A one-act knockout
Director Austene Van’s hypnotic production of Marco Ramirez’s boxing-themed “The Royale” holds you with a taut, rhythmic, percussion-driven soundtrack as well as crisp acting led by the fluid David Murray opposite Santino Craven. A history-minded play inspired by the story of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, this 75-minute show is a well-choreographed, highly efficient knockout.ROHAN PRESTON
7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends March 4. Yellow Tree Theatre, Osseo. $20-$27, yellowtree.com.
In what might be the ultimate kiss-off to his underwear-clad showman past, indie-rocker-turned-soul-man Har Mar Superstar and his band are dressing themselves up for a tribute to Sam Cooke timed to Valentine’s Day. The Twin Cities singer wrote his 2013 hit “Lady, You Shot Me” about Cooke’s tragic demise and has long carried on a not-so-secret love affair with the “Cupid” and “You Send Me” hit man.
7 & 9:30 p.m. Wed. Dakota Jazz Club, Mpls. Sold out, dakotacooks.com.
There’s a bewilderingly large number of outstanding young string quartets on the international circuit, but the Parker Quartet still rates highly. The Schubert Club hosts these Harvard University artists-in-residence for a recital featuring Stravinsky and Mendelssohn.
4 p.m. Sun. St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, St. Paul. $21-$31, schubert.org.
The Twin Cities troupe Contempo Physical Dance took an audacious leap with “Vulcão,” a 2015 show that explores personality and vulnerability. Afro-Brazilian specialist Marciano Silva dos Santos created the show by choreographing solos to highlight each dancer’s individuality. This reprised production features music by Brazilian composer Divanir Antonio Gattamorta and five new dancers, each bringing fresh stories — and solos — to the project.
7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Cowles Center, Mpls. $20-$28, thecowlescenter.org.
In artist Samual Weinberg’s exhibition “Unprecedented Flurry,” his mysterious “Pink Man” character returns, readying himself for a boxing battle and a pool fight. When he’s not getting into action, he can be found contemplating his own reflection, or on the cover of an ’80s-style magazine, all rendered through paintings and drawings. See this show not only for the weirdness that it embodies, but also the fine drawing skills that Weinberg has honed.
Thu.-Sun. Ends Feb. 26. Hair & Nails Gallery, Mpls. Free, hairandnailsart.com.
This is a match made in vocal-jazz heaven. Manhattan Transfer, the long-lived coed quartet from New York specializing in vocalese, will team up with Take 6, the wondrous all-male a cappella group from Alabama. The ensembles, each of which has won eight Grammys, will do nearly a dozen songs together as well as their own sets. These groups are special all on their own — and they should be extraordinary together.
7:30 p.m. Thu. Ordway, St. Paul. $27-$141, ordway.org.
The Chinese zodiac dictates that this year belongs to the canine. Learn about the dog as it relates to cultural traditions through informational displays and activities. See how different species compare with the ones we cuddle at home and learn interesting facts about their relatives across the globe. Meet real-life dogs with “day jobs” and make a craft, all while celebrating the customs of Chinese New Year.
12:30-4:30 p.m. next Sun., Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville. Free, cityofroseville.com/1315/Open-House.
VocalEssence and its new Youth Choral Arts initiative explore the Harlem Renaissance, that explosion of African-American culture that began more than 100 years ago in New York City. The program features songs, poetry, hip-hop and dance, plus the world premiere of William Banfield’s chamber symphony “I Trust Harlem Is Still There,” based on the letters of poet Langston Hughes.
4 p.m. next Sun., Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $10-$40, vocalessence.org.
St. Paul’s Rince na Chroi Irish Dancers are a busy group, performing traditional Irish dance throughout the Midwest. “From the Stage to Your Heart” is their big annual blowout, featuring all 200 student dancers plus two live bands playing traditional Irish music and Celtic rock.
7 p.m. Sat., the O’Shaughnessy, St. Paul, $12-$32, oshag.stkate.edu.