The 14 best things to do and see in the Twin Cities this week

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Chris Botti

Some people might regard him as the Kenny G of the trumpet. But the suave jazz man is really the next Ed Sullivan. Botti presents a generous, highly entertaining, musical variety show, with one surprise guest after another. It might be an opera singer, a flamenco guitarist or a jazz saxophonist. And the collaborators vary from night to night. Botti is extremely versatile and that may explain why he’s played with a who’s who of modern music, including Sinatra, Streisand, Sting, Bocelli, Gaga and Yo-Yo Ma. ( 6:30 & 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 & 7 p.m. Sun. the Dakota, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $85-$160, dakotacooks.com)

JON BREAM

Ron White

It’s been 22 years since the launch of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, the wildly successful act that featured White sharing the stage with Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy. All continue to enjoy great success, but White, 65, has announced that he’ll be retiring from stand-up at the end of this year. That’s one of the reasons his Twin Cities performance sold out quickly. White no longer sips Scotch on stage, but you can bet his “good ol’ boy” routine has aged well. (8 p.m. Fri., Treasure Island Resort & Casino, 5734 Sturgeon Lake Road, Red Wing, $49. ticasino.com)

NEAL JUSTIN

Minnesota Opera’s ‘Rinaldo’

To launch its intimate new Warehouse District space, the Luminary Arts Center, Minnesota Opera makes a rare venture into Baroque-era opera by presenting George Frideric Handel’s tuneful take on war, love and sorcery. But expect no chain mail: This sold-out staging moves the action to mid-’80s Wall Street, where old money is doing battle with new. Singing the title role is countertenor Patrick Terry, a University of Minnesota alum who’s gone on to perform at London’s Royal Opera. (7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; through Dec. 3; 700 N. 1st St., Mpls.; $50-$80; 612-333-6669 or mnopera.org.)

ROB HUBBARD

Plains

After the personal tumult and triumphant tour behind her 2020 record “Saint Cloud,” Katie Crutchfield — the Alabama singer alternately known as Waxahatchee — paired up with friend and fellow Americana strummer Jess Williamson to create this more lighthearted and twangy duo. Their record, “I Walked With You a Ways,” is a real charmer, loaded with catchy twang-pop, golden harmonies and inspired songs about moving on. They’ve been playing some fun covers and a couple Waxahatchee tunes to round out their set list on tour. (9 p.m. Fri., First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., $25-$30, axs.com)

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER

Community voices on ‘Water’

Actors Sally Wingert, George Keller and Will Sturdivant interpret the writings of Minneapolis public school students plus works from residents of Minnesota’s correctional facilities and senior centers in “Ten Thousand Voices: Water.” The show is the latest in a series of community-empowering workshops from Ten Thousand Things. The theme nods to the Mississippi and all the other vital sources that carry memories and keep Minnesota lush and green. Wingert and Michelle O’Neill co-direct. (7:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Av. S., Mpls. Free but donations are accepted. 612- 203-9502 or tenthousandthings.org.)

ROHAN PRESTON

‘Servants’ a-singing

Some noteworthy Twin Cities talents have gathered for “A Servants’ Christmas,” a charming story about a Jewish immigrant working in a Christian household on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue in 1899. Written by John Fenn with music and lyrics by Drew Jansen, the show is the swan song for director Ron Peluso, who is stepping down as artistic director of the History Theatre. Tinia Moulder choreographs. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat, 2 p.m. Sun., 10 a.m. Tue. Ends Dec. 18. $15-$70. 651-237-3163 or historytheatre.com.)

R.P.

Rodney Crowell

One of Texas’ most poetic and penetrating songwriters has been diagnosed with dysautonomia, a nerve disease that sometimes slows him down. It didn’t stop him from delivering last year’s aptly titled “Triage,” a low-key, reflective album about mortality, sin and redemption. Highlights include the dark, Dylanesque “Something Has to Change,” the blues shuffle “I’m All About Love” (in which he mentions Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Greta Thunberg, Jessica Biel and the devil all in one stanza), and the graceful “Hymn #43,” co-written with John Leventhal, husband of Crowell’s ex, Rosanne Cash, who sings backup. Crowell is trying to heal the world — and himself. (8 p.m. Sat. Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins, $29-$44, hopkinsartscenter.com)

JON BREAM

‘Desert’

Marciano Silva dos Santos, artistic director of Contempo Physical Dance, brings a new cast of dancers, who have been working with Brazilian choreographer Mário Nascimento as part of the McKnight International Choreographer Residency. Nascimento is based in Manaus, Brazil, where he has led the dance troupe Corpo de Dança do Amazonas since 2020. His new piece “Desert,” which will have its world premiere in St. Paul, explores the ways the fertile soil has been depleted as a result of deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul, $5-$29, oshag.stkate.edu, 651-690-6700)

SHEILA REGAN

Ike Reilly Assassination

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow along I-94 has ever sidelined this Thanksgiving Eve gig with steely eyed Libertyville, Ill., rocker Reilly, his brutish band and their diehard Twin Cities audience. It’s an annual tradition that dates back to the fanatic local reception for their 2001 album “Salesmen & Racists.” Then came COVID. After a somewhat tepid return with masks last year, the floodgates — and all of First Ave’s bars — will open again for another full-bore singalong and opening sets by American Scarecrows and Turn Turn Turn. (7:15 p.m. Wed., First Avenue, $22-$25, axs.com)

C.R.

‘The Menu’

Vegetables get off easy but the rest of the restaurant industrial complex gets roasted in this horror comedy. Foodies, chefs, critics, financiers and others are the target of the satire, in which Ralph Fiennes plays the sadistic chef of a $1,250-per-meal restaurant. The witty, goofy, brutal fun plays out as though absurdist master Luis Buñuel had made one of the “Saw” movies. (In theaters, showtimes vary.)

CHRIS HEWITT

‘To Boldly Go’

Kevin Kling hosts a show with performer Dovie Thomason, a self-described “Indigenous space cadet,” who shares star stories her father taught her, talks about working with NASA and explores Indigenous science. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 506 E. 24th St., Mpls., $22, openeyetheatre.org).

C.H.

Winter Lights

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s annual illuminated display opens this weekend with whimsical scenes using natural materials. The grounds’ .75-mile walking route features light displays that highlight flowers and trees. Warm up by a fire in the S’mores Village and purchase a kit to make the sweet, sticky treat. Indoors, the visitor center and Snyder building will be decorated, the highlight being a 25-foot poinsettia tree created with more than 500 red, white and pink poinsettias. (5-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun. $25. 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska. 952-443-1400. arboretum.umn.edu.)

MELISSA WALKER

‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’

It’s a big weekend for Jane Austen fans in the Twin Cities, with two “Pride and Prejudice”-themed holiday comedies opening: “Georgiana & Kitty” at Jungle Theater and “Bennet” at Lyric Arts. It takes place two years after “P and P,” with Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy happily wed but the rest of their clans in their usual chaos. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., ends Dec. 18, Lyric Arts, 420 E. Main St., Anoka, $34-$42, lyricarts.org.)

C.H.

‘Louvre Fantastique’

The Louvre comes to the Mall of America in the new immersive and interactive “Louvre Fantastique: The Exhibition.” Opening Friday, the exhibition features interpretations of 90 artworks through projection mapping, three-dimensional re-creations and augmented reality. The Louvre in Paris receives around 2.8 million visitors per year, making it the most visited museum in the world. At the Mall of America, visitors can go through the entire exhibition in one hour with the help of an audio guide. The kids’ version of the audio guide is narrated by none other than Mona Lisa herself. The exhibition is created by SEE Global Attractions, the same company that did the Sistine Chapel exhibition at the Mall of America in 2020. (Ends Jan. 15. Open Tue.-Sun., 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. $37-$52. Louvrefantastique.com)

ALICIA ELER


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