Art Hounds: Comedy on the farm and in town

an outdoor theater performance
"Arla Mae's Booyah Wagon" travels to farms throughout Minnesota
Rob Van Nelson

Updated: 3:33 p.m.

Theater lover Katie Fetterly of St. Paul calls “Arla Mae’s Booyah Wagon,” a traveling musical comedy celebrating the joy of local food, “adorable” and “hilarious.” Booyah is a hearty stew —and a specialty of Arla Mae’s traveling food wagon.

The show is performed at different local farms, and most performances feature a booyah tasting. Sarah Agnew directed and performs in the show, and she also created the booyah recipe with culinary advice from James Beard award-winning chef Ann Kim of Young Joni and other restaurants in Minneapolis. 

“Arla Mae” travels to Ferndale Market in Cannon Falls at 6 p.m Thursday and to Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm in Waseca on Friday. The production moves to Dream Acres Farm in Spring Valley on Saturday and Big Raven Farm in Spring Grove Sunday. The following week performances are scheduled in Oronoco, Red Wing and Northfield.

Musician Mischa Suemnig of Plymouth is excited for a quadruple album release concert by four Minnesota musicians Saturday. Justin Bell and the Lazy Susan Band, the Jonathan Earl band, Sarah VanValkenburg and Samuel J. DuBois all have albums coming out. Suemnig wants to hear new music performed live and “the pent-up anxiety and energy we all have from COVID directed in a positive way” by musicians he admires.

The show is Saturday at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in St. Paul. The venue requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 72 hours.

Comedian Emma Dahlenberg felt like she’d stumbled upon a real gem when she performed at the Club Underground of the Spring Street Tavern in Minneapolis a few months ago. She loves the lighting, the feeling of intimacy with the audience in the low ceiling space. The venue runs a regular Monday Night Comedy Show starting at 7 p.m.

In October, each comedy night will have a theme for the comedians to follow, starting Oct. 4 with “alien abduction night.” Upcoming themes include super villains and character night, as well as one night each of “clean” and “dirty” humor.

“I think it would be really fun as an audience member,” says Dahlenberg, “because you're seeing the comedians have fun in a way that they don't normally do,” as they try out new material to fit each theme.

Correction (Sept. 30, 2021): An earlier version of this story misstated Ann Kim's role in the production "Arla Mae's Booyah Wagon.” The article has been updated.

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