'Secrets of the Season'

Christmas might be over, but the annual holiday celebration at the American Swedish Institute is not. For the 72nd year, six countries or communities share their holiday spirit inside Turnblad Mansion. This year, guest curators from local communities represent Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sami — the indigenous people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The Sami Cultural Center of North America in Duluth created an installation of a gietka — a pouch filled with moss, linen and reindeer and rabbit fur that a Sami mother would use to keep her baby warm. In the Finnish room, artist Tia Keobounpheng's installation is devoted to darkness, a critical component of winter in the Nordic region. (Ends Sunday. 2600 Park Av. S., Mpls. $6-$15, free for kids under 5. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wed., Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu. 612-871-4907 or asimn.org)


Minnesota Orchestra

Few pieces ask more of a pianist than Sergei Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, but it's a good bet the brilliant Kirill Gerstein will do amazing things with it. A young American conductor on the rise, Ryan Bancroft, will also lead the orchestra in a work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Modest Mussorgsky's evocative "Pictures at an Exhibition." Friday's concert will be broadcast on TPT-2 and streamed on the orchestra's website. Sorry, no Gerstein on Saturday, as that's a one-hour "Symphony in 60" event. (11 a.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 6 p.m. Sat.; Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; $32-$102; 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org.)


Acoustic Bowie

An offshoot of the grander (and louder) David Bowie tribute concerts at First Ave, this stripped-down affair marks what would have been the British rock legend's 76th birthday; he died on Jan. 10, 2016. The show is anchored by local journeyman John Eller and throwback rocker Chris "Little Man" Perricelli with guest singers including Katie McMahon, Janey Winterbauer, Leslie Ball and Michelle Massey. Hearing the songs played unplugged only amps up the singalong factor. (7 p.m. Sun., the Hook & Ladder Theater, 3010 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls., $23-$38, thehookmpls.com)


SongSlam Minneapolis

If poets can bare their soul and artistry and subject it to the opinions of others at a poetry slam, why can't composers, singers and pianists team up for a "SongSlam," presenting new works and allowing audience members to vote for their favorite offerings? The Twin Cities' own Source Song Festival has been doing this annually for five years (online during COVID). It returns to live action at Icehouse, joining a national network of slams run by New York's Sparks & Wiry Cries. Chris Koza hosts. (8 p.m. Friday; 2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.; $25-$30; icehousempls.com.)


Pages and Stages

Writer/humorist Lorna Landvik will be doing Friday and Saturday shows all month, combining songs, stories and improv to illuminate the process that led her to careers in Hollywood and publishing ("Once in a Blue Moon Lodge"). (7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., ends Jan. 28, Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls., $20-$22, bryantlakebowl.com.)


Slo Dance Company

Choreographer Laura Osterhaus Rosenstone returns to Minneapolis with her project, Slo Dance Company, with a work that explores the benefits of slowing down. She was a member of Zenon Dance Company when it ended its professional troupe in 2019 (it still operates as a school). When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, she went to graduate school at Smith College. Now she's back, bringing her articulate, fluid choreographic style with two improvised dance works. She'll premiere "7 duets," which was shown as a work-in-progress at last year's Candy Box Dance Festival, as well as a new piece. Both works involve music collaborator Patrick Marschke. (7:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls., $20, 612-208-1579, southerntheater.org)



One of the best of the last real rock 'n' roll bands in the Twin Cities, this large and loud ensemble of club vets has been relatively quiet since the release of its second studio album, "Water Valley High," recorded over a long and rowdy week in Mississippi with Drive-by Truckers bassist Matt Patton as co-producer. The record made several local music pundits' best-of-2022 lists, and the songs sound even better live, as is the test of a real rock band. Opening act LazyLightning420 features Trampled by Turtles mandolist Erik Berry with Duluth music fixture Marc Gartman on banjo. (8 p.m. Sat., 7th St. Entry, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $10-$12, axs.com)


Brandon Commodore's NRG

Known as the touring drummer for Mint Condition, drummer for Sounds of Blackness, music director for Stokley and co-founder of the funky #MPLS, Brandon Commodore has put together a new group to showcase his own compositions. Promising a mix of jazz, hip-hop and soul, NRG is set to make its hometown debut. Commodore has tapped guitarist Mychael Gabriel, who has played with Sheila E., and saxophonist Chris Rochester, who plays with L.A. Buckner, as well as bassist Chris Smith and keyboardist Kavyesh Kaviraj. Don't be surprised if Commodore's musical relatives — namely his singing sister Ashley, singing star mother Ginger and drumming dad Bobby — are in the house. (8 p.m. Wed. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., $12-$15, icehousempls.com)


Ice Castles

The weather as of late has been perfect for this winter attraction. Children and adults can live the fairy-tale fantasy of their dreams walking through caverns and archways with hanging crystal-clear icicles. Race down ice slides and squeeze through winding passageways of crawl tunnels. A lantern path leads guests to the exit. There's also a sledding hill and Polar Pub with winter-themed beverages. (Weekends through Feb. 19: 4-10 p.m. Fri.; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.; 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun., also select weeknights through Feb. 20. $11-$22. Long Lake Regional Park, 1500 Old Hwy. 8, New Brighton. icecastles.com.)