Weekend Best Bets for January 21-23

A to-do list of sorts for events happening around the cities.

Friday, January 21

Laugh riot

WHAT: The Brouhaha Comedy Festival
WHERE: Southern Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 6, 7:30, and 9 p.m.
Running January 19 through the 23rd, the first annual festival of short plays, sketch comedy, and more features many of the top comic actors and actresses from the Guthrie Theater and elsewhere, including Sarah Agnew, Jim Lichtscheidl, Kimberly and Sara Richardson, and others. Find a schedule at southerntheater.org

Friday, January 21

World pop

WHAT: Angélique Kidjo
WHERE: The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
The queen of Afro-pop returns with a new slate of songs embracing rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, and Beninese influences. As usual, it’s as deeply connected to West Africa as pop music, as is her philanthropy, which comes across in her tours—she’ll perform school shows before her Ordway concert. Learn more at ordway.org

Saturday, January 22

World’s best singer?

WHAT: Dawn Upshaw joins the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
WHERE: United Church of Christ, St. Paul
WHEN: 8 p.m.
A very rare opportunity to hear Dawn Upshaw, perhaps the world’s finest, most versatile soprano, in a rather intimate setting with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. They’ll perform Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons, folk songs by Bartók, and Berio’s folk songs. Learn more at thespco.org

Saturday, January 22

Hockey heaven

WHAT: U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
WHERE: Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The greatest indoor hockey players may be at the Xcel Energy Center, but the best on lake ice will be competing all weekend at Lake Nokomis. Head out to watch or bring your skates for open skating at a designated rink. Learn more at uspondhockey.com

Sunday, January 23

The great adventure

WHAT: Park Square Theatre’s The Odyssey
WHERE: Park Square Theatre, St. Paul
WHEN: 2 p.m.
Guthrie regular J.C. Cutler is Odysseus in this brand-new, locally written version of the original epic, The Odyssey, backed up by a large cast of rising stars including Sasha Andreev. More than an adventure, it follows Odysseus’s wife as she fights the urge to give up on the world, and his son as he wrestles with his journey to adulthood. Learn more at parksquaretheatre.org

Sunday, January 23

Dessa debuts

WHAT: Dessa: 416 Club Commissions
WHERE: The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7 p.m.
For all of $5, you can hear singer-songwriter Dessa debut a new commission from the Cedar, her vibrant voice joined by bassist Sean McPherson, pianist Kahil Queen, and a flamenco percussion quartet. Learn more at thecedar.org