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Mary Mack does comedy the Minnesota way in first of 3 nights at Acme



Mary Mack/ Star Tribune photo by Matt Gillmer

Mary Mack was raised in northern Wisconsin, but she is the quintessential Minnesota comic: smart, polite and sneakily bold.

All those qualities were on display Thursday in the first of three nights at Acme Comedy Co., the Minneapolis club that nurtured her talent.

At first glance, Mack can come across like an innocent waif trapped in the spotlight with her prepubescent voice, pixie build and squeaky-clean material. In one joke, she revels in the idea of wiping away tears with tater tots.

But Mack's act, at least at her home base where she feels most comfortable, can be a high-wire act with a daredevil willing to take a fall.

Before her set even began, Mack shoved her three opening acts on set with her and forced them into a very loose improv set in which the foursome poked fun at a spectator's wardrobe and told anecdotes about their mothers. It didn't work, but it was an appropriate reminder that, with Mack, anything goes.

Later, an exchange with a retired metro bus driver inspired a hilarious bit about a recent encounter on a city bus with a drug dealer in which both parties went out of their way to be "Minnesota nice." The routine may not work on the coasts, but here it killed.

If you like your comedy a bit unpredictable, you should check out Mack who performs through Saturday at Acme. And make sure to come early enough to catch featured performer Claudia Cogan, who is making her Twin Cities debut. Her self-deprecating, razor-sharp humor would make her a much welcome regular on the local scene. Of all the smart moves Mack made Thursday, bringing Cogan along may have her smartest.

Twin Cities' 5 must-see art shows this weekend

Image via Flickr.

Don’t be fooled by the vacay vibes of Memorial Day weekend. There is plenty of art stuff happening! With the good weather continuing to roll in and the giant blue rooster come home to roost in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, there’s plenty to do and see this weekend before the grilling begins.

EVENT – INREVIEW Spring launch!

Forage Modern Workshop (4023 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Friday, May 26th from 7 - 9 p.m.

INREVIEW Magazine celebrates the launch of its Spring 2017 issue, which features reviews of exhibitions at Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) at MIA, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, All My Relations Gallery, Bockley Gallery, Hair and Nails, and Electric Machete Studios. Writers for this issue include Mara Duvra, Gretchen Gasterland-Gustafsson, Mary Coyne, Christina Schmid, Damon Stanek, Forest Lewis, and Sara Nichol. Oh, and there’s an open bar by Hi-Lo Diner and tunes by Alex Chapin and Alex Leeds (the two Alex’s, as it were). Past and current issues of the magazine will be available to all attendees for the price of FREE.

ARTIST TALK: Ryan Fontaine and Kristin Van Loon conversation led by Sheila Dickinson

Hair & Nail Gallery (2222 ½ E. 35th St., Minneapolis, MN 55407)

Friday, May 26th at 7:30 p.m.

Ryan Fontaine creates sculptural investigations into painting, playing with the loosely deteriorating nature of signs. In one large-scale piece in the basement, white chunky lines are carved into a black rectangle, creating a flag-like symbol that stands rather than hangs. In another room, Kristen Von Loon places a pile of NYTimes pages of street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham’s pages on a podium; on the walls, she plasters bright fliers of touring performing arts company SHEN YUN, which purports to tell the entire history of China. The repetition therein offers a meditation on both the loss of print and its oversaturation.

OPENING: h_am.

Sadie Halie Projects (3653 25th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Opening: Saturday, May 27 from 7-10 p.m.


This new exhibition references a piece of meat, yet its graphics appear lo-fi and not-at-all fleshy. Come by and see what artists Fiona Burke and Jo-Mei Lee have cooked up, or left raw. The exhibition runs through June 18.

OPENING: “Rosette” by Sheila Wagner

WHITE PAGE Gallery (3400 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407; open hours, Friday-Sunday 1-5pm)

Opening May 26th from 7-10 p.m.

Abstract painting is not dead. Painting is not dead. Ask any living abstract painter and they will confirm these statements. Or just go to this opening and speak with Sheila Wagner, whose paintings delve into both process and experimentation, color and texture, and the process of creating a painterly language. This exhibition runs through June 25.

SNEAK PEEK: Unveiling the giant blue rooster

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403)

Katharina Fritsch’s long-anticipated giant blue rooster, “Hahn/Cock,” is at home in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which re-opens next Saturday, June 3. Catch a view of it from the bridge before it’s officially unleashed to the public. Cock-a-doodle-do to you!

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