Your Weekend What-To-Do Guide

Hungry films, CD-release parties, and the pursuit of “The Happy Show”

Well, we know you won’t be going to the Twins game—at least not tonight (you’ll be going twice tomorrow, if you care to). But if you’re into music, there’s no shortage of local bands putting out their platters, most notably pop-rocker Jeremy Messersmith, who releases The Reluctant Graveyard tonight at the Cedar Cultural Center. The Honeydogs are also back from a long hiatus, releasing a “Best Of” CD at First Avenue on Saturday.

Dance fans will want to head to see TU Dance at the Southern Theater, along with everyone who doesn’t yet know they’re a dance fan—this is the winning beauty of TU Dance.

Food fans—that should be all of us—should check out the final weekend of “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” at Minnesota Film Arts. Over at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, the organizers of Women Stand Up nights for female comedians are hosting their first female comic film contest on Saturday.

Happiness fans–that should also be all of us–consider Live Action Set’s “The Happy Show,” ongoing at Bedlam Theatre (after which you can check out the Bella Koshka CD release party tonight). The show takes over the entire theater, leading viewers from room to room in a kind of choose-your-own-adventure play.

Here’s even more:

1. F.R.E.S.H.

When: 7 to 10 p.m., Friday, May 7

Where: Altered Esthetics (1224 Quincy Street N.E., Mpls.)

Cost: Free

What: If you’re feeling contemporary this weekend, or just looking to get your tagging skills up to snuff, head on over to Altered Esthetics to catch the opening reception of F.R.E.S.H. The exhibit features dozens of artists and their works of graffiti. The art will cover a broad range of categories, with works influenced by hip-hop and punk rock music to guerilla art and murals. Local artist Rogue Citizen will paint live at the reception, while the event itself—lasting until May 29—gives you a chance to ponder the origins of, inner meanings of, and public reactions toward, the art around you. Don’t forget your spray cans!

2. Taylor Swift

When: 7 p.m., Friday, May 7

Where: Xcel Energy Center (175 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul)

Cost: $27, $51.50 and $61.50           

What: We all knew there was something special about this 19-year-old country girl when she let herself be drenched by a make-shift waterfall during her live performance at the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards. Water antics aside, however, is this southern belle worth the cost of admission? If you asked America, the answer would be a resounding “Yee-haw!” Swift launched the U.S. leg of the sequel to her sold out 2009 tour in Tampa on March 4. Her “Fearless 2010” tour hits St. Paul this Friday. Parents with daughters: looking for an evening alone? Hit up the ATM for $50, kiss the girls goodbye, and start making dinner plans.


3. Cinco de Mayo Celebration

When: 4 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 7 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 8

Where: District del Sol (176 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul)

Cost: Free           

What: Just because the fifth of May fell on a Wednesday doesn’t mean we can’t still party about it on the weekend, right? That’s where District del Sol’s annual Cinco de Mayo weekend celebration comes in. Get revved up at the low-rider car show Friday afternoon and stick around to catch live music throughout the six-block fest grounds. Let your taste buds exercise their democracy during the People’s Choice Salsa contest on Friday, and be sure to get to the fest grounds early on Saturday for the start of the must-see Cinco de Mayo parade.


4. The Outsiders

When: 1 p.m., Saturday, May 8

Where: Stages Theatre Company (1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins)

Cost: $15

What: Ponyboy. Sodapop. The Greasers. The Socs. And who can forget Dally? Adapted from the classic S.E. Hinton book comes Stages Theatre Company’s presentation of “The Outsiders.” The performance is ideal for kids aged 12 and up and focuses on life situations young people in the city deal with as they find their way in the world we live in. The drama will be performed in the more intimate setting of Hopkins Jaycees Studio. Offering both entertainment and a chance to provoke valuable discussion with your kids, “The Outsiders” is a perfect way to pass a Saturday afternoon.


5. Iron Bartender

When: 8 p.m., Sunday, May 9

Where: Hell’s Kitchen (80 S. 9th St., Mpls.)

Cost: Free

What: Inspired by the Food Network’s popular Iron Chef, this live battle of elixir mixers pits 16 duos of local bartenders against each other. Bartenders will have to concoct a trio of drinks—including a shot, cocktail, and martini—using a secret ingredient that is unveiled at the start of each round. The often-creative ingredients at Hell’s Kitchen promise for some unusually spirited drinks. For onlookers, drinks are on special throughout the evening, with amateur competitions breaking out between rounds. The competition goes through June 20, when the last duo standing will be crowned the winners—I promise it won’t be Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown.