Thoroughly modern ‘Traviata’
The most performed opera in the world last year, Verdi’s “La Traviata” packs grand passions, thwarted happiness and gloriously expressive music. Minnesota Opera’s production combines 19th-century set and costume design with a decidedly 21st-century cast. Director Louisa Muller makes her company debut. Sopranos Nicole Cabell and Cecilia Violetta López alternate in the role of the “truly modern heroine” Violetta, while tenor Jesús León plays her lover Alfredo.
7:30 p.m. Sat. Ends May 19. Ordway Center, St. Paul. $25-$233; 612-333-6669, mnopera.org.
No one is safe when Paul Mecurio is holding court. The stand-up, best known for warming up the crowd for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” travels well beyond the front row in a fast-paced act that relies on interacting with his “victims.” Yes, he’s an insult comic, but you’ll still want to pose for a selfie with him after the show. Mecurio also does his one-man show on Broadway — but the Mall of America is a heck of a lot closer.
7:30 p.m. Thu.; 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, Mall of America, Bloomington. $16-$58.40, houseofcomedy.net.
TU Dance celebrates its 15th season with a look at its roots. Co-Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands (pictured) danced with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater early in their careers. So their spring program includes two Alvin Ailey pieces: 1974’s “Night Creature” (set to music by Duke Ellington) and 1986’s “In Witness” (inspired by traditional spirituals). Also featured are works by New York influencers Ronald K. Brown and Jawole Willa.
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. next Sun. The O’Shaughnessy, St. Paul. $24-$34; 651-690-6700, oshag.stkate.edu.
Introduced to U.S. audiences in the 1990s with the outstanding Buena Vista Social Club, Cuban diva Omara Portuondo is on her worldwide farewell Last Kiss Tour. The 88-year-old bolero legend sounded as remarkable as ever on last year’s “Omara Siempre” album, and reviews have raved about her presence, singing and musicians. She’ll be joined by pianist Roberto Fonseca, percussionist Andres Coayo, Ruly Herrera on drums and bassist Yandy Martinez.
7:30 p.m. Sat. Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $48-$79, ordway.org.
Cinco de Mayo is not just a day of tacos and cerveza. On May 5, the Mexican-American community commemorates the Battle of Puebla, which ended in victory over occupying French soldiers. El Rodeo Nuevo, La Raza and Telemundo host a festival with two stages of entertainment including folkloric and Aztec dance and mariachi bands. Luchadores (Mexican wrestlers) will also perform. And yes, there will be beer and food stands.
Noon-8 p.m. next Sun. E. Lake Street between 27th and 29th Avs., Mpls. Free, cincodemayominneapolis.com.
Onetime Olympic medalists have turned to lives of professional figure skating to share their flair for the sport. Donning sequins and gold-medal smiles, the enigmatic “Shib Sibs,” aka brother-and-sister duo and two-time national champions Maia and Alex Shibutani, will perform. Other pairs include Meryl Davis and Charlie White and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Olympic favorites Jason Brown and Ashley Wagner will also take a spin.
7:30 p.m. Fri. Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul. $28-$153, xcelenergycenter.com.
Two of the comedy circuit’s best drivers share the wheel at the Cedar. Bobcat Goldthwait, who got noticed for the way he screamed at his crowds, has calmed down and gotten better in the process, both on stage and as the director of cult classics such as “World’s Greatest Dad.” Dana Gould also has impressive accomplishments behind the camera, including a writing gig on “The Simpsons.” His brainy monologues have made him a longtime favorite at Acme Comedy Co.
8 p.m. Sat. Cedar Cultural Center, Mpls. $30, etix.com.
Best known as Jay Leno’s bandleader on “The Tonight Show” for 18 years, veteran jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks took a bicoastal approach on his 2017 album, “East West Time Line,” his 15th studio project as a leader. He swings hard in the East and finds a nice Latin groove in the West. Three players from the album — drummer Smitty Smith, bassist Rene Camacho and saxophonist Bill Pierce — join Eubanks on tour.
7 & 9 p.m. Mon. The Dakota, Mpls. $25-$45, dakotacooks.com.
The Tony-winning “Metamorphoses,” a dramatic anthology of Roman myths, has rarely achieved the kind of gravitas and evocative beauty now on display at the Guthrie. On the Wurtele Thrust Stage, Daniel Ostling’s set feels like a temple with an altar of water. The stories that unfold there — of creatures blinded by greed and lust, or people yearning for change — are offerings. The entire cast is flawless.
7 p.m. today, 7:30 p.m. Tue. and Thu.-Fri., 1 & 7:30 p.m. Wed. and Sat., 1 p.m. next Sun. Ends May 19. Guthrie Theater, Mpls. $29-$78; guthrietheater.org.