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‘Trick Boxing’ at the Guthrie, RenFest in Shakopee

ALSO: Hugh Laurie sings the blues; Heiruspecs and ‘Wayne’s World’ at the Lake Harriet Bandshell; and more.

The Guthrie Theater presents A Sossy Mechanics production of "Trick Boxing" written, directed, choreographed and performed by Megan McClellan and Brian Sostek.
Photo by Ed Bock
Weekend Best Bets from Minnesota Monthly
Friday, August 17

Punching Out the Lights

WHAT: Trick Boxing

WHERE: Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis

WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

Brian Sostek and Megan McClellan’s energetic two-person show about a Depression-era apple seller tricked into becoming a boxer has been a hit since its 2002 debut, traveling the world Fringe circuit. They pull no punches, so to speak, mixing screwball dialogue with swing dance and primitive puppetry to make the kind of effortlessly charming show you can’t stop smiling about. Learn more at

Friday, August 17

Fool’s Paradise

WHAT: Heiruspecs and Wayne’s World

WHERE: Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis

WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

Wayne’s World, featuring Mike Myers’ film debut, is now 20 years old, hearkening to a more innocent age. Paired with music by the Heiruspecs, it’s a good way to start the weekend, a movie that relates to nothing but itself — pure comic escapism. Learn more at

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Saturday, August 18

The House is A-Rockin’

WHAT: Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band

WHERE: Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis

WHEN: 8 p.m.

Hugh Laurie, known to most Americans as Dr. House, is a gentleman and a scholar. Educated at Eton and Cambridge (where he met Stephen Fry, later his TV comedy partner), he went on to star in Hollywood movies and television. But he never lost a childhood fascination with American blues and jazz. Having released a star-studded album last year, Laurie is now touring with a crack band and performing the sort of New Orleans staples that could cure even a curmudgeon like Dr. House. Learn more at

Saturday, August 18

A New Kind of Theater

WHAT: Outside Providence

WHERE: 91 10th Street South, Minneapolis

WHEN: 7:30 p.m.

Dark and Stormy Productions, founded by actress Sara Marsh (Sugar & Spice), aims to reinvent the local theater experience with pithier plays, leisurely intermissions, and post-show concerts. This weekend, in an airy office building sans stage, the troupe presents three short plays by contemporary playwright Edward Allan Baker, with music afterward by the Sudden Lovelys (on Friday) and Skunk Hollow (on Saturday). Learn more at

 2012 Renaissance Festival
renaissancefest.comSunday, August 19

Really Retro

WHAT: Minnesota Renaissance Festival

WHERE: festival grounds, Shakopee               

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Given the rise of fantasy books and movies, plus a new openness about nerdy pleasures, you no longer have to sneak off to RenFest to get your fill of jousting, chain mail, and turkey legs. It’s unabashed geekery, with several new attractions this year, including human combat chess matches, a pub crawl, and a mermaid — or, at least, an attractive woman in a curvaceous tail. Learn more at

Sunday, August 19

Drink Local

WHAT: The Homegrown Experience
WHERE: Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Produced by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, this food and wine tasting event focuses on sustainable, local products, with brewers, winemakers, and chefs demonstrating how to make the most of Minnesota ingredients. Learn more at