The Wright choice
In the ’80s, Steven Wright redefined deadpan comedy, delivering non-sequitur jokes in a near comatose state. Stand-up has never had a smarter zombie. In the past decade, he has pulled back on talk-show appearances, which may have led fans to believe that he finally had succumbed to permanent hibernation. Not true. In addition to contributing to Louis C.K.’s TV projects, the 61-year-old comic is on a tour that will hopefully remind us that a legend sleepwalks among us.Neal Justin
7:30 p.m. Fri. Ordway Center, St. Paul. $22-$67, ordway.org
Keith Sweat (above), the new jack swing innovator known for the 1980s-’90s hits “I Want Her” and “Freak Me,” headlines an R&B oldies package, a trend that seems to be en vogue these days. Also on this bill are K-Ci and JoJo, the Jodeci brothers, who are remembered for “You Bring Me Up” and “Last Night’s Letter”; vocal group 112 of “Peaches and Cream” fame, and Ginuwine, who rode “Pony” to the top of the R&B charts in 1996.
8 p.m. Fri. Target Center, Mpls. $52-$125, axs.com
You might call this a drive-through “Macbeth.” Already one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays, director Jef Hall-Flavin’s condensed version — aimed at high school audiences — takes just 90 minutes (not including intermission), with nine actors playing 24 characters. We do get most of the great lines (“fair is foul, and foul is fair,” “screw your courage to the sticking place, and we’ll not fail”). But many are delivered like monologues at an audition, without context.
Ends April 9. Park Square Theatre, St. Paul. $27-$60, parksquaretheatre.org
Jeannette Sorrell, founder of Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire, one of America’s best baroque ensembles, is coming for a special program with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. The concert includes works by Handel and Rameau as well as SPCO soloists playing Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos. Bonus: Sorrell leads her own arrangement of Vivaldi’s “La Folia” (“Madness”).
7:30 p.m. Thu. Temple Israel, Mpls.; 8 p.m. Fri. Wayzata Community Church; 8 p.m. Sat. St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul; 2 p.m. Sun. Benson Great Hall, Bethel University, Arden Hills. $13-$43, thespco.org
Now that old wounds have healed, locally beloved folk-soul-rockers Roma di Luna will play a reunion show. Ex-spouses Channy Leaneagh and Alexei Casselle have since broadened their musical palettes, she as the leader of buzzed-about electro-rockers Poliça and he as the booming-voiced wordsmith Crescent Moon from Kill the Vultures and Mixed Blood Majority. The other members have been involved with Fraea, the Pines and Romantica.
8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, Mpls. Sold out
MacPhail Center for Music examines the intermingling of Eastern European and Jewish folk music in the latest installment of its Spotlight Series. Mandolinist Peter Ostroushko plays Ukrainian folk music. The school’s faculty musicians perform Paul Schoenfield’s Klezmer-inspired “Trio” and David Evan Thomas’ “Fantasy on a Yiddish Song.” And the Minneapolis theater troupe Impossible Salt throws its weight behind Brahms’ “Hungarian Dances.”
8 p.m. Sat. MacPhail Center for Music, Mpls. $15-$25, macphail.org
After being displaced by ceiling troubles their last time in town, England’s stylish post-punk/synth-rock darlings the Psychedelic Furs return to the club they’ve frequented since the early 1980s. Led by Bowie-esque singer Richard Butler, the “Pretty in Pink” hitmakers have been surprisingly consistent and quite moving on recent tours. They’re bringing along fellow ’80s British alterna-hero Robyn Hitchcock, who just won a prize for best veteran act at the SXSW music fest.
8 p.m. Thu. First Avenue, Mpls. $25, eTix.com
At Rock the Cradle, toddlers and their families can jump and jive to the kid-friendly grooves of 89.3 the Current DJs Sean McPherson, Jake Rudh and Andrea Swensson. Smile and say “cheese” with a silly picture in a photo booth, play with hula hoops and do other activities. Walk through the exhibit “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now” or see drawings by children’s illustrator Richard Holzschuh.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. next Sun. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Mpls. Free, artsmia.org
Tuvan throat singing, yodeling and Sardinian cantu a tenore are just a few of the styles studied by the eclectic vocal octet Roomful of Teeth. The group is joined by experimental pop musician Nick Zammuto for the Minnesota premiere of Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning a cappella composition “Partita for 8 Voices.” The concert also features a world premiere by Zammuto.
7:30 p.m., Wed. Aria, Mpls. $30, schubert.org