This week, we’re highlighting a few of those events.
It’s official: We can use the term “annual” to describe Acme’s Recovery Riot, now in its second year. The event is sober in content, but not in tone. Meaning, there will be no booze at the bar, and no jokes about substances, but laughter will be as raucous as any other night at the club. “There is a huge sober community in the city,” event organizer Patrick Strait, who often covers the comedy scene as a contributing writer for City Pages, told us last year. “But it’s kind of tough—especially when you’re new to sobriety—to really know how to reintroduce yourself into the world and start having fun again. There is a way to keep doing that even if you don’t drink or do drugs anymore.” This year’s lineup includes Carmen Lynch, a 2018 alum of Crash and Burn, the Tim Slagle series where seasoned comics create an all-new set of material over the course of a week; Mike Lester, whose comedy podcast, I Love You, Mana, won a City Pages Best Of last year; and Nate Nickel, winner of Acme’s Funniest Person Contest in 2017. If you’re not comfortable heading to the club (there’s still a plague on, after all), you can enjoy some sober fun at home via Acme’s Zoom stream. Proceeds from tickets benefit Stepping Stones, a sober housing program in St. Paul. $18; $11 to stream via Zoom. 8 p.m. Acme Comedy Co., 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Wednesday, October 14
Twin Cities Book Festival
In times of pandemic, festivals are generally a no-go. So Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival has pivoted to being a virtual experience. And we suspect this will work great; of all the annual get-togethers in the Twin Cities, a celebration of books is probably the most cyber-friendly. For its 20th(!) year, this all-ages, all-genre book party doesn’t look that different from other years. The gang’s all here: Expect author readings, panel talks, book sales, and more over the course of three days. Highlights include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, whose latest novel, Homeland Elegies, takes a fictionalized look at the world post-9/11. Intriguing group discussions include a talk from three authors (Derf Backderf, R. Sikoryak, and James Otis Smith) who recount history via graphic novel, covering things like Kent State, the Constitution, and Black heroes of the Wild West. You can find the complete schedule of happenings by clicking the “events” tab at twincitiesbookfestival.com, but you might also consider trying out the “Festival GPS” button, where a live volunteer can recommend things you might particularly enjoy. Also good to know: All events are free. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. October 15-17
Posters for Parks
Now in its fifth year, Posters for Parks features tons of cool art for a good cause: 50 percent of sales go to the People for Parks Fund at Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the other half goes directly to the artists. This year the benefit is moving online, with over 30 rad posters for sale. Choose from pieces celebrating birding, botanics, biking, waterways, or winter sports. And how will they manage this benefit party during a pandemic? Via Zoom, of course. The sale will kick off with an online cocktail party this Saturday, October 17, from 5 to 6 p.m. DJ King Otto will spin tunes, Parks Foundation’s Jennifer Downham will play virtual bartender, and this year’s posters will be revealed. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance via Eventbrite. After that, check out artwork and buy posters at lovemplsparks.org. October 17-24
“Birds just don’t go ‘round attacking people for no reason, you know what I mean?” a man points out in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror flick The Birds. Tell that to anyone who has fled from a pissed-off peacock at the zoo or swatted at a bluejay angry at you being too close to its nest. But it is probably our bad experiences with these creatures that fuel the fear in this tale of animal vengeance in a sleepy California beach town. Upon release, the movie received mixed reviews, but it went on to become a classic in the horror canon. These days, it can be appreciated as an early example of the nature horror genre. Like many horror flicks from past eras, the special effects haven’t aged well, but laughing at bad animatronics and obvious greenscreen backdrops is part of the fun. You can see it on the big screen this weekend at Mears Park; hopefully the nearby creatures don’t take inspiration from the movie. Sumo Eggroll food truck will be serving up eats. You must RSVP to attend; find more info on how to do so at stpaul.gov/MoviesInThePark. $10 per group. 5 p.m. Mears Park, 221 Fifth St. E., St. Paul. Saturday, October 17