First Avenue’s Class of ’18
Expect another eclectic, chaotic and at least partly thrilling year for First Avenue’s Best New Bands showcase, a roundup of buzzing newbies picked by club staff. The roster includes Scrunchies, with Laura Larson of Kitten Forever; throwback ’60s kids the Carnegies; slick and wholesome but electrifying pop-rock band Yam Haus; bluesy tunesmith Annie Mack; Picked to Click-winning indie-rock trio the Gully Boys, plus Faith Boblett and Static Panic.
7:30 p.m. Fri. First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. $10, first-avenue.com.
Many have tried to marry jazz with classical, but few did it more successfully than George Gershwin. A classic of the fusion style, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” is the centerpiece of the Minnesota Orchestra’s New Year’s Eve concert, with guest pianist Aaron Diehl. The all-American program also includes Copland’s “Rodeo” and dances from Bernstein’s “On the Town,” plus works by John Harbison and Stephen Paulus.
8:30 p.m. Mon. Orchestra Hall, Mpls. Sold out; 612-371-5656, minnesotaorchestra.org.
Skate the Star, the new holiday attraction at the Mall of America, is a custom-built ice rink. Located at the north entrance, the 12,000-square-foot sheet is free and open to the public. Skaters can bring their own skates or rent a pair, with all proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. Funds raised will benefit children, providing them with activities and support.
Hours vary. Ends Jan. 27. Mall of America, Bloomington. Free; $5 skate rental; mallofamerica.com/skate.
In “Image Model Muse,” Brooklyn-based, Canadian-born artist Sara Cwynar investigates how color makes people want to buy things, how women have been depicted in images and how kitsch idealizes an often bleak world. The ongoing exhibition presents 11 photographs along with three of Cwynar’s most recent films, “Soft Film,” “Rose Gold” and “Cover Girl.”
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue., Wed. and Sat.; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu.-Fri. Ends Jan. 20. Minneapolis Institute of Art. Free, artsmia.org.
Schubert’s “Winterreise” (“Winter Journey”) is probably the greatest classical song cycle ever written. These 24 songs describe a lonely wanderer spurned in love, trudging through a snowy landscape. Schubert called the story “terrifying,” but still poured some of his most beautiful and emotional music into it. Baritone John Taylor Ward performs the cycle with Scott Lykins on piano.
7 p.m. Thu., Woman’s Club of Minneapolis; 2 p.m. next Sun., Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, Minn. Donations encouraged; lakesareamusic.org.
The weather outside may be frightful, but the vibrant colors inside Walker Art Center are delightful. First Free Saturday brightens up a dreary winter day with art activities. Build a collage and listen to storyteller Bao Phi read from his book, “A Different Pond.” Listen to music by Douala Soul Collective, watch short films and find out how to layer colorful shapes that collide and amuse when projected on-screen.
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. Walker Art Center, Mpls. Free, walkerart.org.
British music veteran Nick Lowe is a top-notch producer (Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, the Pretenders, John Hiatt), ace songwriter, entertaining raconteur and winning performer. His catalog includes such gems as “Cruel to Be Kind,” “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ’n’ Roll),” “The Beast in Me,” “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” and last year’s rockabilly single “Tokyo Bay.” He settles in again for a two-night stand.
7 p.m. Wed.-Thu. The Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. $50-$75, dakotacooks.com.
The cold bite of January is the perfect time to heat up with some experimental media. The third annual Festival of Cinematic and Audio Visual Experimentation showcases artists boldly reinventing their forms. From meditations on the role of technology to films meant to be played in the background and not as the main event, the varying selections will get you rethinking what a film is.
7 & 9:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 3 & 7 p.m. Sat. Bryant-Lake Bowl, Mpls. Free-$20, bryantlakebowl.com.
Broadcast live from London to movie screens, the National Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “Antony & Cleopatra” features an unusually starry cast, led by Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo as the doomed title characters. Love during wartime presents a lot of complications for the pair and, since it’s a tragedy, you can assume things don’t turn out so well for them.
1 p.m. Sat., 7 p.m. Jan. 7, 1 p.m. Jan. 9. St. Anthony Main Theatre, Mpls. $10-$20, mspfilm.org.