Todd Barry: "I don't want to be known as 'the guy who doesn't have an act' or something like that"

Categories: Comedy, Interview
Mindy Tucker
For many  comedians, the thought of going onstage without any prepared material is the stuff of nightmares. Todd Barry is not one of those comedians. In 2013, the quick-witted standup veteran of over 25 years headed out on what he called the Crowd Work Tour, leaving his jokes at home and relying entirely on passing a microphone around and interacting with audiences. The shows went well, so he did another tour later in the year, this time followed by a camera crew for a documentary that Barry's friend Louis C.K. produced and recently released on his website.

The special, the second that C.K. has released by someone other than himself, follows Barry through all seven shows of the tour. It has it all: the good, the bad (mainly people in the audience trying to be funny), and the hilariously awkward, like when he had to stop making fun of an audience member who was not only serving in the military, but had also driven 200 miles to be there.

Barry has decided to do one last Crowd Work Tour, which includes a stop at the Cedar Cultural Center this Wednesday. Dressing Room connected with him ahead of the gig to talk about the two previous Crowd Work Tours, the special, and some of his other roles and projects.

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Frank Theatre revisits The Threepenny Opera

Categories: Theater
Photo by Tony Nelson
Bradley Greenwald leads the company of The Threepenny Opera.
Four years after his stunning turn as the Emcee in Frank Theatre's Cabaret, Bradley Greenwald brings "Mack the Knife" to glorious life in Frank Theatre's mad and invigorating production of The Threepenny Opera.

It's the kind of role Greenwald was born to play. The versatile actor has the vocal chops to bring off the depth and breadth of Kurt Weill's score, while his strong acting instincts craft a character that is both engaging and repellent, a perfect blend for the Bertolt Brecht script.

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Four free things to do this week

Categories: Free Stuff
L-R: Third Thursdays at MIA, Queenie Von Curves, Walker Art Center
This week in free stuff to do we have two museum parties (one featuring teens and one celebrating flora and fauna), a workshop on the art of burlesque, and a gallery get together honoring water. Come take a look and plan your week on the cheap.

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Best of Dressing Room: April 7-11

Categories: Weekly Wrap-up
Folks in the Twin Cities are always up to something exciting. Here are some of Dressing Room's top stories from this week:

-- Open Streets is coming back this summer with new festivals in Kingfield and on the proposed Greenway in north Minneapolis.

-- Spring has sprung! Here's 50 reasons we love spring in the Twin Cities.

-- Ferrari McSpeedy probably won't make it into the Fringe, but they have a great show at Brave New Workshop's Uptown location this month.

-- We chatted with comedian and former Conan writer Deon Cole before his gig at Rick Bronson's House of Comedy.

-- Walker Art Center's Open Field is back! The lawn party has its early schedule up, though there's still time to submit an event.

Red Eye produces another Sibyl Kempson work, Potatoes of August

Categories: Theater
Photo by Liz Josheff
Billy Mullaney 
Red Eye continues its 30th anniversary season with a new play by New York-based playwright Sibyl Kempson, whose work Ich, Kürbisgeist was presented last fall at the theater. This weekend, Potatoes of August, which was originally produced at Dixon Place in New York City, opens in a production directed by Red Eye's artistic director, Steve Busa, with music by Mike Iveson Jr. and a cast that includes Kirby Bennett, Chuck Deeter, Ben Kreilkamp, Miriam Must, Kevin McLaughin, and Billy Mullaney. 
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Nacirema explores race in America; Peer Gynt heads outdoors

Categories: Theater
Photo by Mat Lindquist
The company of Nacirema.
Plays exploring America's complex relationship with race have increased in number on Twin Cities stages in recent years, and that's a welcome change to the area's lily-white reputation. 

Nimbus Theater has often explored the thornier side of culture and society, and that continues with Nacirema: Stories of Color. In it, a company of seven diverse performers explore their own heritage and how they fit in with the culture at large.

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Chelsea Handler, $5 posters, the Blind Shake: Freeloader Friday

L-R: Kristen Sanders for "Pink Bodies," Bombay Sweets poster by Aesthetic Apparatus, Kate Casanova for Color Space Art & Imaging
The weekend is finally here and it looks like the weather will stay in the spring zone. This week in Freeloader Friday we have a cheap poster sale and party, tons of gallery shows, bike rides, and plenty of other free fun. Come take a look at our list and plan your weekend.

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Northern Spark launches Kickstarter campaign

Categories: Art, Festivals
Patrick Kelley
After last season's party in St. Paul, Northern Spark will be venturing back to Minneapolis this summer for an evening of special happenings throughout the city on June 14. Hotspots include downtown by the Metrodome, the Walker Art Center, the Greenway, and outside the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. During the overnight event there will be light installations, hands-on activities, live music, and other fun, community-building moments.

The organization recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for basic needs at the event, including electricity, police permits, and other nitty-gritty necessities.

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Win the VIP experience at the 2014 Best of the Twin Cities Party!

Snap Yourself!
Now's your chance to win our Best Of the Twin Cities Party VIP Prize Pack and party with us like it's the golden age of Hollywood.

So what's in the prize pack? We're glad you asked.

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2013 Best of the Twin Cities Party photobooth

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Here are the winners of the 26th annual Minnesota Book Awards

Categories: Books
Last weekend, talents from the local literary community gathered to celebrate and honor the best of Minnesota writing in 2013. The gala was hosted by John Moe of Wits fame. The eight categories included nominees in children's literature, genre fiction, poetry, and Minnesota. So if you're looking for some good summertime reading, or just want to get into a few books by Minnesota authors, the list of winners may be your ticket to finding a good read. Check out the entire list of winners after the jump.

See also:
Your guide to the Minnesota Book Awards finalists

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