For these ‘Norwegians,’ relationships are murder
Olive (Jane Froiland) meets Betty (Sara Marsh) in a bar and quickly discovers that Betty may know some hit men who can deal with their infuriating exes. Those hit men, Tor and Gus (Luverne Seifert and Avi Aharoni), are the title characters in Dark & Stormy’s absurdist comedy “The Norwegians.” With its central metaphor of spurned lovers as violent murderers, C. Denby Swanson’s cinematic play takes jabs at what’s really beneath Minnesotans’ supposed niceness. Chris Hewitt
4 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Ends Jan. 5. Dark & Stormy Productions, 77 13th Av. NE., Mpls. $34-$39 ($15 under age 30), darkstormy.org.
Good-hearted singer-songwriter Paul Metsa is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his first Minneapolis gig, what would have been his musical partner Willie Walker’s 78th birthday and the overdue release of “Walkin’ in a Woman’s World.” It was recorded in 1996 when Metsa’s mother had died, his girlfriend left him and he had no gigs. But he had these heartfelt, often melancholy songs. Guests include Sonny Earl, Stanley Kipper, Mari Harris and Jim Anton.
7 p.m. Mon. Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Av. S., Mpls. $20-$25, theparkwaytheater.com.
Meaning “first fruits” in Swahili, Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration of African culture. The holiday embraces its seven principles with each day celebrating a different one. Midtown Global Market hosts a traditional libation ceremony on the day that commemorates Ujima — collective work and responsibility — led by Minkara Tezet, a community fellow at the Cultural Wellness Center. The event features soul food, crafts, poetry, drumming and storytelling.
3-7 p.m. Sat. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Mpls. Free, midtownglobalmarket.org.
Two decades after starting a then-rare live hip-hop band at St. Paul Central High School alongside the city’s current mayor, Heiruspecs will reconvene for their annual Holiday Classic concert at the club near their old school. The quintet, fronted by dueling wordsmiths Felix (Chris Wilbourn) and Muad’dib (Jon Harrison), have been hard at work on a new full-length album due next year. They’ll be joined by veteran DJ Dan Speak and rapper MaLLy, whose “Journey to a Smile” was one of this year’s best local albums.
8 p.m. Fri. Turf Club, St. Paul. $13-$15, etix.com.
What happens when Clara from the Nutcracker grows up? Find out in a naughtier version of the story, called “Nutcracker Noir: A Sensual Cirque Ballet.” In this mashup of ballet, comedy, pole and fire dancing and more, adult Clara has forgotten her childhood travels to the land of sweets. But one Christmas, after she makes a wish, she journeys back to the place of her fantastical adventures, though this time it’s all a bit darker and kinkier.
9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 5 p.m. next Sun. Ends Jan. 4. Minnsky Theatre, 1517 Central Av. NE., Mpls. $20-$40, minnsky.com.
Prior to the Christmas Eve midnight mass at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, many parishioners and visitors pack in early to revel in the joyous decorations and music. A harp music prelude begins at 10:30 p.m., followed by the Cathedral Choir’s meditative program at 11. At 11:30, candles are held high for the Vigil of Lights, followed by the midnight service. Seating is limited.
SImon Peter Groebner
10:30 p.m. Tue. Basilica of St. Mary, 1600 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Free, mary.org.
New pianist Orrin Evans had officially been in the Bad Plus for less than three weeks when the Twin Cities-launched jazz trio released “Never Stop II” in January 2018. Now having logged many hours and gigs with bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King, Evans is more integral to the mix on this fall’s “Activate Infinity.” His post-bop playing and appealing melodicism fuel the Bad Plus’ 14th album, to be showcased at their annual Christmas stint at the Dakota.
7 & 9 p.m. Wed.-Sat. The Dakota, Mpls. $40-$45, dakotacooks.com.
Here’s a goofy cabaret show you need in your life. Parker Genné is Ms. Luisa, an opera singer with a big appetite in more ways than one. She’s joined by her company, Folktopia, for “Ms. Luisa Eats,” an evening of songs, variety acts, hip tricks, hijinks and a lot of pasta. Genné has performed Ms. Luisa for over 10 years at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in San Francisco and New York City, and here at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and Bryant-Lake Bowl.
6 p.m. Sun. Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls. $8-$10, 612-276-6523 or icehousempls.com.
Don’t let the chilly outdoors make you succumb to cabin fever. Set out on a woodland adventure through Elm Creek Park Reserve for a winter family hike. Walk the trails looking for signs of wildlife including birds, squirrels and deer. Warm your bones afterward with a steaming cup of cocoa.
10-11:30 a.m. Sat. Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Road, Maple Grove. $5, threeriversparkdistrict.org.