Weekend Best Bets: March 29-31

Lowertown’s pop-up market, a new IPA, a pancake feast, and more around the Twin Cities
See the boyz at the Ordway

Courtesy Boyz II Men


What: Better Selves Release Party
When: Friday, 3/29, 6 p.m.
Where: Able Seedhouse + Brewery, 1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis

To launch a delicate, hazy new IPA in style, Able Seedhouse + Brewery enlists Mike Munson and Big Lake for live music, with barbecue from Animales Barbecue Co. and a live art installation. The name “Better Selves” comes from William Wordsworth. The Romantic poet forged his self in nature and solitude, but we’ll enjoy this weather with friends, thanks. Learn more.

Mayday for MayDay

What: The Joy of MayDay
When: Friday, 3/29, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Avalon Theater, 1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

The MayDay Parade—an annual spring cavalcade of crazy puppets that has traipsed through Powderhorn Park since 1975, run by In the Heart of the Beat Puppet and Mask Theatre—is in trouble. Without proper funding or infrastructure, they might call it quits after this year. Cue: a red-carpet shindig ringing in year 45 while raising money. Check out Children of Spring, a debut short film tracing the parade’s legacy; a puppet cabaret; live music by the Changeups; food and drink; and more. Learn more.

The Polar Core-Flex

What: Fresh Take
When: 3/29-30, 8 p.m.; 3/31, 3 p.m.
Where: The Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

January was dire enough to inspire dance. Two original works usher in spring for James Sewell Ballet: “Body Beats,” putting parts of the same body in competing motions; and “Thaw,” by lauded New York City choreographer Gabrielle Lamb—the result of the local company combing through more than 50 applicants. Lamb drew from her time in Minneapolis during the polar vortex. “I narrowed in on the magic of snow swirling through a streelight’s beam, the vividness of a child’s red coat against the white snow, and the beauty of steam rolling across a blue sky,” she said in a press release. Learn more.

Pop-Up Lowertown

What: Lowertown Pop Market
When: Saturday, 3/30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Union Depot, St. Paul

Commence market season. At Union Depot, more than 40 local artisans set up shop in breezy spring fashion. They include bakers, visual artists, distillers, specialty vendors. Shop Sassy Farmgirl Soaps by Olivia, clothes by the Mad Owl Shop, accessories by Happy Everything MN, crafts by Carver Junk Company, food and drink by B&E’s Trees Maple Syrup and Big Watt Coffee. Chef Earl’s BBQ sells sandwiches. Calvit’s Shrubs provides specialty cocktails. Plus, there’s live music. Learn more.

The Instagram of Dorian Gray

What: The Picture of Dorian Gray
When: 3/29-4/7, 2 or 7:30 p.m.
Where: Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul

Oscar Wilde might’ve smirked at this stage adaptation of his defining novel—set in modern-day New York City, starring an all-women cast. Dorian Gray is a social-media starlet whose meteoric fame threatens to burn out with age. So, she sets the eternal-youth plot in motion. Presented by Minneapolis’ Collide Theatrical, with a foot in jazz dance. Learn more.

From Tree Sap to Tasting

What: MapleFest Pancake Feast
When: 3/30, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska

Sue Z.’s event roundup for March includes an all-you-can-eat feast of pancakes and bacon, with Arboretum-produced syrup, Bloody Marys and mimosas, and tours. Read more here.

Cool Jazz

What: Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival
When: Sunday, 3/31, 2-7:30 p.m.
Where: Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, 6161 Hwy. 65 NE, Minneapolis

It’s not the Twin Cities’ biggest jazz fest—that one’s on June 20-22. But this chillier jam sesh does support its big brother with all proceeds. Two stages feature headliner Gary Bartz with Francisco Mela, and local legends include Debbie Duncan and Patty Peterson’s Jazz Women All Stars. Learn more.

Men II Legendz

What: Boyz II Men
When: Sunday, 3/31, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Ordway, 345 Washington St., St. Paul

The Grammy-winning R&B group that inspired today’s top acts, from Timberlake to Beyoncé, brings “End of the Road,” “One Sweet Day,” I’ll Make Love to You,” and more hits to St. Paul for one night. Learn more.