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Tim Meadows headlines ‘Wits’; Nerds at the Varsity

Children of Bon Iver, Mozart’s ‘Musical Joke,’ and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.

Weekend Best Bets from Minnesota Monthly
Friday, March 30

The cleverest

WHAT: “Wits”
WHERE: Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul
WHEN: 8 p.m.
Comedian Tim Meadows joins Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller and host John Moe for what has become one of the most engaging series in town — essential entertainment for those who imbibe their pop culture from the top shelf. Learn more at

Friday, March 30

So lame it’s cool

WHAT: The Nerdist
WHERE: Varsity Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 8 and 10:30 p.m.
The touring version of the popular podcast unites the trio of host Chris Hardwick and sidekicks Jonah Ray and Mira to discuss nerdery of all sorts. No special guests or topics have been announced, but that hasn’t stopped the early show from selling out. Expect some sci-fi talk, perhaps some Muppet talk, and likely some uninformed sex talk. Learn more at

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Saturday, March 31

Word play

WHAT: “What’s the Word For”
WHERE: Illusion Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 8 p.m.
In Jeffrey Hatcher’s new play, Tony-nominated actress Melissa Hart plays an octogenarian in love with crossword puzzles. Michael Paul Levin plays a film instructor 30 years younger. Brought together by circumstance, they help each other cope with reality, including a turn of events beyond their control. Learn more at

Saturday, March 31

The children of Bon Iver

WHAT: Bowerbirds
WHERE: Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7 p.m.
This trio from North Carolina are the perfect musical accompaniment to your dinner of free-range chicken and organic leeks: homespun, austere and good for you. Not surprisingly, they’re pals with Bon Iver, recording their latest album at his Wisconsin studio. Though they’ve expanded their sound to include some brass, strings, and keyboards, they’re still tilling the folkways. Learn more at

Sunday, April 1

Mozart’s joke

WHAT: Musical Offering
WHERE: Hamline University, Sundin Music Hall, St. Paul
WHEN: 3 p.m.
Mozart’s rarely performed “A Musical Joke,” a good-natured commentary on some of the less-gifted composers of his time, rounds out the ensemble’s concert of humor in classical music. Learn more at

Sunday, April 1

The birth of rock ’n’ roll

WHAT: “Million Dollar Quartet”
WHERE: State Theatre, Minneapolis
WHEN: 1 and 6:30 p.m.
In 1956, four of the brightest young minds in early rock ‘n’ roll gathered for one day at Sun Records in Memphis: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. This Broadway hit reimagines the meeting through a parade of hits — “Hound Dog,” “I Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire” — immaculately re-created. Learn more at