I struggled with what I wanted to cover and how for this month’s Queer Arts Must Sees. There are obviously a lot of big, important events happening all over the Twin Cities. That includes out of towners dropping by and a host of regular events (see the list of recurring events at the end of this post) amping it up several notches. In the end, I decided to primarily cover things you might otherwise miss in the sea of events happening this month. Those of us looking for something quieter or different are (hopefully) served well by the list below. I threw in a few super sized bonuses for good measure though; Pride sometimes brings out my rare desire to get loud and wild.
Theatre & Film
- There’s a new small theatre company in town called The BAND Group devoted specifically to supporting other non-profits, and I’m really excited about their inaugural producted. TART is an all queer retelling of the Moliere classic Tartuffe told in a present day gay nightclub. It will be running June 1st-16th at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Tickets available here.
- Uprising Theater Company’s latest and first site specific work Apples In Winter by Jennifer Fawcett tackles the death penalty and prison system with this one woman show in a literal kitchen. This company is queer-led and always leaves us with tangible steps we can take to make a difference in the issues at hand. Tickets are limited so grab yours now.
- Also running on June 1st and 2nd is Altered Esthetic’s Fifth Annual Film Festival, Force Majeure, which actually started on May 31st at Strike Theater. Local queer and trans filmmakers are among those featured. There’s music and more going on, so be sure to check it out.
- If you’re looking to spend most of your Pride month laughing, don’t forget about Huge Theater. This small improv theater is always inclusive, and Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout June will feature performances by LGBTQ+ artists (as well as other great improv acts). Their calendar is here, and that’s also where you can secure tickets.
- Fellow Travelers is an exciting opera about the love affair between two men in 1950s Washington D.C. being produced by the MN Opera. This show runs at The Cowles Center June 16th-26th, and you can find out more here. There’s a few special events with the show you can find out about at that link as well.
- June 26th sees Gadfly Theatre Productions’ bring Drunk Queer History back to the stage. This event combines storytelling, improv, and queer history to raucous and hilarious results at Lush. Our Brown Paper Tickets page is here.
Visual & Literary Arts
- The “Femme & Fancy Flea Pop-Up” features some of my favorite makers and artists in town at Canteen on Sunday June 3rd. I’ve attached the flyer (below) so you can see more details and mark your calendar.
- Girlpond Productions has been rebranded as The L Spot and are hosting a really fabulous night of music and perusing their shopping selection of used books and more on June 9th. The Facebook event is the best way to find out more.
- Also on Saturday June 9th is the Lit Crawl MN, a really wonderful literary event that will take you through a variety of writers and literary arts creators, many LGBTQ+, and introduce you to new literary spaces and friends. A lot of familiar names like Graywolf Press and The Loft Literary Center are involved, but you’ll see lots of small and unique work too. That event link is here.
- If you want to learn a new literary and artistic skill, I’m leading a Queering the Tarot workshop at The Future on June 14th that will seak to tear down the hierarchies and binaries inherent in a standard tarot deck and take you on a new (queer) journey through the cards. More info and tickets here.
- Pride isn’t the only festival in town this month. The annual Northern Spark Festival which takes place overnight on June 15th & 16th all over downtown Minneapolis is coming back and always features some great queer artists and generally progressive and radical viewpoints in the work featured. Find out more at their really beautiful website.
- If you want to end the month as queerly as you started, don’t miss Black Poets: On Creating A Blackmosphere featuring Lisa Marie Brimmer and Keno Evol. Brimmer is known for her lilting words and queer black activism, and she’ll be presenting new work and helping lead a conversation. Also known as Juneteenth, this June 30th event is happening at the Hennepin County Library.
Drag, Burlesque, Cabaret & Music
- What would Pride month even be without it’s 3rd Annual Pride Yacht Party kickoff featuring Quinn Villagomez AKA Shimmer, Dua, and Marcel Michelle Mobama (among others) on June 1st? Luckily we don’t have to find out. This lavish event features all QTIPOC and will likely sell out. Be among the few by grabbing your spot here.
- Patrick’s Cabaret is really, really ending this month but not without a chance to say good-bye. The company’s FUNeral will be held at Lush and feature eulogistic performances by top Twin Cities artists, mostly LGBTQ+. You really do not want to miss this one on June 3rd, and you can purchase your ticket here.
- Much like Pride itself doesn’t need a ton of press, I’m sure you’re already well aware of Rock The Garden hosted at and by The Walker Art Center. Nonetheless queer favorites Chastity Brown and Feist will be there, so it’s worth a mention. June 16th is the date this year. More info available here. As a side note, the Walker will also feature a family friendly Pride event for their First Saturday series. You can find that information here.
- Daddy is already known as one of the hottest tickets in town but for Pride their doubling our fun with two nights of dancing and unique, super queer entertainment that you sometimes can’t catch anywhere else. This will be Wednesday & Thursday June 20th and 21st. Tickets for Wednesday are here and Thursday are here.
- If a comedy show is more your style this Pride, local lesbian comedy Maggie Farris has your back as she produces the simply named LGBT MPLS Pride Comedy Show featuring local LGBTQ+ comedians like Farris herself, Sarah McPeck, Jakey Emmert, and so many other really amazing comedians. That is at Sisyphus on Friday, June 22nd and tickets are here.
- Also happening on Friday June 22nd is the Black Hearts Burlesque, #DragRevolution and Lush Pride kickoff to end all Pride kickoffs. While the Black Hearts are a recurring show, I’m ending with this event because their Pride line-up features Aja from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Luminous Pariah so it’s for sure an extra special show. As always, tickets are available at Lush’s website. This Four Hour show really will be an amazing event if you’re looking for standard Pride parties.
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] 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.
Please note: we’d love to include YOU and YOUR work at TheColu.mn’s Arts Calendar. Please submit events to [email protected] or . As a fun bonus, if your event is super innovative or exciting, we’re likely to reach out for a