A contemporary ‘Carol’
The Guthrie’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has become the Twin Cities’ most beloved holiday tradition. Surehanded director Lauren Keating again takes the reins for this year’s production, with a script that is more contemporary and inclusive. The smart female characters have more agency; the party thrown by Fezziwig includes a same-sex couple. And yet it remains, at heart, an old story of hope. Even Scrooge, a hateful and narrow-minded figure who would rather cast aspersions than blessings — can change. Rohan Preston
7:30 p.m. Wed., 1 & 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 1 & 7 p.m. next Sun. Ends Dec. 29. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls. $29-$134, 612-377-2224 or guthrietheater.org.
Walker Art Center pays tribute to a collector’s obsession in “The Expressionist Figure,” built around a donation of 79 drawings that Minneapolis’ Erwin Kelen and his wife, Miriam, amassed over six decades. The largest gift of drawings the Walker has ever received, it includes a new Jasper Johns, two Andy Warhols and two by William Kentridge. “Name No Names,” a 2005 drawing by Marlene Dumas, shows a blond Marilyn Monroe being cornered by three shadowy men.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Tue. & Wed.; 11-9 Thu.; 11-6 Fri.-Sat. Walker Art Center, Mpls. $7.50-$15, walkerart.org.
After headlining the Bayfront Blues Fest this past summer, 85-year-old blues legend Bobby Rush is swinging back through Minnesota for an intimate solo show where he handles guitar, harmonica and vocal duties, and his foot is the rhythm section. It’s how he got started back in Pine Bluff, Ark. — same hometown as Twins legend Torii Hunter — before heading off to Memphis and then Chicago and running alongside Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed and Etta James. He’s one of the last of the era.
7 p.m. Wed. The Dakota, Mpls. $30-$40, dakotacooks.com.
Aaron Copland wrote “Appalachian Spring” in 1943 for a ballet about pioneers in Pennsylvania. Few works match the spirit of Thanksgiving better, and the masterly score is the centerpiece of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s weekend concerts. Also featured are Copland’s Short Symphony and his jazz-flecked Clarinet Concerto, with SPCO's Sang Yoon Kim. John Corigliano’s “Voyage” and Stephen Prutsman’s "Color Preludes” for strings complete an all-American lineup.
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. next Sun. Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $12-$50, thespco.org.
One of the most fun tribute shows of the year is paying homage to one of the most legendary local concerts of the decade. The annual Tribute to the Replacements will feature a song-by-song re-creation of the local anti-heroes’ 2015 show at Midway Stadium, once again anchored by house band the Melismatics with guest singers including Har Mar Superstar, Faith Boblett, Andra Suchy and Al Church. Proceeds benefit late ’Mats mate Ed Ackerson’s family.
8 p.m. Fri. Turf Club, St. Paul. $20, etix.com.
Julglädje, Swedish for “Christmas joy,” will permeate the Turnblad Mansion during the American Swedish Institute's joyful musical romp hosted by Ross Sutter. Listen to American and Swedish seasonal music. Children’s author and storyteller Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux will lead kids on a thrilling and imaginary trip through story and song.
1 p.m. Sat. & next Sun. American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Av. S., Mpls. $5-$12, asimn.org.
The rule-defying Choreographers’ Evening features a pre-show performance by Erika Hansen and Leah Nelson a half-hour before curtain. Local collective SuperGroup — known for its astute attention to how performance can be shaped, twisted, bent and even eradicated — selected this year’s choreographers from an open audition. The lineup includes new pieces, evolving works, collaborations and innovations. There will be nudity, naturally.
4 & 7 p.m. Sat. (pre-shows 3:30 & 6:30 p.m.). Walker Art Center, Mpls. $25, walkerart.org.
After enduring an unfortunate wave of transphobia while still living and transitioning in her native Germany in her late teens, Kim Petras moved to Los Angeles and is now teetering on the verge of pop stardom at age 27. Kesha’s controversial ex-collaborator Dr. Luke helped Petras with her first album, “Clarity,” which sounds like Lady Gaga leftovers remixed with Eurodisco flavor.
7 p.m. Sat. Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. $34 (all ages), etix.com.
The atmosphere will be festive and the cheer level high for Light Up the Lake, the Wayzata community tree-lighting ceremony. Kids can write a letter to Santa and visit with reindeer. Princesses Anna and Elsa will meet and greet guests. Embark on a candy cane hunt as carolers sing holiday standards. Illuminated fire trucks will parade through the streets. The event ends brightly with Mayor Ken Willcox lighting the tree.
4:30-7 p.m. Fri. Depot Park, Wayzata. Free, wayzata.org.