Updated: 05/14/2016 4:55 PM | Print Story |  Email

5 Twin Cities Events Worth Attending May 16 - 22

Never fear, spring-like temperatures are near! If cool weather kept you inside over the weekend, this week looks a lot more promising, with 70s in the forecast by the end of the week. No matter the weather, there’s plenty to do around town. Here are my five picks for Twin Cities events happening May 16 – 22.
 
Have a great week!
Mike Marcotte, Twin Cities Live's Local Guy About Town
 
1. HELLO!!!: “The Book of Mormon” – through Sunday, May 29 
 
Last Wednesday marked my second time seeing “The Book of Mormon” on stage (my first time was its last tour through Minneapolis). I prepped this time around by listening to the soundtrack on repeat for days, and although some would guess I’d be tired of the music by the time I sat in my seat at the Orpheum, I loved every moment. The stage version includes fun dance numbers, hilarious facial expressions and use of props, and jokes that the soundtrack couldn’t do justice. It’s definitely not a show for kids or for those easily offended, but despite the adult humor, it’s a show with a lot of heart...and NSFW language.
 
The balcony at the Orpheum isn’t my favorite place in town, so I recommend you spend the extra money and sit on the main level. Sitting upstairs makes you feel removed from the experience; it’s like you’re watching the show from Saint Louis Park. However, I know that tickets aren’t cheap. For shows this Tuesday through Sunday, anyone 18+ can enter an online raffle to get two tickets for $25 each. That’s definitely worth it, even if you land a seat further from the stage. If you’re unsuccessful there, Hennepin Theatre Trust hosts a $25 ticket lottery two and a half hours before every show. You’ll want to show up to the theatre with cash in hand.
 
My five reminders about attending a show at the Orpheum:
If you have your tickets, you can enter through the side door on Ninth Street. You can also exit through that door.
If you’re going to purchase an adult beverage, bring cash. There’s an automatic 18% gratuity on any credit card purchase at the bar, and the drinks at the Orpheum are more expensive than what you’ll pay at the Xcel Energy Center.
If you want a drink refill at intermission, use the bars in the front of the building and skip the line for the bar by coat check.
One more drink suggestion: the pint glass of wine (what the bartenders call a double) is worth it compared to what you’ll pay for other drinks. I recommend getting red wine. Unless you guzzle the white wine, it’ll be warm before you get to the last drops.
Please don’t park in the FAIR School underground ramp which is across the street. That’s where everyone else goes and getting out takes forever (plus cell phone service is unreliable). My recommendation: park at the Highland Bank Center ramp and walk the extra block. Plus, you’ll come out on LaSalle, a two-way street, meaning you can easily head north, south, east, or west out of downtown.
 
When: Tuesdays through Sundays, ending May 29
Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis
Cost: $49-154
Parking: See above. Please, please, please, don’t park in the underground parking ramp across the street.
Food: Marin Restaurant & Bar is right across the street and is the best option for restaurants within a couple blocks of the theatre. I also recommend Il Foro and the rooftop of Union.   
 
2. TAKE A LOOK, IT’S IN A BOOK: Little Free Library Festival – Saturday, May 21
 
There’s one on my block in Minneapolis, and they’re popping up all around the world: micro-libraries with a simple concept; drop off a book and pick up a new one. The best parts: there's no librarian, no slips inside the front cover to fill out using pencil, and no late fees. The Little Free Library concept started in Hudson and now boasts 36,000 registered spots. On Saturday, organizers are throwing a big celebration at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. Attendees can help build new libraries (their goal is to create 100), kiddos can watch pop-up puppet shows, and even four-legged friends can get in the fun with a canine costume contest and parade.
 
When: Saturday, May 21, 2016
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
Cost: Free
Parking: It’s a good excuse to take the light rail, even if you park one stop away. You’ll want to take the Blue line and exit at the 50th Street – Minnehaha Station.
Food: Pack some snacks for the kiddos. I’m a fan of Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub, which is at the 38th Street light rail Station.
 
3. UNLIMITED BEER AND BURGERS: Twin Cities Burger Battle – Saturday, May 21
 
The 3rd Annual Twin Cities Burger Battle brings together 25 restaurants who will fire up the grill to serve you creative and classic burgers at Harriet Island on Saturday. Tickets are $55, but that’s all-inclusive, including all you can drink beer. Restaurants old and new are going head-to-head and they’re all legit, including 5-8 Club, The Nook, Paddy Shack, Happy Gnome, Red Cow, FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar, Pat’s Tap, and others. The event will take place rain or shine and it’s completely outdoors. No pets are allowed. 
 
When: Saturday, May 21, 2016
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Where: Harriet Island, Saint Paul
Cost: $55 (all-inclusive). Buy tickets online.
Parking: Plan ahead. Limited parking is available close by, so you will probably need to walk a bit. Also consider how you’ll get home after three hours of drinking unlimited beer.
Food: Eat a light lunch.
 
4. SNOOP INSIDE DOWNTOWN CONDOS: Downtown Living Tour – Saturday, May 21
 
Around 30 residential communities surrounding downtown Minneapolis will open their doors on Saturday, giving you the chance to see the views and amenities each has to offer. I’m thinking of this as ‘The Parade of Homes Downtown Edition’, so even if you’re not looking to move, it’s a perfect way to snoop around or dream. Plus, businesses in the area are offering deals, including a free beer at the new Lakes & Legends Brewing Company if you tour the building they’re located in, buy one, get one free on beverages at Dunn Bros Coffee, and a free puppydog tail with coffee purchase at Isle Bun & Coffee (the puppydog tail is a Twin Cities Live staff favorite treat).
 
When: Saturday, May 21, 2016
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Downtown Minneapolis
Cost: Free 
Parking: The event takes place in five neighborhoods. Organizers have a map with buildings that will be open along with parking recommendations.
Food: Check out their list of businesses offering deals.
 
5. HALLELUJAH: “Leap of Faith” – Thursday, May 19 through Sunday, May 22
 
“Leap of Faith,” a 1992 movie starring Steve Martin, revolves around a ‘reverend’ who is more interested in making a buck than spreading the word of the Lord. The movie, which turned into a Tony-nominated musical, didn’t see much success on Broadway. And that’s where Minneapolis Musical Theatre comes in – their mission is to take rare musicals and do them well. 
 
The local “Leap of Faith” cast is energetic, and on top of that spunk are angelic voices of the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. Every female vocalist on the cast is phenomenal, and it reminded me how much immense talent we have here in the Twin Cities. Don’t go for the story, instead, go support an organization that is highlighting Minnesota's robust arts scene. The New Century Theatre, located on the ground floor of City Center in downtown Minneapolis, is an intimate venue and one that is more obtainable for those who don’t like to battle crowds. 
 
When: Thursday, May 19 – Sunday, May 22
Time: 7:30 pm Thursday – Saturday, 2:30 pm Sunday
Where: New Century Theatre, Minneapolis
Cost: $25-30. $15 rush tickets are available to educators and students one hour to each performance. Those must be purchased at the box office and are cash only. There’s a limit of two tickets per school ID.
Parking: Park at the Highland Bank Center ramp at 8th and LaSalle.
Food: Il Foro, Rosa Mexicano, and Fogo de Chao are all located inside City Center. New Century Theatre has a bar (they take credit cards) but they don't offer food.
 
A busy weekend is ahead! Other things worth attending:
 
Twin Cities Live’s Meet and Eat – Saturday, May 21 in Burnsville
Minnesota Boychoir Spring Concert – Saturday, May 21 in Mahtomedi
Just Between Friends Sale – Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22 in Vadnais Heights
Art-A-Whirl – Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22 in Minneapolis
 
Tell me about an upcoming event you’re excited about! Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and email. Have a great week!