alfresco Shakespeare

Weekends through July 12: Minnesotans spend so much time indoors during the winter, it’s a challenge to draw people inside on those balmy summer days. That is why many music and performing arts companies take their shows outdoors. The Classical Actors Ensemble, a small but ambitious theater troupe, is staging Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” at various parks on weekends in the Twin Cities. The comedy about love and friendship is directed by Hannah Steblay and features live music from the 16-member acting company. It plays this weekend at the show’s home base, which is the canal connecting Lake of the Isles to Cedar Lake. (7 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Kenilworth Place and W. Lake of the Isles Parkway, Mpls. There will be other performances at Como Park, Centennial Lakes and elsewhere. Info at or 651-321-4024.)

Rohan Preston


Dance Out of Africa

Saturday: Local choreographers Fatawu Sayibu, Chini Perez and Leo Paixão will show the breadth and depth of African dance as it’s manifested in the diaspora. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, rumba, son, salsa, samba and forró, the choreographers present original works with their teams of dancers and live drummers that illuminate how the roots of African dance have different threads of tradition in styles that developed in Ghana, Cuba and Brazil. (8 p.m. Sat., Jefferson Community School Theatre, 1200 W. 26th St., Mpls. $15 at the door, $12 online.



Flamenco on Fire

Friday-Saturday: In the etching “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters,” Francisco Goya depicts a man sleeping with his head on a desk, surrounded by a menagerie of ghoulish creatures. Created between 1797 and 1799 as part of a series called “Los Caprichos,” a satirical take on Spain’s pre-enlightenment civil society, it was eventually banned. Choreographer Susana di Palma of Zorongo Flamenco takes the print and other Goya works as inspiration for a new dance piece called “Los Caprichos.” She’ll show an excerpt this weekend as a part of “Flamenco on Fire.” Finding parallels with current-day issues such as freedom of speech and governmental actions, the work will have a satirical edge of its own. As you can expect with Zorongo, the evening will be accompanied by a group of live musicians, many from Spain, along with guest artist Antonio Arrebola, a contemporary flamenco dancer and choreographer from Malaga, Spain. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $30. 612-206-3600 or