixed culture fermentation are mouth-puckeringly tart, others are funky, earthy, and infinitely complex. Last year, Fair State’s Mixed Culture festival showcased their own unique recipes. This year they’ve invited others to the party. Locals like Sociable Cider Werks and Surly will have beers available. But the big draw will be the chance to try out-of-state breweries that aren’t otherwise available here, such as Half Acre, Threes, and Jester King. Fair State will feature more than a dozen of their own beers, and a dozen breweries in total will be pouring throughout the day. Tickets and more info can be found at 21+. Sessions are from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. $67. 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-444-3209. —Loren Green

Junebug Art Crawl
Powderhorn and Corcoran Neighborhoods

This weekend, the Corcoran and Powderhorn neighborhoods team up for a crawl that spans both areas. Stop by art galleries, parks, homes, and other spots for a variety of hands-on art activities, receptions, and sales. That includes artists working in repurposed jewelry, acrylic sculpture, paintings, homemade soap, old-fashioned dice and card games, and ceramics. The Susan Hensel Gallery on Cedar Avenue will host filmmaker John Akre, who will be screening documentaries he has made of the neighborhood and will invite guests to help him create his latest piece. For locations and additional info, visit 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 821 E. 35th St., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Fellow Travelers
The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts

For its final production of the 2017-18 season, the Minnesota Opera is venturing over the river and outside the confines of the Ordway to Minneapolis’ Cowles Center for a performance of Fellow Travelers. Composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce adapted Thomas Mallon’s 2007 novel set in 1950s Washington about a neophyte political operative eager to join Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade. His connection to a State Department official transcends the professional, and the two men begin a secret love affair. Their   relationship and their careers are threatened by McCarthy and his cohorts’ increasing paranoia over the confluence between communists and “sexual subversives”—also known as the Lavender Scare. Theater Latte Da co-founder Peter Rothstein directs co-stars Andres Acosta and Hadleigh Adams, with music conducted by Slovenia-born Daniela Candillari. 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and Tuesdays, plus Thursday, June 21; 2 p.m. Sunday, June 17. $29-$104. 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-6669. Through June 26 —Bryan Miller

Top/clockwise: Xiaolu Wang, 'I.Am.Mural.'; Leslie Barlow, 'Philando Castile'; Angie Renee, 'Why.'

Top/clockwise: Xiaolu Wang, 'I.Am.Mural.'; Leslie Barlow, 'Philando Castile'; Angie Renee, 'Why.' Courtesy Mia


Art and Healing: In the Moment
Minneapolis Institute of Art

After the death of her son Philando Castile, Valerie Castile began receiving artworks from Twin Cities artists. In addition to helping her deal with her grief and outrage, those pieces also helped Valerie feel loved, supported, and less alone. To continue healing, she proposed an exhibition to Mia. “Art and Healing: In the Moment,” organized in collaboration with a community advisory group, is the result: 15 works (sculpture, paintings, video, posters, and even textiles) that delve into questions about Philando’s fatal shooting. Created to spark conversation, the exhibition includes works by Sarah White, Angie Renee, Leon Wang, plus Xiaolu Wang’s heartbreaking I.Am.Mural. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 888-642-2787. Through July 29 —Camille LeFevre