Where will you spend Election Night 2016? (You know, next Tuesday.) We threw out that question to Facebook friends earlier this week. Responses varied widely. Some examples: “Inside a bottle of good scotch.” “Working at a county elections office.” “Planning on major surgery that day for the general anesthesia.” “I’ll be in Germany.” “In Ireland.” “At our precinct polling place as an election judge.” “Anywhere I can find chocolate and a trashy novel.” “Watching results with my 91-year-old mom.” “In a bar.”
For the undecided, a few suggestions.
At Bryant Lake Bowl. The Theater of Public Policy will host what sounds like a whip-smart party, with lots going on. For starters, two panels will provide ongoing expert analysis. From 7-9 p.m.: Tom Horner, former Independent Party candidate for governor; Katharine Tinucci, Governor Dayton’s 2014 campaign manager; and Brian McClung, Governor Pawlenty’s former press secretary. From 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.: Wrong About Everything podcasters Amy Koch, former Senate Majority Leader; Jewish Community Action’s Carin Mrotz; and SEIU’s Javier Morillo. Elected officials from both parties will likely stop by. Activities will include an Electoral College Bowling Tournament (can you get your team to 270?), coloring in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump coloring books, and Free Speech Karaoke, where audience members give karaoke renditions of famous American speeches projected on a screen. Plus live music, TVs in the bar and holy, blessed comedy, both sketch and improv. 7 p.m. until midnight. Free and open to the public. Can’t be there in person? Listen live on KFAI from 8-10 p.m.
At the newly remodeled and bigger Black Dog in St. Paul. Televised election results and live music by guitarist Chris Olson and musical guests Duende! featuring Chico Chavez on percussion (flamenco and Peruvian music). Plus, this being the Age of the Cocktail, cocktail specials including the Nasty Woman, the Bitter Pill and the Mexican Wall. 6-10 p.m.
At the Brave New Workshop. Members of the “Minnesota Tonight” satirical news comedy team will cover the results live by making fun of them. The night will also include improv from the group Mayhem, music from General B and the Wiz, audience interaction, and (their words, not ours) “lots and lots of booze.” Doors at 7. Performances begin as polls close. Tickets $15 advance, $18 door. 21+.
At the Phoenix Theater. A “Cirque d’Election” party includes live returns, entertainment, trivia, readings from U.S. history, and who knows what else. They’ll keep the entertainment going until the polls close on the West Coast at 10 p.m., and continue watching returns until “we know what’s going on, everybody gets bored or the Phoenix has to shut down in order to comply with their liquor license — whatever comes first.” Starts at 5 p.m. Free. BTW the Phoenix is the former home of the Brave New Workshop.
Or maybe you want to get away from election results, at least for a while. Icehouse owner Brian Liebeck will be at his Nicollet Ave. club/restaurant/bar, listening to the string ensemble Accordo play selections by Wolf, Beethoven and Schoenberg. “No TVs,” Liebeck said. “A nice escape.” 7:30 p.m. $16 advance (includes a $1 fee), $15 door.
Tonight (Friday, Nov. 4) at Reverie: Peter Evans/Sam Pluta Duo. Evans (trumpet) and Pluta (electronics) present an evening of avant-garde improvisation on acoustic and electronic instruments. To be perfectly honest, we didn’t know these musicians, but learning that they have worked with pianist/composer Craig Taborn, saxophonist Evan Parker and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) got our attention and we started listening around. “Electro-acoustic chamber music” is one way to describe what they do. It’s a sonic world all its own. Check it out and if you like what you hear, head over to Reverie. 9 p.m. $10 cover.
Friday and Saturday at the East Side Freedom Library: “Swede Hollow Opera.” St. Paul’s Swede Hollow Park was once a community of immigrants. On December 11, 1956, the City of St. Paul evicted the residents and burned their homes to the ground. When composer Ann Millikan moved to St. Paul’s East Side from San Francisco’s Bay Area in 2004, she started hearing stories about Swede Hollow — and wrote an opera. Based on her historical research and interviews with former Swede Hollow residents, it premiered in the park in 2012, drawing record crowds. It’s being remounted for the 60th anniversary of the burning, with new material including youth choruses, an overture, and finale. With soloists Tracey Engleman, Victoria Vargas, David Walton and Andrew Lovato, the Mankato Symphony Orchestra and the Swede Hollow Youth Chorus, directed by Scotty Reynolds and conducted by Joseph Rodgers. FMI and tickets ($10-20 suggested donation or pay-as-able. No one turned away for lack of funds).
Friday and Saturday: The Rose Ensemble: “Victoria’s Requiem.” The Rose Ensemble celebrates its 20th birthday by reprising the piece they performed in their very first concert in November, 1996, at the Basilica of St. Mary: Tomas-Luis de Victoria’s 1605 Mass for the Departed. The Rose is calling 2016-17 its Season of Peace, and it’s hard to imagine anything more profoundly peaceful than 75 minutes of Renaissance choral music, Friday at the Church of St. Agnes in St. Paul, Saturday at the Church of the Holy Cross in Minneapolis. Pre-concert talk at 6:55 p.m., performance at 8. FMI and tickets ($15-38). Also Sunday at Mary of the Angels Chapel in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Saturday at SpringHouse Ministry Center: Twin Cities Social Justice Arts Festival. A celebration of social justice and the arts, with more than 25 artist vendors plus presentations, performances, interactive arts and film screenings. Take home some wooden ware from salvaged wood, or jewelry made from ethically sourced gemstones and eco-friendly metals, or fairly traded toys, or social justice-focused books from Boneshaker, or knitted items from the Yarn Mission, a collective that works to eradicate oppression. Films include “That’s What We Hear on the News” by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project. Created and curated by EDIT, a social justice youth arts organization headquartered in the Whittier neighborhood. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. FMI including a schedule of events. Free, but you can make a donation if you like.
Sunday at the Ted Mann: “Music of Love and the Stars” featuring the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. This sounds so lovely — so positive and promising, so devoid of politics and vitriol — that we just have to include it here. “Music of Love & the Stars” is composer Jeffrey Van’s new work, based on the poetry of Jesus Silva and commissioned by the MGC. They’ll perform it here for the first time in a concert of a cappella and accompanied choral music with the University Singers, Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus, led by Kathy Saltzman Romey and Matthew Mehaffey. 4 p.m. Free and open to the public.
Sunday through Tuesday at the new Nimbus Theatre: “44 Plays for 44 Presidents.” Before we elect the next president, let’s review all those who have come before. Theatre Pro Rata’s 2012 production of a play created by Neo-Futurists, a Chicago experimental theater, was well-received, so they’re back with the same cast and crew for another go. It’s chronological, biographical and about two hours long. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20-40).