1 While waiting for the touring show of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway smash "Hamilton," do yourself a favor and download the original-cast soundtrack — already the most popular cast recording since 1961's "Camelot." If you harbor any doubts about a Founding Father's story being told through rapping, these 40-plus (!) songs will erase them. Yes, there's hip-hop (the propulsive anthem "My Shot," the dense, expository "Alexander Hamilton"), but also cheeky Britpop ("You'll Be Back"), lyrical ballads ("Burn") and soaring R&B ("One Last Time"). Miranda deploys all genres with gorgeous melodies and dazzling wordplay that beg for multiple listens.
4 Dayton's, Donaldsons, Powers, big, lumpy city buses, Nicollet Mall all strung up with holiday lights — the spirit of Minneapolis' downtown 40 years ago comes alive on the pages of "Downtown: Minneapolis in the 1970s," a collection of street photography by Mike Evangelist. These 150 black-and-white and color photos are each like a little gasp of recognition — if not of the long hair and bell-bottoms, then the polka-dotted marquee of Music City, or the ornate façade of the Forum Cafeteria. Everything looked maybe not better then, but busier, more vibrant and far more interesting. Book launch is 6 p.m. Thu. at Mill City Museum.
3 At south Minneapolis' tiny La Fresca, chef Hector Ruiz (Cafe Ena, Rincón 38) interprets traditional Mexican ingredients through the prism of nouveau French cooking. For those in search of a seafood destination, this is it, as the vast majority of the menu's entree items place the fruits of the sea in the spotlight. Miraculously, Ruiz manages to keep prices in the $22 to $24 range, a tremendous value. 4750 Grand Av. S., Mpls., lafrescampls.com.
5 Minnesota rock lore gets a fresh look in "Everybody's Heard About the Bird: The True Story of 1960s Rock 'n' Roll in Minnesota" from longtime Pioneer Press scribe Rick Shefchik. The thick yet breezy chronicle starts off sweetly with Augie Garcia and Bobby Vee and picks up steam with the Underbeats, the Castaways and, of course, the Trashmen. There's a wonderful sense of earnestness and lost innocence in all the bands' stories, even that of the Trashmen's Tony Andreason calling off his wedding to tour. Of course he did. Release party is 7 p.m. Wed. at the Electric Fetus.
2 "Suffragette," the story of women's early-20th-century struggle to win the vote, is no gauzy Merchant-Ivory period drama. Screenwriter Abi Morgan does a decent job of balancing fact with story-advancing fiction, although the narrative gets muddled at times. Meryl Streep commands the film for a precious few minutes as movement leader Emmeline Pankhurst, but her memorable speech nearly eclipses all that transpires before and after. The film is a reminder of how far equality has come — and how the battle continues.