Ways of seeing
Who says oldies aren’t goodies? The Walker’s “Five Ways In: Themes From the Permanent Collection” tackles contemporary art broadly, sorting 100 works into themes of landscape, portraiture, interior space, still life and abstract art. Catherine Opie’s “Untitled #1-#14 (Icehouses),” a large-scale color photograph of Minnesota icehouses, falls under landscape. George Segal’s sculpture “The Diner,” with two plaster figures frozen in time at what could be any American diner, is an interior scene. Big hitters like Carrie Mae Weems grace the show, which ends with the abstract section. Alicia Eler
Ends Sept. 19, 2021. Walker Art Center, Mpls. $15 (free Thursdays and first Saturdays), walkerart.org.
It’s been 100 years since eight Chicago White Sox players conspired to intentionally lose the World Series. Composer Joel Puckett mines the so-called 1919 Black Sox scandal for “The Fix.” The latest product of Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative, this world premiere opera taps early-20th-century musical idioms for an evocative examination of what Puckett calls “baseball as a metaphor for American life.” Tenor Joshua Dennis stars as Shoeless Joe Jackson.
7:30 p.m. Tue., Thu. & Sat., 2 p.m. next Sun. Ordway Music Theater, St. Paul $25-$200, 612-333-6669 or mnopera.org.
With a goofy name that belies its seriously inspired and infectious tunes, the Better Oblivion Community Center is the new duo featuring Nebraskan indie-folk stalwart Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame and rising Los Angeles tunesmith Phoebe Bridgers, who’s fresh off another well received collaboration with Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker in Boygenius. Though 15 years apart in age, they melded their affectionate voices and poetic writing styles with natural chemistry on their eponymous debut album.
8 p.m. Fri. First Avenue, Mpls. Sold out.
After scoring a Grammy nod for best new artist in 2015, pop-soul singer Tori Kelly switched lanes. Her sophomore effort, “Hiding Place,” is an unabashed contemporary Christian record. The 26-year-old Californian, who impressed with the 2015 hit “Should’ve Been Us” and at a Prince memorial concert in St. Paul in 2016, showcases an alluring pop voice with R&B instincts. She’s found a sweet spot singing about Jesus with a sound that evokes early-’70s Stevie Wonder. For this tour, Kelly opts for an acoustic presentation.
8 p.m. Thu. Palace Theatre, St. Paul. $35-$160, etix.com.
Look at the numbers: 76 appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” 62 years of performing at Lake Okoboji in Iowa and 75 years singing professionally. Marilyn Maye is simply the queen of cabaret. At 90, she’s one of the sharpest entertainers on the nightclub circuit, full of wisecracking personality and great tunes from the Great American Songbook delivered with deepfelt emotion. She even teaches master classes on how to entertain.
5:30 & 8 p.m. Sat.-next Sun. Crooners, Fridley. $30-$40, croonersloungemn.com.
The ornate cultural art of Somali weaving is highlighted in a class for all ages at Minnesota History Center. No experience is required for the hands-on immersive class where participants will learn the technique using no loom or frame. Historically, Somali nomads used a finger-weaving technique to create mats to cover the floors of their homes. While there, see the display of mats now on view at the “Somalis + Minnesota” exhibit.
6-8 p.m. Tue. Minnesota History Center, St. Paul. mnhs.org.
Maybe being a duo is the way to cross over from country to pop. It worked for Florida Georgia Line and now for Dan + Shay. Their Grammy-winning, twang-free but intoxicating “Tequila,” a reflection on an old relationship, has been all over Top 40 after dominating country stations. Their follow-up “Speechless,” a head-over-heels love song, has also topped the country charts. Opening is Aussie singer Morgan Evans, whose hit “Kiss Somebody” may have been written about soon-to-be wife Kelsea Ballerini.
7:30 p.m. Fri. The Armory, Mpls. Sold out.
With Rock the Cradle, 89.3 The Current once again brings out the inner rock star in toddlers and parents with an exploration of creative expression. Bop around at the kids’ disco to music from Current DJs with Twinkle, the Children’s Minnesota mascot. Fine-tune those motor skills with activities at the St. Paul Saints exhibit. MacPhail Center for Music invites families to sing and play instruments. Meander through the collections at Mia and enjoy arts activities.
11 a.m. next Sun. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Mpls. mpr.org.
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fairy tale-based musical “Into the Woods” gets an intimate staging by Ten Thousand Things, under the precise direction of Marcela Lorca. The versatile actors, all of whom also play instruments, includes Austene Van, Sheena Janson Kelley and Jim Lichtscheidl.
4 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 1 & 7:30 p.m. Sat. Ends March 24. Open Book, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls. $30, tenthousandthings.org.