Henry Edelstein of St. Paul:
1 Allen Stone, Varsity Theater. What an energetic and exciting show. His cover of “Message in a Bottle” by the Police was a fun surprise.
2 “Springsteen on Broadway” on Netflix. After I witnessed this one-man show live in New York, it was amazing to see it for a second time on a big TV screen. Unbelievable story told by the Boss himself about his life.
3 Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Ames Center. It was soulful and funky. I enjoyed seeing him without the E Street Band, sharing his message and supporting teachers locally. Some of his dancers were awesome.
Jon Bream of the Star Tribune:
1 “Marie and Rosetta,” Park Square Theatre. Jamecia Bennett is stunning as a singer, actress and faux guitarist/pianist in the role of gospel star-turned-rock pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Rajané Katurah Brown impresses, too, as fresh-faced protégée Marie Knight.
2 Adam Lambert, “Believe” on Kennedy Center Honors. His power-ballad treatment of Cher’s comeback smash made me rethink this signature dance-pop hit — and reach for a tissue. (And it brought tears to Cher’s eyes, too.)
3 “The Story of Motown,” AARP Magazine. In three acts/stories, the magazine for the 50-and-older set tells the story of the 60-year-old record label — through the eyes of key artist/songwriter/executive Smokey Robinson, the unsung backup singers known as the Andantes and award-winning music journalist Gerri Hirshey, who offers a trenchant musical and sociological history of Berry Gordy’s “audacious” record company.