After previewing Kung Fu Zombies Saga: Shaman Warrior & Cannibals last week, I went to check out the show myself over the weekend, and am here to tell you that you will love it. 10 years after the premiere of “Kung Fu Zombies Vs. Cannibals,” the second installment in the trilogy lives up to hype. Also this week, the Minnesota Zoo hosts its next “Wild Nights” event, a perfect chance to check out the new Treetop Trail. If you need some healing, visit Ifrah Mansour’s healing hut at Currie Park in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood. And for your musical enjoyment, head to Crooners for Adam Meckler’s 18-piece band. Finally, recent MCAD MFA graduate Ivonne Yáñez joins Aaron S. Coleman, based in Indiana, for two exhibitions at SooVAC.
MN Zoo: New Treetop Trail and Wild Nights
The Minnesota Zoo’s new Treetop Trail has officially opened to the public. The 1.25 mile trail, transformed into a walking path out of the old monorail track that closed in 2013, towers 32 feet above the Zoo grounds, offering an immersion into land and water inhabited by tigers, moose, bison, camels and more.
You can visit the new trail during regular zoo hours, and also this Thursday during Wild Nights, the Zoo’s summer music event series. This week, Wild Nights boasts a Hip Hop & Reggae line-up on three different stages. Nur-D, Dred I Dread, Fanaka Nation and more bring bumping and danceable energy to your Zoo experience. Get there early so you can enjoy both the Treetop Trail and the music in one double whammy nature explosion. Wild Nights takes place Thursday, Aug. 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Minnesota Zoo ($40). If you want to just do the TreeTop Trail, that’s open regular hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($21.95). Note: If you have Wild Nights tickets, you’ll have access to all animal trails and exhibits until 8 p.m.) More information here.
Kung Fu Zombies Saga: Shaman Warrior & Cannibals
The second installment of Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay’s “Kung Fu Zombies” trilogy is nearly three hours long, but don’t let that scare you. This is theater with a big T, and well worth the time. Directed by Lily Tung Crystal, the show is rich with deeply drawn characters, epic journeys, and magic. Sprinkled with off-handed humor, the piece gets into the lasting impact of the U.S. involvement in the Secret War through a fantastical storyline that’s as dark as it is full of hope and humor. There are actually two plays as part of your ticket, and both very enjoyable. Thursday, Aug. 3 & Friday Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m., through Aug. 13 at the Luminary Art Center ($45— less if that’s all you can afford, more if you can). More information here.
Adam Meckler Orchestra
Jazz meets R&B, hip hop, and pop music when Adam Meckler brings his 18-piece band to The Belvedere at Crooners this week. The composer, trumpeter, and band leader did his graduate study at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and now directs the Jazz Studies department at Michigan Technological University. He brings his skillful trumpeting chops alongside a band of five saxophones, four other trumpets, four trombones, plus guitar, keys, bass and drums. Friday, Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Belvedere at Crooners, ($25-35). More information here.
Cedar-Riverside X Ifrah Mansour
As part of Mixed Blood’s 12X12 Communities X Artists series, theater and visual artist, multimedia poet, and installation artist Ifrah Mansour brings her healing hut to Currie Park. Working within the framework of an aqal, or a traditional Somali hut made of bamboo sticks, Mansour invites conversations around community healing, and hosts recovery advocate Farhia Budul as part of the project. Visit Saturday August 5, at 4 p.m. at Currie Park (name your price.) More information here.
Rosa Mexicano by Ivonne Yáñez and Filled with Dynamite by Aaron S. Coleman
In “Rosa Mexicano,” Minnesota artist Ivonne Yáñez finds inspiration from dreams, creating a hyper-saturated world of place, memory and fantasy. The puffy pink exhibition, filled with soft sculpture, installation, and paintings, will have you buzzing.
It’s being shown alongside “Delicate and Filled with Dynamite,” an exhibition by Indiana-based artist Aaron Coleman. For the exhibition, Coleman has built a giant boat from discarded basketball flooring from the gym at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, which was built in a location that displaced a once thriving Black neighborhood. The work imagines transformation and change emerging from injustice through bold envisioning. The opening reception for both exhibitions takes place Saturday, Aug 5th, from 6-9 p.m., and runs through Sep. 3 at Soo Visual Arts Center (Free). More information here.
Northern Fire Dynamic – Free Public Performance!
Northern Fire Dynamic brings its animalia-themed performance to Powderhorn Park, with swords, hoops and flaming choreography. Get a dose of the Burning Man experience right here in Minnesota as the fire artists do their thing. Monday, Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. (free). More information here.