January 27, 2023
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At this time of the year, we all create our own traditions. Maybe it’s a holiday show, or a certain recipe you cook every year, or meeting people you don’t see regularly. A holiday tradition does not even have to be associated with a holiday. Take the Midway Contemporary Art monster painting rally, for example. It has nothing to do with the holidays, and yet it is an opportunity for the arts community to come together, visit and support a long-standing organization. If you want more of a holiday show, cheer yourself up when Bruce Henry arrives at the Dakota, or get a little naughty at Cabaret of Lights: Hanukkah Burlesque Show. A few other events you might be interested in include works in progress at Frogtown, The Big Wu at Fitzgerald, and classical music at the Museum of Russian Art.

Photo by Ben Trivett

Minnie Tonka

“Cabaret of Lights: Hanukkah Burlesque Show”

Have a lewd Hanukkah celebration while Jewish burlesque performers from Minnesota and across the country tickle and entertain you. The evening will be headlined by Minnie Tonka from New York, with Twin Cities favorite Queenie von Creeves as the main performer. Sparkles Du Jour, also based in the Twin Cities, puts on an extravaganza. Also check out Hollidazzle and VaVa Vashti from Minneapolis, Blue Jean from Philadelphia, Tovah Oz from Washington, and Will X. Uly from Madison. Thursday, December 15 in Capri ($36 up front, $40 entry). More information here.

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Shared Choreography Evening at Frogtown Rec Center

If you’re a bit weary of the holiday performances, refresh yourself with a program of modern dance and performance from an intriguing mix of performers from the Twin Cities. Respected independent dancer/choreographer D. Jinza Thayer initiated this event through his connections with the community center. Thayer’s company, Movement Architecture, will perform excerpts from Tokyo to Brooklyn: A Ragged Journey, an upcoming production that explores the choreographer’s Japanese-American identity and the influence of culture on the body. Minnesota experimental performance pioneer Laurie Van Veeren, who just received a residency at the prestigious Maggie Allesi National Ballet Center earlier this year, is preparing a new piece with longtime collaborator cellist Michelle Kinney. Also participating in the program is the dance company BRKFST, which received a grant from the National Dance Project in September. The Hmong-led Asian dance group INY Asian Dance Theater will also present their performance. Friday, December 16 at 5:30 pm at the Frogtown Rec Center (free) More information here.

Big Wu

Jason Fladager, founding member of homegrown jam band The Big Wu, joins the band for a 30th anniversary concert at the Fitzgerald Theater this weekend. Starting with the cover band Grateful Dead at St. Olaf’s College, The Big Wu developed their own style of songwriting, in which improvisation seeped into their pleasant singing style. Friday, December 16, 8:00 pm at the Fitzgerald Theatre, $25. Additional information here.

Image from the 10th Monster Drawing Rally in 2019.

Courtesy of Midway Contemporary Art/Photo by Keely Ritter

Image from the 10th Monster Drawing Rally in 2019.

Monster Draw

Support Midway Contemporary Art, the gem of the Twin Cities. Midway not only maintains a gallery, but supports artists through grants from the Visual Arts Foundation and also has a library. The Monster Drawing Rally features artists drawn live in three one-hour rounds. Once completed, each drawing goes on sale immediately for a fixed price of $35. You can watch amazing artists at work and possibly add to your collection. Saturday, December 17, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Midway Gallery of Contemporary Art (free). More information here.

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Bruce A. Henry: I’ll be home for Christmas

Bruce A. Henry’s silky baritone brings you a Christmas treat when the Chicago singer, songwriter, teacher and bandleader (with close ties to the Twin Cities) stops at the Dakota Hotel, sharing tunes from his latest recording, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Combining jazz, gospel and soul, Henry will lift your spirits as the holidays approach. Saturday, December 17, 7:00 pm at the Dakota ($30.35) More information here.

Anthony Ross

Photo by Joel Larson

Anthony Ross

Anthony Ross and Denis Evstukhin in concert

Anthony Ross, principal cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra, performs with Russian pianist Denis Evstukhin, curator of classical music at the Museum of Russian Art. The program begins with Sonata No. 1 for cello and piano, Op. Mieczysław Weinberg, 72, was born to a Jewish family in Poland and fled to Russia at the start of World War II. Also on the program are the Elegy for Cello and Piano by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko and the Sonata for Cello in A Minor, Op. 36 by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18 at 19:00 at the Museum of Russian Art ($30). More information here.

#Weekend #Choice #Uplifting #Christmas #Concert #Dakota #Hotel #Hanukkah #burlesque #Monster #Draw

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