The revered Motown singer and songwriter is still going strong at 83. This week, he'll drop "Gasms," another soulful collection featuring his supple voice and amorous lyrics. His first batch of new material since 2009 features some modern, grown-up R&B love songs (notably the title track and "I Wanna Know Your Body") that are a little more explicit than "My Girl," "Being With You" and the hits that made him an American musical treasure. Best new track is "Besides," a tender, organ-bathed, gospel-pop declaration of love that would have been perfect for Elvis. (7 p.m. Sat., Grand Casino Hinckley, 777 Lady Luck Drive, Hinckley, Minn., $60-$75, etix.com)
The former Disney Channel star of "Girl Meets World" is trying to restart her pop music career. She has had to overcome her villainous rep as Olivia Rodrigo's reported nemesis in "Drivers License," which she addressed in two of her own singles, 2020's "Skin" and 2022's "Because I Liked a Boy." With last year's fifth album, the highly personal "Emails I Can't Send" (the title track is about an affair her dad had), Carpenter, 23, is finally finding a pop breakthrough with the song "Nonsense." Credit TikTok and an official sped-up version of the tune, plus a remix featuring hot rapper Coi Leray. "Nonsense" has momentum on radio stations like KDWB-FM and in concert, where Carpenter tailors a special outro for each city. (7 p.m. Thu., State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., verified resale starting at $135, ticketmaster.com)
DeVon Russell Gray, Nathan Hanson & Davu Seru
After Minneapolis and St. Paul burned following George Floyd's murder, three of the Twin Cities' most versatile and adventurous free-jazz/avant-garde instrumentalists holed up in a church across the street from the National Guard-lined State Capitol and let the tape and their emotions roll. The end result is a riveting album for the Innova label titled "We Sick," which finds pianist Gray (Heiruspecs), saxophonist Hanson and drummer Seru channeling anger, sorrow and fear over six raw but epic tracks with Malcom X's speech "The House Negro and the Field Negro" as a backdrop. Writer/poet Tish Jones joins their release party. (8 p.m. Fri., Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. $17-$23, thecedar.org)
After his famous ex, Kacey Musgraves, sang about moving on throughout her last album, the stylishly twangy Nashville songwriter tackles divorce from his perspective on his third record, "The Weakness." It's a tender and redemptive LP that shows the kind of Jason Isbell-like, wound-licking power that Kelly, 34, also showed when singing about addictions on prior records. Austin twang-rockers Briscoe open. (8 p.m. Sun., Fine Line, 318 1st Av. N., Mpls., $25, axs.com)
At 86, the Louisiana-born Chicago blues legend is damn right to consider retirement. Hence him billing his latest — and maybe last — of many trips to the Twin Cities as the Damn Right Farewell Tour. He's not just going by the old numbers, though, and has a new album to tout, "The Blues Don't Lie," featuring Mavis Staples, James Taylor and Jason Isbell as guests. (8 p.m. Thu., Mystic Lake Casino Showroom, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW., Prior Lake, $150-plus, ticketmaster.com)
When last we saw magnificent American pianist Garrick Ohlsson, he was comforting mourners at the Orchestra Hall memorial of longtime Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis, bringing a touching wistfulness to Chopin in tribute to his friend and frequent chamber music partner. Now he returns to that stage on a happier occasion, exulting in all that Beethoven's First Piano Concerto has to offer. Juanjo Mena conducts a program that also features Anton Bruckner's Sixth Symphony. (8 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; $30-$104; 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org)
'The Defeat of Jesse James'
Jeffrey Hatcher and Chan Poling, the devious minds behind smash hit "Glensheen," turn their attention toward another killer musical. The legendary outlaw is giving a concert — in Northfield, site of one of his most famous crimes and the annual "Defeat of Jesse James Days" festival — in which he tries to explain himself. Angela Timberman, Sasha Andreev, Dane Stauffer and Jen Burleigh-Bentz star. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., April 29-May 28, $40-$70, History Theatre, 10 E. 10th St., St. Paul, 651-292-4323, historytheatre.com)
The "Dark Lady" who inspired Shakespeare's sonnets is widely believed to be fellow poet Emilia Bassano, the daughter of an Italian court musician who grew up to be a spitfire feminist. In her 2018 play commissioned by Shakespeare's Globe, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm imagines their fictional relationship and brings light to a figure long eclipsed by the Bard. In director Marcela Lorca's area premiere for Ten Thousand Things Theater, the title character is played by Marisa Tejeda, Sun Mee Chomet and Greta Oglesby. The all-female cast also includes George Keller, Kimberly Richardson and Mo Perry as Shakespeare. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., April 27-June 11 at multiple venues: May 4-7 & May 18-June 4, Open Book, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.; May 11-12, Hamline University's Anne Simley Theater, 1530 W. Taylor Av., St. Paul; June 9-10, Falcon Heights United Church, 1795 Holton St., Falcon Heights; June 10-11, Woman's Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove St., Mpls. $35 or pay-what-you-can starting at $15. 612- 203-9502, tenthousandthings.org)
In two distinct time periods, a pair of couples whose marriages were "arranged" are navigating changes in their relationships when a movie star enters the picture, shaking up at least one union's delicate balance. Playwright Anna Ziegler said she was partly inspired by flirty email exchanges between actor Natalie Portman and writer Jonathan Safran Foer. (8 p.m. Sat., 1 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu., April 29-May 14, $25-$40, Six Points Theater, 1978 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul, 651-647-4315, sixpointstheater.org)
'First Lady Suite'
It closed on the eve of its opening more than three years ago but it's finally here. Four short musicals by Michael John LaChiusa offer privileged peeks at the lives and retinues of women who were married to U.S. presidents: Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower and Jacqueline Kennedy. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. April 27-May 6, Elision Playhouse, 6104 42nd Av. N., Crystal, $10-$38, elisionproductions.com)
Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1938 classic, which covers 12 years of life in small-town New Hampshire, gets a production from Open Window Theatre in Inver Grove Heights, a small company with big ambition. Kari Steinbach directs a cast that includes Katie Kaufmann, Jeremy and Augustine Stanbary and veteran actor Craig Johnson. (7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. April 28-May 28. Open Window Theatre, 5300 S. Robert Trail, Inver Grove Heights. $20-$30. 612-615-1515, openwindowtheatre.org)
The State Ballet of Georgia
The Tbilisi-based company will pay homage to its home country, Georgia, in more than one way. It will perform two works by Georgian American George Balanchine — "Concerto Barocco" and "Mozartiana," the choreographer's last major work — and they will be led by artistic director Nina Ananiashvili, a former star of American Ballet Theatre. State Ballet also will perform "Sagalobeli," choreographed by Ukrainian-born Yuri Possokhov for the company. A live orchestra accompanies the dance, led by music conductor Gavriel Heine. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Northrop, 84 SE. Church St., Mpls., $54-$70, 612-624-2345, northrop.umn.edu)
A global harmony will descend on St. Paul when performers from India, the U.K. and Canada join in Katha Dance Theatre's three-day show. Among them is London-based tabla player Kousic Sen and dancer Souvik Chakraborty from Kolkata. The show highlights emotions portrayed through the abhinay style of kathak dance from Northern India. Katha school founder and choreographer Rita Mustaphi is planning a dance piece fit for kings, employing rhythm, footwork and storytelling. (7 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 1:30 p.m. Sun., Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. 877-291-7001, kathadance.org)
Locally Grown Comedy
This comedy troupe is starting to create a buzz on social media, thanks to clever shorts like "The Real Housewives of the Oregon Trail" and "Drag Superstar: the Board Game." Think "Saturday Night Live" tamped down with Minnesota niceness. You can see the troupe in its first live performance, featuring three new sketches and veterans from Huge Improv Theater and Brave New Workshop. Local stand-ups, including Ali Sultan, are also on the bill. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Strike Theater, 18th Av. NE., Mpls, $10-$15. locallygrowncomedy.com)
'Lord Split Me Open'
Born and raised in north Minneapolis, Cameron Patricia Downey identifies as an "anti-disciplinary artist." No single medium can contain them. With "Lord Split Me Open," Downey takes over HAIR + NAILS in south Minneapolis, creating a whole-building installation of photography, video and sculpture. Their first solo exhibition, it represents the next step in Downey's relationship with the gallery, which began in Brooklyn in 2019 and deepened after the murder of George Floyd. (Through May 28, hours: 1-5 p.m. Thu.-Sun., Hair + Nails Gallery, 2222 ½ E. 35th St., Mpls., hairandnailsart.com)
'Paw Patrol Live'
On tour, toddlers' favorite canine crime fighters are racing to town to defeat their greatest foe. Watch as Chase, Skye and the gang work together to take down Mayor Humdinger, who has dognapped Robo Dog in an effort to create chaos. The show offers VIP — Very Important Pup — tickets with premium seating and a photo opportunity with characters after the show. (6 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m., 2 & 6 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sun. $54-$174. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. hennepintheatretrust.org)