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Events

An Impaler Christmas, ‘Die Hard’ in Two Forms, Santas on Bikes: This Week’s Best Events

Nothing like a little chaos and carnage to get you into the holiday spirit.

Impaler: Sending Keith Christmas cards for over two decades.
Impaler

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Credit: Charley Crockett

TUESDAY 11.29

Charley Crockett

First Avenue

This Texas tale-teller keeps plenty busy: The Man From Waco is the man from San Benito’s 11th album in seven years, and it sure sounds like a breakthrough of sorts. He’s got an old-timey drifter’s perspective (the title track even is a murder ballad), though he makes room for a clever ditty about drugs on the range (“Cowboy Candy”) and “Tom Turkey” completes a ’70s Dylan outtake. There’s a folk-like concision to his writing and a warmth to his voice that keeps things contemporary–or timeless, if you insist. But what really sets him apart from other worthy folk troubadours is that he mixes up the rhythms. There’s more to music than singing and songwriting, after all. With Greyhounds. $35. 8 p.m. 701 N. First Ave.; find more info here. –Keith Harris

Credit: 'Gremlins,' (1984)
Christmas movies from the ’80s were kinda unhinged.

THURSDAY 12.1

Die Hard is a Xmas Movie and 4 Other Films

The Parkway Theater

You can only see A Christmas Story, Home Alone, or It’s a Wonderful Life so many times before your brain melts. But how often do you get into the spirit of the season watching Gremlins? Well, maybe you should. We live in odd times, so you might as well make the movie choices weird, too. Parkway’s untraditional take on the holiday series kicks off this week with that Joe Dante classic about a cute little Mogwai that multiplies when wet and turns into an evil lizard-thing if it eats after midnight. This is an ‘80s movie, so there will be puppets (but definitely no Muppets). The following week, we have Bad Santa, where Billy Bob Thornton plays a drunk horny mall Santa who learns the spirit of Christmas by being kinda nice to a kid he’s scamming. Next is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, a classic that brought us memorable quotes like, “Shitter’s full!” Then there’s Die Hard, an action flick about a cop who crawls through a ventilation system to save his (also bad-ass) estranged wife from an eeeevil Alan Rickman. The series caps off with Love Actually, a rom-com about cheating. Each week, the fun kicks off an hour before showtime, with special activities that include a Santa costume contest, a pre-movie debate, and live music. $9 advance/$12 at the door; $45 series pass. 7 p.m. activity; 8 p.m. showtime Thursdays through December 29. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

Live Band Karaoke

Inbound BrewCo

We love karaoke, don’t we folks? What if we told you a certain Minneapolis brewery regularly hosts karaoke with live musical accompaniment? At Inbound this week, you can live out your famous front person dreams thanks to local band A Little Too Short To Be Stormtroopers. They’ve got a repertoire spanning genres and decades, so there’s a darn good chance your go-to bring-down-the-house number is among the options. (May we recommend “Chattahoochee”?) And they’ll have tacos from La Tortilla Catering Food Truck from 5-8 p.m. so you can fuel your performance. Free. 7 p.m. 701 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis. –Em Cassel

A Very Die Hard Christmas

Bryant-Lake Bowl

Yeah, that’s right. I’m talking about Die Hard twice this week. But this annual holiday production has been going on for yeeeears, and has truly become its own holiday beast. Here Die Hard is merely the frame that holds that story together, following NYC cop John McClane as he single-handedly takes down a group of German terrorists holding his estranged wife and Japanese business men hostage. As he makes his way through the L.A. skyscraper, audiences are treated to a mashup of just about every iconic holiday flick, with callbacks, improv, music, and chaos, plus a visit from Santa who’s ready to kick ass. The cast includes regulars Josh Carson (tank topped, raspy-voiced, and bloody), Anna Weggel, Brad Erickson, Matt Sciple, Leslie Vincent, and Duck Washington, with Kelsey Laurel and Aron Woldeslassie debuting this year. Get ready to feel warm and festive (and also buzzed; they serve a full bar in the theater) as you watch Hans Gruber fall from the great heights of the BLB’s tiny stage. Christmas vengeance is so heartwarming! $25. Shows are generally 8 or 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays; check bryantlakebowl.com/theater for the complete schedule. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis. Through December 22 –Jessica Armbruster

Credit: Scream It Offscreen
Are you screaming yet?

FRIDAY 12.2

Scream It Off Screen: Holiday Special

Parkway Theater

In many cultures, it is traditional to begin a new year by gathering together to shout at movies [citation needed]. OK, well, anyway, maybe it should be. If you’ve never been to Scream It Off Screen at the Parkway (happens every first Friday of the month), it’s… well, a scream. The rules are simple: The organizers accept movie submissions, then they screen each (un-previewed) piece until people in the audience have had enough and shout for it to end. (If you happen to have a completed film to submit, by the way, today is the deadline.) The film that lasts the longest wins. It’s democracy in action, and how often do you get to scream in public like that? Almost never! Tonight’s holiday edition may or may not feature cookies, organizers tease, though it’ll certainly feature a deathmatch between Christmastime shorts of varying quality. $10-$12. 7 p.m. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris

Tommy Bayer

Comedy Corner Underground

Minneapolis-launched, Brooklyn-based comic Tommy Bayer has a knack for cracking the viral comedy code. He did so last year with this Auto-Tuned TikTok clip about coin hassles (1 million views), and again this past summer with a PB&J parody of Hulu hit The Bear (5 million views). Energetic and baby-faced, Bayer first hit Twin Cities stages five years ago with an act that felt fully formed (“I’m cool with the kissing, I don’t need [to have sex]… When I’m kissing a girl I feel like Rudy from the movie Rudy; like I’m happy to be on the team, you don’t have to put me in the game.”) He’s only gotten better. $15. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Credit: Santa Cycle Rampage
Hey, Santa costumes are pretty warm…

SATURDAY 12.3

Santa Cycle Rampage 2022

It’s December, and you know what that means: It’s time to put on a Santa costume and tear around the Twin Cities by bike! The ninth annual MSP Santa Cycle Rampage will kick off from The Loop food hall and, per the results of this year’s poll (democracy in action!), take participating cyclists to Dangerous Man, 56 Brewing, Bauhaus Brew Labs, Minneapolis Cider Company, and Fulton. Throw a little tinsel on your top tube, pop a Santa hat over your helmet, and drink some beer while spreading Christmas cheer. Even if you don’t ride, the bar crowd at any of these locations should make for festive tomfoolery today. Find all the event info here. 10 a.m. Free. 606 N. Washington Ave. #100, Minneapolis. –Em Cassel

Impaler Presents Merry Krampus 2022

Hook and Ladder

Impaler is the reason for the season. For nearly 40 years, bloodthirsty frontman Bill Lindsey has kept the spirit of UHF Saturday afternoon horror flicks and trashy no-nonsense hard rock alive in St. Paul. The band (whose lineup has shifted plenty over the years without majorly overhauling its sound) even still records occasionally—The Great Hereafter, in 2020, gave us great punny titles “These Ghoulish Things” and, of course, the updated holiday standard “Krampus Has Returned.” That fearsome European X-mas demon, the bane of all misbehaving children, promises to make an appearance at the show held in his honor tonight. And Lindsey’s a thoughtful (thoughtghoul?) guy too—I wrote about Impaler like 25 years ago and he still sends me a Christmas card every year. I don’t even remember to send cards to my own family. (Hope Krampus doesn’t read this and punishes me.) With Plague of Stars and VolsungaSaga. $10/$15. 8 p.m. 3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis; see more info here.—Keith Harris 

Credit: Union Depot

Tree Lighting and Movie Night

Union Depot

This weekend, the Union Depot is celebrating 10 years since reopening after its major renovation. Since then, the space has been home to a variety of shops, bars, and restaurants, and hosted festivals, weekly yoga sessions, movie nights, and, yes, train rides. Saturday’s daylong celebration kicks off at 3 p.m. in the Waiting Room, where guests will be treated to tons of freebies, including commemorative gifts, hot cider, and live music. At 5 p.m., the Saint Paul Winter Carnival will reveal its 2023 button, followed by kids’ activities and a festive concert from The Mistletones. At 7 p.m., head out to the North Plaza for the big tree lighting, which will be followed by what organizers are calling a “short but thrilling fireworks display.” Inside, at 7:30 p.m., the event finishes back in the Waiting Room, which will be screening millennial holiday fav Elf. Added bonus: During all of this the European Christmas Market will be up and running, offering old world shopping, traditional eats, and hot mulled wine for sale. All events are completely free. 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul. –Jessica Armbruster

Ugly Sweater and Ornament Party

 Minnesota African American Heritage Museum & Gallery

In 2018, just ahead of the pandemic, MAAHMG opened in north Minneapolis with a mission of providing essential history and insight into the “achievements, contributions, and experiences” of African American Minnesotans. If you’ve not visited and have kids, this super fun holiday event is the perfect excuse to check it out. Supplies for ornament making will be provided, as will cookies and festive tunes. The ugliest of the ugly sweaters attendees are encouraged to wear means they’re eligible for a grand prize. Free. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1256 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Whitney

Fine Line

At this point, Whitney has been as long and surpassed the popularity of Smith Westerns, the ‘10s glammy indie-rock band from whose ashes it rose. Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich have mastered a formula of arty, falsetto-rich folk that summons Bon Iver or Bonnie “Prince” Billy, but with added flourishes of throwback soul and playful jazz. On their fourth and latest album, Spark, the Chicago band went in a glossier, funkier, bleepier, and bloopier direction, eliciting mixed reviews from critics. Squirrel Flower opens this Fine Line show, which was relocated from First Ave’s Mainroom. $27.50-$42.50. 8 p.m. 318 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Credit: Dusty Hoskovec Photography
Holidazzle

ONGOING

Holidazzle

Loring Park

Holidazzle was once an illuminated parade that ran through downtown Minneapolis. But, like many things that have been around for decades, a few years ago it had to pivot and transform. These days, the event is a festival in Loring Park. Each weekend, there’s a ton of stuff to see and do. A few of their greatest hits include a carousel, a 17-foot-tall illuminated Yeti sculpture, and a beer garden, where you can enjoy wifi and brew and seltzers from Fulton. Kids can enjoy a playground area plus visits from Santa, while teens and grownups might get a kick out of weekly drag bingo. There will also be dog-friendly fun, live music, local artists and makers, and fireworks every Saturday evening. Find the complete schedule here. Free. 5-9 p.m. Fridays; noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. Through December 18–Jessica Armbruster

European Christmas Market

Union Depot

Yeah, Americans know how to decorate a mall real fancy, but Europeans definitely trump us with their classy, old world-style markets. The best attempt at one of these in the Twin Cities is at the Union Depot, where the festive European Christmas Market offers wholesome fun each winter. Events take place indoors and outdoors each weekend, with plenty to see and do. Traditional eats available for purchase include baklava, raclette, pierogi, spätzle, brats, and Glühwein (aka mulled wine). Shop from local and international vendors selling wooden toys, glass ornaments, and other giftables. Traditional music, dance, and other entertainment rounds out the event. Check out stpaulchristmasmarket.org for more info. 4-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. 240 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Through December 18–Jessica Armbruster

Gingerbread Wonderland

Norway House 

The biggest cookie village in town returns this winter to Norway House. Each year, 250 or so pieces come together, creating a sweet-smelling wonderland for all to explore. Creations range from cozy cabins in the snow to multi-story abodes topped with icing, to familiar Twin Cities structures, to incredibly complex recreations of historical landmarks. The neighborhood includes submissions from creative kids, artsy hobbyists, and professional bakers, making it a really cool variety of skill, technique, and imagination. Find tickets and more information at norwayhouse.org/gbw2022. $10; $5 members; free for kids under 12. Noon to 4:00pm Sun. and Tue.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. 913 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. Through January 8–Jessica Armbruster

Georgina & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley 

Jungle Theater

Jane Austen may have only written one Pride and Prejudice, but thanks to public domain and a still-active fanbase the Darcys and Bennets continue to entertain us with wacky hijinks and biting social commentary via Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s nationally lauded plays. First there was Miss Bennet, which followed bookish middle sibling Mary as she sought love and intellectual stimulation, next The Wickhams took a look at that same story via the perspectives of the servants behind the scenes. Georgina & Kitty, the final installment in the series, follows the youngest Darcy and Bennet sisters as they plan for their futures, hope for love, and deepen their friendship. 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through December 23 –Jessica Armbruster

Paul Chan: Breathers

Walker Art Center

Can those inflatable tube guys used to drive people to sales be art? If it’s in the Walker Art Center then, yes, it can. But that would be oversimplifying the work of Paul Chen, a Hong Kong-born, Nebraska-raised, NYC-based writer, publisher, and artist. In the ‘90s and ‘00s, Chan garnered attention releasing videos, animations, fonts, and more, often for free on his website, nationalphilistine.com. These pieces explored pleasure, war, politics, and human interactions. But by 2009, he had burned out, tired of looking at a screen. Relatable. Five years later, after a brief, you know, “breather,” he found a new way to explore movement and meaning without a computer, instead using physics, fabrics, and fans to create shapes that move about in interesting ways (and, thankfully, won’t try to sell you a car).  You can see these kinetic sculptures at the Walker; the show will also include some video installations as well as pieces from his publishing company, Badlands Unlimited, which releases poetry, erotica, artists’ writings, and more. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through July 16, 2023 –Jessica Armbruster

Harriet Bart: Reckoning

NewStudio Gallery

“We live in a broken world,” warns Harriet Bart. “‘Reckoning’ is a cautionary tale.” This time, the St. Paul-based, international artist cautions us through creating a unique, site-specific space filled with a variety of items. Some hold cultural significance (a bronze owl, a model of a barn), some have been found in nature (a burl, animal bones), and others have been tampered with in-studio (a gold-leaf embossed stone). Will you be able to decipher and heed the warning? 2303 Wycliff St., St. Paul. Through December 3 –Jessica Armbruster

Rosy Simas Danse: She Who Lives on the Road to War

Weisman Art Museum/All My Relations Arts

Part art installation, part dance performance, She Who Lives on the Road to War examines potential paths to a peaceful future via indigenous history. The exhibit’s title is inspired by the life of Jigonhsasee, an ancient Haudenosaunee woman, known as the Mother of Nations, who once touted war between tribes but eventually changed her ways and advocated for peace. Can you imagine what that kind of turnaround would look like in today’s world? That’s kind of the point of this show, which encourages people to rest, grieve, and “consider how we can all work towards reconciliation during the dual pandemics of systematic racism and COVID-19.” You can see installations at both WAM and All My Relations Arts, and both venues will host dance performances during the show’s run. RSVP for free tickets and find the entire performance schedule here. Weisman Art Museum’s (333 E. River Rd., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis) show runs through February 5, while events at All My Relations (1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis) are through December 15. –Jessica Armbruster

We Are Working All the Time

Weisman Art Museum

Polish-born, Minneapolis-based artist Piotr Szyhalski creates posters that look like propaganda. But instead of promoting patriotism, he challenges the status quo, as his pieces proclaim things like, “Seek Truth From Facts,” “Rise Up!,” and “I can’t Breathe. If It’s No Covid, It’s the Police.” Szyhalski has been exploring “extreme historical phenomena” – think wars, labor movements, and protests against bad world leaders – since the ‘90s. In 2020, Szyhalski was set to have a retrospective exhibition at WAM. That show, of course, had to be postponed when the pandemic hit – an extreme historical phenomenon! During that time of lockdown and chaos, he entered another creative era, posting a new hand-drawn poster every day for 225 days. The resulting project, “COVID 19: Labor Camp Report,” was a hit, not just locally but internationally, with many pieces going viral. You can see some of these efforts in “We Are Working All the Time,” an epic exhibition showcasing Szyhalski’s 40-plus years of work, which includes posters, plates, installation, media, and other curious items. 333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis. Through December 31–Jessica Armbruster