This weekend, Public Functionary Gallery in northeast Minneapolis gets transformed into a space dreams are made of with the first ever “ConFluence: A Cultured Multiverse.” It’s a BIPOC-led event centered around BIPOC creativity in science fiction, futurism and fantasy, and filled with art, parties, dancing and more. Also this week, two larger-than-life singers head to town, including Gen X legend Liz Phair and Broadway dame Patti LuPone. Down in Rochester, Pete Driessen has drummed up a river-themed site-specific installation, and at the Cowles’ Tek Box, Off-Leash Area prepares for its second-annual Off-Kilter Cabaret, shining a light on the talents of artists of different abilities. Finally, the experimental vocal troupe Roomful of Teeth stops by Icehouse for a special performance after being nominated for a Grammy.
It’s been three decades since Liz Phair rocked the world of alternative teens everywhere with her album “Exile in Guyville.” Since then, she’s released five more albums and published a memoir, and in 2018, reissued “Exile in Guyville” through Matador Records, along with a deluxe box set featuring those tunes along with early cassette tape recordings. The record of feminist cool holds up, and this week, you have a chance to hear Phair sing the whole album, plus a few other hits. Blondshell also performs. Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Palace ($50-$100). More information here.
Expand your conception of disability at Off-Leash Area’s second annual production of “Off-Kilter Cabaret,” featuring artists with disabilities working in different mediums. Dance, comedy, storytelling, spoken word and puppetry make up this year’s program, emceed by storyteller Amy Salloway. The all-abilities dancers from Young Dance will perform in the show, alongside works by Braille, Scott Sorensen, AJ Isaacson-Zvidzwa, Desdamona, Houa Moua and Tessa Longshore. Friday, Nov. 17, and Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. at the Tek Box at the Cowles Center ($5-$30 suggested). More information here.
Pete Driessen | Zumbro Bend: Three Desiring Bodies
Visual artist Pete Driessen’s latest site-specific installation spans three different spaces at the Rochester Art Center, employing mediums as varied as painting, sculpture and sound to ponder water ecosystems, human impact on the environment, even sly eroticism and creative play. The show goes up on Saturday, Nov. 18, with a reception between 1 and 4 p.m. and an artist talk at 2 p.m. ($5 admission). More information here.
Roomful of Teeth
Hot off the heels of Roomful of Teeth’s Grammy award nomination for their album, “Rough Magic” in the chamber music/small ensemble performance category, the vocal octet is gearing up for a performance at the Icehouse. This group is known for their innovative explorations in what vocal music can sound like. They’ll be playing works from the new album, including “The Isle,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. She’s a member of the ensemble but won’t be present for the Icehouse show, sadly. They’ll also share work by Gabriel Kahane, who happens to be coming into town the weekend of Thanksgiving for a concert with his father, Jeffrey Kahane, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Other composers highlighted in the Icehouse concert include Nathalie Joachim, Leilehua Lanzilotti, Peter S Shin and Angélica Negrón. After the concert, DJs Sam Cassidy and James Taylor will DJ an after party with a mix of Southern gospel, spiritual jazz, funk, proto punk and more. Saturday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. at Icehouse ($53.90-$80.86). More information here.
ConFluence: A Cultured Multiverse
Local artist and director of Public Functionary Studios director Leslie Barlow is taking her love for science fiction conventions to new terrain with a sci-fi/futurisms/fantasy convention centered around Black and Indigenous artists and artists of color. With panel discussions, dance parties, cosplaying, a vendor marketplace, a curated visual art exhibition and workshops, the two-day event is a foray into imaginative spaces with BIPOC artists at the helm. Among the special guests are Jamie Kalakaru-Mava, who will lead a special FX makeup workshop, and Harry Waters Jr., who besides being a gem of Twin Cities theater also happened to have earned a Gold record for his rendition of “Earth Angel” in 1985’s “Back to the Future,” when he played Marvin Berry. Note: This is a convention centered around BIPOC liberation, artistry and nerdy joy, but it’s open to all identities. You’ll just need to check what identity you are when you buy tickets to ensure equitable access. Saturday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days, with a party following the convention on Saturday from 8 p.m. until midnight at Public Functionary ($32 for one day, $47 for two days, $79.50 ticket with pay-it-forward donation.) More information here.
Patti LuPone: ‘Don’t Monkey with Broadway’
Three-time Tony and Two-time Grammy-winner Patti LuPone brings her solo show, “Don’t Monkey with Broadway,” to the Ordway for a one-night only event. The iconic singer and actor was the first to play Eva Perón in Evita on Broadway, and has become something of a legend not just for her performing chops, but for her larger than life personality — including a number of high-profile conflicts with misbehaving audience members. LuPone will be singing the classics from Broadway, sharing her personal history with the stage along the way. Sunday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Ordway ($69-157). More information here.