Weekend Best Bets: April 26-28

St. Paul Art Crawl, a big tribute to Prince, another one to Bob Dylan—plus inspired puppetry in Red Wing, Octavia Butler, and a lot more
Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, where Celebration 2019 will feature Prince collaborators in concert
Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, where Celebration 2019 will feature Prince collaborators in concert

Courtesy of The Prince Estate-Paisley Park

Prince on the Big Screen

What: Prince: In Concert on the Big Screen
When: April 26, 8 p.m.
Where: The Armory, 500 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis

Three years ago this month, Prince passed on. To read about Celebration 2019 at Paisley Park—and all the related ways you can pay tribute to the Purple One in the Twin Cities this weekend—click here. For one of the related events, on Friday at the Armory, an ensemble of musicians takes to the stage to accompany remastered footage and previously unreleased audio of Prince in concert. It’s the second annual event of what feels like a new tradition. Learn more.

Octavia E. Butler in Song

What: Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version
When: April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Where: The O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul

For one performance only, science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower—a prescient dystopian novel that follows young protagonist Lauren through the tumults of climate change and systemic injustice—gets staged as a concert. Twenty singers and musicians dip into two centuries of black music while folding in ideas about gender, race, and our future. Learn more.

A Night of Beastly Blues

What: Black-Eyed Snakes and the Claudettes
When: April 26, 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Hook and Ladder Theater

Duluth rockers the Black-Eyed Snakes promise hypnotic beats and crunchy guitars. Then, the lead singer of the Claudettes comes from Minneapolis, although this rootsy group found its way onto Paste‘s 100 best albums of 2018 by coming up in Chicago. Their bluesy, rockabilly, punk-y, ’60s-soul sound (I know, it’s a lot) comes to the Hook and Ladder after the Black-Eyed Snakes’ raw take on the blues. Learn more.

St. Crawl

What: Spring St. Paul Art Crawl
When: April 26-28
Where: Various locations in St. Paul

Take an exploratory stroll through capital city, where 300 or so local artists showcase their creations this weekend. Join the ranks of some 20,000 art crawlers, consider a new painting or photograph for your apartment, and, to avail yourself of live music and activities, find a schedule of related events here. (About 25 local artists will put up on the first level of Union Depot, if you want a tip.) Learn more.

“A Very Funny Puppet Play for Grown-ups”

What: The Pigeoning and The Dumpster Monster
When: April 26-27
Where: Sheldon Theatre, 443 W. Third St., Red Wing; various other locations in Red Wing

I’m making an exception to the Twin Cities focus here, with a look at two shows in Red Wing. The Pigeoning is a “very funny puppet play for grown-ups,” said The New York Times, by award-winning, Brooklyn-based puppet artist Robin Frohardt. The all-ages show stars Frank, a neat freak with a vendetta against pigeons. It features Japanese bunraku-style puppetry, in addition to a Drama Desk Award-nominated original score. While she’s in Red Wing, Frohardt is also performing The Dumpster Monster for free, no reservations required. It’s 10 minutes, popping up at a YMCA, a Walmart, Central Park, and a courtyard. Learn more.

Bob Dylan, but It’s Choral Music

What: The Times They Are A-Changin’: The Words and Music of Bob Dylan
When: April 27, 8 p.m.
Where: Palace Theatre, 17 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul

After honoring Prince, keep rolling—like a stone (I’m sorry)—and listen to VocalEssence pay tribute to Bob Dylan, another big-time local. VocalEssence positions itself as a kind of Minnesota legend itself, and for good reason. The group has been called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by a chairman of the NEA. The choral team will interpret Dylan classics, like “Tangled Up in Blue” and “Like a Rolling Stone.” Learn more.

Taking Back First Avenue

What: Taking Back Sunday
When: April 27-28, 7:30 p.m.
Where: First Avenue, 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

Taking Back Sunday is taking us back to the 2000s. The alt-rockers celebrate their 20th anniversary with a worldwide tour that revisits hits from all seven of their albums. There’s so much to cover, they booked two nights. To start, a coin flip will decide whether that night’s set features Where You Want to Be or Louder Now. Learn more.

These Robots Are Prettier than You

What: Tech Dump’s Robot Fashion Show
When: April 28, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul

Spring Fashion Week MN starts this weekend, and you can read about what local high-fashion events to expect here. In a kitschy-futuristic take, electronics recycler Tech Dump celebrates both our week of chic and Earth Month with a modeling contest to show off “bot couture.” Snazzy robots strut, squeak, and hopefully-don’t-short-circuit their stuff at Can Can Wonderland, each pieced together using at least 25 percent repurposed gizmos. Learn more.