End of Slayer’s reign in blood
Wrapping it up while they still have the power to bowl fans over, thrash-metal heroes Slayer are tearing through songs from throughout their 35-year career on a farewell tour that kicked off last week. The goodbye trek was turned into something of a traveling mini-fest, with fellow ’80s pioneers Anthrax and Testament plus Ozzfest-era favorites Lamb of God and Polish openers Behemoth. CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
5 p.m. Thu., Armory, Mpls., 18 & older, $63-$96, Ticketmaster.com
A Memorial Day tradition in Minneapolis 10 years running, the Memory Lanes Block Party does it right: Low-frills amenities, high-adrenaline music and laid-back attitude make it one of the best block parties each year. Saturday’s lineup is loaded with funky groovers, including sex-machine faves Tickle Torture, R&B throwback queen Lady Lark and rapper Cashinova. Next Sunday’s roster features Michigan punks the Spits with local noisemakers Butcher’s Union and more.
3 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat.-next Sun., Memory Lanes, Mpls., $5
“Taking Shakespeare” features a pair of beautiful performances. Linda Kelsey plays a veteran English professor at a college that wants to let her go, while John A.W. Stephens is a student who cannot get into Shakespeare, partly because he thinks the titles of the Bard’s plays are too long. While reading “Othello,” the student, who is black and the son of the dean, declares that “Shakespeare is black.” This pleases Prof to no end.
Ends June 3. Gremlin Theatre, St. Paul, $25-$28, gremlintheatre.org
A summerlong exhibit at the University of Minnesota, “Prairie Poets and Press: Literary Lives of the Upper Midwest” includes archival materials from Graywolf Press, Robert Bly, Phebe Hansen and many others. The exhibit will be launched Tuesday with Jim Lenfestey reading Bly, Freya Manfred reading Frederick Manfred and Garrison Keillor reading Bill Holm. The exhibit will run through Aug. 24.
6 p.m. Tue. Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Mpls., free, continuum.umn.edu/exhibits
This special concert celebrates the 10th anniversary of VocalEssence’s ¡Cantaré! program, with composers-in-residence from Mexico embedded with Twin Cities high school and community ensembles. Singers from schools in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Brooklyn Park, Osseo and Rosemount will take the stage — more than 500 in total — to perform works by this year’s composers, Jimena Contreras and Bernardo Feldman.
7 p.m. Tue. Ordway, St. Paul, free, vocalessence.org
It’s easy to get excited about this year’s Revival Music Festival in Harmony Park because jam-band elder statesman Phil Lesh of Grateful Dead fame is bringing his Terrapin Family Band. More than three dozen acts are booked for this three-day jam fest, including Colorado’s grassy groovers Leftover Salmon, funky New Orleans piano man Jon Cleary, second-generation Americana royalty Amy Helm and Minnesota’s own Big Wu.
Noon Fri.-next Sun. Harmony Park, Geneva, Minn., $150-$300, revivalfestmn.com
Acclaimed New York jazz pianist Jason Moran is also an interdisciplinary visual artist. The centerpieces of his exhibit at the Walker are three historic installations about the jazz history of New York City: Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom for big bands in the ’20s, the Three Deuces bebop nightclub in the ’40s and Slug’s Saloon with its ’60s jukebox. Whether you’re a jazz fan or not, this is a show to see.
Ends Aug. 26. Walker Art Center, Mpls., walkerart.org
The Guthrie offers a vital if chilly update of the 1882 Henrik Ibsen classic “An Enemy of the People.” A scientist learns that the public baths he supervises are not the healing balm advertised to tourists but a poisonous stew. He tries to make this discovery public with the help of a newspaper reporter and editor until, isolated in a spotlight as the play closes, he finally realizes he is alone in his fight.
Ends June 3. Guthrie Theater, Mpls., $24-$77, guthrietheater.org
Spend the Memorial Day weekend learning about Minnesota history at Historic Fort Snelling. Hear about Native American history and the fort’s role in U.S. expansion. Explore the story of Dred and Harriet Scott, who fought for their freedom from slavery and helped spark the Civil War. Walk the grounds and visit with costumed interpreters as they talk about the experiences of soldiers and the state’s role in armed conflict.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat-next Sun. $6-$12. Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul. mnhs.org