Welcome to the Queer Arts Must Sees for December! There is a beautiful amount of LGBTQ+ work leading us into winter, and it should be pretty hard for you to hide at home when the snow starts falling in spite of the Minnesota inclination to do so. All of these events feature our community members doing great and wonderful creative work though, and all of them promise some respite from the busy holiday time. Taking in art is crucial for self-care, and even better when that art actually reflects your own experiences. Without further ado then, our Must Sees for this December include:
Theatre & Film
There are a couple of AMAZING plays kicking off our December right. Starting with my own Gadfly Theatre Productions’ The Crown of the Holly Queen, a winter solstice play with a love story, chosen family, and more. This play is a great queer alternative to standard holiday fare AND a play set around Solstice shakes us out of Christmas overwhelm while keeping us in the winter spirit. The show runs Dec 1st-10th on weekends at the Crane Theater’s new LGM Studio. Details at the Gadfly website.
Also at the Crane Theater with a beautiful queer cast is 20% Theatre Company’s The Terror Fantastic by Nicole Jost. Featuring puppets, fantasy worlds, and a whole lot of queer arts community all-stars, this show also starts on December 1st and runs through the 16th. More information and tickets available here.
Groundbreaking theater artists Jay Owen Eisenberg and Katherine Pardue are teaming up for BIG OLD ROCK at Open Eye Figure Theater December 15th-23rd. This story about a well-caffeinated scientist is “inspired by greater Minnesota’s rich geological history, the formation of transgender identity and community in the Twin Cities, and a little bit of actual science.” Tickets and more details are here.
Visual & Literary Arts
It’s holiday bazaar and artisan sale season! One of my favorite ways to discover new artists and jump into the thick of the community is by shopping local art for my holiday season. Our first chance to is at Betty Danger’s on December 2nd for Betty Danger’s Bizarre Bazaar, featuring scores of local artists hawking their wares, including a solid number of LGBTQ+ artisans. Details here.
December 2nd also sees Girlpond, a local lesbian podcast and event production company, put their pop-up shop back up just in time for the holidays. They’ll be at Quatrefoil where you can also nab used books and DVDs to fill people’s stockings. The Girlpond Holiday Pop-Up Shop has a Facebook event here.
December 3rd at Living Table United Church of Christ sees a unique fundraiser for Winter Witchcamp in the form of a holiday bazaar. There will be refreshments for sale at this one too, alongside a ton of witchy and creative artists, including many from the queer community. Details available here.
I mentioned it was bazaar season and I wasn’t kidding! One of the most exciting ones this holiday season is Queer Bizarre: Homo for the Holidays on December 7th at Modist Brewing. All of the vendors at this one are queer and proud, and you’re sure to find something for every member of your chosen family. Check the Facebook event for more information.
If you’re looking for somewhere smaller and quieter to support local artists and makers, The Future has you covered for their Future Artist Market + Gathering that includes Fiona Avocado Art among other LGBTQ+ creators. This one is on December 9th. Further details here.
Phoenix Theater on December 15th hosts one of the events I am most excited about this entire December. Women Your Mother Warned You About: Resistance & Resilience is a night of nationally acclaimed trans women writers sharing stories “of the heart and beyond.” It’s going to unbelievable. Tickets available here.
Drag, Burlesque, and Cabaret
Jason Schommer curates a night of hilarity at Strike Theater called Is It Too Late To Be Good? On December 2nd and 9th, both at 10:00 P.M. Tickets are just $10 cash or credit at the door. Details here.
Hardcore Patrick’s Cabaret fans like myself will be elated to know that My Horrifying Holiday is back for round two this year at the Seward Café on December 8th and 9th. Full line-up (which is amazing!) and tickets available here. The Cabaret will also be continuing with it’s Artist Education workshop series on December 7th and 14th. Check their website for more on that.
‘Tis the Season by Naked Girls Reading Twin Cities is up at Camp Bar on December 10th for those looking for something saucy and different to entertain themselves this holiday season. In the Twin Cities this is usually a mostly queer cast, curated by Queenie Von Curves and so far that rings true this December as well. More info and tickets available here.
Tease the Season at The Pourhouse on December 16th promises to be one of the most memorable nights in burlesque in recent history. The Vigilantease Collective brings us this phenomenal cast of dancers, singers, and teasers. Tickets available here.
Symone Smash It, Marcel Michelle-Mobama, and Psymun ALL perform at In the Mix-NYEEE on December 29th at the Nomad. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a queer ‘zine reading corner, tons of art on the walls, and a couple of DJs for a dance party. More info here, including how to get in!
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 TheColu.mn’s Arts Calendar. Please submit events to firstname.lastname@example.org or . As a fun bonus, if your event is super innovative or exciting, we’re likely to reach out for a deeper feature or review.