Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Basilica Block Party; ‘The Sunshine Boys’ at the Guthrie

ALSO: An outdoor ‘Romeo & Juliet’; DeVotchKa at the MN Zoo; MN Orchestra plays Hudson; and more.

Weekend Best Bets from Minnesota Monthly
Friday, July 6

Holy Rollers

WHAT: Basilica Block Party
WHERE: Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis
5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

There was much ado last year about boycotting this 18th annual music festival, because of the Catholic Church’s support of an amendment banning gay marriage. But the fervor has faded, perhaps due to this year’s irresistibly good bands: the Avett Brothers, Cake, Fitz & The Tantrums, and, not least, the local A. Wolf & Her Claws. There will be some musical sins committed (mostly by Train), but also some righteous tunefulness.

Friday, July 6

Money, Money

WHAT: DeVotchKa
WHERE: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

The energetic purveyors of Eastern European folk-punk put on the best show with an accordion since, well, anyone. And the opening band, as with all the shows in the zoo amphitheater, is worth coming early for: Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, an indie-folk band so charming you’d expect to book them on Etsy. Learn more at

Article continues after advertisement

Saturday, July 7

Men Behaving Badly

WHAT: The Sunshine Boys
WHERE: Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

Raye Birk and Peter Michael Goetz play the cantankerous vaudevillians in Neil Simon’s classic story about comics forced to reunite — despite the fact that they can no longer stand each other. Birk and Goetz form a kind of thespian dream team themselves (and presumably get along just fine). Learn more at

Saturday, July 7

Democracy Now

WHAT: Open Field Family Day
WHERE: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Walker’s monthly family day goes grassroots with some outdoor art activities inspired by democracy: design protest posters, create government divisions like the Department of Mustachery, and listen to bomba, the traditional folkloric music of Puerto Rico. Learn more at

Sunday, July 8

The Band Plays On

WHAT: Symphony for the Cities
WHERE: Hudson Lakefront Park Bandshell, Hudson, Wis.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

The Minnesota Orchestra, in the midst of Sommerfest, is reemerging from its warm-weather break to play some outdoor shows—for free. Courtney Lewis, the affable Irishman backing up Osmo Vänskä these days, leads the ensemble through light, familiar classics. Learn more at

Sunday, July 8

The Park Is the Thing

WHAT: Romeo & Juliet
Wolfe Park, St. Louis Park
WHEN: 8 p.m.

The Public Theater of Minnesota, featuring many current and former students of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, offers the time-honored tradition of Shakespeare in the park for free in the Veteran’s Amphitheater. Learn more at