The pop-star wives of Henry VIII
“Six,” the electrifying girl-power musical, owes more to Beyoncé than Broadway, where it will open in February. Not unlike “Hamilton,” the thin, splashy show uses pop, R&B, reggaeton and dance music to tell its story — or in this case, the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII. Each queen competes to be queen bae by telling us how her plight was worse than the others’. This English import is laced with sardonic wit and a lot of attitude, taking a complicated chapter from history and making it fun.Rohan Preston
7:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends Dec. 22. Ordway Center, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. $45.50-$108.50, 651-224-4222 or ordway.org.
New Evidence of Brother Ali's skills
Usually a hiatus by Minneapolis’ contemplative do-gooder Muslim rapper amounts to an epic, deep-reaching album, but this time he’s roaring back to life with a record that’s surprisingly off-the-cuff and fun, albeit mindful. “Secrets & Escapes” grew out of free-for-all sessions in hip-hop vet Evidence’s garage studio near Venice Beach, Calif. The Dilated Peoples rapper and beatmaker joins the Rhymesayers mainstay at his hometown release party, with Picked to Click poll winner Nur-D opening and Last Word DJ-ing.
8 p.m. Thu. First Avenue, Mpls. $20-$25, first-avenue.com.
From corn maze to drive-through light show
More than 1 million lights flash and twinkle in Sever’s Holiday Lights display. The popular fall destination featuring a giant corn maze is now debuting a Christmas light spectacle, synchronized to an upbeat soundtrack. Carloads of visitors can drive through the display without braving harsh temps. Guests can step out of the car among the illuminated vignettes for cocoa and mini doughnuts from Drew’s Concessions.
5-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu.; 5-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Jan. 5. Sever’s, Shakopee. $5 per person, $20 max per car; seversholidaylights.com.
Christmas music that's naughtier than nice
Oklahoma retro rocker JD McPherson redefined Christmas music last year with his delightful album “Socks,” stuffed full of spirit, heart and humor. On the twangy rockabilly “Bad Kid,” he explains, “I can’t help it, I was born like this/A permanent spot on the naughty list.” The sax-fueled “Hey Skinny Santa” encourages St. Nick to pig out before making his ride. The lazy blues “Socks” whines about receiving lousy gifts.
8:30 p.m. Fri. First Avenue, Mpls. $22-$25, etix.com.
Nutcracker fan fiction
Actor T. Mychael Rambo is a singing storyteller in St. Paul Ballet’s “A Nutcracker Story,” featuring dancers from James Sewell Ballet. This youth-oriented version of the Nutcracker debuted last year, created by Rambo along with Lirena Branitski and Christina Onusko. The production gives the central character of Marie a brother named Frank, and they travel to a magical place full of waltzing flowers, a Sugar Plum Fairy and winter wonder.
1 & 6 p.m. Sat. O’Shaughessy Auditorium, St Paul. $22-$44, 651-690-6700, oshag.stkate.edu.
Recipe for 'Mesiah'
Handel’s Messiah is like baking apple pie: There are many recipes for the same end-product. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra embraces this multiplicity by engaging different conductors for its annual presentation. This year’s choice is Jory Vinikour, whose skill as harpsichordist and conductor should ensure an authoritative performance. With soprano Yulia Van Doren, countertenor Reginald Mobley and local choir the Singers.
7:30 p.m. Thu. & 8 p.m. Fri., Basilica of St. Mary, Mpls.; 8 p.m. Sat. & 2 p.m. next Sun., Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $12-$50, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org.
Home for the holidays
In the 1980s heyday of the Minneapolis Sound, Alexander O’Neal was the best male soul singer in town. Now living in Manchester, England (home to the Smiths, Simply Red and a famous soccer club), he has appeared on such British TV shows as “Wife Swap” and “Celebrity Big Brother.” He returns to celebrate the season, with yule material from his 1988 LP “My Gift to You” plus such R&B hits as “If You Were Here Tonight.”
7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Thu. The Dakota, Mpls. $35-$50, dakotacooks.com.
Away from the commercial scramble of Christmas, the women of vocal ensemble Lumina are offering “Calling All Angels” as a place of sanctuary. Chill out to a diverse selection of music from the medieval period to the present, rendered in euphonious three-part harmony.
7:30 p.m. Fri., St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Minnetonka; 7 p.m. Sat., Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, Carondelet Center, St. Paul. $0-$15, luminawomensensemble.com.
Longer days are around the corner, making more time for play and activities. But first, celebrate the winter solstice with a moonlit nature walk along a glowing luminary trail. Participate in winter games and get a snowflake (or other winter-themed) face painting. Make your own luminary to take home. Warm up by the bonfire with a cup of hot cider and campfire treats.
5-7:30 p.m. Sat. Kroening Interpretive Center, North Mississippi Regional Park, Mpls. $5, minneapolisparks.org.