During his first term as a U.S. senator, the former "Saturday Night Live" writer kept the joking to a minimum. Now that he's no longer in Congress, he's making up for lost time. His comeback tour consists mostly of doing stand-up in theaters. But he's giving his home base an extra treat by doing four nights in an intimate venue that seats only about 300 people. Franken, who resigned in 2017 after multiple women alleged that he inappropriately touched or kissed them, performed as recently as last October at the Pantages Theatre. But seeing the guy who gave us Stuart Smalley in a traditional comedy club promises to be extra special. Be warned: Because of the limited space, tickets will be hard to come by. All six shows are sold out. (8 p.m. Wed. and Thu.; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. $27.75, acmecomedy.seatengine.com)
Fifteen years since the last White Stripes show, the bluesy mad-scientist rocker continues to put out inventive and sometimes baffling solo records, including two this year: the manic rock set "Fear of the Dawn" and the mellower and more accessible (and much better) "Entering Heaven Alive." He's picking from both albums and offering a decent batch of oldies with a new band on tour, where he almost always impresses no matter the game plan. (8 p.m. Sat., the Armory, 500 S. 6th St., Mpls., $82.50, ticketmaster.com)
Bayfront Blues Festival
Need an uplift this summer? A trip to Duluth for this 33rd annual, three-day, two-stage fest might be the answer. The blues lift you up and don't bring you down. Just think about how Canned Heat boogied at Woodstock with "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again." More than 50 years later, the revamped band is still around, with lone original member Adolfo de la Parra on drums leading them into Friday's headline slot at Bayfront. Topping Saturday's bill is Ruthie Foster, the underappreciated, soulful Texas gem whose music is equal parts gospel, blues, soul and folk — with a dash of country. Other performers include Janiva Magness, Duke Robillard, Sena Ehrhardt & Cole Allen, John Primer, Mud Morganfield, Reverend Raven, Lamont Cranston and Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, who close the festivities on Sunday. (Fri.-Sun. Bayfront Park, 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth, $65 and up, bayfrontblues.com)
'Mack & Rita'
The material is not great but the cast is. Mack is a boring young writer but, fortunately, after 18 minutes she transforms into an older version of herself, played by Diane Keaton, who favors the exact, black-and-white, exaggerated-proportions clothing Keaton always wears. Will she go back to her youth? Or will she just enjoy "Sex and the City"-style brunches with new pals played by Wendie Malick, Loretta Devine, Lois Smith, Patti Harrison and Taylour Paige? Formulaic, but the inventive actors make it fun. (Area theaters)
From Bollywood dancing to kathak to bharatanatyam, this year's event is loaded with movement and music to celebrate India's 75th Independence Day. Katha Dance Theatre, Nritya Kalakshetra Academy and Natyakala Dance School kick off the dance performances at 3 p.m. and will be followed by Bollywood Nite, which includes performances, classes, karaoke and a DJ. Also as part of the festival, there will be a parade, food from Indian restaurants, exhibition booths, face painting, henna, yoga, clothing and jewelry. Also, check the website to download a free Metro Transit pass to the fair. (11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat., State Capitol, 75 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, free, iamn.org.)
Surly Field concerts
Three of the record 11 concerts booked by First Ave outside Surly in 2022 are this week, and each is well suited to the outdoors. Golden-voiced Los Angeles strummers Lord Huron sounded as warm as ever on last year's peak album "Long Lost" (7 p.m. Fri., $47.50). The pairing of Andrew Bird and Iron & Wine will feature stage time together as well as separate sets, the latter playing solo acoustic and the former with a full band promoting last year's lush "Inside Problems." The incomparable Meshell Ndegeocello opens, too (6:30 p.m. Sat., $43.50). And then Portland's literary indie-folk heroes the Decemberists finally make good on a date booked back in 2020 (7 p.m. Mon., $45; Surly Brewing Festival Field, 520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., axs.com)
Lakeside Guitar Festival
This annual free two-day, three-stage fest at Como Park Pavilion features some top-notch Twin Cities musicians (Pat Donohue, Turn Turn Turn, Javier Trejo, Wanaka, Paul Metzger, to name a few) and two world-class guitarists, James Blood Ulmer and Keb' Mo'. Ulmer famously played with jazz sax giant Ornette Coleman before launching his own career in the 1970s as a guitar innovator mixing free jazz concepts with blues traditions. (7:30 p.m. Fri.) Bluesman extraordinaire Mo' was a treat with his band last month opening for Sheryl Crow at the Ledge Amphitheater. Always smiling, he's working solo this time (3 p.m. Sat.). The festival is a fundraiser for Music Mission, a nonprofit that provides music gear and instruction to underserved communities in Mexico, Central America and the United States. (6-9:30 Fri. and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., Como Park Pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, free, musicmissionmusic.com)
Davu Seru and Zeitgeist
The Twin Cities' foremost new music ensemble joins one of its more innovative and exciting free jazz drummers for "Do Hay," a Seru composition for three bass drummers and audience. The premiere will take place atop a hill at St. Paul's Frogtown Farm, a lovely park and urban agricultural mecca. Known for his work with singer Mankwe Ndosi, guitarist Dean Magraw and the bands Click Song and Merciless Ghost, Seru always has something interesting to offer. (6 p.m. Fri.; Frogtown Farm, 946 W. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul; free; zeitgeistnewmusic.org.)
More Than 'Just Friends'
In her solo exhibition "Just Friends," artist Maggie Thompson (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) crafts five artworks that dig deep into emotions such as love and grief. Drawing on an emotional, intuitive way of working, the artworks contemplate death, heartbreak, psychological self-abandon as the result of abusive relationships and other residual feelings. Her soft sculpture "Love" spells out a poem she wrote at age 12 that likens sweet early love and relational happiness to living life like monogamous ducks. Other pieces, such as "Breadcrumbing," 14 vinyl panels filled with 14 different brands of breadcrumbs, reference the slang term of leading someone on. Her work, as she states, gives "voice to what is hard to talk about," yet does so with irony and humor. (Ends Aug. 27. Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Mpls. 612-377-4669 or bockleygallery.com. Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat.)
You don't have to be Irish to enjoy this lively celebration. The weekend bursts with all things Irish including live music, family, dance and cultural activities. There's something for everyone with children's activities, Celtic marketplace, Sunday mass and the exhibits "Irish of Minnesota" and "Out in the World." And for the first time, comedians are on the bill. Topping off the roster of attractions are typical fair foods like mini-donuts and roasted corn. Guinness, Smithwick's, Harp and other Irish beverages complete the menu. (3-11 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. Harriet Island, Plato and Justus Ohage Blvds., St. Paul. irishfair.com.)