Minneapolis City Pages — January 8, 2014
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Paul Myrehaug

Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy

Alberta’s drinking age is partially responsible for Paul Myrehaug’s introduction to standup comedy. “The drinking age is 18, and I looked old enough to get into bars when I was 16. ” He wasn’t into underage drinking, though. “Any comedy night that came through town I would sneak in and watch,” he recalls. “I would talk to the comics afterward, and got interested in it that way. When I turned 18, I went up to Edmonton and tried it out, and there you go.” Myrehaug soon found himself working in the U.K., where he now lives nine months out of the year. “I come back home to do the corporate work in December, then in January I do a club tour, and then head back to England.” When he first started performing in London, he discovered he had to adjust his laid-back storytelling style slightly.“Over there, you have an MC that does about 10 to 12 minutes, and then one person does 20 minutes,” he explains. “Then there’s a break, and everyone goes out into the barroom and gets a pint and a smoke.Then another act does 20 minutes, there’s another break, and then the last guy does 20.” Myrehaug’s stories were a hit with British audiences, and he continues to be popular over there.“Anything really crazy that happens in my life, that ensures it’s an original bit. I had a vasectomy; people like to talk about that. Getting thrown in jail. Drunk jail,” he corrects himself with a laugh, “not real jail.” 18+; 21+ later shows. $13-$20. 7:30 p. m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p. m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Mall of America, 408 E. Broadway, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday —P.F. WILSON


Matt Fulchiron

Acme Comedy Co.

Many comedians move to Los Angeles a few years into their career. Matt Fulchiron headed west from his home state of Maryland “just for fun.” He decided to try standup when he saw people doing it in clubs in Southern California. Having been in a number of rock bands, he was used to being onstage.“I definitely had the performing bug,” he says. Once he started, he couldn’t stop, and soon quit pursuing a music career.“Well, you don’t have to chuck music,” he states. “I just started doing standup and it took up all my time.” Since he hadn’t followed the comedy scene too closely until he was in it, he felt he was fairly original from the start. “I was very young and very arrogant,” he laughs.“I thought I was the guy. You get older and you realize you’re influenced by a lot of people. When I first started doing standup, I wasn’t looking to be like anybody else at all.” In retrospect, he realized he was on the right track with what he thought was a terrible joke. “It was about tattooing an ‘m’ on each butt cheek, so when you bent over, it said ‘mom.’ Which sounds like a horrible joke, but then I read a George Carlin book and he thought of the same joke, so what do you think about that?” Today, Fulchiron talks about the struggles of getting older.“Like how I’d like my life to evolve, but it just won’t,” he explains. “My comedy life, my married life — I’m single. I’d like to move up in every aspect, but it’s not happening.” 18+. $15. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. WILSON



Creative Entrepreneurship: Making the World Suck Less

Walker Art Center

While the internet has changed the way we live, play, and work, creating, codifying, and monetizing the online world has been an incredibly bumpy ride. Some businesses have flourished while others have floundered. For every Facebook there are many more Friendsters. This Thursday, the world of startups, entrepreneurship, and online inventiveness will be discussed at the Walker, in a talk titled “Making the World Suck Less.” Sharing ideas will be Alexis Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit before Conde Nast Publications acquired it in 2006 (the site is currently independently run). Highly trafficked, often controversial, and at times a startlingly influential website, Reddit encourages posters to share news stories via a bulletin-board-style page with sub-threads, dubbed “sub-reddits.” During the talk, Ohanian will give tips on managing a successful venture, from marketing to money management, touching on the various ways in which the internet has been used to run grassroots campaigns and incite change both socially and politically. He’ll also be chatting about his latest project, publishing Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made not Managed. $15. 7 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.—JESSICA ARMBRUSTER


Out There 2014: Wunderbaum and LAPD: Hospital

Walker Art Center Now in its 26th year, Out There is a month-long festival that offers experimental theater and groundbreaking performances from around the world, as well as workshops, talks, and other special activities.This year’s event kicks off with a collaborative evening from Dutch collective Wunderbaum and the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD).Health care, both in the Netherlands and the United States, is the topic at hand. Together, the troupes will weave soap-opera medical-drama clichés with real-life experiences recounted by professionals and patients, touching on issues raised by advocacy and reform groups. While the show is presented at a frenetic pace with bizarre visual and stylistic elements, the core topics brought up are real and relatable, and should leave audiences with some things to think and talk about over drinks after the show. Thursday night’s performance offers an artists’ meet-and-greet, talk, and drinks on the upper balcony of the theater afterward; Friday boasts a postshow Q&A; and on Saturday, museum tour guides will welcome discussion in the balcony bar. $22; $18 Thursday. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-375-7600. Through Saturday —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER


Altered Esthetics Solo Exhibition Program

Nomad World Pub

Can bars also be art galleries? The folks at Altered Esthetics sure think so. For the past three years, the art organization has curated satellite shows in unexpected spaces to great success. They will launch their fourth season this Thursday with a group exhibition featuring a variety of work. On display will be drawings, metal and glass sculpture, vibrant paintings, and more from the likes of Johnny Pyro, Becky Laff, Kit Leffler, Dominique Winders, Michael Weatherly, Rachel Orman, Tim Uhl, and Ashley Wiermaa.The best part? You can take in the work while enjoying the Nomad’s full bar, which includes an excellent beer list.There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, January 9. If you stay a little later, you can also hear tunes from the Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Excellence Minneseries at 9 p.m. 501 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-6424. Through March 12 —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER


Aaron Dysart: Stead

Silverwood Park Gallery

At Silverwood Park Gallery this Thursday, visual artist Aaron Dysart will present Stead, a large sculpture made out of three connected tree branches suspended in space. Covered in flock, which Dysart says is “that velvety stuff on the bottom of knickknacks or in jewelry boxes,” the form can be read as both roots and branches. With the piece, Dysart hopes to reference the connotations of one’s roots, as well as the idea of branching out.“I’m also interested in the directional contradictions of learning and developing one’s own location while exploring others,” he says. The opening reception for the show takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, and there will be an artist’s talk at 7 p. m. where Dysart will discuss ideas of urban and rural in his work, as well as the residency he did last summer on a southern Minnesota cattle farm. 2500 Cty. Rd. E., St. Anthony; 763-694-7707.Through February 28 —SHEILA REGAN



Fuddy Meers

The Nimbus Theatre Over the past few years, the Loudmouth Collective has carved out a niche by focusing on solo and small-ensemble shows. They increase the size of the cast — without losing the intimate appeal of their earlier work — with David Lindsay- Abaire’s Fuddy Meers. The play was the first success for Lindsay-Abaire, who went on to craft Rabbit Hole and Good People (both of which have seen strong local productions in recent years), and the book for Shrek the Musical. The play centers on Claire, who suffers from a form of amnesia that resets her memory every time she sleeps. The audience rides along with her disorientation, as they puzzle out the events of the plot along with Claire. It’s a strange world we find her in, from a ski-masked man claiming to be her brother to a man communicating via a potty-mouthed puppet. That also includes Claire’s mother, whose recent stroke — and trouble with speech — gives the play its title. Natalie Novacek directs Leif Jurgensen, Spencer Harrison Levin, Paul rutledge, Matt Sciple, Noe Tallen, Karen Wiese-Thompson, and Katie Willer. $15.8 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. 1517 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-548-1380. Through January 19 —ED HUYCK


Anne Labovitz: Layers

Burnet Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers Hotel

For artist Anne Labovitz’s latest exhibition, “Layers,” the Duluth native explores memories and the human condition through a series of portraits. As the show’s title might suggest, Labovitz makes pieces through layering hundreds of images, created through various mediums, which include bits of pastels, ink drawings, woodblock prints, and more. The resulting works have a ghostly quality to them — there’s a misty outline of a face in one, a bit of a smile in another, and a swatch of bright colors emerge in yet another — as the layers have mostly fused together and faded over the time.“As I add layers, what is obliterated is equally important to what is revealed,” she says. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, January 10. 901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-767-6999. Through March 2 —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER


Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis While some folks will be hitting up gallery spaces this weekend to check out artwork on walls, those at the Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention will be celebrating the type of art found on the human body. Over the next three days a variety of people, from the heavily painted to the un-inked and curious, will be invited to take in the spectacle. There will be artists from around the nation showcasing their work, scheduling appointments, and chatting with fans, including folks from Atomic Tattoo, Phoenix Tattoo, Anchors End Tattoo, and dozens more. Seminars include one on microdermal body mods and a talk with Philadelphia Eddie, titled “The Way Tattooing Used to Be.” Taking the stage to entertain the masses will be local troupe Black Hearts Burlesque, fire eater Marlo Marquise, Misguided Youth Suspension (yes, the type that involves hooks in flesh), and Enigma and Serena Rose. Looking to show off your work? Daily tattoo contests include best sleeve, most unusual, best chest piece, and more. For more info, or to sign up for a talk, visit www.villainarts. com/home/minneapolis-2014. $20; $40 weekend. 2 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-370-1234. Through Sunday —JESSICA ARMBRUSTER


Six Degrees of Separation

Theatre in the Round

Most people are too stressed with their own troubles to deal with the issues of strangers. Would it be different, though, if there were a measurable connection between all persons, no matter how opposed their personalities and backgrounds? Playwright John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation proposes such a question through the figure of Paul, a young black hustler who cons his way into the home of a wealthy New York couple by claiming to be the child of film star Sidney Poitier. Though Paul is convincing enough to earn the trust of his marks, he is trapped by his own impersonation, knowing any character lapse will cause his subterfuge to collapse. Without revealing any plot twists, Guare isn’t so much concerned with exposing Paul’s true character as he is with questioning whether bonds formed under false pretenses can still create a genuine emotional connection.By not directly answering its own questions, Six Degrees of Separation is a work that stirs audiences to reflect on their own connections. And when presented in as intimate a setting as Theatre in the Round Players, the space between strangers is bound to feel especially negligible. $15-$22. 8 p. m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. 245 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-3010. Through February 2 —BRAD RICHASON




Xtreme Theatre Smackdown 2014

The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis

Can a cast of talented theater folks turn out a decent short play in 24 hours? That is the basic premise of 24:00:00 Xtreme Theatre Smackdown.The annual event works like this: In November, people are invited to suggest intriguing, wacky, or challenging elements for a show. This can include a line of dialogue, a prop, a pop-culture reference, and so forth.These ideas are then collected and voted on by the public the following month. Next comes the challenging part. On Friday, participating writers will convene, discover what elements won the vote, and then go about churning out a script into the wee hours of Saturday morning (5 a.m., to be exact). The plays are then handed in, and directors and casts are assigned to one of the six pieces. They then set to blocking, rehearsing, and working out any other possible kinks until showtime at 8 p.m. The whole process involves around 40 playwrights, directors, and actors. Performances have a bit of a fly-by-the-seat-of-yourpants quality to them, with improv, random challenges, and audience participation all in the mix. The event tends to be joyous and a little sleepdeprived slap-happy, and is a theatrical experience not to be missed. $18. 8 p.m. 407 W. 15th St., Minneapolis; 612-813-5300. — JESSICA ARMBRUSTER


Weird Neighbor

SOOlocal: A Division of SooVAC

Now here’s a concept. The latest SOOlocal show, “Weird Neighbor,” is an “un-curated” exhibition by “Slovenian art theorist Ecurb Alopat” (a.k.a. the show’s organizer Bruce Tapola’s name in reverse). It boasts small works by 52 artists hung to exist, in brilliant juxtaposition, with their neighbors. A riot of media and meaning, the show includes pieces from Ute Bertog and Allen Brewer, Andrea Carlson and Alexa Morochowski, and Melba Price and Joe Sinness. Is SOOlocal, sandwiched between Pat’s Tap and Honeycomb Salon, making a preemptive ontological statement about its own existence with this show? Most likely, and delightfully so. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, January 11. 3506 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263. Through March 2 —CAMILLE LEFEVRE



Wayne McGregor/ Random Dance

Orpheum Theatre

In 2009, Northrop Dance opened its season with Wayne McGregor/Random Dance’s “Entity,” a mind-blowing work in which the dancers, with their extremely elastic corporeality, articulated a choreographic intelligence at once capricious, fleeting, and innovative. By the end, breathless viewers had witnessed the exhilarating birth of a new dance species. This week, the company returns with “Far,” set to an electronic score by Ben Frost, a perennial favorite in the local Liquid Music Series. “Far” also includes a set consisting of a pin board of 3,200 LED lights. Inspired by the Age of Enlightenment and 18th-century French philosopher Diderot’s first set of encyclopedia, McGregor’s work pushes the body beyond our concepts of physical limits, and mind/ body splits, into a realm where cerebral and physical become one. $37-$59. 7:30 p.m. 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-339-7007.—CAMILLE LEFEVRE



Park Square Theatre

At first glance, playwright David Ives’s The School for Lies seems to be a faithful replication of a 17th-century comedy of manners.Not only is the work directly derived from Moliere’s The Misanthrope, but the period setting allows for extravagantly attired aristocrats of the French court to indulge in double entendre while maintaining an air of decorous propriety. A closer listen to the loquaciously lewd dialogue, however, will quickly dispel any notion of primness. Voiced in iambic pentameter, the verbal riffing amplifies the bawdiness of the humor while incorporating intentionally anachronistic references that joyfully subvert historic fidelity. Rife with simmering passions and scalding jealousies, the play’s twisted romantic entanglements revolve around Clementine, a glamorous widow smitten with Frank, a blunt speaker whose callous honesty contrasts sharply with the legions of silver-tongued suitors. Satirizing the customs of courtship with delightfully profane lyricism, this area premiere boasts an exceptional cast headlined by two local favorites, Kate Guentzel and John Middleton, each making their debut with Park Square Theatre. Similarly marking her inaugural directorial assignment with the company will be Amy Rummenie, the ever inventive artistic director of Walking Shadow Theatre Company. Such an impressive cast and crew only bolsters the probability that Ives’s The School for Lies will be a master course in amorous buffoonery. The show is in previews from January 10-16. $25-$35 previews/$38-$58 regular run. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Tuesday, January 14-15; 2 p.m. Sundays. 20 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul; 651-291-7005. Through February 2 —BRAD RICHASON