Bell ringer

Sparks will fly as leading American violinist Joshua Bell opens the Minnesota Orchestra’s new season with the Tchaikovsky Concerto, one of the fieriest in the repertoire. Todd Levin’s percussion-fueled “Blur” and Brahms’ Second Symphony complete the program. Conductor Osmo Vänskä is sure to be bristling with confidence after a successful European tour. TERRY BLAIN

7:30 p.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri. Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $45-$125,

Beth Hart is a throaty, vibrato-loving Los Angeles blues-rocker who has worked with Slash, Joe Bonamassa and Jeff Beck. “Fire on the Floor,” the title track of her album due Oct. 14, is a smoldering tune that just about catches fire. No doubt she will rock you, as she proved on 2015’s fully arranged album “Better Than Home.” Imagine if Melissa Etheridge wanted to be Etta James — and you’ve got Hart.


8 p.m. Sat. Fitzgerald, St. Paul. $51-$80,

Children’s book writer Mo Willems, author of the popular “Elephant and Piggie” series, teamed up with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma for this stage adaptation of his colorful cross-species stories, “Elephant and Piggie’s We Are in a Play!” Actually, the odd-couple friends are in a musical. And it’s an hour long. The show comes to the Twin Cities from Washington’s Kennedy Center.


2 & 5 p.m. Sun. and next Sun., 7 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sat. Ends Oct. 23. Children’s Theatre, Mpls. $15-$54,

New York has the Tonys and Chicago the Jeffs. For the past 10 years, impresario Scott Mayer and his committee have celebrated Twin Cities theater with the Iveys, a fancy-schmancy shindig that people in the performing arts often describe as theater’s prom. And, if you like drama, flair and oodles of beautiful people, there’s no other place else to be Monday. The hosts are actors Regina Marie Williams and Mark Benninghofen.


7:30 p.m. Mon. State Theatre, Mpls. $35-$150,

Aptly named, the Heavy fashions a weighty brand of soul-rock with a flair for punk. The British group’s 2009 song “How You Like Me Now?” has been featured in a Kia ad and on many TV shows including “The Vampire Diaries” and “Entourage.” On the new album “Hurt and the Merciless,” singer Kelvin Swaby sounds like CeeLo fronting Vintage Trouble. “Slave to Your Love” skews heavy punk; “Last Confession” screams dance-rock, and “Goodbye Baby” echoes Elton John.


8 p.m. Mon. First Avenue, Mpls. $18-$20,

Charismatic actor and writer Tyson Forbes is a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Forbes is performing “Nature,” a walking play. The action takes place in natural locales that one moseys to while contemplating large questions about our role in the big universe and, ultimately, the meaning of our little lives.


5 p.m. Fri., 1 & 5 p.m. Sat, 1 p.m. next Sun. The Landing, Minnesota River Heritage Park, Shakopee. Also, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Eastman Nature Center in Dayton. $5-$20,

Verdi and Wagner exert such dominance in 19th-century opera that other important composers get squeezed to the margins. Charles Gounod is one of them. Minnesota Opera’s staging of his Shakespeare drama “Romeo and Juliet” is a prime opportunity to sample the pleasures of French opera, which has a certain suavity and distinctive niche. Tenor Joshua Dennis and soprano Angela Mortellaro — two young, vibrant singers — play the star-crossed lovers.


8 p.m. Sat. Ordway, St. Paul. $25-$200,

The sights and sounds of Germany surround the Mill City Museum this weekend for Mill City Oktoberfest. Vendors will serve German fare and other food items. Learn the history of brewing and get a beer sample while listening to German music. Shop at the farmers market for seasonal food and flowers. Go inside the museum for cooking and baking demonstrations.


8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. Mill City Museum, Mpls. Free; baking lab demonstration requires museum admission. $6-$12,

Juggling meets performance art with Italy’s Alessandro Sciarroni in town for “Untitled — I will be there when you die.” The show is a visual feast featuring four jugglers testing gravity and their own endurance in a piece Sciarroni describes as “a meditation on the passing of time.” While he’s in town, Sciarroni will also stage a mysterious work-in-progress called “Chroma — don’t be frightened of turning the page.”


8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Walker Art Center, Mpls. $25. “Chroma,” 6:30 p.m. Thu. Free.