Paul F. Tompkins
Tompkins, one of the funniest personalities in comedy, has enjoyed a slow-building career, beginning on HBO's beloved "Mr. Show" in the mid-'90s. His profile has ballooned with his "Pod F. Tompkast" podcast, a medium that suits his razor-witted, improv-informed storytelling. His Comedy Central special premiered (and killed) last month. You can catch the dapper comic twice this weekend. Friday, he's the comedic counterpart to musical guest Aimee Mann at MPR's "Wits." He also performs standup on Saturday at the 400-seat Parkway Theater. -Jay Boller
Choreographer David Zambrano blends contemporary dance and improvisational influences to create his own smooth, playful, athletic, high-energy style. With "Soul Project," he calls together a mini world summit of dancers for an evening of stirring movement set to some of the biggest voices in soul music. Don't expect to remain in your seat -- the audience will view the work up close from a variety of angles within the performance space. The dancers will also take over some of the Walker's public spaces on Thursday at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. -Caroline Palmer
The mainstream has never embraced Norm, but it keeps trying. Ever since he was famously canned from "SNL," the Canadian comic hasn't managed a popular TV show, despite landing several. Last year's "Sports Show" on Comedy Central lasted just nine episodes. That's not to say Norm isn't funny -- he's just too odd. Simultaneously aloof and biting, his raunchy breed of blunt anti-humor is too much for the masses. But his rabid fans devour everything, including last year's special, "Me Doing Standup." Norm will do just that in back-to-back shows at the Brick. -Jay Boller
'The War Within/All's Fair'
The Moving Company worked on this "theatrical mayhem" with students at the University of Minnesota last fall. Now, Dominique Serrand, Steven Epp and Nathan Keepers are putting together a new production of the show. Serrand said the piece is about "the slow disintegration of the democratic principles." Epp was more mirthful and blunt: "It's a celebration of our national stupidities." -Graydon Royce