Pulse’s Alternative Holiday Guide



All events are in MINNEAPOLIS unless otherwise noted.

Sat. Dec. 11, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: “Family Fiesta” Games/activities for adults and children. Latin American music, dance, food. Fair trade gift shopping. Resource Center of Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave. S., near East Lake Street. 612-276-0788. $5, family of 2/$10, family 3 or more (no one turned away).

Sat./Sun. in Dec., 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: A 1915 Minnesota Christmas at the historical Purcell-Cutts home, with tour. Get photographed with Victorian Santa. Live Scandinavian music, treats. Gift shop. Shuttle every 45 minutes from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S. 612-870-6323. ArtsMIA.org.

Sat./Sun. in Dec., 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. & Christmas Eve 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Gilded Age Christmas at James J. Hill House. Costumed actors re-enact “Upstairs/Downstairs,” about the life of the Minnesota railroad baron. Minnesota art. Tours. 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul. Reservations recommended. 651-297-2555.

Sat. Dec. 17, 7 p.m.: Goddess Night (women only). Performance, music and ritual honor the Solstice season and the Sacred Feminine. Center for Independent Artists, 4137 Bloomington Ave. S. 612-331-1814. $5.

Sat. Dec. 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Hanukkah (open to all) The Jewish Festival of Lights, celebrates the tenacity of faith and a miracle. Latke lunch. Children’s activities. Hosted by Or Emet, the TC Jewish humanist organization. For more info, call 763-535-2226. OrEmet.org

Wed. Dec. 21, 6:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m.: “Solstice Drum & Dance Jam” with Mystic Toys and Boiled in Lead drummer Robin Alan Andrews. Illumination Fire Dancers. Bring your drum! Family-friendly. Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., West Bank. $8 advance/$10 door.

Mon. Dec. 26, Noon-4 p.m.: KWANZAA: African-American “Festival of the First Fruits” Storytelling by “Auntie Beverly” Cottman; folk artist Maurice Carlton. Drumming, dance and children’s activities. MN History Center, 345 W. Kellogg (near State Capitol), St. Paul. 651-296-6175. MNHS.org.


Sat. Dec. 10, 1 p.m.: International Human Rights Day. TC activists join the world in rejecting torture and other abuses. Spirit of Lakes Church, 2930 13th Ave. S. off E. Lake Street.

Every Wed. 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Peace Vigil, East Lake Street bridge (between Minneapolis & St. Paul). Sponsored by Women Against Military Madness. 612-827-5364. WorldWideWAMM.org.

TC Peace Activities: Call Veterans for Peace, 612-821-9141. MN Alliance for Peacemakers—E-list of events. Email: dick@chez-nous.net.


Thru -Dec.31 (times vary, includes weekend matinees); “La Befana,” In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater holiday classic. An old Italian woman searches the world for the Holy Child, to discover the holiness inside everyone. Heart of the Beast, 1500 East Lake St. $24 adults/$16 children (pay what you can). Sun. Nov. 27, 2 p.m., Thu. Dec.15, 7:30 p.m. 612-721-2535. HOBT.org.

Thru -Dec. 29 (times vary): “Black Nativity.” Gospel musical of the Christmas story, by the top African-American theater company in the U.S., Penumbra, featuring Ashley and Ginger Commodore (of Moore by Four); Patricia Lacy-Aiken (Sounds of Blackness); T. Michael Rambo. Hollie Q. Brown/MLK Center, 270 N. Kent, St. Paul. 651-224-3180. $15-$40. PenumbraTheatre.org.

Dec. 1-18, Dec. 26-Jan. 2 (Thurs.-Sun.), 7:30 p.m.: “Hanukkah Lights in the Big Sky.” In Billings, Mont., a brick shatters the only Jewish family’s window lit by the Hanukkah menorah—and a community takes an extraordinary action to unite against hate. Minnesota Jewish Theater—at Hillcrest Center, 1978 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul. 651-647-4315. mnJewishTheatre.org. $16-$22

Thru Dec.18, 8 p.m.: Charles Dickens’ “The Seven Poor Travelers.” Local Shakespearean and Fringe fave (“Gilgamesh”), Charlie Benthel offers a rare Christmas treasure with memorable characters and wonder. Why settle for Scrooge? Illusion Theatre, 528 Hennepin Ave. S. (at 6th St.), 8th floor. 612-339-4944. $20, (Sun. Dec.11, pay what you can).

Through Dec. 11, Wed.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.: “Dance on Widows’ Row”—four middle-aged Black women, nine deceased husbands, and three eligible bachelors. Romance, farce, and the gender wars collide at a party thrown by four widows looking for love. Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., West Bank. 612-338-6131. MixedBlood.org. $11-$22.

Christmas Day, 1 p.m.: Jewish/Chinese Buffet. The MN Film Society’s new tradition imported from NYC Jewish community! Enjoy a Chinese buffet and a Jewish film.This year it’s “Yentl,” Barbara Streisand’s directing debut in which she stars as a young woman who impersonates a boy in order to study the Torah. Oak Street Cinema, 309 Oak St., East Bank by U of M. mnFilmArts.org. $10 general/$8 members.

Thru Dec. 31.: “Same Time, Next Year,” a 1970s romantic comedy of an annual secret encounter by two lovers married to other people for 25 years. Wise, witty and still charming. Sun., Tues.-Thur. 7:30 p.m.; Fri./Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun. matinee 2 p.m. The Jungle Theatre, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S. 612-822-7063. $22-$32.


Acoustic Sundays at Minneapolis Institute of Art, 11 a.m.: . Dec. 13: JoAnna James. Dec. 18: Ellis, MOA. 2400 3rd Ave. S. Free.

Thur. Dec. 8, 6 p.m.: “Drop Beats NOT Bombs!” TC hip-hop luminaries. Benefit for the counter-military recruitment group that organized the recent student strike, Youth Against War & Racism. Los Nativos, Dessa, C.O.R.E., Unknown Prophets, Purest Form, DJ Kool Hanz, MC I Self Divine. Triple Rock, 629 Cedar Ave. S. West Bank. $6. YAWR.org.

Thurs. Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m.: ”Tribute to John Lennon.” Minneapolis guitar troubadour Curtiss A. leads TC musicians at this 25th anniversary event. First Avenue. $10 advance/$12 door.

Sun. Dec. 11, 7 p.m., St. Paul; Sat. Dec. 17, 8 p.m., Mpls.: Rose Ensemble, the group of classical singers (who favor Medieval and Renaissance music), perform “Celebramos el Niño,” drawing from the cathedrals of Mexico and also festive dances of the season. CD release Dec. 11, St. Paul’s Church on the Hill, 1524 Summit Ave., St. Paul. Dec. 17, Basilica of St. Mary, 88 N.17th St. RoseEnsemble.org. $25/$15.

Sat. Dec. 17, 9:30 p.m.: “Times 3.” Jazz Vocalist Coalition (JZVOC) serves up three singers, three sets, three-course meal. Sue Tucker, Vicky Mountain, Christine Rosholt. The Times, 201 E. Hennepin Ave. 612-617-8098.

Sun. Dec. 18, 7 p.m.: “Holiday on Icecubes.” TC folk/rocker Paul Metsa’s 8th annual benefit for NE Minneapolis seniors foodshelf. Metsa takes a new direction, debuting his one-man autobiographical theatre piece, “Sometime Over The Rainbow.” Stories, poems, songs of his “first 50 years—a low-rent Mark Twain,” he says. Plus, music by surprise guests. At Mayslacks, 1428 NE 4th St. Admission is nonperishable food items or cash donation.

Sun. Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Bravo Combo Holiday Dance Party. Six-time Grammy-nominated polka band imported from Texas/Arkansas border. Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., West Bank. 612-338-2674. $14 advance/$16 door.

Thu. Dec. 22., 7 p.m.: Jazz Vocalist Holiday Extravaganza. Trade eggnog for a cocktail of sophisticated swing and discover these local talents. The Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall. 612-332-1010.

New Year’s Eve, 8 p.m.: Mark Mallman (known for his “marathon rock performances,” achieving Guinness World Records), with Dark City Dames, Goddamn DooWop. First Avenue, 7th St./1st Ave. N. $8 advance/$10 door.


Thru Jan. 15: Photography—“Dance of the Faithful.” Leonard Freed documents Jewish daily life in Europe, Israel, USA. MInneapolis Insititute of Arts, Free.
Thru -Feb. 26: “Villa America”—American Moderns, 1900-1950. Picasso and other Europeans don’t have the monopoly on modern art. Check out the homies. Includes Georgia O’Keefe, Arthur Dove, Andrew Wyeth. Both exhibits at Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S. 612-870-3200. www.artsmia..org. (closed on Monday, Dec. 25.) $6 adults/$5 students.

Sat.Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.Eclectic arts sale. Exhibit thru Dec. 29:: “Leap of Faith.” Eclectic artists ask questions of religion, politics and seeking spirit. Dec. 10 includes sale of past exhibits’ cards and art. Exhibit through Dec. 29. Susan Hensel Design, 3441 Cedar Ave. S. 612-722-2324. SusanHenselDesign.com. Free.

Fri. Dec. 16: Local Arab-American poets and writers read from new edition of Mizna: Arab-American Literary Arts Journal. The Loft, Open Book Center, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Mizna.org. Free.

Mon. Dec. 19, 7 p.m.: “The Christmas Miracle.” TC novelist Roger Barr shares his eighth holiday installment of his fictional Bartholemew family of Pinehurst Avenue (published Dec.14 in Highland Villager). Barr is known for “Treasure Hunt,” inspired by the Winter Carnival. Highland Branch Public Library, 1974 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul. 651-222-3242 TheFriends.org. Free.

Through Jan. 5: Homeless Awareness. Art by 10 formerly homeless people, curated by Outsider Gallery and Ch. 9’s Robyne Robinson. Art is for sale. Mall of America, 4th level, Wed.-Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. 612-338-3435. Free.

Fri. Dec. 23 through Thu. Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m. (No screening Dec. 24/25): Film. “Ronia: The Robber’s Daughter.” Astrid Lindgren’s childrens’ classic book is a holiday tradition of bandits in the forest and a brave girl. Bell Auditorium, Natural History Museum, 17th/University Ave. S.E., U of M East Bank. $4 all/children under 5, Free.

Through Dec. 31: “Home Sweet Home Again”—Art/poetry by homeless people. Curated by Family Housing Fund. St. Paul City Hall, lower level, 15 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-266-8524. Free.

Through Jan. 6: “Faith in Women,” third installation in the “Immigrant Status” series, includes Mexican artist Patricia Mendoza and other artists working in diverse mediums to express their home cultures and spirituality. Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., 612-871-4444. Free.


Thru Jan. 7 (NO SHOWS Dec. 24, 25, Jan.1) 7 p.m., 9 p.m.: “Manger Crashers: 3 Wise Guys With Pack of Camels.” Since 1959, BNW provides a comic cure for Scrooges. Not for children or the “overly sensitive.” Brave New Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., 612-332-6620. BraveNewWorkshop.org. Price varies. Bring nonperishable food donation & get free popcorn & soda.

Wed. Dec. 21, 8 p.m.: “Nutcracker Burlesque Spectacular.” The Loring’s resident “Cirque Rouge,” with its sexy holiday cheer, goes downtown. First Avenue, 7th St./1st Ave. N. $6 advance/$8 door.