Pond hockey championships, a kite festival and 2014’s best new bands

Credit: U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

These Old Shoes

Transatlantic Love Affair’s Fringe Festival show “These Old Shoes” has been revived at the Illusion Theater. The piece, inspired by a lifetime of memory, tells the story of a man leaving his life-long home for a retirement community. “These Old Shoes” boasts both humor and heart, along with a musical composition. The Illusion Theater is hosting a preview of the show Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.


Where: Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave.

When: Jan. 29 through Feb. 14

Cost: $17 to $25

Info: illusiontheater.org


U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

Nothing is quite as Minnesotan as donning ice skates and playing hockey on a frozen pond. The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships has drawn thousands of players and spectators to Lake Nokomis each year for a decade. While it’s too late to register as one of 250 teams vying for the Golden Shovel this year, the championships are something every Minnesotan needs to experience.  Spectators can watch games and take advantage of open rinks and other events beginning Thursday, Jan. 15 and ending Sunday, Jan. 18. The first puck drops Friday morning at 8:50 a.m. and the winners will receive their trophies at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.


Where: Lake Nokomis

When: Jan. 15 through Jan. 18

Cost: Free

Info: uspondhockey.com


Vibrant Matters

Nestled conveniently in Nicollet Mall, Instinct Art Gallery is an ideal spot for a lunch break escape or post-work destination. Its next exhibition, “Vibrant Matters,” is an exploration of objects’ boundaries and the significance we give them from artists David Emitt Adams, David Aschenbrener, Sarina Brewer, Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, Chris Strouth, Michael Thomsen and Keith Taylor. Visitors will see a mesmerizing selection of art and objects, from oddities like Masonic relics and mummified animals to altered everyday objects like tin cans and dog hair. Instinct is hosting an opening reception Saturday, Jan. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m.


Where: Instinct Art Gallery, 940 Nicollet Mall

When: Jan. 24 through March 14

Cost: Free

Info: instinctmpls.com


Promiscuous Hostility Standup Showcase

The Brave New Workshop will host standup comedian Chris Maddock, among other performers, as part of its Promiscuous Hostility Standup Showcase. The name, a nod to founder Dudley Riggs’ motto, “promiscuous hostility, positive neutrality,” means that everything is open to mocking and the theatre’s work is neutral. Maddock will headline the showcase among other comedians to be determined.


Where: Brave New Workshop, 824 Hennepin Ave.

When: Jan. 22 at 8 p.m.

Cost: $5

Info: bravenewworkshop.com


First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2014

First Avenue’s annual showcase of up-and-coming talent has been the launch pad for many local talents and is perfect for Minnesotans looking to see the next big act. This year’s lineup includes Hippo Campus, innovative neo-soul singer PaviElle, folk rocker Sam Cassidy and wild synth band Suzie. Tiny deaths, the standout project from Grant Cutler (Wolflords, Lookbook) and Claire de Lune (The Chalice), and WAREY, a quartet of Channy Leaneagh of Polica and The Grave Trio rhythm section, also made the bill. ZuluZuluu, featuring rapper Greg Grease, DJ Just Nine, keyboardist Taylor Johnson and Trelly Mo, round out the night with experimental hip-hop music with a genre-defying sound. The Current’s David Campbell, K-Twin’s Jason Nagel and RadioK’s Mary Scott and Aaron Bolton are hosting the year’s event.


Where: First Avenue, 701 N. 1st Ave.

When: Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.

Cost: $7

Info: first-avenue.com


Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board are hosting the 13th annual Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival for a day full of unique kites and ice fishing. The Minnesota Kite Society will bring out their unique kites for the occasion and will be on hand to demonstrate how to fly kites, for experts and beginners alike. Festivalgoers can bring their own kites or buy an inexpensive one at the lake for this family-friendly event right on the frozen lake.


Where: Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pwky.

When: Jan. 17

Cost: Free

Info: minneapolisparks.org


Dog Days of Winter

While many may get bogged down in winter, Minnesotans know how to embrace the season. Hiawatha School Park is hosting its annual Dog Days of Winter event that will make it a little easier to get through the cold season. Visitors can drink hot chocolate and enjoy snacks along the campfire right next to the ice.


Where: Hiawatha School Park. 4305 42nd St. E.

When: Jan. 16 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: $1

Info: minneapolisparks.org


Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s latest work, “Citizen,” is a thought-provoking meditation on race and one of last year’s most devastating reads. The timely follow up to 2004’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” is a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry and has garnered a long list of acclaim. Rankine’s reading at Open Book is a rare glimpse into the mind of one of the country’s most powerful writers on her latest effort, published locally by Graywolf Press.


Where: Loft at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S.

When: Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: loft.org


José James

Minneapolis native José James has taken the jazz world by storm in recent years with his blend of blues, hip-hop and R&B. James will return to his stomping grounds for two back-to-back performances of music from his upcoming Billie Holiday album, “Yesterday I Had the Blues,” at the Dakota Jazz Club. With his trademark soulful baritone voice, James has produced several critically acclaimed original records, including 2014’s “While You Were Sleeping” and 2013’s “No Beginning No End.” 


Where: Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Ave.

When: Jan. 20 and Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.

Cost: $35

Info: dakotacooks.com