Halloween puppetry on fire
The dark yet merry and magical BareBones Halloween Puppet Extravaganza returns for its 26th year. BareBones Productions puts on a spectacle of pageantry melding fire, puppetry, song and dance. Under the cool cover of darkness, guests walk through Hidden Falls Regional Park for a series of theatrical vignettes about the underworld. In a Day of the Dead-esque portion of the program, pay homage to loved ones who have passed on through a public naming ceremony. Ignore the chill and warm your belly and spirit with a free hot meal from Sisters’ Camelot. Melissa Walker
7 p.m. Thu. & Sat. Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1305 S. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul. $10-$20 suggested donation, barebonespuppets.org.
After short but high-impact sets at Shawn Mendes’ Target Center show and KDWB’s Jingle Ball, “Scars to Your Beautiful” and “Stay” singer Alessia Cara is headlining her own Pains of Growing Tour. A more family-friendly venue would have been ideal, since the 23-year-old Canadian’s songs have strong messages of self-love for teens. But at least it’s not on a school night, and older fans have also been wooed by the 2018 best new artist Grammy winner’s smart, soulful pop.
7:30 p.m. Fri. Mystic Lake Casino Showroom, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake. $39, ticketmaster.com.
Infuse your Halloween with modern dance with Shapiro & Smith’s “Notes From a Séance,” inspired by late-19th-century Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky, played by the fabulous Laura Selle Virtucio. The charismatic seer dazzles a group of gullible followers with card readings, magic tricks and other spiritual trickery. The audience enters the story through a series of letters written by a young acolyte, played by Mirabai Miller. It’s silly, sensual and a little bit spooky.
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Barbara Barker Center for Dance, 500 21st Av. S., Mpls. $10-$20, shapiroandsmithdance.org.
While her deep knowledge of Southern folk music made her a key player in Ken Burns’ “Country Music” series for PBS, banjo and violin ace Rhiannon Giddens shows off her affinity for folk from across the Atlantic Ocean on “There Is No Other,” her new Joe Henry-produced album with Italian jazz percussionist Francesco Turrisi. The album is laced with Mediterranean and North African sounds alongside lyrics of freedom and displacement.
7 p.m. Thu. & Fri. The Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. $50-$75, dakotacooks.com.
Just weeks after marrying soprano Larisa Martinez, violinist Joshua Bell is hitting the road with his pianist, Alessio Bax. The sweepingly romantic Sonata of César Franck is front and center in their Schubert Club recital, alongside shorter works by Bach and Schubert. Bell also includes Belgian composer Eugène Ysaÿe’s Third Sonata. Ysaÿe was one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, and the tricks and turns that he put into his music make it irresistible to virtuosos of Bell’s caliber.
3 p.m. Sun. Ordway Music Theater, St. Paul. $51-$95, schubert.org
Gremlin Theatre’s “Journey’s End” takes place on one set — Bain Boehlke’s incredibly detailed foxhole, all wooden beams and sandbags — over the course of four days near the end of World War I. Leavened by a surprising amount of humor, the drama is about the price paid by the people who fight a war and about how oddly similar life in a foxhole is to life outside it. Gremlin’s knockout cast of 12 is as cohesive a unit as you’ll find in town.
7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Ends Nov. 10. Gremlin Theatre, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul. $28, gremlintheatre.org.
“Trick or Freak,” a First Avenue-produced Halloween bash, gathers three of the most danceable bands in town, led by Lady Lark and her smile-inducing retro-R&B unit, plus Afrobeat specialists Black Market Brass and synth-rockers Apollo Cobra. It’s also a chance to catch fun-flowing rapper Nur-D, who just won City Pages’ Picked to Click poll as the Twin Cities' best new music act.
8 p.m. Thu. Fine Line, Mpls. $15-$20, etix.com.
Can you name anyone who’s written a concerto for double bass? On-trend American composer Missy Mazzoli has just added one to the repertoire. Titled “Dark With Excessive Bright” — a phrase from Milton’s “Paradise Lost” — Mazzoli’s concerto receives its U.S. premiere, played by the SPCO’s outstanding principal bass Zachary Cohen. German conductor Ruth Reinhardt will lead this fascinatingly varied program including Schubert, Honegger and Grazyna Bacewicz.
8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $12-$50, thespco.org.
Don’t get enough hugs from your tweens and teens? A trip to the Haunting Experience will have them grabbing for Mom and Dad in no time. Choose your own horrific journey, whether by hayride or haunted house. Try to ignore the sense of foreboding while walking darkened trails where mischievous characters await their unsuspecting prey. Halloween is “cheap chills” night, when victims, er guests, pay discounted admission.
7-10 p.m. Thu.; 7-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Zywiec’s Landscape and Garden Center, Cottage Grove. $17-$32, hauntingexperience.com.