Welcome back to the Queer Arts Must Sees, our awesome round up of great Twin Cities arts events being produced, performed, or otherwise directly created by or of interest to LGBTQ+ artists and audiences in the Twin Cities. October is my favorite month of the year for two very worthy reasons: Halloween and all the goodies that entails, and the plethora of queer art the season change always seems to inspire. Here are some of the things we at The Column are most excited about this October.
Theatre & Film
The Haunted Basement is back by the time you’re reading this, and I’m already terrified and excited. This is basically the haunted house of your dreams (well, your nightmares at least), and always features lots of queer artists. They have a great new location and website too, so if you’ve never been, this is the year to give it a go.
These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich brings Uprising Theatre Company back for the season. This piece, directed by Shalee Coleman, tells the story of the Radium Girls from the 1920s. Tickets are $20, but Uprising offers Pay What You Can options on all shows starting at $5. The show runs October 6th-14th at the Phoenix Theater. Find out more here.
Also starting October 5th is an unorthodox look at men in relationships that veers into all of their private thoughts, conversations, and fears in Unzipped by Mark R. Trost. Unzipped starts at Target Performance Hall in Open Book for the first weekend, and moves to The Landmark Center in St. Paul for it’s second Twin Cities weekend. Check the ticket page for more information, including cast bios!
On October 21st, Gender Reel is back in Minneapolis! This film festival featuring ALL transgender led or featured projects also features art shows, panel discussions, and so much more. Tickets and full line-up available here. This is the festival’s 7th year and looks like one of their best to date.
The Twin Cities Horror Festival takes place starting on October 26th, and one show I’m keeping an eye on is Theatre Unchecked’s Hand-Picked. Hand-Picked is a dark comedy about the realistic horrors of privilege. More available at the Twin Cities Horror Festival website.
Visual & Literary Arts
There are still some really wonderful arts and crafts fairs going on as we transition into fall. Two that caught my eye because of the number of LGBTQ+ artists involved and the caliber of artwork or crafts for sale are Crafts and Cocktails at Tattersall Distilling and the Prior Affair Art and Craft show.
The Future will be hosting Concocting Queer Scripture on Friday, October 13th. Concocting Queer Scripture is a one-day generative (writing and visual art) workshop facilitated by interdisciplinary artist and Future resident Coco Spadoni. This event is free, but participation is required if you attend.
Local artist heather c. lou (hclou ART) is bringing her gallery show featuring commissioned works by womxn of color and other feminist art pieces to Boneshaker books. The art is already showing at Boneshaker, but on October 20th there’s a reading from hclou ART’s written work. Light refreshments will be served, and a $5 love donation is encouraged. Find out more on the event’s Facebook page.
Music & Comedy
Jason Schommer is coming to Lush for a one man show about brushes with celebrities and his quest to be among them. Schommer is a storyteller and stand-up comedian who has had success all over the country. This show is just $5, and tickets are available here.
Drag, Burlesque, and Cabaret
The Minneapolis Burlesque Festival on October 5th-8th is one of the greatest weekends in Minneapolis, and this year promises to step it up even more. Violet Chachki will be featuring, as will renowned national burlesque acts Kitten ‘N Lou and Poison Ivory. This is all in addition to the over 100 acts from all over the world joining us in Minneapolis. More information (including ticket purchase info) is available on their website.
October 5th is THE weekend for premiere queer art. In addition to the festival above, Patrick’s Cabaret has Controlled Burn: queer performance for a world on fire October 5th-7th . Controlled Burn is three solid nights of unbelievable queer performances, and is probably the event I’m most excited about this October. Check out the ticket website for full line-up and to nab your tickets today.
Daddy: a QUEER variety show is back on October 12th at The Icehouse, this time featuring Marcel Michelle Mobama, Nick Jordan, 4th Curtis, and Addison Sharpe. This event sells out fast, so grab your tickets here.
Drag Queen Margo Caprice is back in the Twin Cities after her many adventures in L.A. And sometimes New York. She’ll be doing a two night set of her new show CHER and CHER Alike at the Bryant Lake Bowl on October 13th and 14th. All proceeds benefit the Aliveness Project and Gadfly Theatre Productions. More information on the Facebook event.
Friday, October 13th also brings us Nadi X’s Seven Deadly Sins starring some of the best names in burlesque and drag all performing around the title theme. This event will be at Townhouse Bar. More information here.
Patrick’s Cabaret is also bringing us another Raw Material this October. This one features Gabriel Mata, Ellen Hinchcliffe, and Lucas Scheelk. Event is on October 26th and will be at Pinwheel Arts in Seward. More information via Facebook.
Huge Theater has an open Queer Improv Jam for queer improv artists to come and laugh and play together on the first Sunday of the month at 5:00 P.M. No need to register, just come to 3037 Lyndale Ave S. to jam with great professional and amateur improv-ers. No cover.
You definitely don’t want to miss OutSpoken, a queer open mic hosted by Paul Canada on the second Wednesday of every month. This great event is now hosted at Lush! More information here.
Every Thursday night Can Can Wonderland puts together a variety show like none other. Six to eight acts share Can Can’s stage. Local LGBTQ+ talent and those known to the community for legitimate allyship often feature. The event is free, 21+, and starts at 9:00 P.M.
The second Thursday of the night is a special time in comedy here in the Twin Cities. Pssy Ctrl is an all female & queer comedy event happening at the Comedy Corner Underground. It’s hosted by Rana May and Shelley Paul and is just $7 unless you’re a student—then it’s free. No reservations, just show up!
Telling Queer History is a story-telling and community building event that happens on the second Sunday of every month and changes locations. Check out their Facebook page for more information and to keep up with their rotating spaces.
Another amazing storytelling event is curated and hosted by the one and only Andrea Jenkins and John Medeiros. It’s called Queer Voices: A Reading Series and takes place monthly with amazing features each month. Intermedia Arts’ website has more.
Lush’s entire nightlife entertainment line-up is incredible. Must sees include:
- Black Hearts Burlesque every Friday night at 10:00 P.M. featuring Black Hearts Founder Elektra Cute.
- #DragRevolution every Saturday at 10:00 P.M. hosted by Twin Cities legend Victoria DeVille.
- Deviance: A Transmasculine Cabaret featuring music, drag, boylesque and more every fourth Saturday at 7:00 P.M.
- Local lesbian comedy darling Sarah McPeck’s variety show The Big Fat Comedy Hour on the second Sunday of the month at 7:00 P.M.
- Drag Brunch every Sunday at 11:30 featuring an all-star line-up and always with a theme that guarantees the most fun for your money.
For tickets to events at Lush head over to their website. They’ve got an event space that seats plenty, but it does sell out regularly so grab your tickets in advance.
The Gay ’90s has a rough reputation in the LGBTQ+ community, but they’ve spent the past year or two cleaning up their act and bringing in some great new acts. Fan favorites include:
- Sweetpea and Mistress Mara hosting Kinky Friday on the first Friday of every month. This 18+ event is part performance, part kinky party, and all around great time.
- GLAM! Boylesque shows up intermittently at the Ladies of La Femme Lounge. The next one is June 9th. Don’t miss out!
- Speaking of Ladies of La Femme—there are nightly drag shows at this huge lounge for plenty of you and yours to show up and see some great drag. Many of the queens have been there for years, and those legends alone are worth seeing. The new talent that gets brought in is also absolutely wonderful.
One of the first LGBTQ+ bars I came to regularly when I first came to Minneapolis was The Townhouse in St. Paul. While the entertainment line-ups are obviously completely different now than the were almost a decade ago, they’re still diverse, entertaining, and full of solid artists. Best shows include (but are not limited too):
- Pumps and Pearls Drag Revue at 9:30 P.M. Every Wednesday night.
- Dragged Out, a cast of Drag Kings with special guests that fills up the main room on the third Friday of every month.
- A great trial run for aspiring burlesque performers and other awesome performances happens the second Friday of every month at 10:30 P.M. And the Nudie Nubie’s Show hosted by Red Bone and Foxy Tann.
Please note: we’d love to include YOU and YOUR work at The Column’s Arts Calendar. Please submit events to firstname.lastname@example.org. As a fun bonus, if your event is super innovative or exciting, we’re likely to reach out for a deeper feature or review.