Cedar Rapids Q&A

The writer and producer of the new comedy share their thoughts on small towns, making movies, and taking chances.


Published:

Insurance salesman Tim Lippe has never flown in an airplane. He’s never slept in a hotel. Heck, he’s never even left the small Wisconsin town he calls home. But that’s all about to change. Sent to represent his company at an insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Lippe arrives with his money band in place and traveler’s checks ready to go, unaware that his naivety will soon be replaced with reality, and his innocence with common sense. Starring Ed Helms (Tim Lippe), John C. Reilly (Dean Ziegler), Anne Heche (Joan Ostrowski-Fox), and Isiah Whitlock, Jr (Ronald Wilkes), Cedar Rapids is a tale of one small-town man forced to face reality and grow up—all in the course of a weekend.

Minnesota Monthly sat down with the writer, Phil Johnston, and producer, Jim Burke, of Cedar Rapids—both Midwest natives—to talk about small-town Midwesterners, making movies, and the darker side of comedy.
 

Phil, you went to the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Jim, you went to the University of Minnesota. Did your Midwest ties provide inspiration for Cedar Rapids?

Phil: Definitely. As someone who’s lived in New York for ten years, the first 30 years of my life were in the Midwest. My brain still lives here when I’m thinking about stories and characters. These are the people I know and these are the stories I want to tell at this point in my life. Having the idea of a guy in a tiny town in Wisconsin and going to what he thinks to be a big city—which is actually a city of about 100,000—is kind of silly, but I know people like that; plenty of them. I know people who have never left the state or have just been to Wisconsin, Minnesota, and maybe Michigan. So while it’s kind of funny as a concept—which I’m hoping the movie was funny, it was supposed to be—it’s also something that’s rooted in a certain truth.

Jim:
We had heard people say, “There’s no such thing as people who are that sheltered.” And I told them, “I can introduce you to them. I’ll make sure you meet them.” I mean, my mom’s cousins had never seen an escalator until it was in a very advanced stage—they grew up in North Dakota. Anyway, we know that those people exist.
 

Do you think some audiences will still think Ed Helms’s character is a stretch?

Phil: I don’t think so—I hope not. We tried to be so specific with the details of the characters and the place that I hope it feels authentic. Again, it’s a comedy so it definitely stretches a bit, but ultimately I believe it to be truthful. I just go back to the fact that I know these people—if I were to go to the mall with my mom today we would meet these people. My dad has the sweater Tim wears. If people from the coast say, “That doesn’t exist,” I’ll say, “You’ve never been here then.”

Jim:
We were sort of afraid people might think that, but we’ve screened it enough times to know the odd person might say that, but by and large everybody accepts that the premise and the characters and everything are authentic. It’s been really, really well received.
 

How did you decide to work in the darker aspects of the movie—the drugs, the prostitution, the infidelity?

Phil: It wasn’t a decision, it just sort of came. I trafficked in that kind of thing for years (laughing). I mean, I don’t know, I’m just attracted to the darker side of comedy—always have been. There are versions of this script—early drafts—that were really much darker.

Jim:
Waaayyy darker.

Phil:
Tim kidnapped someone and ended up in jail. Actually, that was a funny scene; I miss that scene. It’s fun to put people in uncomfortable situations—it’s part of the key to drama, comedy, entertainment. You don’t want an easy road for your protagonist. Your protagonist is the one who suffers the most. I like putting them in situations that are not pleasant because you give them something to do and you get the most juice out of it, be it a comedy or a drama.

Jim:
He’s dark. (laughter)

Phil:
So are you, you’re worse than I am!

Jim:
That’s true.
 

How did you get into screen writing? You started as a news reporter and then what?

Phil: My first job out of school was in Rochester, Minnesota, then Omaha and western Iowa, then Minneapolis at KARE-11. And at a certain point, I realized the kind of stories I liked to do were about small towns, strange people—it wasn’t necessarily news. I realized the kind of storytelling I was really passionate about was film. If I was honest with myself, I would have known that I always secretly wanted to get into film, but I didn’t have the guts to do it right out of undergrad. My wife and I were sitting on the couch one night and I said, “I think I want to go to film school.” She said, “Great!” And we moved to New York. She supported me and I went to Columbia’s MFA program for directing and screenwriting, and that’s how it all happened. If I had thought it through it at the time, I probably wouldn’t have done it. So I didn’t think it through, and I couldn’t be happier.

Jim:
I had the same experience. I did not spend a lot of time analyzing the decision. Unlike you (Phil), I graduated and jumped right in my car and drove to L.A. to get into the film business. I didn’t think it would be hard, and no body told me it would be hard.
 

Was it hard?

Jim: No.

Phil:
Liar! You are such a liar!

Jim:
No, here’s the thing: Getting into show business is not hard. It’s actually making something that’s any good—that’s hard.

Phil:
That’s true.

Jim:
Anybody—okay, not anybody—but if you have a good attitude that you’re going to get your foot in the door and work your way up, you can make it. But to get proficient and good at making movies, that’s the hard part. And the actual thing—making a movie?—everyone says, “Oh, I love it! I would love it!” I just think it’s hard. Long, long hours; you’re sleep deprived and you’re trying to make decisions…it’s hard.

Phil:
I was thinking about it, and truly? If you’re talking about fun? This week is probably the only actual fun I have had on this thing.

Jim:
Well, and Sundance.

Phil:
That’s what I mean: Once it’s done, you can kind of celebrate it.

Jim: I had fun, too, when we first started talking about it, figuring out who the cast would be, coming up with different shades of the script—that was really fun.

Phil:
Yeah.


Jim:
So the very beginning and the very end are always the most fun parts. All of it in the middle? It’s tough sledding. (laughter)
 

Were there any surprises that came up you didn’t anticipate and just had to roll with?

Phil: As you’re rewriting and developing the script, it always changes in ways you don’t expect or anticipate. But the best thing in terms of things that were surprising were these great moments of improv that all the actors did to some extent, but mostly would be from John. What’s so cool was he knew his character (Dean) so well—really lived in his character’s skin and inhabited that guy—that when he went off the book, it wasn’t like he was just doing that to make people laugh, he was doing it because that’s something Dean would say.

Jim:
He is just a really great actor. He is. Everybody sort of knows that, but I don’t think he’s appreciated enough.
 

When you wrote that character, did you know that John C. Reilly would draw out so many aspects of Dean?

Phil: I hoped that the audience would see this loud mouth who ultimately had deep undertones of sadness and regret—obviously his divorce and relationship with his kids is all there. So yea, I dreamed that would all come across. But I couldn’t have asked for more than what John did. He took the material and elevated it so much more than I could ever have hoped for. That’s truly what all the actors did.

It felt like they were comfortable in their characters.

Jim:
Everybody was really excited about working on this movie. Everybody was pumped up.
 

Were you heavily involved in the casting? Did you have them in mind?

Phil: It was written for Ed. He was on it from the time I had the idea; he’s the first person I gave the script to. We had lots of conversations about casting.

Jim:
Almost everybody—except Sigourney Weaver, Ed, and John C. Reilly—auditioned for their part. There were hundreds of people. And it worked much better—we were able to find out who really worked well together.

Cedar Rapids debuted last month at the Sundance Film Festival and opened in a limited release February 11. It opens February 18 at the Uptown Theatre.

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Cost: Adult $40; Senior 62+ with ID $20; Student with ID $15

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Cost: Free and open to the public

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Northern Clay Center
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Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
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Imagine a place where fish are islands, landscapes become waterfalls, and the moon is hung from a ladder. Find these impossible worlds in the work of Erik Johansson, a Swedish photographer/visual...

Cost: Included in the cost of museum admission

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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

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Cost: free

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2004 Randolph Avenue
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Cost: free and open to the public

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More information

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Cost: Included in the cost of museum admission

Where:
American Swedish Institute
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View map »


Telephone: 612-871-4907
Website »

More information

February’s featured artists invite you to consider the surface. Regardless of the form, how does the surface impact your perception of the work? Gossman offers subtle references to the loose...

Cost: Free and open to the public

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Northern Clay Center
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Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
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Cost: $2 Entry Fee

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Sponsor: Can Can Wonderland
Telephone: (651) 925-2261
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Cost: 0

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Cost: Free

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Telephone: 612-377-7800
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Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
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Sponsor: Groveland Gallery
Telephone: 612-377-7800
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Cost: Free

Where:
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
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Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Telephone: 612-377-7800
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Cost: 0

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U.S. Bank
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Cost: free

Where:
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105
View map »


Telephone: 651-690-6644
Contact Name: Nicole Watson, Gallery Director
Website »

More information

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Cost: free and open to the public

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Aloft Minneapolis Hotel
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View map »


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Contact Name: Stephen Sugarman
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Cost: $117-34, subject to change

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Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
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Cost: Adult $40; Senior 62+ with ID $20; Student with ID $15

Where:
Penumbra Theatre
270 N Kent St.
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View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: $34.99

Where:
Mall of America
300 East Broadway
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View map »

More information

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Cost: $13

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IceHouse
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Minneapolis, MN  55404
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Sponsor: Ashley DuBose Entertainment
Contact Name: Ben Obi
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February’s featured artists invite you to consider the surface. Regardless of the form, how does the surface impact your perception of the work? Gossman offers subtle references to the loose...

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

Imagine a place where fish are islands, landscapes become waterfalls, and the moon is hung from a ladder. Find these impossible worlds in the work of Erik Johansson, a Swedish photographer/visual...

Cost: Included in the cost of museum admission

Where:
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55407
View map »


Telephone: 612-871-4907
Website »

More information

  Town Hall Brewery is getting ready to roll out the barrels! The brewery’s annual Barrel-Aged Week is February 18-24, and will include a big roster of boozy barrel-aged beers, limited release...

Cost: $10

Where:
Town Hall Brewery
1430 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55454
View map »

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
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View map »


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

More information

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Cost: Admission is $20. Pre-registration is encouraged.

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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

January 26 - March 2, 2019 Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2019 Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Groveland Gallery
Telephone: 612-377-7800
Contact Name: Sarah Johnson
Website »

More information

Enjoy a trip back to a more innocent time in our history as New Music Arts presents "Buddy Holly: Not Fade Away." The show features cast members from the IVEY award-winning "Buddy—The Buddy...

Cost: $25-$32

Where:
Ives Auditorium
Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center
11411 Masonic Home Dr
Bloomington, MN  55437
View map »


Sponsor: New Music Arts

More information

Do you second-guess yourself when it comes to the decisions you make for your business? At this hands-on workshop, you'll start by digging deep into the values, goals, and priorities that form your...

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

Where:
Minnetonka OffiCenter
12800 Whitewater Dr
Suite 100
Minnetonka, MN  55343
View map »

More information

Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A Minnesota native from rural Isanti County, Cunningham currently lives and...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

February 9-March 30, 2019 | Opening Reception: February 9, 6-8 pm The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery proudly presents an exhibition by two Minnesota artists: ceramicist Monica Rudquist and her...

Cost: free

Where:
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105
View map »


Telephone: 651-690-6644
Contact Name: Nicole Watson, Gallery Director
Website »

More information

Every Wednesday in February Glensheen presents Zenith City On Tap, a series of talks on the history of Duluth by author and historian Tony Dierckins, publisher of Duluth’s Zenith City Press. ...

Cost: 0

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


Telephone: 218-726-8910
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

FLOWERS FOR THE ROOM | a new musical book by Jessica Lind Peterson lyrics by Blake Thomas music by Blake Thomas and Matt Riehle directed by Jason Peterson musical direction by Matt Riele...

Cost: $23-$27

Where:
Yellow Tree Theatre
320 Fifth Avenue SE
Osseo, MN  55369
View map »


Sponsor: Yellow Tree Theatre
Telephone: 763-493-8733
Contact Name: MacKenzie McCullum
Website »

More information

By Ifa Bayeza A world premiere Directed by Talvin Wilks A small, segregated town is about to be turned upside down as fate brings a young boy from Chicago to a candy counter in Money,...

Cost: Adult $40; Senior 62+ with ID $20; Student with ID $15

Where:
Penumbra Theatre
270 N Kent St.
St Paul, MN  55102
View map »

More information

Love makes a family. Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, his lover, his about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and...

Cost: $117-34, subject to change

Where:
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Telephone: 651-224-4222
Website »

More information

Show More...
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The living legend Sir Elton John is going on one last concert tour of his lifetime before he retires, The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Get tickets to see Elton John live on this tour in...

Cost: $71

Where:
Target Center
, PA


Telephone: 844-425-5918
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

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is proud to present the Spring 2019 MCAD Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Thesis Proposal Presentations.   Spring 2019 graduate candidates will each...

Cost: Free

Where:
MCAD Auditorium 150
2501 Stevens Ave
Minneapolis, MN
View map »

More information

February’s featured artists invite you to consider the surface. Regardless of the form, how does the surface impact your perception of the work? Gossman offers subtle references to the loose...

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

Imagine a place where fish are islands, landscapes become waterfalls, and the moon is hung from a ladder. Find these impossible worlds in the work of Erik Johansson, a Swedish photographer/visual...

Cost: Included in the cost of museum admission

Where:
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55407
View map »


Telephone: 612-871-4907
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

  Town Hall Brewery is getting ready to roll out the barrels! The brewery’s annual Barrel-Aged Week is February 18-24, and will include a big roster of boozy barrel-aged beers, limited release...

Cost: $10

Where:
Town Hall Brewery
1430 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55454
View map »

More information

January 26 - March 2, 2019 Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2019 Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Groveland Gallery
Telephone: 612-377-7800
Contact Name: Sarah Johnson
Website »

More information

Fascinators, a SPOTLIGHT exhibition of prints by Ellen Heck, opens January 26 at Groveland Gallery. Heck grew up in Austin, TX and studied printmaking at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Enjoy a trip back to a more innocent time in our history as New Music Arts presents "Buddy Holly: Not Fade Away." The show features cast members from the IVEY award-winning "Buddy—The Buddy...

Cost: $25-$32

Where:
Ives Auditorium
Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center
11411 Masonic Home Dr
Bloomington, MN  55437
View map »


Sponsor: New Music Arts

More information

Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A Minnesota native from rural Isanti County, Cunningham currently lives and...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Roger Launius, Retired NASA, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum What is it about the Moon that captures the fancy of humankind? A silvery disk hanging in the night sky, it conjures up...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Northrop
84 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN  55455
View map »


Sponsor: Northrop
Telephone: 612-624-2345
Contact Name: Katie
Website »

More information

February 9-March 30, 2019 | Opening Reception: February 9, 6-8 pm The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery proudly presents an exhibition by two Minnesota artists: ceramicist Monica Rudquist and her...

Cost: free

Where:
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105
View map »


Telephone: 651-690-6644
Contact Name: Nicole Watson, Gallery Director
Website »

More information

Are you ready for our February Frenzy?  Each time we have a fully booked workshop in February, participants in that workshop will be eligible to win some fabulous giveaways! Prizes may include...

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: Annie or Lindsay
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

Ready or Hot: Fashion Meets Passion for Planned Parenthood is back for its 6th year with a high-fashion runway show featuring the hottest looks from Twin Cities retailers modeled by dedicated...

Cost: $30 - $2000

Where:
International Market Square
275 Market St
Minneapolis, MN  55405
View map »


Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
Telephone: 612-821-6132
Contact Name: Sarah Harris
Website »

More information

The Experts in Mystery Entertainment are now performing live public and private interactive murder mystery dinner shows in Minneapolis and surrounding areas throughout Minnesota. Join us for a...

Cost: 60

Where:
The Old Spahgetti Factory
233 Park Ave
# 100
Minneapolis, MN  55415
View map »


Sponsor: The Murder Mystery Company in Minneapolis
Telephone: 888-643-2583
Contact Name: Skyler
Website »

More information

Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize, this theatrical masterpiece by Thornton Wilder is an optimistic tribute to the invincibility of the human spirit. Meet the Antrobus family of contemporary and...

Cost: $20 - $60

Where:
Park Square Theatre
Proscenium Stage
20 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651.291.7005
Website »

More information

Love makes a family. Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, his lover, his about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and...

Cost: $117-34, subject to change

Where:
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Telephone: 651-224-4222
Website »

More information

  Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Cost: $12-$18

Where:
Beverly and John Lord Knight Performance Hall
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
3003 Snelling Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55113
View map »


Website »

More information

FLOWERS FOR THE ROOM | a new musical book by Jessica Lind Peterson lyrics by Blake Thomas music by Blake Thomas and Matt Riehle directed by Jason Peterson musical direction by Matt Riele...

Cost: $23-$27

Where:
Yellow Tree Theatre
320 Fifth Avenue SE
Osseo, MN  55369
View map »


Sponsor: Yellow Tree Theatre
Telephone: 763-493-8733
Contact Name: MacKenzie McCullum
Website »

More information

By Ifa Bayeza A world premiere Directed by Talvin Wilks A small, segregated town is about to be turned upside down as fate brings a young boy from Chicago to a candy counter in Money,...

Cost: Adult $40; Senior 62+ with ID $20; Student with ID $15

Where:
Penumbra Theatre
270 N Kent St.
St Paul, MN  55102
View map »

More information

  Now in its sixth season, Schubert Club Mix is an innovative series that takes the formality out of classical music. Audiences are treated to remarkable and intimate performances with relevant...

Cost: $30

Where:
Machine Shop
300 2nd St SE
Minneapolis, MN  55414
View map »


Sponsor: Schubert Club
Telephone: 651-292-3268
Website »

More information

The story begins with a motionless tableau, the actors frozen in mid-action, their faces conjuring an ancient frieze. At the snap of fingers, the spell is broken and the statues spring to...

Cost: $20 - $60

Where:
Park Square Theatre
Andy Boss Thrust Stage
20 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651.291.7005
Website »

More information

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with exquisitely delicious ensemble music of Lully, Moulinié, de Visée and others presented by Ladyslipper Ensemble at the New Lute Café. Come experience joy, bliss,...

Cost: $15 suggested donation at the door

Where:
Summit Center for Arts and Innovation
1524 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN  55105
View map »


Sponsor: New Lute Café
Telephone: 617-571-6529
Contact Name: Sahar Hassan
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

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

Imagine a place where fish are islands, landscapes become waterfalls, and the moon is hung from a ladder. Find these impossible worlds in the work of Erik Johansson, a Swedish photographer/visual...

Cost: Included in the cost of museum admission

Where:
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55407
View map »


Telephone: 612-871-4907
Website »

More information

The un-official kick-off to spring, the 2019 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show will return for two full weekends Friday, Feb. 22 – Sunday, Feb. 24 and Friday, March 1 – Sunday, March 3, 2019 at...

Cost: Tickets starting at $12

Where:
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is proud to present the Spring 2019 MCAD Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Thesis Proposal Presentations.   Spring 2019 graduate candidates will each...

Cost: Free

Where:
MCAD Auditorium 150
2501 Stevens Ave
Minneapolis, MN
View map »

More information

February’s featured artists invite you to consider the surface. Regardless of the form, how does the surface impact your perception of the work? Gossman offers subtle references to the loose...

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

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

  Town Hall Brewery is getting ready to roll out the barrels! The brewery’s annual Barrel-Aged Week is February 18-24, and will include a big roster of boozy barrel-aged beers, limited release...

Cost: $10

Where:
Town Hall Brewery
1430 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55454
View map »

More information

Fascinators, a SPOTLIGHT exhibition of prints by Ellen Heck, opens January 26 at Groveland Gallery. Heck grew up in Austin, TX and studied printmaking at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

January 26 - March 2, 2019 Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2019 Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Groveland Gallery
Telephone: 612-377-7800
Contact Name: Sarah Johnson
Website »

More information

Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A Minnesota native from rural Isanti County, Cunningham currently lives and...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 612-377-7800
Website »

More information

Third annual snowshoe by candlelight at the Legacy golf course at Cragun's Resort hosted by Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build. Join us and enjoy snowshoeing on a beautiful winding 9-hole...

Cost: $15.00

Where:
Cragun's Legacy Golf Course & Grille
11497 East Gull Lake Drive
Brainerd, MN  56401
View map »


Sponsor: Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build
Telephone: 218-828-8517
Contact Name: Jeanette Houle
Website »

More information

February 9-March 30, 2019 | Opening Reception: February 9, 6-8 pm The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery proudly presents an exhibition by two Minnesota artists: ceramicist Monica Rudquist and her...

Cost: free

Where:
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105
View map »


Telephone: 651-690-6644
Contact Name: Nicole Watson, Gallery Director
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

Flashlight Tours are back… with a twist. First, you will need to be 21 or older to be on the tour. This is not a tour for kids. As part of your cost for admission, guests will receive a branded...

Cost: 30

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

More information

DISCOVER GENEROSITY! The Great King is seeking a Queen worthy of the realm. Mufaro journeys to the King with his two daughters, certain that one of them will be chosen. Discover that beauty is not...

Cost: $12 - $18

Where:
SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development
55 Victoria Street N
St. Paul, MN  55104
View map »


Sponsor: SteppingStone Theatre for Youth
Telephone: 515-520-7428
Contact Name: Kivan Kirk
Website »

More information

The musical comedy that's “touchingly beautiful… heartrending and hilarious” (Say Entirely) has become a Twin Cities Valentine's tradition and is returning for a 5th season at Art House North...

Cost: Tickets: $20-$27 (Discounts available)

Where:
Art House North
793 Armstrong Ave.
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Bucket Brigade
Telephone: 612-547-9839
Contact Name: Jeremiah Gamble
Website »

More information

Child of Mine -- A Place in the Choir  -- River -- The Roseville Fair   Folk legend Bill Staines returns bringing his songs and story-telling to an intimate concert in the beautiful...

Cost: requested donation $15.

Where:
Judson Memorial Baptist Church
4101 Harriet Av. S,.
Minneapolis, MN  55409
View map »


Sponsor: Judson Music Series
Telephone: 612.590.5664
Contact Name: Keith Ford
Website »

More information

The story begins with a motionless tableau, the actors frozen in mid-action, their faces conjuring an ancient frieze. At the snap of fingers, the spell is broken and the statues spring to...

Cost: $20 - $60

Where:
Park Square Theatre
Andy Boss Thrust Stage
20 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651.291.7005
Website »

More information

By Ifa Bayeza A world premiere Directed by Talvin Wilks A small, segregated town is about to be turned upside down as fate brings a young boy from Chicago to a candy counter in Money,...

Cost: Adult $40; Senior 62+ with ID $20; Student with ID $15

Where:
Penumbra Theatre
270 N Kent St.
St Paul, MN  55102
View map »

More information

FLOWERS FOR THE ROOM | a new musical book by Jessica Lind Peterson lyrics by Blake Thomas music by Blake Thomas and Matt Riehle directed by Jason Peterson musical direction by Matt Riele...

Cost: $23-$27

Where:
Yellow Tree Theatre
320 Fifth Avenue SE
Osseo, MN  55369
View map »


Sponsor: Yellow Tree Theatre
Telephone: 763-493-8733
Contact Name: MacKenzie McCullum
Website »

More information

Love makes a family. Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, his lover, his about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and...

Cost: $117-34, subject to change

Where:
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Telephone: 651-224-4222
Website »

More information

Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize, this theatrical masterpiece by Thornton Wilder is an optimistic tribute to the invincibility of the human spirit. Meet the Antrobus family of contemporary and...

Cost: $20 - $60

Where:
Park Square Theatre
Proscenium Stage
20 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651.291.7005
Website »

More information

  Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Cost: $12-$18

Where:
Beverly and John Lord Knight Performance Hall
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
3003 Snelling Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55113
View map »


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

Show More...
Show Less...

The Fight For Air Climb is one of the American Lung Association's signature fundraising events. Climbs are held in prominent skyscrapers, giving participants the opportunity to join together with...

Cost: $115 or more

Where:
U.S. Bank Plaza
200 South 6th St.
Minneapolis, MN  55402
View map »


Sponsor: American Lung Association in Minnesota
Contact Name: Abby Slick
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

The un-official kick-off to spring, the 2019 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show will return for two full weekends Friday, Feb. 22 – Sunday, Feb. 24 and Friday, March 1 – Sunday, March 3, 2019 at...

Cost: Tickets starting at $12

Where:
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN  55403
View map »

More information

Join us at Tangletown Gardens to explore the fascinating world of Tillandsias, or Air Plants. They are beautiful, unique and require much less attention than other house plants.   Step into...

Cost: No ticket required.

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


Telephone: 612-822-4769
Contact Name: Erin Kjar
Website »

More information

February’s featured artists invite you to consider the surface. Regardless of the form, how does the surface impact your perception of the work? Gossman offers subtle references to the loose...

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

Imagine a place where fish are islands, landscapes become waterfalls, and the moon is hung from a ladder. Find these impossible worlds in the work of Erik Johansson, a Swedish photographer/visual...

Cost: Included in the cost of museum admission

Where:
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55407
View map »


Telephone: 612-871-4907
Website »

More information

Are you ready for our February Frenzy?  Each time we have a fully booked workshop in February, participants in that workshop will be eligible to win some fabulous giveaways! Prizes may include...

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: Annie or Lindsay
Website »

More information

FREE Theater Workshop & Children's Show!* Everyone will be able to afford the admission price to SPARK theater + dance’s latest production—one simply has to bring a playful spirit and a big...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Plymouth Creek Center
14800 - 34th Avenue
Plymouth, MN  55447
View map »


Sponsor: SPARK theater + dance
Telephone: 952-454-7344
Contact Name: Joy Donley
Website »

More information

Nirmala Rajasekar, world-renowned vocal and veena virtuoso, presents South Indian melodies & rhythms in a Sensory-Friendly format. Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts are inclusive, interactive...

Cost: $0-$5

Where:
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center
270 N Kent St.
Saint Paul, MN  55102
View map »


Sponsor: Schubert Club
Telephone: 651-292-3268
Website »

More information

Cost: Free

Where:
Simon Arena
29100 Harry Ave
Cannon Falls, WI  55009
View map »


Sponsor: Orchard Rangers Saddle Club
Telephone: 612-590-1621
Contact Name: Raven Flores

More information

For the past decade Penumbra’s RACE Workshops have opened transformative dialogue among thousands of participants. Join our skilled facilitators and artists as we demonstrate the power of theatre...

Cost: $20

Where:
Penumbra Theatre
270 North Kent Street
St Paul, MN  55102
View map »

More information

Get crafty with the designer of mini golf hole #15, Gramma's Living Room, Sarah Stone! Come sift through Sarah's curious collection of vintage photos, retro ads, old books and recycled record...

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
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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
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Sponsor: Can Can Wonderland
Telephone: (651) 925-2261
Contact Name: Can Can Wonderland
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  Town Hall Brewery is getting ready to roll out the barrels! The brewery’s annual Barrel-Aged Week is February 18-24, and will include a big roster of boozy barrel-aged beers, limited release...

Cost: $10

Where:
Town Hall Brewery
1430 S Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN  55454
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January 26 - March 2, 2019 Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2019 Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Sponsor: Groveland Gallery
Telephone: 612-377-7800
Contact Name: Sarah Johnson
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Fascinators, a SPOTLIGHT exhibition of prints by Ellen Heck, opens January 26 at Groveland Gallery. Heck grew up in Austin, TX and studied printmaking at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago....

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Telephone: 612-377-7800
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2018 McKnight Ceramic Artist Fellows Brett Freund (Minneapolis) & Donovan Palmquist (Farmington) will each give a presentation about their work and development as an artist, and then share two...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis, MN  55406
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Telephone: 612-339-8007
Contact Name: Northern Clay Center
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The World Bird Sanctuary from St. Louis, Missouri will be coming to Carpenter Nature Center to present a captivating education program about birds of prey from around the world. Meet seven of the...

Cost: $10 per person or $7 for 'Friends of CNC'

Where:
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center
12805 St. Croix Trail
Hastings, MN  55033
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Sponsor: World Bird Sanctuary
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Support local artists and small businesses at BlackStack Brewing. The last Saturday of every month we bring you a wonderful selection of local artists, crafters, and makers all loosely curated...

Cost: free

Where:
BlackStack Brewing
755 Prior Avenue North
Saint Paul, MN  55104
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Sponsor: Prior Affair
Contact Name: Prior Affair
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Are you ready for our February Frenzy?  Each time we have a fully booked workshop in February, participants in that workshop will be eligible to win some fabulous giveaways! Prizes may include...

Cost: 59.00 and up

Where:
Sawdust Savvy
324 S Main Street
Suite 7
Stillwater, MN  55082
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Sponsor: Sawdust Savvy
Telephone: 651-705-6614
Contact Name: Annie or Lindsay
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Kid Filmmakers Creatively Retell Great Books in 90 Seconds or Less Be part of the fifth annual Minnesota screening of the top films submitted by kid moviemakers to the 90-Second Newbery Film...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hennepin County Library-Minneapolis Central
300 Nicollet Mall
Pohlad Hall
, MN  55401
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Sponsor: Minnesota Department of Education, State Library Services
Telephone: 651-582-8604
Contact Name: Leah Larson
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Groveland Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Circling Back, an exhibit of new paintings by Joshua Cunningham. A Minnesota native from rural Isanti County, Cunningham currently lives and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN  55403
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Telephone: 612-377-7800
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WHO: Twin Cities Invitational – a community supporting mental and physical health through social interaction, music, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. WHAT: Purple Belt Absolute, Submission Only...

Cost: 35

Where:
Pourhouse Uptown
2923 Girard Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN  55408
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Sponsor: Twin Cities Invitational
Telephone: 715-651-9621
Contact Name: TCI Press Team
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Éigse [eg-shuh] is an Irish word used for festivals celebrating traditional Irish arts and culture. It is in this spirit that we gather for an evening to raise funds for The Center for Irish...

Cost: $85.00 - Traditional Irish dinner, silent auction reception, and concert featuri

Where:
The Celtic Junction Arts Center
836 Prior Ave. N
St. Paul, MN  55104
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Sponsor: The Center for Irish Music
Telephone: 651-815-0083
Contact Name: Aja Beers
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Gala4Goals is the premier annual fundraising event of The Sanneh Foundation, attracting more than 1,200 people each year! It's an exciting evening of entertainment and community, as well as an...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Saint Paul RiverCentre
175 West Kellogg Boulevard Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN  55102
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Sponsor: The Sanneh Foundation
Telephone: 651-690-4855
Contact Name: Paul Vang
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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
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Sponsor: Can Can Wonderland
Telephone: (651) 925-2261
Contact Name: Can Can Wonderland
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Jazba 2019 is the fifth-annual, Bollywood-Fusion dance competition hosted by Jazba Entertainment in Minneapolis. Now in its fifth year, teams will be competing for a bid to attend North...

Cost: $60 (VIP), $15, $5 (U of M students)

Where:
Northrop
84 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN  55455
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Telephone: 612-624-2345
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February 9-March 30, 2019 | Opening Reception: February 9, 6-8 pm The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery proudly presents an exhibition by two Minnesota artists: ceramicist Monica Rudquist and her...

Cost: free

Where:
The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105
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Telephone: 651-690-6644
Contact Name: Nicole Watson, Gallery Director
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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
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Sponsor: Gallery13
Telephone: 651-582-5503
Contact Name: Stephen Sugarman
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DISCOVER GENEROSITY! The Great King is seeking a Queen worthy of the realm. Mufaro journeys to the King with his two daughters, certain that one of them will be chosen. Discover that beauty is not...

Cost: $12 - $18

Where:
SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development
55 Victoria Street N
St. Paul, MN  55104
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Sponsor: SteppingStone Theatre for Youth
Telephone: 515-520-7428
Contact Name: Kivan Kirk
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Flashlight Tours are back… with a twist. First, you will need to be 21 or older to be on the tour. This is not a tour for kids. As part of your cost for admission, guests will receive a branded...

Cost: 30

Where:
Glensheen Mansion
3300 London Road
Duluth, MN  55804
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  Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Cost: $12-$18

Where:
Beverly and John Lord Knight Performance Hall
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
3003 Snelling Ave N
St. Paul, MN  55113
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FLOWERS FOR THE ROOM | a new musical book by Jessica Lind Peterson lyrics by Blake Thomas music by Blake Thomas and Matt Riehle directed by Jason Peterson musical direction by Matt Riele...

Cost: $23-$27

Where:
Yellow Tree Theatre
320 Fifth Avenue SE
Osseo, MN  55369
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Sponsor: Yellow Tree Theatre
Telephone: 763-493-8733
Contact Name: MacKenzie McCullum
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The musical comedy that's “touchingly beautiful… heartrending and hilarious” (Say Entirely) has become a Twin Cities Valentine's tradition and is returning for a 5th season at Art House North...

Cost: Tickets: $20-$27 (Discounts available)

Where:
Art House North
793 Armstrong Ave.
Saint Paul, MN  55102
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Sponsor: Bucket Brigade
Telephone: 612-547-9839
Contact Name: Jeremiah Gamble
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Love makes a family. Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, his lover, his about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and...

Cost: $117-34, subject to change

Where:
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN  55102
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Telephone: 651-224-4222
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Winner of the 1943 Pulitzer Prize, this theatrical masterpiece by Thornton Wilder is an optimistic tribute to the invincibility of the human spirit. Meet the Antrobus family of contemporary and...

Cost: $20 - $60

Where:
Park Square Theatre
Proscenium Stage
20 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN  55102
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Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651.291.7005
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By Ifa Bayeza A world premiere Directed by Talvin Wilks A small, segregated town is about to be turned upside down as fate brings a young boy from Chicago to a candy counter in Money,...

Cost: Adult $40; Senior 62+ with ID $20; Student with ID $15

Where:
Penumbra Theatre
270 N Kent St.
St Paul, MN  55102
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The story begins with a motionless tableau, the actors frozen in mid-action, their faces conjuring an ancient frieze. At the snap of fingers, the spell is broken and the statues spring to...

Cost: $20 - $60

Where:
Park Square Theatre
Andy Boss Thrust Stage
20 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN  55102
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Sponsor: Park Square Theatre
Telephone: 651.291.7005
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