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'American Family' to premiere at Park Square

American Family
Courtesy of Park Square Theatre
'American Family' premieres at the Park Square Theatre on Friday
Weekend Best Bets from Minnesota Monthly
Friday, March 16

A country divided

WHAT: American Family
WHERE:
Park Square Theatre, St. Paul
WHEN:
7:30 p.m.

Alabama, 1964. It’s as good a place as any to start exploring the current American identity, in this case the story of a young woman reaching out to her half-brother to heal a family riven by race and politics. Carlyle Brown not only wrote this commission, he’s acting in it — a late addition to a cast that also includes Greta Oglesby and a host of other veterans. Learn more at parksquaretheatre.org.

Friday, March 16

The vocal warrior

WHAT: Sing Your Song
WHERE: St. Anthony Main Cinema, Minneapolis
WHEN:
Various times

The Walker Art Center’s Thursday premiere of this bio-pic on Harry Belafonte, paired with an appearance by the singer/activist himself, is sold out. But you can catch the film all weekend and the following week courtesy of the Film Society of Mpls/St. Paul. It’s a stirring mix of life story, music, and historic footage, featuring Belafonte with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., President Kennedy, and others — a tribute to a life lived with thoughtful if unrelenting conviction. Learn more at mspfilmsociety.org.

Saturday, March 17

The voice of Ireland

WHAT: Katie McMahon’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
WHERE:
O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, St. Paul
WHEN:
7:30 p.m.

Sixteen years ago, Katie McMahon was chosen to be the lead singer of the original Riverdance show, the voice of Ireland in a sense. Now she lives in Minneapolis and will perform, in her signature ethereal voice, a selection of St. Patrick’s Day favorites, old and new, accompanied by the O’Shea Irish Dancers. Learn more at oshaughnessy.stkate.edu.

Saturday, March 17

Hot nights, cool music

WHAT: Memphis
WHERE: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul
WHEN:
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This weekend, the most happening nightclub in St. Paul is in Memphis. The winner of four Tony Awards in 2010, this lush musical is set in the racially divided music scene of Memphis in the 1950s. The storyline combines a cool vibe with the not-so-cool racial and social tensions that divided the town — and the nation — at the time. Learn more at ordway.org.

Sunday, March 18

Deadly isolation

WHAT: Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them
WHERE:
Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis
WHEN:
2 p.m.

Randy Reyes directs this world premiere play about three teens growing up in the rural Midwest, largely left to their own devices — which, in this case, include a gun. The story picks up when their friendships, and shooting prowess, evolve. Learn more at mixedblood.com.

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Sunday, March 18

Baltic awakening

WHAT: Cantus Sings Songs of Change
WHERE:
Church of St. Michael, Stillwater
WHEN:
3 p.m.

They’re one revolution behind, but no one can fault Cantus for looking a little more north than North Africa for this series of inspiring music about social change. The celebrated chorus performs the music of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with an ear toward the songs that helped empower the region’s overthrow of Soviet communism. Learn more at cantussings.org.

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