Election Night with T2P2; Compagnie Käfig at Northrop

T2P2 combines improv comedy with what they call “hard-thinky stuff.”

Where will you spend Election Night? Under the covers in the fetal position is one option. Watching returns at home is another, with a dog in your lap. Remember Barry ZeVan, the Weatherman? He’ll be at Crooners, singing songs and telling stories. (ZeVan spent two years as a singing cast member of “The Perry Como Show.”) And there’s always your local bar.

Or you can go to the newly (and beautifully) renovated Parkway Theater, where the Theater of Public Policy will hold its signature “election night party for people without a party.” It will be funny. And it will be bipartisan.

Co-founded by Gustavus Adolphus alums Tane Danger and Brandon Boat, launched at HUGE Theater in 2011, T2P2 combines improv comedy with what they call “hard-thinky stuff” – conversations with experts about big issues that affect our lives, like politics, education, road construction, religion, public utilities and the minimum wage. They invite people from both sides to the table and treat everyone with respect. No screaming, shouting or name-calling. You laugh, you learn something and you leave a bit more hopeful that the world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket.

Oh, but that sounds so serious. This will be fun, no matter which side of the aisle you’re on. There will be music by T2P2 house band Dennis Curley and the Explainers. There will be sketch and improv comedy. Lots of comedy. Results of key races in Minnesota and beyond will be projected on the Parkway’s screen in splashy graphics. A bipartisan panel of experts will react to the results. The panel will include Sarah Walker, founder of the MN Second Chance Coalition; Brian McDaniel, longtime Republican lobbyist and Wrong About Everything co-host; and Naomi Kritzer, a political blogger famous for writing profiles/explainers of basically every local race. And maybe others TBD.

On the night of the last presidential election, T2P2 held its party at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. We were there, and it was a class act, despite the shock and disappointment some people were feeling. That’s why this gets our vote. Also, the Parkway has a bar. Doors at 7 p.m., program at 8. FMI. Free and open to the public.

The picks

Opens tonight at the Lab Theater: The Moving Company: “The 4 Seasons.” The Moving Company’s show before this, “Speechless,” was one of the best things we saw and heard in 2017. (It returned for another run in 2018.) Their latest devised work – conceived by Stephen Epp, Nathan Keepers and Dominique Serrand, influenced by Chekhov –  features a hotel cleaning crew in a world on the brink of change. The music is by Vivaldi and Astor Piazzolla. With Heidi Bakke, Joy Dolo and Epp, directed by Serrand. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($10-38). Ends Dec. 2.

“The 4 Seasons” features a hotel cleaning crew in a world on the brink of change.
Photo by Annie Galloway
“The 4 Seasons” features a hotel cleaning crew in a world on the brink of change.
Saturday at Northrop: Compagnie Käfig-CCN. Based in a southeast suburb of Paris, led by Mourad Merzouki, Compagnie Käfig is a worldwide artistic project that embraces circus, martial arts, contemporary dance and hip-hop. During their last visit to Northrop in 2015, male dancers jumped, spun and did backflips among hundreds of cups of water arranged in a geometric pattern on Northrop’s stage. This time, in a program called “Pixel,” the dancers will perform in a 3-D digital landscape, where video sometimes accompanies motion and sometimes hinders it. Dance at the borders of the virtual world. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($27-47; other prices available).

Compagnie Käfig-CCN dancers will perform in a 3-D digital landscape, where video sometimes accompanies motion and sometimes hinders it.
Photo by Laurent Philippe
Compagnie Käfig-CCN dancers will perform in a 3-D digital landscape, where video sometimes accompanies motion and sometimes hinders it.
Sunday on your teevee: Minnesota Original. Episode 4 in TPT’s new MNO broadcast season celebrates a diverse group of women artists: young, older, black, white, Asian. Jovan Speller is a photographer, curator, and builder of bridges between cultures. Alison Hiltner, an artist interested in science, works with scientist Lisa Philander on a project for the nighttime art festival Northern Spark. Filmmaker Maxine Davis recalls being part of the first-ever female Outward Bound class in 1965. Lao American poet and playwright Samoukda Vongsay wrote a play with her best friend, Hmong American playwright May Lee-Yang, to help bring their communities together. Watch Sunday at 6 p.m. on TPT or view selected stories online

Sunday at the Dakota: Cameron Graves Trio. Best known outside of L.A. as the pianist for Kamasi Washington – he’s all over Washington’s “Epic” album – Graves released his debut album, “Planetary Prince,” earlier this year. It’s a work of boundless energy and imagination, very exciting to hear. Rolling Stone described Graves as “the house pianist for the party at the end of the universe, pulling in signals from John Coltrane, J Dilla, Meshuggah and points beyond.” 7 p.m. FMI and tickets ($25-35).

Monday at the Parkway: Rafiq Bhatia: “Breaking English.” Guitarist Bhatia performed the world premiere of this work – commissioned by Liquid Music and the Walker – in the McGuire Theater last October before a sold-out house. It has now been released as an album, and Bhatia’s tour will bring him back to the Twin Cities. In this live set, improvisational jazz will meet electronic experimentation – and visual artwork by Minneapolis-based collaborators Michael Cine and Hal Lovemelt. The New York Times has called Bhatia “one of the most intriguing figures in music today.” With Ian Chang and Jack Hill. Opening set by WILLS. FMI and tickets ($16 advance, $20 door).

Monday at Open Book: Wing Young Huie: “Chinese-ness.” If you missed the official book launch at the History Center on Tuesday here’s another chance to see and hear the new McKnight Distinguished Artist talk about his latest book, in which he explores race, authenticity, cultural uncertainty, fitting in – and sometimes switches clothes with Chinese men, as if trying on other lives he might have lived. 7 p.m. in the Target Performance Hall up the stairs. Free.

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