The Harry Potter bar crawl returns: A-List events Sept. 20-26

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Mike Madison

This week in stuff to do we have a Butterbeer-fueled barhop, a dog party, and original art from Star Wars. Come take a look.

WEDNESDAY 9.20

Ian Bagg
Acme Comedy Co.

Canadian-born comic Ian Bagg has always seen himself as a moderate. “I’m still a moderate compared to the crazy idiot that’s in charge,” he laughs. “You’re a libtard snowflake if you don’t believe in what he’s doing. I’m definitely both sides. He’s neither side.” Born to a Canadian father and an Australian mother, Bagg is now a U.S. citizen. “He’s not pro-American,” Bagg says of the president. “He’s pro-himself. I guess I’m just confused when he implies that some Nazis are okay.” While Bagg has some strong opinions about what’s going on in this country, he doesn’t talk about it much onstage. That is, unless the audience wants him to. If not, Bagg is content to interact with them, find out what is on their minds, and react hilariously. “The people that I want to come to my shows are people who want a good night out,” he explains. “They’re tired, because they’re working so hard taking care of their families.” Single folks are more than welcome, too. “If you’re single, you should be having fun,” Bagg advises. “There should be mistakes in your life, and one of those should be coming to see my show.” 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

THURSDAY 9.21

Hoopla Train
Various venues

Given how integral polka has been to the cultural history of Minnesota, it’s surprising that more performers don’t try to incorporate it into theatrical productions. Okay, maybe not that surprising. But now, some of the Twin Cities’ top actors have joined forces to celebrate our state’s community dancing tradition in an interactive production called Hoopla Train. After touring to 14 dance halls and ballrooms across greater Minnesota in 2015, the show is taking up residence at three Minneapolis and St. Paul venues (Minneapolis Eagles #34, Rushford Hall, Czech and Slovak Sokol MN). Led by the top-notch comic actor Jim Lichtscheidl, a seven-member troupe joins forces with the Chmielewski Funtime Band to present a vaudeville-style variety show that encourages audiences to get up and polka (and foxtrot, and waltz). If you think you’ve got game, there’s even a talent contest with prizes. Or, if your polka’s a little rusty, you can show up an hour before showtime for a free lesson. Will city slickers fall for the Sod House schtick the way small-town audiences did? With seasoned entertainers like Luverne Seifert, Elise Langer, and Kimberly Richardson on board the Hoopla Train, you’ll be in good hands. For tickets, go to www.sodhousetheater.org. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $10-$20.Through October 15 —Jay Gabler

Andrew Santino
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“It’s great to be drinking again,” comedian Andrew Santino tells an audience. “I had to take a break. That’s a nightmare. I had to take a break because I went on antibiotics. You find out how much of a booze bag you are when you have to go on antibiotics.” His doctor told him he couldn’t drink while on the prescribed medication. “I said, ‘Okay, what makes you think that I drink?’ He said, ‘Well, I’m looking at your face, and your big dumb Irish head gives it away.’” He was told not to drink for a week. “Like a work week? Monday through Wednesday? That’s my week. Thursday usually kicks off the weekend.” On the paperwork he was given, it asked how many alcoholic drinks he consumed each week. “The first answer is zero to five,” he reports. “What kind of psycho puts one? You put zero it says, ‘I had a problem.’ A hundred says, ‘I currently have a problem.’ One says, ‘I’m keeping a secret, and it’s a problem.’” Santino can be seen on the TV series I’m Dying Up Here playing the character Bill Hobbs, and on his one-hour special, Home Field Advantage, which debuted earlier this year on Showtime. 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $15-$22. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

FRIDAY 9.22

Not Far-Far Away
MCAD Gallery

The artist behind the original Star Wars trilogy posters was a Minnesotan, working as a freelancer after getting his start at a St. Paul advertising agency. John Berkey’s work is showcased at MCAD this week, where he studied as a young man and occasionally taught. “Not Far-Far Away” features Berkey’s famous Star Wars drawings, work he created for other Hollywood films, science-fiction book covers, and U.S. postage stamps. Curator Damon Stanek has also included works Berkey illustrated for NASA to promote its space program. Presented in collaboration with ArtOrg, the exhibition is part of the 2017 Mechademia conference on Asian popular culture, whose theme this year is science fiction. There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 22. Free. 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis; 612-874-3700. Through October 6 —Sheila Regan

Omni Brewing Weekend Birthday Celebration
Omni Brewing Company

As Omni Brewing Company celebrates two years in business, four special beers will be released, spread out over the weekend, culminating with a seasonal fresh hop ale, Soaked 2017. The others are the Raspberry Milk Shake IPA, double IPA F.A.D., and the Sour One, their first foray into sour beer. While a beer release itself is a worthy event, the anniversary will also host comedy sets (Tiffany Norton and Shannan Paul are slated to appear), food trucks and other edibles (Nadia Cakes will be making beer-themed sweets), a Sunday-morning 5K, a local makers craft market, and an outdoor music stage. All ages. Noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Free. 9462 Deerwood Ln. N., Maple Grove; 763-424-6664. Through Sunday —Loren Green

Iyapo Repository
Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center

New York artists Salome Asega and Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde are the founders of Iyapo Repository. The project, named after the protagonist (Lilith Iyapo) in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenisisseries, works to imagine the ways in which people of African descent will find agency and self-determination in the future. To do that, the artists host workshops in which participants take on the role of archivists as they envision artifacts of the future that affirm and celebrate people of the diaspora. Thus far “artifacts” include a calming suit that uses data from ocean waves to treat traumas rooted in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and Afromation pills for black history lessons on civil rights and rock ’n’ roll. There will be an opening reception and artists’ discussion from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 22. Free. 130 S. Macalester St., Macalester College’s Law Warschaw Gallery, St. Paul; 651-696-6416. Through October 25 —Camille LeFevre

Chris Larson: Axonometric/Threshold
TOPO Gallery

A new local gallery is opening this fall. TOPO Gallery’s first, rather auspicious exhibition portends great things. The featured artist is none other than Chris Larson, whose past work includes theDeep North photography series of frozen interiors, the irrepressibly delightful and befuddling video Heavy Rotation, and replica houses, such as his facsimile of a Marcel Breuer residence, that he set ablaze. For this show, Larson’s finely detailed architectural and mechanical drawings are the focus. One might consider these artworks as representing the inner workings or backstory of Larson’s elaborate installations, or verifiably gorgeous and worthy of critical and popular understanding in and of themselves. There will be an opening reception Friday, September 22, from 6 to 9 p.m. 1500 Jackson St. NE, #133, Northrup King Building, Minneapolis; 612-850-6860.Through October 31 —Camille LeFevre

SATURDAY 9.23

Hounds & Hops
City Pages Parking Lot

This Saturday, City Pages is hosting a parking-lot party for four-legged friends and their people. During festivities, you’ll score dog-themed treats and samples from local businesses. Chat with organizations about volunteering, sign your pooch up for a psychic reading, or look into pampering your pup with a massage. There will be treats for humans, too, with beer from 612 Brew and eats from K-Town Street Foods, Habanero Tacos, i look so good smoothies, and Mik Mart Ice Cream. Other fun to be had includes food trucks for pups, stunt and trick demonstrations from talented dogs, and a fashion show guaranteed to make you smile (unless your heart is made out of stone). Make sure your little buddy is friendly and on a leash. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Secondhand Hounds. 21+. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  $10/$15 at the door. 802 N. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-372-3700. —Jessica Armbruster

The Pub Crawl That Must Not Be Named 2017
Various locations

Hop on your Nimbus 2000 and head downtown this Saturday as Potterheads convene in Minneapolis for a night of spellcasting, costume contests, and magical drinks. Wear your house colors and grab your wand, as those who get into the costumed spirit of the crawl will score drink specials and free admission during festivities. Bars welcoming witches and wizards include the Loon, the Pourhouse, and Brothers Bar & Grill Minneapolis. At each location, revelers will find a variety of special drink items, reasonably priced from $3 to $7. That includes familiar wizard-world concoctions like Firewhiskey, Polyjuice Potion, Butterbeer, Gillyweed shots, and Felix Felicis, a delicious-sounding champagne cocktail made with simple syrup, lemon juice, and ginger beer (find it at Kieran’s Irish Pub). The aptly named Potter’s Pasties food truck will be offering eats throughout the night, and folks will gather for a group photo at the 508 Bar at midnight. Cash and book donations collected during the event will benefit Friends of Hennepin County Library. 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Free. —Jessica Armbruster

2nd Annual Cabaret Fest
Bryant-Lake Bowl

The Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network formed in 2008 with the goal of fostering a greater understanding of the artform. Though much of the organization’s efforts go into live performances (including the popular Cabaret Salons held every third Saturday of the month in Blanches Lounge at the Town House space in St. Paul), educational outreach is the laudable focus of their annual Cabaret Fest. The two-day event brings together a retinue of skilled cabaret artists to share insights with attendees. Novices are particularly welcome on Saturday afternoon for workshops deconstructing the essential components of cabaret and exploring the creation of original works through the fusion of songs, texts, and themes. Workshops on Sunday offer the rare chance to interact with performers as they refine their latest arrangements in collaboration with acclaimed cabaret talents Ben Krywosz, Gary Briggle, and Jennifer Parker. Each day concludes with a two-and-a-half-hour showcase in which attendees can witness the captivating power of a fully honed cabaret performance. Sign up and purchase tickets at www.twincitiescabaretartistsnetwork.com. Workshops run 2:30 to 5 p.m.; performances start at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $15; $25 day pass. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-8949. Through Sunday —Brad Richason

AMVETS Post #5: Photographs by Xavier Tavera
Minnesota History Center

The AMVETS Post #5 was formed in the wake of the Vietnam War when a group of Mexican and Mexican American vets tried to join other clubs and were told they couldn’t. So they started their own post. In 2013, Twin Cities-based artist Xavier Tavera snapped a series of color portraits of these World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War vets from St. Paul’s West Side to shine a light on their stories and struggles. Along with the photographs will be text, presented in both English and Spanish. Tavera, who recently graduated with a master’s in fine arts from the University of Minnesota, was born in Mexico City himself, and has a knack for evoking layered storytelling with a single portrait. There will be an opening celebration with free admission and special performances from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 23. Free with admission ($6-$12). 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-259-3000. Through April 22, 2018 —Sheila Regan

Bouchra Ouizguen: Corbeaux (Crows)
Various locations

A group of 20 multigenerational women move as if composing a living sculpture. They’re dressed in black, the front ties of their white head kerchiefs pecking up and down like beaks as the backs flap like angry tail feathers. Like a murder of crows or a conspiracy of ravens, they yip and caw with ritualistic intensity. Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen created Corbeaux (Crows)for the Marrakech train station during the 2014 Biennale of Contemporary Art. She may have had the (in)visibility of Muslim women in mind; with the work she was also continuing her exploration of society, the visual arts, and folk traditions in her home country. Its controlled ferocity, however, found universal resonance and relevance. Here is female experience writ large and incontrovertible. Saturday at noon in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis) and 4 p.m. at North Commons Park (1801 James Ave. N., Minneapolis); Sunday at 1 p.m. at Rice Park (109 Fourth St. W., St. Paul). All shows are free. Through Sunday —Camille LeFevre

SUNDAY 9.24

Open Streets Minneapolis
Nicollet Avenue

This Sunday, head on over to the Kingfield neighborhood for the last car-free Open Streets Minneapolis of the season. Nicollet Avenue, from the Lake Street Kmart to 46th Street, will offer live music, arts and activities for kids and adults, free samples from local businesses, and, of course, the awesome experience of walking down a city street with zero cars. Say hi to your neighbors, get color extensions at Pompadour, practice yoga with strangers, and eat like you’re at the Minnesota State Fair. Definitely stop by Ramen Kazama for their second annual RAMEN KAZAMA RAMA, where Marijuana Deathsquads, Kid Dakota, and Birthday Suits will take the stage. KFAI will be holding court at Butter Bakery Cafe, and you’ll also find live music stages at Five Watts Coffee and Roadrunner Records. For maps and more info, visit www.openstreetsmpls.org. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. Nicollet Avenue from Lake Street to 46th Street, Minneapolis. —Sheila Regan

Sever’s Fall Festival
Sever’s Corn Maze

For the past 20 years, Sever’s Fall Festival has been encouraging people to get lost in a field of corn. This year’s maze is Aussie-inspired, with trivia and fun-fact signs to discover along the way from start to finish. Once you make it out, there will be plenty to see and do. That includes petting zoos, a giant corn pit, pig races, and zip lining. Take a hayride or explore the pumpkin patch. There will also be plenty of seasonal food options, plus beer and wine for adults. For more info, visit www.seversfallfestival.com. 1 to 8 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. $15; kids 3 and under free. 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee; 952-974-5000. Through October 29 —Jessica Armbruster


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