The Haunted Basement freaks out in a new space: A-List 9.27-10.1

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Image courtesy event organizers

This week in A-List we have a party for condiment lovers, the return of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, and the Haunted Basement debuts its new space. Come take a look.

WEDNESDAY 9.27

Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
St. Anthony Main Theatre

Now in its 12th iteration, the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival returns this week to St. Anthony Main Theatre for screenings featuring work by Arab and Arab-American artists. Films showcased this year hail from places such as Finland, Lebanon, and Egypt, and range from serious documentaries to sharp-toothed comedies. The celebration kicks off at the Walker Art Center on Wednesday withTramontane, which follows a young blind man who goes on a journey of discovery after learning that his identification card is a forgery. The screening will be followed by a concert from Hello Psychaleppo. Other selections include The War Zone (above), a documentary following 2011 protests against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; a night of short films on Palestine; Solitaire, a humorous exploration of how world politics impact mundane lives; and The Preacher, which examines tensions between clerics and the government in Egypt. For the complete lineup, visit mizna.org/arabfilmfest. $12-$15; $25-$35 multi-ticket passes available. 115 Main St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-4723. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Stuff You Should Know
Pantages Theatre

 

This decade’s ever-burgeoning podcast boom has revived and bolstered the dormant careers of a wide swath of writers, comedians, and political commentators. It has made careers, too, but only a few have had real staying power. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, the aggressively informative hosts of Stuff You Should Know, are exceptions to this rule. Launched in pre-boom 2008, the podcast offers no-frills information and airs thrice weekly. Installments cover underreported stories, such as the birth of the Black Panther party and the “Satanic panic” of the 1980s, as well as broader subject matter like dictators and green energy. They even spend some time exploring and addressing less conventional questions, like “How does LSD work?” Thanks to the hosts’ never-ending curiosity and endearing banter, the podcast avoids veering into NPR-level intellectual navel-gazing. Get a dose of stuff you should know live this Wednesday. 8 p.m. $25-$35. 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007. —Raghav Mehta

THURSDAY 9.28

Aliza Nisenbaum
Minneapolis Institute of Art

 

Aliza Nisenbaum, who was born in Mexico City, has exhibited her kinetic, vivid portraits of undocumented immigrants in New York throughout the country. Her process, which involves engaging deeply with her subjects to capture their lively characteristics and intimate views of the world, celebrates the underrepresented with attention and intention. This exhibition, however, is her first solo museum show. It includes three new works commissioned by the museum. During her summer residency, the artist invited local Latino and Somali residents in the Whittier and Wedge neighborhoods, as well as Mia’s security guards, to sit for three large-scale portraits. There will be a panel talk on art and community building with Nisenbaum, DeAnna Cummings (Juxtaposition Arts), Chaka Mkali (Hope Community), Rory Wakemup (All My Relations Gallery), and Gabriel Ritter on Thursday, September 28 at 6:30 p.m. An artist’s reception precedes the discussion at 5 p.m. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through February 4, 2018 Camille LeFevre

Dave Landau
Joke Joint Comedy Club

Dave Landau made a conscious decision to not be based in New York or Los Angeles. Homebase is his hometown, Detroit. “I plan on staying there forever,” he states. “I’d move if I had to, but honestly I like where I’m at. I like raising my son there, so I’m in no hurry to move back to either coast.” He has become a frequent guest on radio program The Artie and Anthony Show in New York, but once he’s made his appearance, it’s back to the Midwest. “I go to New York and Los Angeles when I have to.” He has a handshake deal with a friend who functions as a booker, but no agent. “I don’t see the need for one anymore,” he says. “It’s like I run my own business and do my own thing.” Onstage he’s gotten more personal, opening up about being a recovering addict. His Midwestern upbringing also informs his set. “People crap on the whole Rust Belt,” he says, “but I think that’s where you’ll find some of the most real people in the country. It’s real families from real factory towns. It’s what America once was and still is but only in those places.” He describes Detroit as a humble place to live. “I enjoy it more. I’m more inspired there than anywhere else.” 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $10-$15. 801 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale; 651-330-9078. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Posters for Parks
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

While not all great art features a scenic landscape, the impact that natural beauty has on art is unmistakable. At Posters for Parks, the ways in which the Minneapolis park system inspires artists will be on display. There will be 42 creatives showcasing work for one night only, covering themes like outdoor activities, iconic northern foliage drives, and city structures. Sponsored by LoveMplsParks and People for Parks, the event brings folks together, just like the parks do. Located next to Loring Park, Lakes & Legends is a fitting setting for this annual event. Proceeds will benefit Minneapolis parks. For more info, visit www.lovemplsparks.org. All ages. 6 to 10 p.m. Free. 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis; 612-999-6020. —Loren Green

Chris Hardwick
Acme Comedy Co.

It would consume this entire blurb to cover all Chris Hardwick’s comedy, acting, and musical credits. Suffice it to say, as CEO of Nerdist Industries he is perhaps the most successful nerd ever (at least in the entertainment industry). Born in Louisville and raised in Memphis, Hardwick became interested in computers at the age of 10 when he got a Radio Shack TRS-80. “It had the keyboard and monitor all in one unit,” he recalls, “and a tape drive to save programs.” Before that, he became interested in comedy. “I was born a few years before Saturday Night Live started, and when that debuted it opened up the world of comedy.” His parents took notice and bought him comedy albums by Steve Martin, George Carlin, and the other big names of the day. “When it came to comedy, they would let me watch or listen to anything.” Other interests included bowling (his parents owned a bowling alley), chess (which he played constantly), and Dungeons and Dragons. “I still have all my D&D books,” he notes. Onstage, he likes to interact with the audience and mix that with observational humor. “No two shows are exactly the same,” he says. “It’s comedy. There are jokes, stories, quick jokes, and longer jokes; stuff about my life; and stuff about other people’s lives.” 18+. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $38.75. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Festival de las Calaveras
Intermedia Arts

Since 2013, Festival de las Calaveras has showcased Latinx art, music, and culture in the Twin Cities. Taking place over multiple venues, the event usually happens around the time of Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), bringing some of Minnesota’s top Latinx artists together to explore social justice through entertainment, art, and community. Things kick off this year at Intermedia Arts with an art exhibition co-presented by the venue and Tlalnepantla Arts. It’s curated by Ana Laura Juarez, whose artwork is also included. The exhibition, which delves into both contemporary and traditional aspects of of Dia De Los Muertos, features work by Xavier Tavera, Dougie Padilla, Tomás Aratti, Luis Fitch, Jonathan Herrera, Melodee Strong, and several folks from Electric Machete Studios. The opening reception will have art, food, and tunes by DJ Miguel Vargas from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, September 28. Other planned events include concerts and celebrations at the Cedar, Nomad World Pub, and Acadia Cafe. There is a $5 suggested donation for the show at Intermedia Arts (the reception is free). Check festivalcalaveras.com for the complete schedule. 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-4444. Through December 9 —Sheila Regan

Fortune Feimster
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Fortune Feimster built quite a following as a former panelist on Chelsea Lately, and has added to her fan base since becoming a full-time cast member of The Mindy Project, which is now entering its final season. “It was just happenstance,” she says of landing the role of Colette on that series. “I had shot my own pilot, and one of the writers from The Mindy Project was helping us with punch up. She told Mindy about me. They had an idea for a southern character, and they thought it would be a good role for me.” After a chat with the show’s creator and star, Mindy Kaling, Feimster appeared in three episodes. By season’s end, she was a series regular. “I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. It was the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me,” she says. Now fans of both shows come to her gigs. “They’re still strong and mighty,” says Feimster of Chelsea Lately fans. The show stopped production in 2014. “I’ve been doing a lot with Chelsea on her new show,” Feimster notes. “I do an impression of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.” 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $22. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

FRIDAY 9.29

How to Use a Knife
Mixed Blood Theatre

Playwright Will Snider’s comedic drama How to Use a Knife ushers audiences into the common (albeit uncelebrated) hub of American multiculturalism: the restaurant kitchen. Under chaotic and cramped conditions, a half Puerto Rican chef is hired to oversee a busy Manhattan steak joint only to find his limited patience (not to mention his tenuous sobriety) tested by the endless grievances arising from his idiosyncratic staff. Among the kitchen co-workers are two affable Guatemalan line cooks, an American busboy/runner with artistic aspirations, and a quietly reserved dishwasher from Uganda. Amid the frenzied commotion of the kitchen, the diverse personalities play off one another with alternating measures of tension and relief, developing into a portrait of grudging respect and unlikely camaraderie. Providing a more ominous parallel to our daily reality, Snider introduces a pragmatic ICE agent whose investigation into undocumented workers threatens to tear apart the social fabric of the kitchen. Director Jesca Prudencio oversees an ensemble cast in this timely character study that convincingly asserts the notion that a key component to American society, like its cuisine, remains its wondrous diversity. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. $25 guaranteed admission, or free on a first come, first served basis. 1501 Fourth St. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-6131. Through October 15 —Brad Richason

Haunted Basement XI
The Haunted Basement

It’s not Halloween season without the Haunted Basement. Now in its 11th year, the most terrifying production in the Twin Cities is ghosting in a new home, bringing along a whole new world of horrors. If you’ve never been inside the Basement, be warned that this is not just another haunted house. With multiple rooms and themes, the experience is unique to every person. Can the performers touch you? They can, and they will. Is it possible to be separated from your group? It is, and you probably will be. Is the sheer anticipation and mind-fuckery just as terrifying as the characters waiting around every twist and turn? You better believe it. Each year the Haunted Basement completely revamps itself, meaning that whether you’re a long-time scare junkie or a first-time visitor, you’re in for something you’ve never seen before. For those who need to take things a step further, they will once again be offering the Blind Invocation, which is an enhanced, extended solo experience with exclusive environments and characters that you won’t see in the standard Basement tour. There are also a handful of Fraidy Cat tours available, with no actors and the lights turned on for those who simply want to see what the fuss is about without potentially pissing themselves. For times and tickets, visit hauntedbasement.org. 18+.$25-$27; $40 Blind Invocation sessions; $10 Fraidy Cat tours. Thursdays through Sundays, plus Wednesdays starting October 18 and Halloween. 2010 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. Through October 31 Patrick Strait 

SATURDAY 9.30

Craft Condiment Market 2017
612 Brew

Make no mistake: A condiment can make or break a sandwich, save a dry pretzel, and add an extra layer of complexity to cheese and crackers. Whether they’re a hot sauce fanatic, a mustard connoisseur, a barbecue devotee, someone who has to have ketchup on everything, or a dabbler in the pickled arts, revelers will be able to investigate all that Minnesota has to offer in the condiment world this weekend. Artisans at this party include Fierce Ferments, Triple Crown Organic BBQ Sauce, Cambria Goods, and Nuclear Nectar. Try them with eats from Prairie Dogs and the Fabled Rooster. Wash it all down with beer from 612, and enjoy tunes from tiki band Exotik a GoGo. 3 to 7 p.m. Free. 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-217-0437. —Jessica Armbruster

Twin Cities Zine Fest 2017
Minnesota Center for Book Arts

It’s zine heaven at the 13th annual Twin Cities Zine Fest. Whether you’re into poetry, comics, cooking, monsters, or philosophy, the zinesters on hand—including people from queer, feminist, POC, high- and low-art circles—will have plenty of original material to peruse. In addition to independent artists and writers who put together their own zines, small-press zine publishers and libraries that have their own zine collections, such as MCTC and the University of Minnesota, will be in attendance. There’ll be nearly 100 zine makers on hand, and workshops throughout the day include Guy Thomas’ brief history of comics, Logan Kruidenier’s doodle jam, Carolyn Swiszcz’s tutorial on how to make slipcover boxes for your zines, and letterpress demonstrations by Monica Edwards Larson using mobile printing studio Sister Black (Bike) Press. For more details, visit tczinefest.org. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-215-2520. —Sheila Regan

 

Watch on the Rhine
Guthrie Theater

If the themes of Watch on the Rhine seemed timely when the Guthrie’s fall season was announced, they’ve only become more so in the succeeding months. Lillian Hellman’s political thriller premiered in 1941, just eight months before Pearl Harbor. Set near Washington, D.C., the plot concerns an American family hosting German relatives as well as another houseguest who’s secretly been conspiring with the Nazis. When it’s revealed that a man in the visiting family has been supporting underground anti-fascist operations, tension mounts as the Axis and Allies face off in a seemingly genteel American setting. Despite its heavy subject matter, this play has darkly comedic elements that make a strong moral argument: When freedom is at risk, there is no neutral ground. Regular theatergoers have been warmed up for this play with two shows last season: Park Square Theatre’s Idiot’s Delight, about Europe on the brink of war, and Prime Productions’ Little Wars, which imagined playwright Hellman and other remarkable women of the era convening for a 1940 meeting at the home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; matinees and other performances scheduled as well. $29-$77. 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis; 612-377-2224. Through November 5 —Jay Gabler

North Loop Fall Fashion Crawl
North Loop

You’ve taken mental notes at Fashion Week MN, flipped through various September magazine issues, and made room in your closet. This weekend is your chance to use that info to update your fall wardrobe while shopping in the North Loop. Pick up a passport card at any of the 10 participating stores to receive discounts on items. Shops include Bonobos, D.NOLO, martinpatrick3, and Russell + Hazel. Food trucks will be stopping by throughout the day as well so you don’t actually have to shop ’til you drop. An after-party at Hewing Hotel (300 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis) from 7 to 9 p.m. will feature a special cocktail on the menu, a raffle, and other fun. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free. —Jessica Armbruster 

Collect Call 3: Exploring Art Patronage
Soo Visual Arts Center

Buying pieces from artists in town is supporting local business. This fall, Soo Visual Arts Center will once again explore the world of art patronage, inviting local collectors to share their experiences and collections. This is a group show on multiple levels, as folks like Babes in Toyland rocker Lori Barbero, former news host Robyne Robinson, and Made Here curator Joan Vorderbruggen will be sharing items from their private collections, which feature a variety of artists. See the art these people hang in their homes, and consider how their approach to collecting could expand the decor in your world. There will be a public reception and talk from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, September 30. Free. 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263. Through October 21 —Jessica Armbruster

SUNDAY 10.1 

The Body Horrors of David Cronenberg
Trylon Cinema

Canadian director David Cronenberg has built a singular oeuvre on a fear of gruesome physical and mental transformations capable of disabusing any reassuring notions of self-identity and shared humanity. While he has emerged as a critically acclaimed director over the course of his long career, Cronenberg first established his cult bonafides with his unnerving early works. Celebrating those initial excursions into metamorphosis and madness, Trylon will present a six-film retrospective. Videodrome (1983) finds a television producer in search of thrilling content undone by a disturbingly immersive viewing experience. In Shivers (1975), the inhabitants of an apartment complex fall victim to a virus that compels rampant nymphomania. Mutated family bonds produce the malevolent children of The Brood (1979) and the licentious identical twin gynecologists of Dead Ringers (1988). The remake of minor sci-fi classic The Fly (1986) arguably tops the original by depicting a scientist both repulsed and enthralled by the hideous process that begins when his DNA is fused with the titular insect. Rabid (1977) concludes the series in delightfully lurid Cronenberg style with the story of an infected woman whose highly communicable disease is spread through a phallic stinger that emerges from an orifice concealed within one of her armpits. Showtimes vary; check www.trylon.org for the complete schedule. $8. 3258 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through October 31 —Brad Richason


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