Best of the Week (Feb. 16-23): Tove Lo, Joe Henry, ‘Gotta Dance,’ Raphael Saadiq, VocalEssence, winter fest, more
Multiple authors | Star Tribune
Like a raunchier and rowdier version of her fellow Swedish export Robyn, electro-pop singer Tove Lo has made a bigger splash in dance clubs and viral listening quarters than on pop radio, earning her a sizable underground following. She sticks to the trashy Eurodisco beats and good-timey vibes on her fourth album, “Sunshine Kitty,” featuring Kylie Minogue on the single “Really Don’t Like U” and bringing her to town for an overdue headlining appearance.
7 p.m. Thu. Palace Theatre, 17 W. 7th Place, St. Paul $35, etix.com
Given only a few months to live because of Stage 4 prostate cancer in late 2018, poetic singer-songwriter and Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry experienced a songwriting burst. Then he cut some stripped-down demos that he released as a brave, penetrating album about faith and love, “The Gospel According to Water,” one of the most remarkable records of 2019. He’s in remission and on tour again. Read an interview with Henry in Tuesday’s Variety. Birds of Chicago open.
7 p.m. Thu. The Dakota, Mpls. $30-$45, dakotacooks.com.
Ordway Cabaret: Gotta Dance!
Musical theater lovers, this one is for you. In “Ordway Cabaret: Gotta Dance!” you’ll get a taste of the best dance pieces from Broadway, performed by folks from the Twin Cities theater and dance scene. With classic numbers and contemporary hits, the show includes both choreographed pieces and commentary from the artists. They’ll share their own stories in connection to works from “42nd Street” and “Kiss Me Kate” to “A Chorus Line,” “All That Jazz” and “Hamilton.”
7:30 p.m. Thu. Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul. $22-$44, 651-224-4222 or ordway.org.
Since leaving R&B trio Tony! Toni! Toné! in 1997, Raphael Saadiq has taken unpredictable turns as a singer, songwriter and producer. His most fascinating diversion yet may be last year’s underrated album “Jimmy Lee.” The record was based on his older brother’s death to addiction and other family trauma, with dark and heartwarming elements around deep and infectious grooves, all in the spirit of Prince’s “Sign o’ the Times.” Opener Jamila Woods was Chance the Rapper’s co-vocalist on “Sunday Candy.”
8:30 p.m. Sat. First Avenue, Mpls. $35, first-avenue.com.
Deep Roots, a VocalEssence WITNESS Concert
Thirty years ago Philip Brunelle’s VocalEssence choir initiated the “Witness” project to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the fine arts. The anniversary is marked in “Deep Roots,” a landmark celebration of a program that has featured artists such as Bobby McFerrin, James Earl Jones and Spelman College Glee Club. T. Mychael Rambo and Jovonta Patton are among this year’s guests, and a 30th Anniversary Community Choir joins in.
4:30 p.m. next Sun. Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $10-$40, 612-371-5656 or vocalessence.org.
Tangletown Winter Fest
If glow-in-the-dark sledding isn’t enticing enough to get outside during the dregs of winter, how about Girl Scout cookies? At Tangletown Winter Fest, local troops will have the ever-addicting Thin Mints and other confections for sale. Fuller Park will glow with luminarias and bonfires where folks can roast s’mores. Get artistic with snow painting and other winter-themed crafts. “Let It Go” and warm up inside with a screening of “Frozen.”
5-8 p.m. Sat. Fuller Park, 4800 Grand Av. S., Mpls. Free, tangletown.org/tangletown-winter-fest.
Transatlantic Love Affair’s “After the Fires” takes us to life at the end of the world, as the last band of people gather in a forest to heal their ills. They’re not doomsday preppers. These “re-wilding” survivors are gentle as they get in touch with nature and themselves. “Fires” is marked by elegiac images and subtle environmental messages. It’s campfire storytelling at a high level, where the actors’ skills are sharpened by lighting design and music.
7 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $17-$30, 612-339-4944 or illusiontheater.org.
Tine Thing Helseth
Tine Thing Helseth is one of the world’s top trumpeters. This week, she’ll play the highly virtuosic Trumpet Concerto by Henri Tomasi with the Minnesota Orchestra, along with shorter pieces by Grieg. Her fellow Norwegian Eivind Gullberg Jensen leads the orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s sumptuous Second Symphony.
8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $12-$130.75, 612-371-5656 or minnesotaorchestra.org.
Before popular toy companies were founded, kids had to use their imaginations to keep themselves amused. Scott County Historical Society’s monthly Kids Kraft activity has a throwback moment with its Paper World program. Find out how a few scraps of paper can turn into an afternoon of fun. Shoo away cabin fever by learning how to create your own little world with just a few pieces of scrap paper.
10:30 a.m. Sat. New Prague Library, 400 E. Main St. Free, advance registration required; 952-445-0378.