20 years in hip-hop
St. Paul’s answer to the Roots, Heiruspecs are ending the year with a 20th anniversary celebration, a reminder that these pals from Central High School were also way ahead of the curve navigating the ins and outs and joys of live hip-hop. They’re still going strong, issuing a mixtape of rarities and live tracks timed to the show as a follow-up to last year’s strong and prophetic EP, “theskyisfalling.” Opener Gabby Z is a recipient of the Heiruspecs Scholarship Fund, which has now surpassed $20,000.CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
8 p.m. Fri., Turf Club, St. Paul, $12-$15, eTix.com
The frequently hilarious drama “Dot” about a family’s dysfunctional Christmas celebration can distract from your own not-quite-perfect holiday because the dandy cast is so sharp at delineating the dynamics that can lead to yule conflict. Cynthia Jones-Taylor embeds humor and heartache in the Alzheimer’s-afflicted title character, and her adult children stand out: cranky/warm Yvette Ganier, frazzled Ricardo Beaird and force-of-nature Dame-Jasmine Hughes.
7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends Jan. 7, Park Square Theatre, St. Paul, $7.99-$60, parksquaretheatre.org.
Need a break from the bustle of the holidays? Or from this winter weather? Go to the Como Conservatory for some heat, humidity and plants. Lots of plants. The annual poinsettia show in the Sunken Garden is in the pink this year. Check out the gorgeous orchids in the Palm Dome. You don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate the immaculately groomed bonsai or the tropical-like gardens featuring fig trees, chocolate plants and other exotica. Just breathe.
10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, Como Conservatory, St. Paul, free, comozooconservatory.org
Director Laurence Connor’s new staging of “Phantom of the Opera” is less histrionic and more human than Harold Prince’s original. This show becomes more about Christine, the fatherless ingenue, even as the Phantom overcomes his own childhood as a captive exhibited in a cage. Connor cools the sexual interplay between Christine and the Phantom but keeps the pyrotechnics and, of course, the crashing chandelier in this Andrew Lloyd Webber classic.
Ends Dec. 31, Orpheum Theatre, Mpls., $39-$139, ticketmaster.com
After raging and rattling through another full-tilt marathon rock show with his band the night before Thanksgiving at First Avenue, locally beloved Illinois rocker Ike Reilly is returning to town on short notice for a rare solo gig. He’s promising a little storytelling and some untested songs along with unplugged versions of his provocative rock anthems. Gabriel Douglas of the 4onthefloor opens.
10 p.m. Thu., Icehouse, Mpls., $25, Icehousempls.com.
A perennial favorite at Walker Art Center, the British Arrow Awards celebrate the UK’s most innovative, poetic and extraordinary video commercials. One of the highlights of the 2017 prizes is “Come Together” for H&M. It’s a flawless miniature film by Wes Anderson, with Adrien Brody playing a railroad conductor whose passengers will be stranded from their Christmas destination by bad weather.
Ends Sat. Walker Art Center, Mpls., $14, walkerart.org
Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, Rio Nido entertained at nearly every cool event and hip party in the Twin Cities. Since reuniting in 2015 after a three-decade hiatus, the harmony-loving jazz trio is making the Dakota Jazz Club its regular spot. Prudence Johnson, Tim Sparks and Tom Lieberman still love 1930s and ’40s jazz but offer other material, as well.
7 & 9 p.m. Wed. Dakota Jazz Club, Mpls., $25-$35, dakotacooks.com,
Distilling the sap of a lacquer tree is the key to creating lacquer sculpture, a tradition that Asian artisans have worked with since the Neolithic era. “Hard Bodies” brings together highlights of the Asian lacquer collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, with works by contemporary Japanese artists. Since the late 1980s, some lacquer artists have been working large instead of small. This exhibition shines light on the new possibilities.
Tue.-Sun. Ends June 24. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Mpls., artsmia.org
Kids can get in on the New Year’s Eve action at the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Dance the evening away with tunes by Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade. Make holiday art projects, decorate cookies and explore the exhibits. A countdown to 8 p.m. includes a “human ball drop” by Twin Cities Trapeze.
6-9 p.m. next Sun. Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul, $15, mcm.org.