Nativity Story

For 30 years, Penumbra Theatre Company has produced plays by, for, and about African Americans. But its own story is just beginning.


Published:

In 1976, Lou Bellamy looked around the Twin Cities theater scene and pronounced himself unimpressed. Not with the quality—good stories are good stories, good acting is good acting. But these weren’t his stories, as an African American, and they weren’t his people acting them out. The black experience, at least the way a black person would describe it, was virtually absent from local stages. Bellamy was concerned. “A brother should always keep the drumbeat in his heart,” he says, paraphrasing what playwright Paul Carter Harrison had written in 1972. “For if he loses its rhythm, he may miss the ‘A’ train and his ride home.” Bellamy wasn’t about to miss his ride. So he punched his own ticket.

With a $150,000 federal grant, Bellamy hired about 20 actors and support staff and built a stage in the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St. Paul, where he was the center’s cultural arts director. He called the venue Penumbra Theatre, a penumbra being the grayish middle ground between complete darkness and complete lightness, a place beyond black and white. His mission: to produce professional plays that illuminate the human condition through the prism of the African-American experience.

“There is this melting-pot philosophy that one size fits all,” Bellamy says. “But it doesn’t serve everyone well. One has to be specific.” And so, although 50 percent of Penumbra’s audiences are generally white, its plays are directed and acted as though there is no one in the house but African Americans. If you don’t know that “so good, make you slap your mama” means a food dish is incredibly delicious, you’re going to find out the same way black people learned about Ultimate Frisbee and Mason Jennings: pure osmosis.

By all accounts, Penumbra has more than succeeded in its mission, becoming a sort of brain trust for black expression. Penumbra gave Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson his professional start. Alumni have worked in Hollywood and New York, with several currently taking Wilson’s Radio Golf to Broadway. Bellamy himself, at age 62, is undergoing a career renaissance, directing plays in Kansas City and New York this fall and recently receiving the Distinguished Artist Award from the Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation. And yet, 30 years on, Penumbra is in some ways just getting started.

After years of seat-of-its-pants producing, Penumbra is stabilizing its finances (it expects to be debt-free by next year) and soon will offer accredited courses for teachers and high-school students exploring the issues portrayed onstage. In short, Penumbra is institutionalizing, like the Guthrie Theater or the Children’s Theatre Company or any other stage that’s perceived as speaking to the masses. For of course it is—as much as Bellamy can take away from Macbeth, written by an Anglo-Saxon in the Elizabethan era, white folks can glean from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, written in 1982 by August Wilson. As if to prove the point, Penumbra will launch a five-year project, starting next season, to stage Wilson’s entire 10-play cycle, an epic chronicle of African Americans in the 20th century and a literary achievement with few peers of any color, creed, or nationality.

It is a testament to the persistence of racism that few people question the universal relevance of Shakespeare (despite his embedment in such a specific time, culture, and perspective that his plays require a glossary), while a similar view of black playwrights’ work can still come as a revelation—even to African Americans.

“We’ve been duped into believing that you can only see that depth of what it means to be human when you go to see Shakespeare or Chekhov,” Bellamy has said. “Well, that’s BS…. Anything that happens inside of our culture is capable of describing every man and every woman anywhere.”

Or, as Wilson put it, “The experiences of African Americans are as wide open as God’s closet.”

Photo by Ann Marsden

Among the many myths that Bellamy would like to crush is the one that black people are a monolith: thinking alike, looking alike, living alike. Whatever that monolith is presumed to be (insert inner-city stereotype here), Bellamy is surely not part of it. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a naturalist, an actor, a director, and a longtime resident of a semi-rural suburb west of Minneapolis.

Bellamy has spent a good part of his six decades on the hill where the Hallie Q. Brown Center sits—the old Rondo neighborhood. Bellamy was raised there, before Interstate 94 sliced through the heart of what had been a lively African-American community. But it was in Mankato, where Bellamy attended college, that he discovered the theater. “I was always kind of a show-off,” he says. “And there were more girls in theater than on the track team.”

Bellamy’s first performance was in a satirical musical about an old white guy who falls into an inky well and thus finds out what it’s like to be black; Bellamy’s part was that of a black student who’s instructed by a white mucky-muck on how to “act Negro.” Bellamy’s mother walked out on the show, telling him, “I didn’t come 90 miles to watch you shuffle and Tom across the stage.” She missed the humor, but she did teach her son the power of theater literally to move people.

Lou Bellamy was inspired by the playwright Paul Carter Harrison, who wrote, in essence, “A brother should always keep the drumbeat in his heart. For if he loses its rhythm, he may miss the ‘A’ train and his ride home.”

This was the mid-1960s, when the Black Power movement arose in response to the slow progress of civil rights and rejected the assimilation of African Americans in favor of self-definition and self-sufficiency. The Black Arts Movement emerged as its aesthic sister and inspired the creation of hundreds of black theaters aimed at describing and empowering a people apart. “Art for art’s sake was no longer viable—art had to be political, art had to elevate and raise the spirits and the quality of life for African Americans,” explains Alexis Pate, a novelist and instructor in the African American and African Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. “Black people identified themselves, created art for themselves, judged it themselves—art for us.”

In some respects, the movement harkened to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, when Langston Hughes mused, “someday, somebody’ll stand up and talk about me, and write about me—black and beautiful—and sing about me, and put on plays about me.” Bellamy resolved that it would be him—he would tell the stories of all the people, the black people, whose stories have never been told. “A lot of what I see in his directing is a commemoration, a reaching back to his childhood, the respect for his family and their efforts for him to have a good life,” says Sarah Bellamy, Lou’s daughter and Penumbra’s associate producer. “I see my grandmother on stage all the time.”

But while Penumbra began with self-definition, it has recently embraced cultures the world over. Last year, for instance, Penumbra premiered and toured Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers, written by an American Indian playwright and focusing on the relationship between black soldiers on the American frontier and the Indians they were asked to hunt down. “As we got deeper and deeper into [our mission], the wonderful surprise that none of us expected is that you find your humanity and you find your link to everyone else when you are free to dig into yourself,” says Lou Bellamy. “Now we still talk about exploring the African American experience but when we do it, it’s so clear it’s everyone’s.”

Not that this globalization has come easily. “Many times when African Americans speak about worldly issues, they run into trouble in the larger community,” says Bellamy, “because African Americans are only supposed to be talking about race and civil rights.” Bellamy has irked some in his own community, too, as when he staged a play about homophobia among African Americans. “Penumbra brings the true African-American experience to life on the stage like no other theater is really capable of doing,” says Archie Givens Jr., a longtime supporter. “And sometimes that’s been hard for the community because they often want to just get away; they just want to have fun at the theater, watch a slick play or musical.”

Other black theaters, it could be argued, have had an even rougher run; of the hundreds that formed during the Black Arts Movement, Penumbra is one of the few professional venues left. Though, in the midst of the post-9/11 recession, having accumulated $500,000 in debt, Penumbra nearly called it curtains as well. As always, Bellamy and key supporters shouldered on.

“A lot of Lou is stubbornness,” says Givens. “It has to be.” Jim Craven, a longtime member of Penumbra’s acting company, loves to tell the story of the day a group of directors from various theaters came to Penumbra to observe rehearsals—only to find Lou Bellamy giving stage directions with a pistol in each hand. The guns, of course, were only props for a show, but still, there is something fiery in Bellamy’s determination to keep Penumbra going by—to use the revolutionary rhetoric of the Black Power movement—any means necessary.

Penumbra has emerged from the latest crisis leaner but stronger, and refocused on the theater’s mission of social change. Penumbra’s annual holiday show, Black Nativity, is subtitled A Homecoming this year, acknowledging this return to roots. And it’s ready to celebrate, staging a year of music-related shows (though not all musicals). “It’s an opportunity for us to tell a good story,” Bellamy says of Penumbra’s 30th season, “not to be going ‘Woe is Penumbra, woe is black people.’ There are good folks who worked hard, got themselves in a hole, and dug out.”

Not that Bellamy doesn’t celebrate every day he’s still on that hill in Rondo, fighting the good fight. “As long as you’re breathing,” he says, “the revolution’s still going.”

Tim Gihring is senior writer for Minnesota Monthly.

Black Nativity: A Homecoming runs through December 24 at Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul, 651-224-3180.
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January 2019

You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape...

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Mall of America
300 East Broadway
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River's Edge Convention Center
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Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
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Telephone: 612-339-8007
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The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

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Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
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Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

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Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
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Cost: $2 Entry Fee

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Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55104
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Cost: $2 Entry Fee

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Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55104
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Cost: $32-$42

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Ames Center Black Box Theatre
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Burnsville, MN  55337
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Telephone: 952.895.4685
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From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
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Burnsville, MN  55337
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3300 London Road
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324 S Main Street
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Cost: Advance tickets $16, $20 at the door. Youth 18 years and younger FREE. Seniors r

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Celtic Junction Arts Center
836 Prior Ave North
Saint Paul, MN  55104
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Sponsor: Celtic Junction Arts Center
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Jungle Theater
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Minneapolis, MN  55408
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20 West 7th Place
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Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651-291-7005
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2605 Hennepin Ave
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Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave N
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Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

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The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
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Sponsor: Max's
Telephone: 952-922-8364

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Welcome the New Year with a celebration of The Leach Pottery’s traditions and lineage. On view will be Leach Standard Ware and Leach Porcelain Standard Ware from across the pond, pots by current...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
View map »


Telephone: 612-339-8007
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Website »

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The Fly Feet 28 Day January Challenge kicks off January 5 and runs through February 2. The challenge is about embracing a holistic, healthy and sustainable lifestyle — not a diet or a quick fix....

Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

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Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
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Telephone: 612.333.1723
Contact Name: Abby Gieseke
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From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
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From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32-$42

Where:
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Telephone: 952.895.4685
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Cost: Free

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1500 Jackson Street NE
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Conversation Circles are a volunteer program which promotes intercultural exchange and provides people learning English with opportunities to practice English in an informal, casual setting. In...

Cost: Free

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Columbia Heights Public Library
3939 Central Ave. NE
Room 132
Columbia Heights, MN  55421
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Cost: $15

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You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape...

Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

More information

The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
View map »


Sponsor: Max's
Telephone: 952-922-8364

More information

Welcome the New Year with a celebration of The Leach Pottery’s traditions and lineage. On view will be Leach Standard Ware and Leach Porcelain Standard Ware from across the pond, pots by current...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
View map »


Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
Website »

More information

The Fly Feet 28 Day January Challenge kicks off January 5 and runs through February 2. The challenge is about embracing a holistic, healthy and sustainable lifestyle — not a diet or a quick fix....

Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

Where:
Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
Minneapolis , MN  55402
View map »


Telephone: 612.333.1723
Contact Name: Abby Gieseke
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Cost: Free

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Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Telephone: 612-377-7800
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Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
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More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32-$42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Telephone: 952.895.4685
Website »

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Cost: 0

Where:
U.S. Bank
300 Prairie Center Dr
Eden Prairie, MN  55344
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Sponsor: U.S. Bank
Telephone: 952-942-2847
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Kolman & Pryor Gallery continues its adventurous foray into the artist’s color palette with the second exhibition in The Color Series with, The Color Series: Part 2, Red....

Cost: Free

Where:
Kolman & Pryor Gallery
Studio 395, Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN  55413
View map »


Sponsor: Kolman & Pryor Gallery
Telephone: 612-385-4239
Contact Name: Anita Sue Kolman
Website »

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Cost: $30

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Dakota
1010 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Casey Stangl On the lonely British coast, two retired nuclear scientists reside in a quiet cabin while the outside world erupts in utter chaos. An old friend...

Cost: $37–$47

Where:
Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-822-7063
Website »

More information

A new play by Shannon Elliott Director: Larisa Netterlund Famed super genius Albert Einstein had his brain stolen out of his body after his death and it was kept in a jar for forty years in the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave
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Telephone: 612-377-2285
Contact Name: Phoenix Theater
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More information

Known for hit songs “Takin’ Care of Business,” “American Woman,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” and more, Randy Bachman of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive will tell all on...

Cost: $89-37, SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Where:
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN  55102
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Show More...
Show Less...

You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape...

Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

More information

Welcome the New Year with a celebration of The Leach Pottery’s traditions and lineage. On view will be Leach Standard Ware and Leach Porcelain Standard Ware from across the pond, pots by current...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
View map »


Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
Website »

More information

The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
View map »


Sponsor: Max's
Telephone: 952-922-8364

More information

The Fly Feet 28 Day January Challenge kicks off January 5 and runs through February 2. The challenge is about embracing a holistic, healthy and sustainable lifestyle — not a diet or a quick fix....

Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

Where:
Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
Minneapolis , MN  55402
View map »


Telephone: 612.333.1723
Contact Name: Abby Gieseke
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Root Down, an exhibit of new work by Amy Rice. Rice is a Minneapolis mixed media artist who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pmPanel Discussion: Saturday, January 12, 2-4 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Sense of Place.  This exhibition...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32-$42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Telephone: 952.895.4685
Website »

More information

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Cost: Tickets: $34 for WIN Members, $59 for Non-Members

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12800 Whitewater Dr; Suite 100
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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Kolman & Pryor Gallery
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Website »

More information

Join us for a moonlight hike on the 12-acre, lakeside estate at Glensheen with Day Tripper of Duluth as your guide.Kicking off 2019’s Wednesday night series, you will have the chance to explore...

Cost: Free

Where:
Glensheen
3300 London Road
Duluth, MN  55804
View map »

More information

Labelled "marvelously eclectic" by the LA Times, Paris Combo are returning to the US for their 20th tour in January 2019.   The musically devious Parisians will be showcasing songs from their...

Cost: $30

Where:
Dakota
1010 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Casey Stangl On the lonely British coast, two retired nuclear scientists reside in a quiet cabin while the outside world erupts in utter chaos. An old friend...

Cost: $37–$47

Where:
Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-822-7063
Website »

More information

A new play by Shannon Elliott Director: Larisa Netterlund Famed super genius Albert Einstein had his brain stolen out of his body after his death and it was kept in a jar for forty years in the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-2285
Contact Name: Phoenix Theater
Website »

More information

Labelled "marvelously eclectic" by the LA Times, Paris Combo are returning to the US for their 20th tour in January 2019.   The musically devious Parisians will be showcasing songs from their...

Cost: $30

Where:
Dakota
1010 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

Happy Holihaze! Join us as we round out our 60th anniversary season with trademark BNW holiday hilarity! “Angels We Have Heard Are High (O Holy Crap!)” features all-star performers Lauren...

Cost: $20-$39

Where:
Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-332-6620
Website »

More information

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Make valuable connections by attending our upcoming Power Networking Breakfast at Midpointe Event Center! Come join fellow NAWBO members and TeamWomen members for our speed networking-style...

Cost: $20-40

Where:
Midpointe Event Center
415 Pascal Street North
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: TeamWomen
Contact Name: Briana Galbraith
Website »

More information

You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape...

Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

More information

Need a winter boost? Little Box Sauna is heating things up in January at Parallel/Hennepin Made in Minneapolis—come sauna with us!   Reserve a Sauna Thursdays, 7am-10:30pm (3-6pm happy...

Cost: $18/$25/$350

Where:
Parallel Cafe
145 Holden Street North
Minneapolis, MN  55405
View map »


Sponsor: Little Box Sauna
Contact Name: Andrea Johnson
Website »

More information

Welcome the New Year with a celebration of The Leach Pottery’s traditions and lineage. On view will be Leach Standard Ware and Leach Porcelain Standard Ware from across the pond, pots by current...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
View map »


Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
Website »

More information

The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
View map »


Sponsor: Max's
Telephone: 952-922-8364

More information

The Fly Feet 28 Day January Challenge kicks off January 5 and runs through February 2. The challenge is about embracing a holistic, healthy and sustainable lifestyle — not a diet or a quick fix....

Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

Where:
Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
Minneapolis , MN  55402
View map »


Telephone: 612.333.1723
Contact Name: Abby Gieseke
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Root Down, an exhibit of new work by Amy Rice. Rice is a Minneapolis mixed media artist who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pmPanel Discussion: Saturday, January 12, 2-4 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Sense of Place.  This exhibition...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32-$42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Telephone: 952.895.4685
Website »

More information

Kolman & Pryor Gallery continues its adventurous foray into the artist’s color palette with the second exhibition in The Color Series with, The Color Series: Part 2, Red....

Cost: Free

Where:
Kolman & Pryor Gallery
Studio 395, Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN  55413
View map »


Sponsor: Kolman & Pryor Gallery
Telephone: 612-385-4239
Contact Name: Anita Sue Kolman
Website »

More information

EVERYONE WELCOME!Our next $3 Community Dinner is coming up on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 5–7 p.m., as part of our Opening Celebration. Enjoy a chili and cornbread dinner with all the fixings, and...

Cost: $3.00

Where:
13750 County Road 11
13750 County Road 11
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Sponsor: Valley Natural Foods
Website »

More information

If you are a business owner then Pinterest should form an essential part of your marketing strategy. It's more than just DIY or Recipes! Learn how to set up and use Pinterest while generating an...

Cost: 35.00

Where:
Rogers Activity Center
21080 141st Avenue North
rogers, MN  55374
View map »


Sponsor: Laura Rike
Telephone: 763-276-7524
Contact Name: Laura Rike
Website »

More information

Ta-coumba Aiken Opening Event 'RYTHM AND PATTERNS   “Ta-coumba Aiken makes art to heal the hearts and souls of communities. Anyone who views his work will see the complex layers, lines,...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
Aloft Minneapolis Hotel
900 S. Washington Ave.
(612) 455-8400
Minneapolis , MN   55415
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery13
Telephone: 651-582-5503
Contact Name: Stephen Sugarman
Website »

More information

Learn more about Perpich Arts High School and how you can apply for the 2019-2020 school year at an upcoming Information Session. The Saturday session is 90 minutes and includes a tour of the...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perpich Center for Arts Education
6125 Olson Memorial Highway
Golden Valley, MN  55422
View map »


Sponsor: Perpich Center for Arts Education
Telephone: 763-279-4168
Contact Name: Betsy Anderson
Website »

More information

by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Casey Stangl On the lonely British coast, two retired nuclear scientists reside in a quiet cabin while the outside world erupts in utter chaos. An old friend...

Cost: $37–$47

Where:
Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-822-7063
Website »

More information

Gone Missing is a wry and whimsical documentary musical about things that go missing -- keys, personal identification, a Gucci pump...or one's mind. The show is a collection of very personal...

Cost: $0-$35

Where:
Dreamland Arts
677 Hamline Avenue North
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Elision
Telephone: 714-342-0539
Contact Name: Cindy Polich
Website »

More information

A new play by Shannon Elliott Director: Larisa Netterlund Famed super genius Albert Einstein had his brain stolen out of his body after his death and it was kept in a jar for forty years in the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-2285
Contact Name: Phoenix Theater
Website »

More information

Open mic night hosted by The Nighthowlers at Can Can Wonderland every third Thursday of the month!! All entertainers welcomed and encouraged! Show starts at 9pm. Sign up starts at 8pm. $2 artist...

Cost: 2

Where:
Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave N
Sutie 004
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »

More information

Happy Holihaze! Join us as we round out our 60th anniversary season with trademark BNW holiday hilarity! “Angels We Have Heard Are High (O Holy Crap!)” features all-star performers Lauren...

Cost: $20-$39

Where:
Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-332-6620
Website »

More information

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WHAT:                                                 DRIVE Roundtable: 2019 NCAA® Men's Final Four® Preview – College Hoops & More!...

Cost: Admission is $20 and pre-registration is required.

Where:
the Local
931 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN  55402
View map »


Sponsor: Minneapolis Regional Chamber
Telephone: 612-370-9117
Contact Name: Shannon Lukes Hauser
Website »

More information

You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape...

Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

More information

Need a winter boost? Little Box Sauna is heating things up in January at Parallel/Hennepin Made in Minneapolis—come sauna with us!   Reserve a Sauna Thursdays, 7am-10:30pm (3-6pm happy...

Cost: $18/$25/$350

Where:
Parallel Cafe
145 Holden Street North
Minneapolis, MN  55405
View map »


Sponsor: Little Box Sauna
Contact Name: Andrea Johnson
Website »

More information

The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
View map »


Sponsor: Max's
Telephone: 952-922-8364

More information

Welcome the New Year with a celebration of The Leach Pottery’s traditions and lineage. On view will be Leach Standard Ware and Leach Porcelain Standard Ware from across the pond, pots by current...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
View map »


Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
Website »

More information

The Fly Feet 28 Day January Challenge kicks off January 5 and runs through February 2. The challenge is about embracing a holistic, healthy and sustainable lifestyle — not a diet or a quick fix....

Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

Where:
Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
Minneapolis , MN  55402
View map »


Telephone: 612.333.1723
Contact Name: Abby Gieseke
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pmPanel Discussion: Saturday, January 12, 2-4 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Sense of Place.  This exhibition...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Root Down, an exhibit of new work by Amy Rice. Rice is a Minneapolis mixed media artist who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32-$42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Telephone: 952.895.4685
Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Website »

More information

Despite the negative stigma pole dance gets from the media, this movement art has evolved to become a powerful tool for self-esteem, fitness, and body positivity.  Feel empowered, inspired, and...

Cost: $15-65

Where:
Midpointe Event Center
415 Pascal Street
Saint Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Pole and Performing Art
Telephone: 651-347-0412
Contact Name: Myss Angie
Website »

More information

Kolman & Pryor Gallery continues its adventurous foray into the artist’s color palette with the second exhibition in The Color Series with, The Color Series: Part 2, Red....

Cost: Free

Where:
Kolman & Pryor Gallery
Studio 395, Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN  55413
View map »


Sponsor: Kolman & Pryor Gallery
Telephone: 612-385-4239
Contact Name: Anita Sue Kolman
Website »

More information

Ta-coumba Aiken Opening Event 'RYTHM AND PATTERNS   “Ta-coumba Aiken makes art to heal the hearts and souls of communities. Anyone who views his work will see the complex layers, lines,...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
Aloft Minneapolis Hotel
900 S. Washington Ave.
(612) 455-8400
Minneapolis , MN   55415
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery13
Telephone: 651-582-5503
Contact Name: Stephen Sugarman
Website »

More information

by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Casey Stangl On the lonely British coast, two retired nuclear scientists reside in a quiet cabin while the outside world erupts in utter chaos. An old friend...

Cost: $37–$47

Where:
Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-822-7063
Website »

More information

The Alumni of Mellencamp Sr. High have learned that their old Alma Mater is soon to be demolished. To show their school spirit, they’ve decided to throw one last all-class reunion. So get...

Cost: 66.50

Where:
Sheraton West
12201 Ridgedale Dr.
Minnetonka, MN  55305
View map »


Sponsor: The Mystery Cafe
Telephone: 763-566-2583
Contact Name: Brian Kelly
Website »

More information

Gone Missing is a wry and whimsical documentary musical about things that go missing -- keys, personal identification, a Gucci pump...or one's mind. The show is a collection of very personal...

Cost: $0-$35

Where:
Dreamland Arts
677 Hamline Avenue North
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Elision
Telephone: 714-342-0539
Contact Name: Cindy Polich
Website »

More information

Emmy Award-winning Beatles tribute band The Fab Four will be reigniting Beatlemania for local Beatle fans at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester on Friday, January 18th. Spend the evening...

Cost: $39.00

Where:
Mayo Civic Center
30 Civic Center Drive SE
Rochester, MN  55904
View map »


Sponsor: Mayo Civic Center
Telephone: 507-328-2220
Website »

More information

The Schubert Club is honored to announce Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti as its first “Featured Artist”, giving us an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with an artist or ensemble...

Cost: $29 - $68

Where:
Ordway Concert Hall
345 Washington St
St. Pau, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Schubert Club
Telephone: 651.292.3268
Website »

More information

A new play by Shannon Elliott Director: Larisa Netterlund Famed super genius Albert Einstein had his brain stolen out of his body after his death and it was kept in a jar for forty years in the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-2285
Contact Name: Phoenix Theater
Website »

More information

Ever wanted to play Let's Make a Deal, Match Game, Family Feud, $50 Pyramid, or the Price is Right? Maybe you never wanted to play but wish you could have been in the audience. Retro Game Night...

Cost: $2 Cover

Where:
Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Can Can Wonderland
Telephone: (651) 925-2261
Contact Name: Can Can Wonderland
Website »

More information

Happy Holihaze! Join us as we round out our 60th anniversary season with trademark BNW holiday hilarity! “Angels We Have Heard Are High (O Holy Crap!)” features all-star performers Lauren...

Cost: $20-$39

Where:
Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-332-6620
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

You've probably spent countless hours in front of a screen watching a hero save the world, solve a mystery, plan a prison break or repair a spaceship to return home. Now it's your turn! The Escape...

Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN  55425
View map »

More information

Need a winter boost? Little Box Sauna is heating things up in January at Parallel/Hennepin Made in Minneapolis—come sauna with us!   Reserve a Sauna Thursdays, 7am-10:30pm (3-6pm happy...

Cost: $18/$25/$350

Where:
Parallel Cafe
145 Holden Street North
Minneapolis, MN  55405
View map »


Sponsor: Little Box Sauna
Contact Name: Andrea Johnson
Website »

More information

Jam with The Bazillions, a kid-friendly indie rock band. The Bazillions are the creation of Twin Cities’ parents/educators/singer-songwriters Adam and Kristin Marshall. A free, family event for...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
MacPhail Center for Music
501 South 2nd Street
Minneapolis, MN  55401
View map »


Website »

More information

Shop from over 40 local farmers, food makers and artists for your weekly groceries, unique handmade gifts and holiday meals. The Mill City Farmers Market inside the historic and beautiful Mill City...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mill City Museum
704 2nd St. S.
Ste. 510
Minneapolis, MN  55401
View map »


Sponsor: Mill City Farmers Market
Telephone: 612-341-7580
Contact Name: Jenny Heck
Website »

More information

Welcome the New Year with a celebration of The Leach Pottery’s traditions and lineage. On view will be Leach Standard Ware and Leach Porcelain Standard Ware from across the pond, pots by current...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
View map »


Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
Website »

More information

Join us for a DIY workshop at Sawdust Savvy. Located in beautiful Downtown Stillwater. With 22 different projects and over 100 designs to choose from we have something for everyone.  Assemble...

Cost: 59.00 and up

Where:
Sawdust Savvy
324 S Main Street
Suite 7
Stillwater, MN  55082
View map »


Sponsor: Sawdust Savvy
Telephone: 651-705-6614
Contact Name: Sawdust Savvy
Website »

More information

The Max’s winter Semi-Annual Sale is happening December 26-January 19 with discounts of 30 to 80 percent off a wide array of select items from the shop’s fine jewelry, gourmet chocolate and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Max's at The Shops at Excelsior & Grand
3826 Grand Way
St. Louis Park, MN  55416
View map »


Sponsor: Max's
Telephone: 952-922-8364

More information

The Fly Feet 28 Day January Challenge kicks off January 5 and runs through February 2. The challenge is about embracing a holistic, healthy and sustainable lifestyle — not a diet or a quick fix....

Cost: Members: Free! Non-members: $100

Where:
Fly Feet Fitness (Minneapolis & Wayzata locations)
15 S 5th St #100
Minneapolis , MN  55402
View map »


Telephone: 612.333.1723
Contact Name: Abby Gieseke
Website »

More information

Eli Libson, designer of mini golf hole #4, Squirrel Scrambler, will be using his 17 years of experience in video game character design to assist people in creating their own Chimera - an ancient...

Cost: $2 Entry Fee

Where:
Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Can Can Wonderland
Telephone: (651) 925-2261
Contact Name: Can Can Wonderland
Website »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pmPanel Discussion: Saturday, January 12, 2-4 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, Sense of Place.  This exhibition...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Allison Mann & Michael Brodkorb will be at Once Upon A Crime Bookstore on January 19th from 12-2PM to chat about their true crime book: The Girls Are Gone.   The Girls Are Gone was...

Cost: 0

Where:
Once Upon A Crime Bookstore
Edit 604 W 26th St
Minneapolis, MN  55405
View map »

More information

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 1, 12-5 pm Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Root Down, an exhibit of new work by Amy Rice. Rice is a Minneapolis mixed media artist who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32-$42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Telephone: 952.895.4685
Website »

More information

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and...

Cost: $32 to $42

Where:
Ames Center Black Box Theatre
12600 Nicollet Avenue
Burnsville, MN  55337
View map »


Website »

More information

Despite the negative stigma pole dance gets from the media, this movement art has evolved to become a powerful tool for self-esteem, fitness, and body positivity.  Feel empowered, inspired, and...

Cost: $15-65

Where:
Midpointe Event Center
415 Pascal Street
Saint Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Pole and Performing Art
Telephone: 651-347-0412
Contact Name: Myss Angie
Website »

More information

ZRS WINTER HEALING EXPO! FREE EVENT & EXPO BUFFET   Enjoy the sweet harmonies of Siama Matuzungidi & Dallas JohnsonZRS Fossils and Gifts - 3018 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis FOR...

Cost: FREE

Where:
ZRS Fossils and Gifts
3018 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Sponsor: ZRS Fossils and Gifts
Telephone: 612-824-1068
Contact Name: ZRS
Website »

More information

Mounting plaques are a wonderful way to display indoor plants. They are easy to care for and make beautiful additions to any home.   Join Tangletown staff at our January workshop where you’ll...

Cost: $49 per person

Where:
Tangletown Gardens
5353 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55419
View map »


Sponsor: Tangletown Gardens
Telephone: 612-822-4769
Contact Name: Tangletown Gardens
Website »

More information

Play Bingo for fun prizes and to support the Germanic-American Institute. Held at Summit Brewing Ratskeller in St. Paul. Summit beer will be on tap and Gerhard’s Würstelstand food truck on site....

Cost: $1 per sheet

Where:
Summit Brewing Ratskeller
910 Montreal Circle
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Germanic-American Institute
Telephone: 651-222-7027
Contact Name: Office
Website »

More information

Beginning Saturday, December 8! This event will occur every Saturday from December 8, 2018 to May 25, 2019 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM Soul line dancing is a fun way to get out on the dance floor, and meet...

Cost: $2 Entry Fee

Where:
Can Can Wonderland
755 Prior Ave. N
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Can Can Wonderland
Telephone: (651) 925-2261
Contact Name: Can Can Wonderland
Website »

More information

Ta-coumba Aiken Opening Event 'RYTHM AND PATTERNS   “Ta-coumba Aiken makes art to heal the hearts and souls of communities. Anyone who views his work will see the complex layers, lines,...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
Aloft Minneapolis Hotel
900 S. Washington Ave.
(612) 455-8400
Minneapolis , MN   55415
View map »


Sponsor: Gallery13
Telephone: 651-582-5503
Contact Name: Stephen Sugarman
Website »

More information

by Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Casey Stangl On the lonely British coast, two retired nuclear scientists reside in a quiet cabin while the outside world erupts in utter chaos. An old friend...

Cost: $37–$47

Where:
Jungle Theater
2951 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55408
View map »


Telephone: 612-822-7063
Website »

More information

The Alumni of Mellencamp Sr. High have learned that their old Alma Mater is soon to be demolished. To show their school spirit, they’ve decided to throw one last all-class reunion. So get...

Cost: 66.50

Where:
Sheraton West
12201 Ridgedale Dr.
Minnetonka, MN  55305
View map »


Sponsor: The Mystery Cafe
Telephone: 763-566-2583
Contact Name: Brian Kelly
Website »

More information

Gone Missing is a wry and whimsical documentary musical about things that go missing -- keys, personal identification, a Gucci pump...or one's mind. The show is a collection of very personal...

Cost: $0-$35

Where:
Dreamland Arts
677 Hamline Avenue North
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: Theatre Elision
Telephone: 714-342-0539
Contact Name: Cindy Polich
Website »

More information

A new play by Shannon Elliott Director: Larisa Netterlund Famed super genius Albert Einstein had his brain stolen out of his body after his death and it was kept in a jar for forty years in the...

Cost: $15

Where:
Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55408
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Telephone: 612-377-2285
Contact Name: Phoenix Theater
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Emmy Award-winning Beatles tribute band The Fab Four will be reigniting Beatlemania for local Beatle fans at State Theatre - Minneapolis on Saturday, January 19th. Spend the evening twisting and...

Cost: $35.00 - $60.00 +

Where:
State Theatre
805 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Sponsor: State Theatre - Minneapolis
Telephone: 612-373-5600
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Happy Holihaze! Join us as we round out our 60th anniversary season with trademark BNW holiday hilarity! “Angels We Have Heard Are High (O Holy Crap!)” features all-star performers Lauren...

Cost: $20-$39

Where:
Brave New Workshop
824 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Telephone: 612-332-6620
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