Cole mines streaming
J. Cole is another rising hip-hop star who owes a lot of his fame to music streaming. The slow-stewing, PG-13-sexy North Carolina rapper has been working it pretty hard on the road, too, climbing the Twin Cities concert ladder from Myth nightclub in 2013 to the Soundset festival in 2015. His first arena headlining tour could be his make-or-break moment. He opened the 57-city trek last week in Phoenix dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and stuck largely to last year’s album, “4 Your Eyez Only.” Bas, J.I.D. and Ari Lennox open. CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
8 p.m. Fri., Xcel Energy Center, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, $30-$267, ticketmaster.com
The Rage and Rapture Tour features two of the coolest female-fronted rock bands of all time. Blondie’s Debbie Harry (above) is a bona fide icon, a Rock Hall of Famer who mixed femininity, power and new-wave hooks into an enduring force. Garbage’s Shirley Manson, a generation younger than Harry, is a force, too, who can go from a whisper to a scream. Both bands are still making new music: Garbage’s “Strange Little Birds” in ’16 and Blondie’s “Pollinator” in ’17.
7 p.m. Fri., Mystic Showroom, Prior Lake, $65-$99, ticketmaster.com
More than 400 puppet artists will participate this week in the National Puppetry Festival. Mystical and magical shows will be performed for kids and families, as well as cutting-edge performances for adults. Saturday features a puppet celebration with music, buskers, exhibits and performances by Parasol Puppets, Open Eye Figure Theatre and others.
Shows at various times, see website for details. Festival noon-5 p.m. Sat. Concordia University, St. Paul, free, nationalpuppetryfest.org.
Where can you find a print of Donald Trump dressed up as a half-human, half-Mickey Mouse character alongside variously serene images of nature and tongue-in-cheek portrayals of Minnesota sports fans? At Highpoint Center for Printmaking, naturally. Thirty-six members of the artists’ studio cooperative display more than 70 prints they’ve made recently in “Hot Off the Presses.” Yes, the prints are for sale.
Ends Aug. 26, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Mpls., highpointprintmaking.org
“Might as Well Be Dead” is another compelling summer whodunit from Park Square Theatre. The second Nero Wolfe play the company has produced, it once again features E.J. Subkoviak, who has the physical stature and studied style to pull off the eccentric New York City detective. His sidekick, Derek Dirlam, distinguishes himself as much as a dancer as a gumshoe. Key witnesses keep turning up dead in this vintage high-society mystery, but, of course, Wolfe solves the case.
Ends July 30, Park Square Theatre, St. Paul, $40-$60, parksquaretheatre.com
Twin Cities audiences can’t seem to get enough of the stage treatment of the headline-grabbing murders that happened in 1977 at a Duluth mansion. “Glensheen,” the clever, entertaining musical by musician Chan Poling and playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, has returned for the third engagement since 2015, with pretty much the same cast. Actor Jen Maren again plays Marjorie Congdon and Dane Stauffer is her grifting husband.
2 p.m. Sun. & next Sun.; 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat. Ends July 30. History Theatre, St. Paul, $25-$56, historytheatre.com
Ghostface Killah, the Wu Tang-Clan’s greatest MC, is reportedly taking over from RZA and spearheading a new album by the whole group along with a sequel to his celebrated sophomore solo album, 2000’s “Supreme Clientele.” In the meantime, he’s playing some gigs on his own, a good chance to hear tracks from his now-storied career. This show features an opening set by one of the Twin Cities’ most killah rappers, Carnage the Executioner, plus Raw Dog.
9 p.m. Fri., Cabooze, Mpls., $20-$25, ticketfly.com
Director James Rocco’s homegrown revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” is notable in a couple of ways. The Ordway Center production is headlined by Jesse Nager, a black phenom who led the touring cast of “Motown the Musical” a few years ago. And King Herod is played by Erin Schwab, a Twin Cities mainstay. The cast also features Randy Schmeling, Kersten Rodau, Julius Collins III, Kayla Jenerson and Dieter Bierbrauer.
7:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat.-next Sun. $37-$120.50. Ends July 30. Ordway Center, St. Paul. 651-224-4222. ordway.org
In a field of high achievers, the Dover Quartet stands out. Hailed by the New Yorker as “the young American string quartet of the moment,” the Philadelphia group has beguiled critics with the sumptuous tonal quality of its playing and the intelligence of its interpretations. The group brings Beethoven’s mighty Op. 130 Quartet to the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, complete with the original “Great Fugue” ending.
7:30 p.m. Tue., Page Theatre, St. Mary’s University, Winona, Minn.; $25, mnbeethovenfestival.org