From Kendrick to ‘Epic’
At last! Los Angeles saxophonist Kamasi Washington, aka the Hottest Thing in Jazz, sneaked into town to play Icehouse in 2015 but hasn’t played a local gig since. In the interim, he garnered widespread acclaim with his work for rapper Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning album “To Pimp a Butterfly” and his own three-hour, three-disc debut, “The Epic.” He and his band are absolutely stunning in concert.Chris Riemenschneider
8 p.m. Thu. First Avenue, $30-$35, first-avenue.com
Drag queens from throughout the nine-season run of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” set aside their backstage beefs to perform at this celebrity revue, all for the benefit of Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s Puerto Rico relief charity. In addition to organizer Phi Phi O’Hara, scheduled acts include Minneapolis’ BeBe Zahara Benet (pictured), winner of the first season of “Drag Race,” but you won’t be able to swing a feather boa without hitting a drag superstar.
8:30 p.m. Mon., First Avenue, Mpls., $75-$150, first-avenue.com
After a five-year hiatus, New York’s dance-rock guru James Murphy and his buoyant and grinding yet artful and dramatic band LCD Soundsystem returned to the stage last year, then issued a widely acclaimed new album in September called “American Dream.” The group has made the Wilkins’ challenging confines work for them in the past and are usually even more electrifying in concert than on record.
8 p.m. Thu., Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul, $39-$50, ticketmaster.com
Joy and fear, grace and terror well up in actor Dame-Jasmine Hughes then break like successive waves on her face as she delivers an aching, deeply felt lead performance in “Wedding Band,” Alice Childress’ drama about interracial love in 1918 South Carolina. Director Lou Bellamy’s exquisite production features other first-rate actors including Peter Christian Hansen and Austene Van.
Wed.-Sun., Ends Nov. 12. Penumbra Theatre, St. Paul. $15-$40, penumbratheatre.org
Too early for a Christmas show? Bah humbug. Stray Cats rockabilly/roots-rock maestro Brian Setzer once again kicks off his Christmas Rocks Tour in his adopted hometown, featuring a 19-piece orchestra and selections from his popular holiday albums as well as “Rock This Town” and other classics for any season.
8 p.m. Fri., State Theatre, Mpls., $54-$89, ticketmaster.com
Zenon Dance Company celebrates 35 years with a program of premieres and old favorites. Minnesota’s own Penelope Freeh debuts a quintet contemplating the experience of looking up at the stars, specifically the constellation Orion. Also featured are 2004’s ritualistic “Blessing of the Earth” by Minnesota choreographer Wynn Fricke and a James Baldwin-inspired piece from 1999 by former Minnesota dance-maker Danny Buraczeski.
7:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Ends Nov. 19. Cowles Center, Mpls., $34, thecowlescenter.org
Hair&Nails gallery’s new two-person exhibition is filled with slick, weird paintings by co-owner Ryan Fontaine and New York painter Andrew Mazorol, who used to paint as part of the duo AMTK when he lived in Minneapolis. Fontaine’s minimalist use of colors and materials pairs nicely with the busyness of Mazorol’s “Man With Dog” (2017), with patterns and outlines of shadowy characters combining to play spatial tricks on the eyes.
Through Dec. 3, Hair&Nails, Mpls., free, hairandnailsart.com
Interact with a veritable army of costumed World War I-era soldiers and civilians, each prepared to impart history lessons marking 100 years since the U.S. officially joined fighting in Europe. This family-friendly educational event also includes live music and a special trolley for transporting guests about the site.
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., noon-4 p.m. next Sun., The Landing, Shakopee, $5-$8, threeriversparkdistrict.org
Beneath the amorous shenanigans, Mozart’s comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro” is all about social hierarchies and the exploitation of workers. That explains the opera’s contemporary relevance. Lyric Opera of Kansas City premiered a new staging of “Figaro” last year, with costumes and set firmly located in the 18th century. Minnesota Opera presents the Kansas City production, cast with fresh singers and conducted by music director Michael Christie.
7:30 p.m. Sat., Ends Nov. 19, Ordway Center, St. Paul, $22.50-$215, mnopera.org