Culture Compass: Halo 4 and the end of the world

A&E plans your weekend. You’re welcome, dreamskippers.

Simon Benarroch



“2012: The Musical”


In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 East Lake St.


7:30 p.m.


$15 dollars


New Native Theatre thinks the apocalypse is funny. Well, it might be. It depends on how the hip puppet-and-mask performers do at the In the Heart of the Beast Theatre in their new play, “2012: The Musical.”
It’s taking the end-of-the-world thing from the Mayan calendar thing which predicts, and CNN
insists, will in fact drive all life to extinction pretty soon.
The NNT ctor Ensemble is sure to have a novel take on the end of days, given their promised inclusion of characters like “dancing neon buffalo” and “alien indian ancestors.”

Frankly, it’s time to give up on conventional apocalypse fiction’s ability to prepare us for the inevitable. If this thing does manage to provide fresh discussion, it’s got to be worth a try.




“Skyfall” in IMAX


AMC Rosedale 14 & IMAX, 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville, Minn.


All afternoon




“Skyfall,” the new James Bond

movie, opens Friday. You may be braced for thrills and sultry chills, but you probably also foresee the inevitable disappointment that James Bond can’t twist his cufflink, tear a laser hole in the fourth wall and extend a hand to you in invitation to his life of high-octane drama. Well, rethink that. “Skyfall”’****s playing in IMAX.

Expect a bigger version of what you want: Bond. Be surrounded by Bond. Let the twinkling projected pixels of Bond caress the corners of your vision. Bond left and right, Bond all around you for two and a half hours.

Plus, Javier Bardem is supposed to be a worthy Bond villain, which should surprise no one.




Midtown Global Market Global Chili Cook-off


920 East Lake St., Minneapolis


Noon-2 p.m.


Cost: $0-5


They say Midwesterners can’t handle spicy food, that some temperance of spirit inhibits our raw thirst for the sweet heat. This is an insidious lie, as Saturday’s sure-to-be-cutthroat Global Chili Cook-off will prove for the sixth time.

Aside from being a people’s choice contest, the cook-off is also a charity event. If you choose to donate $5 dollars, it’ll go toward providing transitional housing for the homeless and at-risk.

Prepare, spawn of Hell, to be paralyzed by an infernal mixture of your overwhelming generosity and the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion’s loving sting.





Play this: Halo 4


Peruse the University of Minnesota’s ever-updated-online Oxford English Dictionary for historical usages of weekend-related vocab. You’ll see the troublesome development of the “Go out and partay” ideology, with its roots in Chaucer’s “Tyme and tyde wayte for no manne on a Seterdai Nyte.”

Here’s a new one for you English jocks, courtesy of the Minnesota Satur-Dai-be-damned-ly: “Play Halo 4 in co-op mode because it’s pretty much a guarantee someone you know will have gotten their hands on it by Saturday.”

Go kick some religious alien zealots down the hole you just burnt in your social calendar.


Drink this: unflavored carbonated water


Impress your friends this weekend with your adoption of a beverage that has caught on everywhere but the U.S.: flavorless sparkling water. When they ask you “Why not at least get the flavored kind?” respond, “If I wanted pop, I’d get pop,” then take a slow swig of tongue-tingling tastelessness and smile. Relish the vacuum squeal as you open your second can of Klarbrunn, and remember that it’s so popular in some countries — Argentina, for instance — that people use little canisters to make their own.


Watch this: ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”


The creators of “Lost” must put together one hell of a boardroom slideshow. “Once Upon a Time” premiered last year, and as of now it boasts a contrived multiple-universe setting adorned with an unabashedly insane amalgam of fairytale characters, from Rumpelstiltskin to Pinocchio (they hate each other by the way). It’s both the absolute worst and absolute best TV show premise since humankind first gathered around the deadly appliance, and it’s on every Sunday. They average one ridiculous tie in per two episodes, so you might just get lucky this weekend.

Oh, and you’ll need to catch up. The plot moves quickly to silliness beyond human comprehension, so get up to speed on Netflix.