Weekend Best Bets: April 6-8

This weekend around the Twin Cities, bike to breweries, check out a flamenco-filled drama, stop in at animal-filled bookstore Wild Rumpus, and more

Friday, April 6

Bike to Beers, then Boom Island

What: Bike to the Breweries
When: 7 p.m.
Where: HeadFlyer Brewing Co., 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Don’t let the snow tell you otherwise: April kicks off biking season, and 30 Days of Biking organizes rides throughout the month. Every Friday, the team pushes off to breweries around the Twin Cities as part of its Bike the Breweries series. To christen their first weekend, the destination is HeadFlyer Brewing Co. in Minneapolis, right next to Five Watt Coffee for a pick-me-up and food. After wetting your lips, head to a campfire bash on Boom Island. Of course: dress for the weather, bring boots for Boom Island, haul campfire contributions if you can—but mostly just bring your self, go at a casual pace, and meet fellow Twin Cities bikers as our interminable winter begins to thaw (…right?). Learn more.

Flamenco against Fascism

What: Garden of Names
When: 8 p.m.
Where: The Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Inspired by the propulsive, romantic Spanish dance form of flamenco, the new, original show Garden of Names—by Susani di Palma, founder of Minneapolis’ Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre—stages the novel Imagining Argentina, about those who disappeared under 1970s Argentina’s violent dictatorship. Zorongo, one of the few Spanish-influenced dance companies in the country to present traditional flamenco programs in addition to original works of theater, focuses on life rather than death, honoring those lost by planting a metaphorical garden of memories. Internationally acclaimed flamenco dancers take the stage to visualize “the imagination’s power to fight injustice.” Learn more.

Saturday, April 7

Spring Reading

What: I GOT IT! and Until Tomorrow, Mrs. Marsworth
When: 11 a.m.
Where: Wild Rumpus, 2720 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis
Wild Rumpus is ideal lazy-afternoon territory: a cozy, bric-a-brac’d children’s-book store where animals—cats, birds, a floppy chicken—prowl and sing. In the morning, three-time winner of one of the nation’s most prestigious picture-book awards David Wiesner stops by to read from his new book I GOT IT!, about “the few nerve-wracking seconds between when a batter hits the ball and the catch is made.” Later, at 2 p.m., Minnesota Book Award winner Sheila O’Connor reads from her new YA chapter book about a girl’s unlikely relationship with her reclusive neighbor. Bring your kid, and hit up one of the cafés in the Linden Hills neighborhood of southwest Minneapolis. Learn more.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner—Again

What: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 South Second St., Minneapolis
Along with its new show Familiar, this month the Guthrie has staged two stories that turn over questions of race and culture against the backdrop of a biracial wedding. This weekend, the original debuts: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, about an African-American doctor who tries to win the blessings of his white girlfriend’s supposedly liberal parents in 1960s San Francisco. Originally a film, this witty domestic drama digs into prejudice, whereas Familiar, closing its run next week, focused on cultural assimilation. Decide for yourself how Guess Who’s Coming remains relevant today—as the characters expose their true feelings on the exposed Wurtele Thrust Stage. Learn more.

Sunday, April 8

Shakespeare for Dummies

What: Something Rotten!
When: 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
Where: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
The short run of Something Rotten! in the WeDo Cultural District ends this weekend. The premise: Two playwrights in Elizabethan England languish in the shadow of drama giant Willy Shakespeare before a soothsayer tips them off to “the next big thing” in theater—Broadway. That means the bard’s old chestnuts get a little of that razzle-dazzle as the mediocre duo stages the world’s very first musical. In the vein of Monty Python’s mugging, historically minded, comedic song-and-dance spectacles, Something Rotten! nods to all the musical tropes, parodying Sweet Charity, filling up on flashily obnoxious, never-ending chorus numbers, and retaining enough sequined sincerity for diehards of classic Broadway. Learn more.

The Birth of Tap Dance

What: Five Points
When: 2 p.m.
Where: The Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis
A high-stakes musical story about rival New York City dancers (not West Side Story) sees its debut at Minneapolis’ Ritz Theater (previews this weekend): Masterful African-American rug-cutter Willie Lane and jig-happy Irish-American John Diamond birthed tap amid their fierce, improvised dance duels. Named after a section of the city where gangs divided close quarters during the fractious mid-way point of the Civil War, Five Points features a history-steeped story by local writer Harrison David Rivers, galvanizing music by New York songwriting duo Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar, and a swaggering cast directed by Theater Latté Da’s Peter Rothstein. Learn more.

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