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Billy Strings

The Grammy-winning, metal-loving acoustic guitarist with the fast-flying fingers is respected in bluegrass circles, beloved by jam band fans and admired by guitar aficionados. Named artist of the year in 2022 and '23 at the Americana Music awards, he and his acoustic, drummer-less band deliver marathon concerts, typically divided into two sets, filled with original tunes, bluegrass favorites and unexpected covers of everyone from Pink Floyd to Cheech & Chong. The aptly named Strings is a marvel in concert. (7:30 p.m. Tue., the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., resale only,


The Decemberists

Nine albums and nearly a quarter-century into their quirkily impressive run, Colin Meloy and his wistful and folkloric folk-rock band from Portland, Ore., are riding as high as ever with their new double-album, "As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again." The adventurous collection includes their catchiest hit to date, "Burial Ground," and a 19-minute prog-rock epic that shows these bookish rockers can raise hell, "Joan in the Garden." Expect to hear both at this excellent pairing with can't-miss nervy Chicago openers Ratboys. (8 p.m. Sun., Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul, $45-$75,


The Secret Sisters

Having Brandi Carlile produce their last album, "Saturn Return," helped bring attention and a Grammy nomination to this sister act from the legendary music town of Muscle Shoals, Ala. Their even stronger follow-up, "Mind, Man, Medicine," should earn them a long-term career. Laura Rogers and Lydia Slagle hone their sibling harmonies like torches throughout the soulful and twangy collection, produced with Civil Wars' John Paul White and featuring Ray LaMontagne in the stirring single, "All the Ways." (7:30 p.m. Sun. & Mon., Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., resale tickets only,


Don Was & the Pan-Detroit Ensemble

He's a Grammy-winning producer, known for his work with Bonnie Raitt, the Rolling Stones and so many others. As a bassist, he's recorded with Bob Dylan and toured with Bob Weir & the Wolf Brothers. And he has a day job as president of Blue Note Records, the jazz label celebrating its 85th anniversary. Was has put together his dream band of Detroit musicians, including saxophonist Dave McMurray and keyboardist Luis Resto, to play a mix of jazz, funk and tunes from his Was (Not Was) group. The Pan-Detroit Ensemble has been rehearsing but its first gig will be in Minneapolis. (6:30 & 8:30 p.m. Tue., the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $40-$65,


BJ the Chicago Kid

After first making his mark in gospel music and then collaborating with a constellation of hip-hop stars including Kanye West, ScHoolboy Q and Anderson. paak, BJ the Chicago Kid decided to explore neo soul on his 2023 album "Gravy." Recording at Memphis' Royal Studios (where Al Green cut his classics), the always collaborative BJ found a cool Silk Sonic-like sound, with the help of a parade of guests including Cory Henry, Robert Glasper, Freddie Gibbs, Andra Day, Coco Jones, Chlöe and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. (6:30 & 9 p.m. Sat., the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $40-$45,


Minnesota Chorale

If you've been suitably wowed by this choir bringing a sparkling interpretation to some large-scale masterpiece in the company of the Minnesota Orchestra, you should hear how they sound a cappella. It closes its season with a celebration of all of its choral programs, from the grade-school-age Prelude to the Minneapolis Youth Chorus to the retirement-aged Voices of Experience. But the main attraction is the opportunity to hear the chorale step out from the orchestra's shadow, conducted by its longtime leader Kathy Saltzman Romey. (7:30 p.m. Sat., St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 S. 8th St., Mpls., free-$10,



Germany's Frank Peterson has found classical crossover success by digging further down into the roots of Western music than most. Seeing that ancient choral styles like Gregorian chant would periodically find a place on the pop charts, he decided to combine modern pop with the old-school style and formed Gregorian. The vocal octet dons medieval monk garb (both musically and sartorially), and performs echo-laden, monastery-ready takes on hits by such folks as U2, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd. They'll bring a cathedral vibe to the Fitzgerald. (8 p.m. Mon., Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul, $49.50-$160,



History Plays

Theater lovers from across the nation and some foreign lands continue to flock to Minneapolis to see the Guthrie Theater's epic production of Shakespeare's History Plays. A 25-member acting ensemble play all the roles in rotating repertory in Joseph Haj's lyrical production of "Richard II," "Henry IV" (parts 1 and 2 combined) and "Henry V." The three shows are presented as an event Saturday during a 13-hour marathon starting at 10 a.m. with generous breaks for lunch and dinner. It's a once-in-a-generation theatrical feast. (This week's schedule: "Henry V": 1 p.m. Wed., 10:30 a.m. Thu. & 8:30 p.m. Sat.; "Richard II"; 10 a.m. Sat.; "Henry IV": 3 p.m. Sat. Ends May 25. Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls. $34-$82 for single tickets on nonmarathon days, $66-$150 for all shows on May 18. 612-377-2224,


'Torch Song'

When Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Trilogy" premiered on Broadway in 1982, Arnold, his drag queen character, wanted love and respect and the kind of acknowledgment that many in today's LGBTQ community take for granted today. Fierstein updated the work in 2017, simply calling it "Torch Song." Respect remains a constant longing for Arnold but the other items on his list, including a husband, are no longer unimaginable dreams. Neal Beckman plays Arnold in Craig Johnson's production for Six Points Theater. (7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 8 p.m. Sat., 1 & 7 p.m. Sun. Highland Park Community Center, 1978 Ford Pkwy., St Paul. $27-$40. 651-647-4315.



Rob Schneider

The "Saturday Night Live" alum may be best known these days for being the father of rock singer Elle King and ruffling feathers. His set during a 2023 holiday party for Republican lawmakers was reportedly cut short because of raunchy jokes. But Schneider can also be a sharp, funny critic of liberals who often get a free pass on the comedy circuit. The politically incorrect slurs are baggage he doesn't need to bring onstage. (8 p.m. Fri., Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake. $25-$49,



'Radioactive Practice'

Choreographer Abby Zbikowski brings her rough, kinetic style that's part dance, part sport in this work by her company Abby Z and the New Utility. The piece is created in collaboration with Senegalese dance artist Momar Ndiaye and ties in everything from martial arts and synchronized swimming to contemporary dance forms and African dance vocabulary. With the audience onstage, Abby Z looks to upend assumptions with breakneck speed and a forceful skirting of boundaries. (8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls., $35, 612-375-7600,


'Noche de Gala XV'

Mexico Azteca made a big splash in the fall of 2023 with its Día de los Muertos-themed dance work that was at once theatrical, chilling and ebullient, shown as part of the now-closed Cowles Center's Fall Forward Festival. For its spring concert, the troupe performs "Noche de Gala XV: Fuerza y Tradición," honoring folk dance with storytelling, with an eye toward spectacle. Live music is by Ensamble Nimbe, a group from Veracruz, Mexico. (6:30 p.m. Sat., Richfield High School Auditorium, 7001 Harriet Av. S., Richfield, $35, 612-281-1398,



Paintings in sand

Artist Stephanie Lindquist, who is of Liberian ancestry, traveled to Mondema, a village in Sierra Leone, spending time with residents, building relationships and engaging with farming and cooking. Upon her return, she brought back various soils from locations including a local mine, preschool, swamp and construction site, and used that sand to gracefully paint various portraits of people and places. The name of the show, "Ndomi Domi," refers to the Mende language words for "floor" and "story." Ends June 15. (Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat., Dreamsong Gallery, 1237 NE. 4th St., Mpls., free,


Last chance: 'The New Eagle Saloon'

This is the last week to experience artist Sadie Barnette's re-creation of her father's '90s-era San Francisco-based Black gay bar, which becomes a functional "Black gay bar for everyone," according to the artist, on Thursday from 6-9 p.m. This last party is aptly titled "The End Is Queer" but is in the spirit of looking ahead to radical queer futures, and continuing to celebrate Black queer life. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks mixed by local bartender collective Mama San available for a fee. Ends May 19. (Exhibition open 10 a.m.-9 p.m., bar open 6-9 p.m., Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls., free entry on Thursdays, charge for drinks, 612-375-7600 or




The Minnesota Comic Book Association presents Minnesota's largest convention that pays homage to comic book creators and vendors. Fans of anime, comics and cosplay can meet creators and shop among vendors. Throughout the day there will be entertainment, food trucks, panel discussions on Minnesota comics history and cosplay and a live charity art auction. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., $10, ages 9 and under free, M Health Fairview Sports Center, 4125 Radio Drive, Woodbury,



Some of the elements of "Bazzar," Cirque du Soleil's latest show to come to Minnesota, are standard. Performers play with and breathe fire. Acrobats leap and balance on poles. But it's the combination of these elements, conducted by a maestro in what is envisioned as a chaotic marketplace, that differentiates this music-infused show. It's about imaginative entertainment and order from chaos at a time when so many are unsettled. (Previews at 7 p.m. Sat.; 1 & 4:30 p.m. Sun.; 7:30 p.m. May 22. Run ends June 16. Under the Big Top at the Mall of America — North Parking Lot, Bloomington. $25-$159,