America springs into bloom
The gardens don’t seem as exotic, the auditorium not so claustrophobic. But Macy’s Flower Show still provides a delightfully fragrant escape, a Twin Cities rite of spring. This year’s theme is “America the Beautiful,” with seven gardens (by Bachman’s, of course) representing various regions of the country. Check out the Calgary tulips from the Northeast, the dwarf jack pine of the Rockies, the Asiatic lily of the Northwest, the barrel cactus of the Southwest, the Spanish moss of the South. Kids can do a scavenger hunt, finding eight critters hidden in the gardens.Jon Bream
Daily through April 3, Macy’s eighth-floor auditorium, Mpls., free
Texas guitar slinger and soul-rocker Gary Clark Jr. recently helped reopen the famed Antone’s blues club in his hometown of Austin, and it’s in large part thanks to him that music fans under age 35 don’t mistake blues as something off that Nickelodeon dog show. He’s finally back for only his second Twin Cities headlining gig. Last year’s sophomore studio album, “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim,” showed more of a Sly Stone and Curtis Mayfield influence, but Clark still hews blue in concert.
9 p.m. Sat., First Avenue, Mpls., sold out
Mary Bridget Davies channels the rock ’n’ soul diva in the classic tribute “A Night With Janis Joplin.” Hits such as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Cry Baby” and “Mercedes-Benz” populate the show. Joplin tore her way to the top of pop music in the late 1960s but flamed out in 1970, when she died of a heroin overdose. Her life was said to be the inspiration for the Bette Midler movie “The Rose,” and a few biopics have been developed but never came to fruition.
7:30 p.m. Tue.-Sun., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ordway Center, St. Paul. $34-$111, ordway.org
A generation ago, the Kings of Comedy demonstrated that black laughs matter, selling out arenas nationwide. Now two of the original Kings — Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley — are back on the road on a bill called the Comedy Get Down, with George Lopez as emcee, and Eddie Griffin and Charlie Murphy rounding out the fivesome. Cedric, whose latest “Barbershop” film is due April 15, is dependably affable but reviews from recent shows indicate that Griffin lands the sharpest jabs.
8 p.m. Sat., Target Center, Mpls. $65.75-$49.75. axs.com
Biblical literature and Christian beliefs have inspired artists from Albrecht Dürer to Pablo Picasso. In “The Modern Line,” one of the Twin Cities’ most significant collections of religious art features lithographs, linocuts and other works by 20th-century talents ranging from Käthe Kollwitz to George Luks. With expressive images and abstract designs, they celebrated technological achievements and mourned economic strain, political chaos and catastrophic wars
9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri., free. Thrivent Center, Mpls., free, thrivent.com/offers/art
Struggling gay actor scores gig working for Barbra Streisand. Dream job, right? But in “Buyer & Cellar,” a hilarious play by Jonathan Tolins, the work involves running a high-end, shopper-free shopping mall located beneath the diva’s Malibu estate. Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”) starred when the play opened in New York in 2013. Here, director Wendy Knox casts Sasha Andreev (“Curb Appeal”).
Opens Thu., ends April 24, New Century Theater, Mpls., $25-$40, hennepintheatretrust.org
How about a little world-class brass with that homestyle beer? The Minnesota Orchestra’s “Symphony and Suds” experiment last year bringing mini-concerts to local brewpubs got such a response that it’s returning for a whole season. This week, a quintet of horn players led by Michael Gast will blow in to knock the foam right off your craft beverage at Sociable Cider Werks, a Northeast hangout tucked behind Dunbar Armored Truck.
7 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, Mpls., free, minnesotaorchestra.org, sociablecider.com
See superheroes and be one yourself at Hunger-Con. Meet with real-life heroes and other characters throughout exhibits and displays. Play games and a variety of activities. Join in the fight against hunger and bring canned goods to help Hallie Q. Brown Community Center reach its goal of 55,000 pounds of food for its food shelf.
12:30-4:30 p.m. Sat. Free. Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. 651-224-4601
Kirk Franklin, the fiery, contemporary preacher who helped reinvigorate gospel music, is calling this his 20 Years in One Night Tour because he plans to perform a retrospective on his 20-year career. He just won his 10th Grammy this year to go along with 40 Stellar awards and 16 Dove Awards. He released another winner, the provocatively titled “Losing My Religion,” last fall. His wife, Tammy, used to be in the Minneapolis R&B trio Ashanti.
7:30 p.m. Sat. State Theatre, Mpls, $29.50-$49.50, ticketmaster.com