The Bad Plus’ new addition

The Bad Plus has a holiday gift for its annual late-December engagement at the Dakota. The acclaimed Twin Cities-launched jazz trio will introduce new pianist Orrin Evans. He joined at the beginning of 2018, played on the new album “Never Stop II” and just earned a Grammy nomination for his other group, the Captain Black big band. The Bad Plus will focus on its new album but also explore earlier material written by bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King.Jon Bream

7 & 9 p.m. Tue.-Fri. The Dakota, Mpls. $40-$45,

Fresh off a South American tour and a summerlong, odd triple bill with Collective Soul and 3 Doors Down, Dave Pirner’s remade Soul Asylum — with Ryan Smith settled in on guitar — finishes off the year at the hometown club they’ve played at more than any other. A cut or two off the band’s newly reissued first two albums might make the set list, but they’ve also been picking some rare gems off late-’80s albums. The 4onthefloor, teen punks Loki’s Folly and DJ Lori Barbero make it a party.

Chris Riemenschneider

8:30 p.m. Fri. First Avenue, Mpls. $30,

There is a tiny decorated tree on stage, but otherwise nothing Christmassy about David Harrower’s upsetting, oddly suspenseful two-character drama “Blackbird.” Una (Sara Marsh) confronts Ray (Luverne Seifert) about his abuse of her when she was 12 in this precisely calibrated production. Marsh suggests both that Una wants Ray to know how much he harmed her and longs to keep it hidden, while Seifert’s likability makes Ray’s obliviousness even more appalling.

Chris Hewitt

8 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Grain Belt Warehouse, Mpls. $15-$39, 612-401-4506,

Anyone wondering if a big, hi-fi electronic dance music festival could fly in the dead of winter in Minnesota must’ve missed the lineup announcement for the third annual Snowta festival. EDM megastars Marsh­mello and Skrillex headline Dec. 30 and 31 respectively, while Ghastly, NGHTMRE, Ganja White Night and rappers Chief Keef and Rich the Kid join the fray. The party has moved from the convention center to the Armory, where it should be more at home.


6 p.m. Dec. 30-31. The Armory, Mpls. $100-$300,

The make-believe town of Matlin once again comes to life for the annual Night Trains holiday locomotive display. The lights are turned down in the Twin City Model Railroad Museum as model trains whiz through the holiday scene, complemented by the warm glow of building lights and vintage passenger trains. Buried under a fluffy coat of snow, the display is adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations.

Melissa Walker

6-9 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 23. Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul. $15,

School’s out, but sneaking in a fun history lesson at the Minnesota History Center’s History Hound Hijinx will keep young minds stimulated. Embrace winter in the Bold North with art activities and performances. Browse exhibitions including “The 1968 Exhibit” and “Then Now Wow” highlighting various eras in Minnesota statehood. Paul Bunyan makes special appearances, sans Babe.


11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wed.-Sat.; noon-3 p.m. next Sun. Minnesota History Center, St. Paul. $6-$12,

A tricky exhibition showcasing Mexico City artist Mario García Torres plays with illusions, looping questions and investigations into the Walker Art Center’s forgotten archives. For the video “Goodbye Goodbye,” for example, Torres picked up disparate footage from 1969 that documented a demolition of parts of the museum. He edits together these archives, completing the story. “Illusion Brought Me Here,” the artist’s first U.S. exhibition, also pays tribute to conceptual artists of the past.

Alicia Eler

Ends Feb. 17. Walker Art Center, Mpls.

Former bandmates and forever fans will pay tribute to the late Grant Hart, the drummer/songwriter who was a pummeling force in Twin Cities punk heroes Hüsker Dü but also possessed an indelible gift for melody. His catalog goes much deeper than “Don’t Want to Know If You Are Lonely,” as the Rank Strangers, Almost Every Tuesday and Dylan Lee Ritchie & Tim Piotrowski will demonstrate in a no-cover, post-holiday show.

Tim Campbell

9 p.m. Thu. Driftwood Char Bar, Mpls.,

What happens when Clara from “The Nutcracker” grows up? In the ExperTeasers’ adults-only “Nutcracker Noir: A Sensual Vaudeville Ballet,” the little girl who traveled to the land of sweets turns 18 and rediscovers the nutcracker doll her Uncle Drosselmeyer once gave her. Fantasy and mystery ensue, this time with plenty of sexy fun. This hodgepodge of ballet, hip-hop, circus and modern dance offers holiday delight with an edge.

Sheila Regan

7:30 p.m. Fri., 1:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. next Sun. Minnsky Theatre, Mpls. $15-$30, 612-930-1517,