Best Bets: Ely Winter Festival, learn to curl with an Olympian, and more
Find something to do this week in the Northland.
DULUTH — This week, winter celebrations continue and local stages light up. Here are six events to add to your calendar.
Ely Winter Festival
What do Justin Bieber, Harry Styles and the Ely Winter Festival have in common? They were all born in 1994. That makes this year's Ely event the 30th annual celebration of the snowy season, and the city's going all out. We're talking kick-sledding; we're talking the Snow Sculpture Symposium; we're talking the Ely Art Walk. Singer-songwriter Courtney Yasmineh will play live, and toward the later end of its 10 days, the festival will overlap with Ely's inaugural End of the Road Film Festival. When you're ready to escape the hullabaloo (such as it is), you can take a snowshoe tour of Sigurd Olson’s Listening Point. For information about the festival, which kicks off Thursday, see elywinterfestival.com.
Top Gun: Maverick
Maybe the presence of the 148th has something do to with it, but Duluth is very into Tom Cruise's return to the cockpit. At St. Luke's, "Maverick" was tied for the most popular baby boys' name of 2022. As of this writing, "Top Gun: Maverick" has the second-most votes among potential summer movies in Leif Erikson Park (only "School of Rock" has more support). On top of that, the sequel to the 1986 original is kicking off a new free movie series at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Locally Laid Egg Co. is sponsoring the Thursday night screening. Does that make them Goose eggs? For information, see decc.org.
Learn to curl with an Olympian
On Thursday, Fuse Duluth is bringing Olympic gold medalist Tyler George to Wild State Cider. George will demonstrate the sport known as "chess on ice" and hang around to chat at a happy-hour team-building event. It's curling tradition for the winning team to buy drinks for the losers. What do you do when everybody wins? Find out from 4:30-6:30 p.m. This is a ticketed event with advance registration (and appetizers). See fuseduluth.com for details.
'Tartuffe' at St. Scholastica
Playwright Moliere's alternate title for "Tartuffe" (1664) was "The Imposter." The story centers on a fraud who dupes the dad in an appalled family where most of the other members see through the man's scams. It's a classic of the stage, and CSS Theatre will have plenty to chew on when they mount a production under the direction of Liz Gray-Larson. For tickets and information, see css.edu.
Playhouse does 'Glass Menagerie'
"The Glass Menagerie" (1944) is the play that made the name of Tennessee Williams, who would go on to write "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947) and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955). It's the poignant story of a small family inspired by the playwright's own, including a vulnerable young woman who treasures her collection of glass figurines. Anika Thompson is directing a Duluth Playhouse production that opens Friday at the NorShor Theatre. "Grounded in memory, our production explores the nature of memories — how they are formed and how they shift upon retelling," said Thompson in a statement. For tickets and information, see duluthplayhouse.org.
'Twelfth Night' at UMD
'Tis the season for Shakespeare; specifically, the 1602 play written for the end of the Christmas season. A warm romantic comedy, the play posits a love triangle involving a young woman disguised as a man. A new University of Minnesota Duluth production is set in the swinging '60s and features a live band playing music of the era to set the scene. According to a news release, "the play’s classic theme of androgyny will be heightened by a troupe of recurring clowns, some deploying elements of drag." The show opens Tuesday, Jan. 31. For tickets and information, see tickets.umn.edu.