Weekend Best Bets: December 9-11

What to do, see, hear, and enjoy this weekend

Friday, December 9

A cracked Nutcracker

WHAT: Nutcracker: The Lost Act
WHERE: Ritz Theater, Minneapolis
WHEN: 8 p.m.
Ballet of the Dolls returns with a sequel to its infamous bohemian deconstruction of the classic story, given even more va-va-voom by the Le Cirque Rouge burlesque troupe. The story picks up as Marie gets hits by a car and heads into a dream world. Learn more at ritzdolls.com

Friday, December 9

A very Celtic Christmas

WHAT: Katie McMahon’s Celtic Christmas
WHERE: O’Shaughessy Auditorium, St. Paul
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
McMahon, the former lead singer for Riverdance settled in Minnesota after falling for a local she met following a show here. Now she’s a local Irish treasure, singing and playing the harp as an Irish dance troupe performs, summoning the lively spirit of her former gig. Learn more at oshaughnessy.stkate.edu

Saturday, December 10

Choir of angels

WHAT: VocalEssence Welcome Christmas Concerts
WHERE: Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
You couldn’t ask for a more scenic winter setting than this Colonial church, or a better pedigree for vocal virtuosity than VocalEssence. They’re the gold standard for holiday choir music, and this weekend is the time to see them. Learn more at vocalessence.org

Saturday, December 10

Eating Minnesota

WHAT: The Talk and Taste Program
WHERE: Hennepin County Library, Southdale, Edina
WHEN: 3 to 5 p.m.
A “talk and taste” program on sustainable food—what’s good and where to find it—is held at the Southdale public library. Jane Jewett of the University of Minnesota will talk about locally grown food while restaurants hand out samples of dishes made from local ingredients. Learn more at hclib.org

Sunday, December 11

The new gospel

WHAT: Robert Robinson
WHERE: Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7 p.m.
The region’s “Pavarotti of gospel” opened his latest tour at Carnegie Hall. Now he’s bringing his volcanic voice to bear on Christmas standards and material from his new album. Learn more at dakotacooks.com

Sunday, December 11

The Messiah returns

WHAT: Minnesota Orchestra’s Messiah concert
WHERE: Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
WHEN: 7 p.m.
For the 46th year, led by acclaimed British conductor Nicholas Kraemer and joined by assorted vocal soloists, the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale perform Handel’s most popular work. Learn more at mnorch.org