Weekend Best Bets: May 11-13

Friday, May 11

For the Love

WHAT: Romeo and Juliet
WHERE: Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
WHEN: 8 p.m.
Carlo Rizzi, among the world’s most prominent conductors, leads the Minnesota Orchestra for the first time. And what a debut: Prokofiev’s seminal take on Romeo and Juliet. Associate concertmaster Sarah Kwak will also perform her final solo after 24 years with the orchestra before leaving next fall to join the Oregon Symphony. Learn more at mnorch.org

Friday, May 11

The Power of Jazz

WHAT: Zacc Harris Group CD release
WHERE: The Artists’ Quarter, St. Paul
WHEN: 9 p.m.
The dynamic young guitarist Zacc Harris (named one of Minnesota Monthly’s “Artists We Love”) leads his all-star ensemble of pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates, drummer JT Bates, and saxophonist Brandon Wozniak through their debut album, The Garden. Learn more at artistsquarter.com

Saturday, May 12

You Had Me at Cello

WHAT: Saltee
WHERE: Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis
WHEN: 8 p.m.
Avant-garde cellist Jacqueline Ultan stretches her instrument in new directions in this groovy trio, joining guitarist Mike Michel and beat-boxing phenom Carnage to make an ambient, neo-classical, hip-hop sound. This concert celebrates the release of their new CD, CrossPolyNation. Learn more at thecedar.org

Saturday, May 12

The Boys are Back

WHERE: Famous Dave’s BBQ, Minneapolis
WHEN: 9 p.m.
The legendary live act NRBQ returns to the Twin Cities for one night at Famous Dave’s in Uptown, promoting their new CD, We Travel the Spaceways. The album combines originals and swinging takes on jazz numbers, like the title track by Sun Ra. Learn more at famousdavesbluesclub.com

Sunday, May 13

Beware the Woods

WHAT: Vasa Lisa
WHERE: Open Book, Minneapolis
WHEN: 4 p.m.
Local playwright Kira Obolensky’s new play, based on Russian folk tales, is intriguing enough: a young woman ventures into the woods to confront the witch Baba Yaga. But it’s difficult to think of a more delightful cast than the one assembled by Ten Thousand Things: Sally Wingert, Tracey Maloney, Jim Lichtscheidl, Elise Langer, and Luverne Seifert. Learn more at tenthousandthings.org

Sunday, May 13

Lit Mom

WHAT: Honor Thy Mother
WHERE: Weyerhaueser Chapel, Macalester College, St. Paul
WHEN: 3 p.m.
Garrison Keillor’s Common Good Books hosts this literary tribute to moms, with stories from Patricia Hampl, Julie Schumacher, Shannon Olson, and Keillor himself, along with a few songs. Learn more at commongoodbooks.com

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