Advertising is better when it’s British
Inspiration and injustice are always big themes in the British Arrows Awards, the beloved annual program of artful TV commercials at Walker Art Center. Highlights include Samsung’s “Do What You Can’t,” about an ostrich teaching itself to fly; “140 Years,” a spot that showcases female Wimbledon winners while explaining why they must wear white, and a clever airline safety spot that has famous actors auditioning for “Fasten your seat belt” videos — and shows what Jim Broadbent can do with one short phrase. Reserve tickets well in advance. Chris Hewitt
1, 3 & 5 p.m. today; 6, 7 & 8 p.m. Thu.-Fri.; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 p.m. Sat. Other dates and times vary; ends Dec. 30. $14, 612-375-7600 or walkerart.org.
Minneapolis hip-hop heroes Atmosphere remain as prolific as ever in the studio, with their latest album, “La Vida Local,” loaded with darker tones and some surprisingly mesmerizing tracks that are among their most chill songs ever. The duo’s hometown live shows aren’t as frequent as they used to be, making their return to the Palace — which they helped inaugurate last year — more eventful. St. Paul’s own Dem Atlas opens to tout his new LP, “Bad Actress.” Also with loca locals the Lioness and DJ Keezy.
8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Palace Theatre, St. Paul. $30, etix.com.
Introduced to the masses by Prince in 1984 with the hit “The Glamorous Life,” Sheila E has since fashioned an impressive career as a drummer, singer, bandleader, philanthropist and champion of Latin-infused music. This will be her third Twin Cities appearance this year — after heating up a frigid Super Bowl stage, and stirring the Purple faithful at the Celebration at Paisley Park in April. Last year, she released “Iconic,” featuring her spirited interpretations of rock and soul classics with a message.
8 p.m. Wed. First Avenue, Mpls. $45-$150, etix.com.
Twin Cities-based Rhythmically Speaking stages its second annual evening of dance set to Vince Guaraldi’s “Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack. Accompanied by local surf-jazz quartet GST, this year’s show was expanded from last year’s premiere. Choreographer Erinn Liebhard’s playful choreography offers up cheery, lighthearted holiday fare. Then again, there are some seriously skillful moves.
7 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat., 5 p.m. next Sun. Amsterdam Bar & Hall, St. Paul. $16-$18, amsterdambarandhall.com.
There are dozens of “Nutcracker” productions in the Twin Cities, but “Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy” is arguably the grand dame. Created more than 50 years ago by Minnesota Dance Theatre founder Houlton, the elaborate production features dramatic sets, gorgeous costumes, top-notch dancers and a 44-piece orchestra conducted by VocalEssence founder Philip Brunelle.
7:30 p.m. Fri., 3 p.m. Sat. & next Sun. Ends Dec. 23. State Theatre, Mpls. $30-$75, hennepintheatretrust.com.
The benevolent Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolls through 19 stops in Minnesota this week, from Winona to the Twin Cities to Thief River Falls. Each year, the brightly lit and decorated locomotive travels through communities throughout Canada and the Midwest collecting nonperishable food items for local food banks. Each stop will feature a concert by Canadian hard rock band the Trews and American rocker Willy Porter.
Train stops today-Fri. Schedule at cpr.ca/holiday-train/schedule-united-states.
Widely regarded as the greatest orchestral compositions of the baroque period, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos overflow with exuberance and instrumental colors. Playing all six of them has become a holiday tradition at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. The concertos are performed without a conductor, giving SPCO soloists a chance to shine in virtuoso parts for flute, horn, harpsichord and viola.
7:30 p.m. Thu., Temple Israel, Mpls.; 8 p.m. Sat., Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul; 2 p.m. next Sun., Benson Great Hall, Arden Hills. $5-$50, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org.
Thirteen months after postponing his Twin Cities farewell gig because of back problems, Bob Seger is coming to prove that he’s still the same, a heartland rocker whose hits, including “Night Moves” and “Rock and Roll Never Forgets,” still resonate after all these years. It’s been 50 years since his first triumph, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” and he released a creditable new album last year, “I Knew You When.” Now the Detroiter is ready to turn the page.
7:30 p.m. Wed. Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul. Sold out, ticketmaster.com.
In the exhibit “Sleeping Giant: The Iron Range of Minnesota,” Vance Gellert photographs scenes from the northeastern Minnesota mining region: everything from a construction worker standing in front of black ore and a guy relaxing in a sauna in a pink towel to rolling clouds behind a housing development on the Rouchleau mine site. Gellert’s trained eye captures it all.
Minnesota State Capitol, third-floor gallery, St. Paul. Ends Dec. 28. Free, mnhs.org/capitol.