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Holidazzle, ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’: This Week’s Best Events

Plus heartwarming Christmas movie 'Die Hard,' Chicano Batman at First Avenue, and the Hamm's Bear celebrates with beer.


Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of recommended things to do. This week the holidays are in full swing with festive movies, bar crawls, and artists’ markets.

You can also find music listings here and upcoming film screenings here (scroll down to the bottom of the post).


J.D. McPherson

Cedar Cultural Center

Rock ‘n’ roll revivalists may be a dime a dozen, but hey, back in the era that retro stylists like J.D. McPherson revisit, a dime could buy you a loaf of bread. McPherson’s got a well-schooled rhythm section linked to his pumpin' left hand and sings in a vibrant jump-blues-ready voice ideal for his slight lyrical twists on old styles. Just in time for your rockin’ Christmas, he’ll be performing the material from his 2018 Socks. (The title track addresses the worst possible Xmas present you can give or get.) The album contains a very sweet old style love song, “Every Single Christmas,” and, of course, Santa appears repeatedly—bulking up for the holidays, ridin’ a “mean machine,” and engaged in a spat with his missus. Corny? A little, maybe, but ‘tis the season. Bring a dance partner. With Joel Paterson. All ages. $25-$30. 7:30 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis. Find more info here.—Keith Harris

Star Wars Holiday Special


Star Wars Holiday Special

Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

A long time ago (1978) in a galaxy far, far away (CBS) the Star Wars Holiday Special aired one single time on TV. Budgets were blown, people were fired, and George Lucas tried to bury it under a sea of sequels, prequels, and merch. But it didn’t die; it only grew stronger. First came the VHS hoarders, then came the late-night screenings. These days you can watch it on YouTube anytime, and Disney+ also added it to the collection this year. The story is simple: Chewbacca is trying to get home to Kashyyyk in time to celebrate Life Day with his family. Meanwhile, his family is being harassed by the Empire. In between that plot there are wild variety-show segments, because this thing was filmed in the ‘70s. There’s music from Jefferson Starship and Diahann Carroll, there’s a cartoon featuring Boba Fett, and there’s Bea Arthur. She’s running an intergalactic bar and is mad as hell about it. It’s hands down the best worst thing Star Wars has ever created. See it in person and on the big screen at this annual event (important info: BLB has a full bar); admission is simply a new toy to donate to Toys for Tots. 3:30, 6:30, and 9:30 p.m. 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis. --Jessica Armbruster


Die Hard

Parkway Theater

Who doesn’t think Die Hard is a Christmas movie? We have yet to meet this person. The first Die Hard tells the story of John McClane, a down on his luck NYPD cop. His (age-appropriate!) wife has left him and taken the kids, and he’s come to Los Angeles for the holidays to deliver divorce papers (but he really just wants to try to sort things out with her). When her office Christmas party is quickly taken over by radical German terrorists, led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman!), McClane does what any officer of the law would do: He murders the terrorist sent to suss him out, throws the body 30 stories down onto an LAPD cop car, takes a cigarette break while hiding in the HVAC system, and drops some C-4 down an elevator shaft. He also bonds with an LAPD officer via walkie talkie, helping the timid cop get over his fear of firing his gun. Heartwarming. $9. 8 p.m. 4814 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis. --Jessica Armbruster


FRIDAY 12.17


Loring Park

After taking a year off due to the plague, Holidazzle is back with three days of festival-style fun in Loring Park. There will be rides, including a carousel, a Ferris wheels, and a giant slide. There will be spectacle, with a giant illuminated Yeti on display and fireworks Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Over 30 local food/brew vendors will be on hand, making sure you eat your way through the park. That list includes beer/seltzer from Fulton, smoked meats from Heavenly Feast Bar-B-Q, Kramarczuk’s sausages, jumbo egg rolls on a stick, vegan treats from Roots to Rise, and wholesome hot drinks. There will be yoga in the mornings, live music and dance throughout the day, and a local artists/artisans mart will help you get the shopping done. Find more details at Free. 5 to 9 p.m. Friday; 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. Through Sunday.—Jessica Armbruster

Wheel of Misfortune: A Comedy Showcase

Terminal Bar

Standup comedy is difficult even when the comic has agonized-over, road-tested, and fine-tuned their set for months or years. Hosts Cianna Violet and Max Chapman want to make it even harder. Wheel of Misfortune will feature a collection of local comedy faves, including headliner Joe Christianson, spinning a wheel with 11 suggested topics. From there, they'll have to craft a set on-the-fly within 15 minutes. Yikes! Twin Cities musician Dave Velk will kick things off at the Terminal Bar around 7 p.m., and then the comedy gauntlet will be thrown down around 9 for Nate Abshire, Bryan Miller, Khadijah Cooper, Ahmed Khalaf, Tommy Schneeman, Corina Lucas, MJ Marsh, Ellie Hino, Ateh Ekinde, Cal Murata, and Toby Shamu. Attendees get $1 off drinks while they enjoy the belly laughs and/or bombing. $5. 7 p.m. 409 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. Find more info here.—Jay Boller

Sinderella's Twisted Ball


Sinderellas Twisted Ball

Ground Zero

Something about the holiday season really makes you think “Disney”... just, not usually like this. One month after hosting the Boba Fettish Ball, the Forbidden Bazaar is back—this time, with a twisted Disney costume party at Ground Zero. Whether your Disney look is handcrafted or straight from the store, it doesn’t matter! Just get ready to flaunt it like those uptight princesses might have done if they ever actually tossed a few back at the royal ball. With guest appearances from Alice, the White Rabbit, the Beast, Sally, Peter Pan, Kaa, Diaval, Shegal, Hades, Hook, Brittany, “and more Princesses than anyone in the Magical Kingdom ever knew existed.” 21+. $15; $10 if you’re in Disney-themed costume. 10 p.m. 15 Fourth St. NE, Minneapolis. Find more info here. —Em Cassel

Chicano Batman

First Avenue

Enthralled with the frothy psychedelic of ’60s Brazilian Tropicália, this L.A. band burbles with a political optimism you don’t hear much any more on their most recent album 2020 album Invisible People. Singer Bardo Martinez recalls Caetano Veloso angling for a seat of P-Funk’s Mothership, Eduardo Arenas’s bass both pops and swoops. Their political insight isn’t as deep as their groove, which is saying something, because their groove skitters more than it digs in. But the lightness of their rhythms is its own statement, definitely musically and maybe politically too. With Los Retros. 18+. 8:30 p.m. $20/$22. 701 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis. Find more info here.—Keith Harris 

The Jayhawks

Palace Theatre

December means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Santa! Shovelling! Seasonal depression! And for the past few years, in these parts, you can add a big Jayhawks show to that list. Since Gary Louris and his crew had to skip their end-of-year performance in 2020 because of you-know-what, this is their first holiday show since releasing their eleventh album, XOXO, which offers few big surprises but also no major disappointments. They’ve got support from two sets of local rock veterans: Matt Wilson & His Orchestra, which isn’t quite an orchestra but sure does know how to deliver the material from his latest, When I Was a Writer, and the brand new Scarlet Goodbye (Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum and Golden Smog/ Jeff Arundel, best known as a club owner and concert promoter but a sharp songwriter as well) who just recently played their first show at the Hook and Ladder. 18+. $35-$65. 8 p.m. 17 Seventh Place W., St. Paul. Find more info here.—Keith Harris 

SUNDAY 12.19

Holiday Visit with the Hamm’s Bear


Sunday scaries getting you down? There’s just no better way to get your mood back up than with arcade games and a little visit with the Hamm’s Bear. Everyone’s favorite friendly, beer-guzzlin’ mammal—who has a name, thank you very much, and it’s “Sasha”—will be at Up-Down this weekend in his Santa-tastic finest. Get your photo taken with this festive furball for just a five-spot; all proceeds go to benefit Southside Foodshare, along with 100% of token sales from the time of the event. 21+. $5. 2 to 8 p.m. 3012 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. Find more info here. —Em Cassel

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