Afrofuturism, adult puppets and boxing ballet: Get out this weekend

Boxer and trainer Mark Connor will take part in his first ballet.
Boxer and trainer Mark Connor is taking part in his first ballet, "To Billy," at the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis this Friday and Saturday.
Euan Kerr | MPR News

It's finally spring, meteorologically speaking at least, and that means there's plenty to experience in the Minnesota arts world. Here are some picks for the next few days:

Last chance to see 'Marie Antoinette'

"King Louie was living like a king, but the people were living rotten," sang Allan Sherman. Maybe that song, "You Went the Wrong Way Old King Louie," is all you know of the French Revolution. A much more comprehensive and compelling history lesson awaits in Walking Shadow Theater's production of "Marie Antoinette," which closes this weekend at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis. Jane Froiland wrings the most out of Antoinette's journey from pampered queen to guillotine fodder. See the show quick, before the blade comes down.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

"Lear" plumbs the depths of a deteriorating mind

Which is more powerful: Love or vanity? The answer may depend on whether you're in your right mind. But poor old King Lear is no longer in his right mind, and he can't tell one from the other, or his two evil daughters from his one good one. The Guthrie's current production of Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear" plumbs the depths of his deteriorating mind and the lengths to which his greedy, predatory offspring are willing to go. Note: Director Joseph Haj cast two different actors as Lear, but both of them — Stephen Yoakam and Nathaniel Fuller — are powerhouses. And J.C. Cutler's Kent, the king's faithful and abused ally, is a delight. At the Guthrie through April 2.

And in this corner ... ballet

Boxers are joining dancers at the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis this Friday and Saturday for the world premiere of "To Billy" by the St. Paul Ballet. How the boxers and dancers got mixed up with each other is a story that has to do with their being neighbors who shared a water fountain. But this weekend's performance is just the beginning of their onstage collaboration; a show planned for June actually calls for boxing matches as part of the event.

Indigenous film series opens at the Walker

This weekend marks the opening of the Walker Art Center's film series, "INDIgenesis: Indigenous Filmmakers, Past and Present."

On the bill Friday is "Daughter of Dawn," a 1920 silent film with hundreds of Native Americans; the Saturday offering is "Mekko," a film with sci-fi overtones featuring Zahn McClarnon, whom we got to know in Season 2 of the "Fargo" series. The eight-event Walker series concludes March 25 with "Views from Standing Rock," a conversation with people who have been documenting the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

A puppet show in Duluth, but don't take the kids

In Duluth, Art Hound Lucie Amundsen is singing the praises of a puppet show called "Hand to God." She says the show, being staged by Renegade Theater at Teatro Zuccone, is not for kids, describing it as "Sesame Street" meets "The Exorcist." It runs through March 11 in downtown Duluth.

Back to the Afrofuturism

If you think you know what Congolese music sounds like, Mbongwana Star will force you to think again. Hailing from Kinshasa, the group is poised to transport dancers of all ages to another dimension at The Cedar Cultural Center on Friday.

Get there early to catch Minneapolis MC Greg Grease and the five other producer-musicians of ZULUZULUU as they draw upon science fiction, black history and culture to create a sound that provokes the mind and moves the body.

SPCO performs Bach, Purcell, Mozart

The Saturday night venue is sold out, but tickets should still be available for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's performances Thursday and Friday of Bach's Second Violin Concerto, featuring Eunice Kim, who joined the SPCO just last fall. The music director of the Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr, joins the orchestra for the program, which also includes works by Mozart and Purcell. In a post on the SPCO blog, artistic director and principal violin Kyu-Young Kim described Eunice Kim as "a remarkable violinist [who] deeply impressed the audition committee with her supple, sensitive playing, flawless technique, and incredible chamber music skills." 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Temple Israel in Minneapolis; 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie.