Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, a Penumbra Theatre holiday tradition, is playing through December 24 on the stage at 270 N. Kent St. Lou Bellamy directs. Musical direction is by Sanford Moore and the Kingdom Life Church Choir. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Tickets are $15-$40. For information and reservations, call 651-224-3180 or visit penumbratheatre.org.
“Happy Holidane,” a swinging, singing hullabaloo of seasonal entertainment, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, December 22 and 23, at the History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St. In a nod to the classic variety shows of yore, host Dane Stauffer is joined by a bevy of entertainers in a program of holiday chestnuts, lesser-known ditties, solos, harmonies, sing-alongs, sketches and stories. Tickets are $35-$45. Call 651-292-4323 or visit historytheatre.com.
Two promising young writers will join notable authors David Mura, Michael Torres and Caitlin Bailey in a Literary Bridges reading at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 9, at Next Chapter Booksellers, 38 S. Snelling Ave. Curated by Stan Kusunoki, the program is free. Call 651-225-8989.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, on the 25th anniversary of its landmark rock opera, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories,” will perform the full album live at 3 and 8 p.m. Monday, December 27, at Xcel Energy Center. The musical tells of a young angel sent to earth to bring back what is best representative of humanity. A second set will feature other hits from the band’s repertoire. For tickets, which start at $39.50, visit ticketmaster.com.
The JCC Symphony Orchestra returns on Wednesday, January 12, with an all-strings concert balancing English romanticism with folkloric colors from Hungary. The free program begins at 7 p.m. at the Capp Center, 1375 Saint Paul Ave. It will feature Gustav Holst’s Saint Paul’s Suite, Edward Elgar’s Elegy and Salut d’amour (“Love’s greeting”) and Béla Bartók’s 10 Pieces for Children. Reservations are requested at tinyurl.com/c5zafrvf. Walk-ins are welcome, but space will be limited to ensure social distancing. Masks are required.
Cellist Amit Peled will join the Minnesota Sinfonia in free concerts at 7 p.m. Friday, January 14, at First Covenant Church, 1280 Arcade St., and at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, January 16, at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. Children are welcome. The program includes the world premiere of “From This Hour” by Timothy Theraldson, Concerto in A minor by Schumann and Symphony No. 2 by Louise Farrenc. Visit mnsinfonia.org.
Violinist Chloe Fedor will join Lyra Baroque Orchestra in a musical tour of Leipzig, Paris, Rome and London at 3 and 5 p.m. Sunday, January 16, in Sundin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Ave. The Grand Tour program includes Ouverture from Céphale et Procris by Jacquet de la Guerre, Sinfonia No. 3 in D Major by Scarlatti, Concerto in A Minor by Bach and Concerto in A Major by Avison. Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors, $5 for students. Visit lyrabaroque.org or call 651-321-2214.
Minnesota Museum of American Art is showing two new exhibits in its window galleries on Fourth and Robert streets and at its Ecolab skyway entrance through January 29. In “Sutures,” artists Cheryl Mukherji, Prune Phi, Sopheak Sam and Daniella Thach reappropriate images through screen printing, projection, neon and collage. “Transformation: Art from the Inside” features works by artists at the Stillwater and Shakopee prisons. Visit mmaa.org.
“Journeys,” photographs by Brad and Michelle Daniels that illustrate the natural splendor of Lake Superior, the vibrant culture of Italy, the deserts of the American Southwest and the cities of New York, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, are being displayed through January 2 in the North Gallery at Landmark Center. Admission is free. Call 651-292-3063.
The Tiny Art Expo, a multimedia show and sale of one-of-a-kind pieces that measure no more than 10 by 10 inches, is on view through January 30 in the AZ Gallery, 308 Prince St. For hours, visit theazgallery.org or call 651-224-3757.
“Complexity Made Simple,” the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Rube Goldberg (1883-1970), is being shown through January 31 in the Fine Art Gallery of the Minnesota JCC’s Capp Center, 1375 Saint Paul Ave. The exhibit focuses on Goldberg’s ability to distill a complex geopolitical landscape into a single image. Also featured are a Rube Goldberg-inspired machine created by Minnesota kinetic artist Robin Schwartzman and a documentary film about the cartoonist by Goldberg grandson, Geoffrey George of Highland Park. For gallery hours, call 651-698-0751 or visit minnesotajcc.org.
“Totally Radical, Designing the 1980s,” an exhibit that captures the variety and ideosyncrasies of the styles prevalent during the 1980s, is being displayed through May 27 at the University of Minnesota’s Goldstein Museum of Design, located in Gallery 241 of McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave. Along with objects from the Goldstein’s collection, the exhibit includes photos and print material from university archives and the Minnesota Historical Society. Admission is free. For gallery hours, visit design.umn.edu/goldstein-museum-design.
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Art Shanty Projects return to the frozen surface of Lake Harriet from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from January 15 through February 6. Among the highlights are Winding Sheet Outfit’s “Tick Tock Shanty”; Nick Knutson’s “Rock Box” featuring live music and DJs; Emma Wood’s “Rage Room” where visitors smash molded ice; and Adrienne Pabst and Nicole Simpkins’ “Institute for Perpetual Unfolding.” Artist Damien Wolf will install a field of over 600 ceramic flowers. Yoga will be conducted every Saturday afternoon by Bridges Through Yoga. Minneapolis Hoop Jams will have people grooving with hula hoops on Sunday mornings. Scheduled for the final weekend are open lacrosse games run by Twin Cities Native Lacrosse and “Fashion Disasters,” a spectacle by artist Patti Paulson on the threat of climate change. Kick sleds will be available for accessible transport. ASL interpreters and audio describers will also be available from noon-3 p.m. daily. Admission is by donation with $10-20 suggested. Masks are strongly encouraged.
The warm glow of streetlights and holiday decorations turn the Twin City Model Railroad Museum into a miniature winter wonderland from 3-7 p.m. on Saturdays, now through February 26. Admission to this special program in the museum at 668 Transfer Road is $15, free for children age 4 and under. For reservations, visit tcmrm.org or call 651-647-9628.
“Ultimate Dinosaurs,” a showcase of cutting-edge paleontology and the dinosaur fossil discoveries to which it has led, is on view through April 10 at the Science Museum of Minnesota, 65 W. Kellogg Blvd. Playing in the museum’s Omnitheater through June 30 is the new movie Dinosaurs of Antarctica, about the quest of scientists to understand the continent’s transformation and compare climate change today to that in prehistoric times. For information, call 651-221-9444 or visit smm.org.
Explore “Extraordinary Women,” an exhibit about the political activists who have strived for civil rights in Minnesota, and then take part in family-friendly activities during winter break. The program will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. December 26, 28, 29, 30, 31 and January 1 and 2 at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Pkwy. Make a banner that proclaims your favorite cause. Join a suffrage parade. Take part in a scavenger hunt and discover other extraordinary women throughout the galleries. Face masks are required. Admission is $12, $10 for seniors and college students, $6 for children ages 5-17. Visit mnhs.org or call 651-259-3000.
Bina’s Six Apples, a new play by Korean-American playwright Lloyd Suh about the impact of war and displacement on children and families, will be performed from January 14 through February 13 at the Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 Third Ave. S. in Minneapolis. The drama was inspired by the experience of Suh’s parents as children during the Korean War and by the similarities and differences seen in children today. It is recommended for audiences ages 9 and up. Tickets are $15-$63. Visit childrenstheatre.org or call 612-874-0400.
Travel to China without leaving Saint Paul from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, January 16. Landmark Center is collaborating with CAAM Chinese Dance Theater in a program that will immerse folks in the music, dance, crafts and cuisine of that distant land. Admission is free. Call 651-292-3063 or visit landmarkcenter.org/urban-expedition.
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