Wrestlepalooza, Faye Dunaway flicks, sauna sessions at Theodore Wirth: A-List 1.1-7

Wrestlepalooza XVI and XVII

Wrestlepalooza XVI and XVII L-R: Air Wolf (photo by Kyle Olson of Knocked Out Films), Arik the Anarchist Cannon, Joey Ryan, and Priscilla Kelly (photos by F1rst Wrestling)

Here's your weekly roundup of awesome things to do.


Sean Donnelly
Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

“I’m newly divorced, which is a bit of a bummer. But I’m doing good,” says comedian Sean Donnelly. “I just did a spot on Tracy Morgan’s show, The Last O.G., playing a security guard, and I’ve been doing tons of standup as usual.” Onstage, Donnelly is talking about everything from UFOs to social media. “I had ADD as a kid,” he says of the latter. “Social media is like my brain, but as a collective unit. After a few days, we can’t remember what we were upset about or who we were mad at.” Donnelly reckons we’re headed back to 1996 as people back away from social media. “I already see it happening. People say, ‘I check my email and maybe look up a recipe.’ Even the tech companies have caught on, offering features that let you lock yourself out of the internet for a while.” He likens it to how bars were years ago. “They used to say in bars, ‘No politics or religion.’ I think that’s kind of good. I’m not saying we can’t talk about things, but we can still be friends and have different opinions. Family members are unfriending each other. People need to chill out. One thing doesn’t define a person.” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 7 p.m. Sunday. $16. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. Wilson

612 Sauna Society Collective

612 Sauna Society Collective Carlos Gonzalez


Wintertime Sauna Sessions
Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park

We are currently entering the coldest months in Minnesota. Ice scraping is a daily necessity, ski masks are socially acceptable, and nights drinking alone with Netflix are totally the norm. But that’s not all that’s happening here in our fair state; people are also ramping up for the Winter Carnival, the Ice Castles, and the U.S. Pond Hockey Tournament. Believe it or not, you can enjoy this weather, too, but it’s also important to have a respite. So if you plan to head to Theodore Wirth Park for a little snowshoeing, fat tire bike riding, or cross-country skiing, consider also booking a session with the 612 Sauna Society Collective. One of the few reasons to put on a swimsuit in Minnesota in winter, this service gives you an opportunity to warm up, cool down, and then warm up again in a series of 10- to 20-minute cycles. After a bit, you might actually find yourself craving the cold. Crazy, right? The 612 crew will be at the park through January 5 (and probably longer; they tend to post their available dates in two-week increments), and the mobile sauna has been known to travel to places like the lakes in south Minneapolis and Surly’s brewery. Check to reserve a spot, learn about good sauna etiquette (it’s also flu season, everyone), and see where they plan to travel next. 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Fridays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays through Sundays. $25 per session. 1221 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Bengt Washburn
Acme Comedy Co.

“I’m in an airport in Costa Rica,” Bengt Washburn says. “I did a cruise ship gig last week and this is where I get off.” For years, working the boats, as they say, wasn’t the most desirable gig in comedy, but Washburn says times have changed. “I don’t mind it,” he says. “Older audiences now are pretty hip. When I first started, they didn’t know what standup was. Now if you have an audience of 50- and 60-year-olds, they know who Carlin is; they get it.” Washburn doesn’t work blue, but there are still things that seem otherwise innocuous that he can’t joke about on ships. “I still do clubs. That’s where I do the writing,” he says. His PG/PG-13 style earned him two specials on Dry Bar Comedy, a website and production company that favors clean standup. “My last special for them was called Not Bad,” he says. “At Acme, I’ll be doing the ‘Sort of Bad’ show. It’s all the stuff from Not Bad, but not truncated. It goes a little further.” For example, he’ll be able to touch on some social and political topics that he couldn’t do at sea. “That would start a fight on a ship,” he adds. “But it would be pretty funny given the age group. Someone would tip over and die.” 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday, and Saturday. $16-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Who would dare scream this off screen?

Who would dare scream this off screen? Scream It Off Screen


Scream It Offscreen
Parkway Theater

In these dark times, it’s important to remember that democracy can be a beautiful thing. But it can also be chaotic. See exactly what we mean at Scream It Off Screen, a monthly short film series where audiences yea or nay each piece via scream or silence. At each installment, local filmmakers submit a 15-minute short. After three minutes, the audience collectively votes on whether or not to watch it to the end... or banish it forever. If you’re a “nay,” you’ll start screaming. If your vote is “yea,” then you must remain silent. Films that get majority screams will be gonged, but not forgotten. In the end, the top filmmaker walks away with a giant check for $101. Expect to see some compellingly weird stuff, some true clunkers, cringe-worthy efforts, and potential masterpieces. You decide what you scream at. Films are traditionally collected on a first-come, first served basis, but this week they’re doing things a little differently, as event hosts will be trying out the lottery route. Show up at Turtle Bread with your thumb drive at 7 p.m. on Thursday to enter. 18+. 7 p.m. $8/$10. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; 612-822-8080. —Jessica Armbruster

Wrestlepalooza XVI and XVII
First Avenue


There’s professional wrestling, and then there’s Wrestlepalooza. The biannual extravaganza has become a must-see rite of passage for anyone who claims to be a true Minnesotan, combining wrestling, burlesque, and live music in a cabaret of madness unlike anything else. F1RST Wrestling, the group behind Wrestlepalooza, is once again taking over First Avenue for two nights to kick off the New Year, and they’re coming out swinging. Some of the biggest names in independent wrestling will be descending on Minneapolis for the weekend, including “Famous Penis Wrestler” Joey Ryan, Orange Cassidy, and Jake Atlas. Local favorites will be here, too, including “The Anarchist” Arik Cannon and Devon Monroe. Minneapolis pop-punk trio Tightwire will be on hand to provide the soundtrack for the evening, while some of the Twin Cities’ burlesque all-stars will bring their own heavy artillery. The Saturday night event is already sold out, and Friday’s will definitely sell out soon. Whether your entire closet is full of old ’90s wrestling T-shirts and it’s still real to you, dammit, or you’re just curious what a “Famous Penis Wrestler” does, you have to experience Wrestlepalooza for yourself. 18+. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $27/$35. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-338-8388. Also Saturday —Patrick Strait

Faye on the Run

Faye on the Run 'Bonnie and Clyde'

Faye on the Run
Trylon Cinema

As the film industry faces scrutiny over the longstanding dearth of complex roles for women, there’s never been a better time to appreciate the standard set by screen legend Faye Dunaway. Refusing to accept stereotypically shallow parts, Dunaway imbued her portrayals with a blend of intellectual depth and emotional nuance. Dunaway’s enduring influence has become more evident over the years, as demonstrated by Trylon Cinema’s four-film retrospective Faye on the Run. Chinatown (1974) features one of Dunaway’s most searing performances, as Evelyn Mulwray, wife of a prominent city engineer, whose tragic past becomes exposed through the investigative persistence of ace gumshoe J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson). Evoking empathy for a notorious pair of compulsive criminals, Bonnie and Clyde (1967) pairs Dunaway with Warren Beatty as the two ride-or-die outlaws on a robbery road trip destined to end in bullets and bloodshed. Three Days of the Condor (1975) casts Dunaway as an initially reluctant ally to a wanted CIA analyst (Robert Redford) scrambling to uncover a conspiracy orchestrated at the highest levels of government. Closing out the series with a classic criminal caper, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) presents Dunaway as a tenacious insurance investigator determined to crack the case of a bank heist engineered by a jaded millionaire (Steve McQueen). 7 and 9:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 3 and 5:15 p.m. Sundays. Showtimes do vary slightly each week; visit for a complete schedule. $8. 3258 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-424-5468. Through January 26 —Brad Richason

Becky Shaw
Gremlin Theatre


At first glance, contemporary playwright Gina Gionfriddo’s dark comedy Becky Shaw might appear to be a rollicking farce of an epically awful blind date. From the moment the titular heroine, an aimless college dropout, meets her proposed match, a cynical money manager, the evening is clearly headed for disaster. But those expecting a conventional narrative should prepare themselves for a more twisted tale, one where the barbed humor may hit uncomfortably close to home. While Becky and her suitor are uproariously mismatched, theirs is far from the only dysfunctional relationship on display: Their would-be matchmakers, married friends, are harboring their own barely repressed doubts. The foursome create a hysterical depiction of best intentions gone awry, all the while ruminating on how even the most estranged unions can be endured for the sake of convenience. Along the way, insights hit on how moral honesty can be weighed against more pressing considerations, such as financial security. Featuring a standout cast of Kevin Fanshaw, Jodi Kellogg, Chelsie Newhard, Logan Verdoorn, and Olivia Wilusz, under the adept direction of Ellen Fenster, this new production should prove to be nothing less than the most ridiculously relatable anti-romance of the winter theater season. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. $28. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 651-228-7008. Through January 26 —Brad Richason

Winter Cypher

Winter Cypher


Winter Cypher
Modus Locus

For the past three years, Summer Cypher Minneapolis has brought B-boy and B-girl dancers, MCs, DJs, graffiti artists, spoken-word artists, drummers, and more together in an inclusive, intergenerational environment meant to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, space, and opportunities in the hip-hop community. Modus Locus’ latest exhibition, “Winter Cypher,” celebrates all that has come from the Cypher programming. That includes videos by Teddy Grimes, plus photographs by Kimani Beard and gallery owner Ephraim Eusebio. The three curated the exhibit together, which also features many of the artists who have participated in the series over the years. In addition to the opening reception this Saturday, January 4, from 2 to 8 p.m., the month-long exhibition will host numerous gatherings, ending with a B-boy/B-girl battle on February 1. 3500 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-382-9477. Through February 1 —Sheila Regan

Destination Winter Saint Paul
CHS Field

This year, the Wells Fargo Winter Skate crew is trying something a little different, setting up shop at CHS Field rather than in Rice Park. That means that St. Paul has even more winter wonderlands sprinkled throughout the city, with seasonal happenings scheduled outside Landmark Center, on the State Fairgrounds, and beyond. The one in Lowertown, Destination Winter Saint Paul, is decidedly on the sporty side, with skating and a giant slide to zoom down. The rink is free for all, though you can rent skates for $5 if you need a pair (or rent them for free if you bank at Wells Fargo). Folks who enjoy sledding may love the SuperSlide, a ride for kids and adults. People can score unlimited slide rides by the hour for $7 to $10. Other amenities include hot chocolate, heating lamp stations, and snacks. Added bonus: The new location is right by a few neighborhood bars, making it a great date-night activity if you head there a little later in the evening. 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Free; $5 skate rentals; superslide tickets are $10 for adults and $7 children. CHS Field, 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul; 651-266-6400. Through February 22 —Jessica Armbruster

"Vision 2020" at Mia

"Vision 2020" at Mia Omar Victor Diop

Vision 2020: Contemporary Photographic Portraits
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Bold, striking, powerful, and beautiful are all ways to describe the work of the featured artists of “Vision 2020,” a new exhibit at Mia showcasing three photographers who hail from Africa. Zanele Muholi, of Umlazi, South Africa, gives dignity to those who are stigmatized, snapping black-and-white portraits of people of color in the LGBTQ community, a group that continues to face oppression and inequality in the post-Apartheid era. Sengalese fashion photographer Omar Victor Diop’s work is vibrant, gorgeous, and colorful, touching on history, iconic figures, and potential futures. Samuel Fosso, from Cameroon, has created a world of personalities over the decades, taking self-portraits of himself, always as someone else, as a commentary on political events, Pan-African pop-culture, and civil rights movements worldwide. Free. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131. Through June 14 —Jessica Armbruster

Free First Saturday
Walker Art Center

Free First Saturdays returns in 2020 with a day of storytelling, short films, tours, and other fun for kids. That includes the chance to make a hand-puppet out of found materials. Children will be invited to bring their creation onstage during a 30-minute production of School’s No Place for Kids, a piece about an adventurous student and a by-the-book teacher presented by theater group Speaking Out. Groove, funk, house, and soul tunes will be spun by DJ Simone, and other fun includes a songwriting workshop and an art tour featuring kid-friendly favorites in the galleries. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. —Jessica Armbruster