We are jumping into month two of 2018 with plenty of great art to keep us company this February whether we are single, not single, or somewhere in between this Valentine’s Day season. February and March are traditionally rich in art and cultural experiences for reasons I’ve never figure out, but it’s a joy to spend our last days of winter dancing along with so many drag queens or welcoming spring by sitting in front of our favorite poets. Below are some of the things we at The Column are the most excited about seeing this month.
Theatre & Film
Park Square Theater is running a drama about love, loss and forgiveness set in Uganda called Cardboard Piano. I wrote a review on The Column if you want to see if it’s a good fit for you or not. If you decide it is, head over to Park Square’s website to secure your tickets.
February kicks off immediately with a surefire hit from 20% Theatre Company; their latest Naked I production. The Naked I: Recognize/d takes stories of transgender artists and gives them a necessary spotlight. It’s a really unique show and I’ve loved every one I’ve seen. You can snag your tickets for this show running February 1st-11th at Minnsky Theater here.
Collective Unconscious Performance is a theater company that’s been on my radar for awhile. They do great subverted fairy tales and combine several styles of theatre and storytelling, especially puppetry and magical realism. They’ve got a staged reading on February 12th called LE CIRQUE FÉERIQUE (THE FAIRY CIRCUS). You can find more via the Venue’s website.
Uprising Theatre Company kicks off their next season with The Resistance of My Skin, a retooled, rebooted version of Sex in the Dark from 2016. The show starts on February 16th, and I’m eager to see how it’s changed. You can find out more and secure tickets here.
The Guthrie is bringing acclaimed play by lesbian playwright Paula Vogel, Indecent to their stage starting on February 17th. I will have more about this production once it’s on it’s feet, but head over to the Guthrie’s website to get a head start on grabbing tickets.
Visual & Literary Arts
The Art Shanties are one of the most Minnesotan art installations that happens in the Twin Cities every year; the shanties are put up by a group of artists, many LGBTQ+ who create, perform, or display whatever they want within those hut walls. The shanties are running through February 11th, so time to see them is winding down. This event is free to the public, and you can find out more here.
Telling Queer History presents Queer Love and Crafts at the Hennepin County Library on Sunday, February 11th. Their Facebook page is the best place to learn more.
February 18th provides a beautiful night of poetry for queer spoken word fans with Button Poetry Presents: Uprooted featuring Hieu Minh Nguyen among others. This happens at Honey Mpls, and there’s lots of additional info on their ticket page.
If Uprooted isn’t enough poetry for you for the month, Adina Burke who describes herself as a “crippled punk rock poet” is hosting a belated birthday party for her book, and local poetry star Ollie Schminkey joins her (along with Monica Coleslaw) on February 24th at Camp Bar. More information and tickets available here.
The Encyclopedia Show once again features a roster heavily peppered with LGBTQ+ storytellers like Javier Morillo-Alicea as they take on Pirates as their theme this month. This show is produced by Word Sprout and hits the Kieran’s stage on February 25th.This is a really fun, laidback storytelling show at Kieran’s Irish Pub downtown. Their Facebook page has more details.
Drag, Burlesque, and Cabaret
You’re probably aware by now that Daddy is moving to First Ave for their February 10th show featuring Nick Jordan, DJ Keezy, and of course, Marcel Michelle Mobama. Tickets are available here and trust me–you want to grab them. This is one of my favorite events in the city and it sells out almost every time.
What better way to spend Valentine’s Day–one of the sultriest nights of the year–than with the Tesla of Tease, Elektra Cute and a line-up of some of her favorite burlesque acts, aerialists, and musical acts for CABARAVE: Love Languages. The event kicks off on the 14th and runs through the 17th at The Lab Theater.
Another amazing burlesque show starting the day after Valentine’s Day (the 15th) is The Wicked Wenches: Return to Kandy Land! This ensemble always has lots of queer talent and takes a hilarious approach to the classic art of burlesque. The show is happening at Minnsky Theater from the 15th-17th, and tickets are available here.
Flip Phone is producing a huge event at Can Can Wonderland for the first time on February 23rd with Gaga Carnival. Phi Phi O’Hara will be in town for the event, and there will be pop-up drag performances throughout the night. Can Can Wonderland is one of the most ridiculously fun places in the Twin Cities, and Flip Phone bringing their brand of drag and party is guaranteed to be a good time. Your ticket (and more info) is right here.
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, Marcel Michelle Mobama and Blaze Bordeaux 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 [email protected]. As a fun bonus, if your event is super innovative or exciting, we’re likely to reach out for a deeper feature or review.