Nick Offerman at Mill City Nights: "Paddle your own canoe"

Categories: Comedy, Review
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Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation

In 2009, the world was introduced to a man. Well, actually, that man had actually been in acting and comedy for some time. Scratch that. In 2009, the world was introduced to a mustache.

As Ron Swanson on NBC's Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman has brought his deadpan machismo to the masses for five years. With his American Ham tour he is breaking out of his TV role with an evening full of anecdotes, music, and intimate details concerning his wife, actress Megan Mullally.

Last night's two very sold-out sets at Mill City Nights weren't just standup performances, though. The show is a musical-comedy production with songs peppered throughout to emphasize the 10 key points in Offerman's routine. The musical numbers were performed solely by the man himself with an acoustic guitar, demonstrating that his range extends beyond comedy.

Related stories:

Nick Offerman offers V-Day tips, gushes over Garrison Keillor



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Lizz Winstead: "Maybe Kickstarter can replace social programs" [REVIEW]

Categories: Comedy, Review
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The Parkway is also playing new movie Smashed, though Winstead quipped that the marquee described her.
By the time Lizz Winstead got onstage at Pepito's Parkway on Saturday -- her nephew Sam Breckenridge, a St. Paul firefighter by day, opened with a few songs on acoustic guitar; and Joe Minjares, the Parkway's owner and Winstead's old friend from the 1980s comedy scene, introduced her -- she had already made her first joke.

All of the preliminaries had happened in front of a projection that showed a bunch of women dancing wildly. Inside a three-ring binder.

For the next 90 minutes, Winstead applied that wit to recapping the year in politics against a rotating backdrop of similar graphics. She was preaching to her choir, "those Prius people who spend a lot of money on kale," as she described it, and the crowd rarely stopped laughing along.

See Also:
- Lizz Winstead on why 2012 was "the worst Lifetime movie ever" and what to expect from her Year in Review
- 2012 in review: Top five Twin Cities comedy moments


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National Poetry Slam 2010 day 3 wrap-up, day 4 recommendations

Categories: Review

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​The third day of prelims in the 2010 National Poetry Slam was even more bustling with energy than the previous two nights. City Pages camped out at Wild Tymes for the first bout between Denver, CO; Irving, TX; Manchester, NH; and Orlando, FL. The crowd was sparse towards the beginning--so much so that the slam host commanded the teams to step outside and recruit judges. But once fully stocked with people willing to put numeric rankings on art, things got underway.

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National Poetry Slam 2010: Day 2 wrap up, day 3 recommendations

Categories: Review

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Day two of the National Poetry Slam held another set of preliminary bouts. Across the downtown area groups of four teams battled it out for first place and a spot in Friday's semifinal round. For day two City Pages camped out at Wild Tymes for the evening. The first bout featured teams from Albuquerque, NM; Flagstaff, AZ; San Jose, CA; and Cleveland, OH. Overall, it was a weaker bout than the one we attended at the Artists' Quarter, but it also brought a larger diversity of voices and styles.

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National Poetry Slam 2010 day one wrap-up, day two recommendations

Categories: Review

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Ward Rubrecht
Slam poet Guante
​It was a crazy night at the Artists' Quarter, one of the six venues running concurrent bouts for last night's portion of the National Poetry Slam 2010. An hour before doors opened folks were already cramming into the narrow corridor outside the venue, anxious to get good seats before the slam began.

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CONvergence 2010 in review

Categories: Review
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(Get your geek on: Ghostbusters visit last year's CON. Photo by Peter Verrant)

CONvergence is a difficult thing to explain to the uninitiated. It's a giant party celebrating sci-fi, fantasy, and anime  culture. It's also filled with sufficient inside jokery to choke a Hutt, and the event has its own feel and memes, distilled through 12 years in existence.  If a non-geek showed up and somehow got inside, they'd probably feel about as out-of-place as we geeks felt at 8th grade homecoming. It's a once-a-year weekend-long intellectual summit, gaming session, and kegger rolled into one.

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