Happy Friday friends - see below for my picks of the week...
Jazz at Studio Z hosts the Atlantis Quartet – Saturday
The 2011 City Pages Best Jazz Artist will perform a concert of all original compositions, including several premiers of new works. Check out the band that JazzTimes Magazine calls "startlingly original," fresh off a year of high critical acclaim, including their latest album “Lines In the Sand” being named in the Top 14 Minnesota albums of 2011.
Erik Brandt (from urban hillbilly quartet) CD Release at Amsterdam – Saturday
It seems that Erik Brandt is difficult to distinguish from his Urban Hillbilly Quartet – but his latest album is coming out under his own name and not the UHQ. The roots music powerhouse moves this latest effort closer to the rock side of the music spectrum. He’ll be introducing this new record from the bar stage (read: free show) and should make for a fun night down at Amsterdam. (Btw – Littleman is rocking the big stage tonight, if you’re interested in that!)
Cactus Blossoms at the Turf – Mondays
The Cactus Blossoms are holding a Monday night residency at the Turf Club for a while and it makes for a great reason to go out on a Monday. If you’ve never heard of them, MPR’s Chris Roberts did a terrific piece on them this past fall. They have a distinctively old fashion country twang sound that comes off as super honest and authentic. Check them out!
Leslie Jordan at Camp – Saturday
Fresh off his supporting role in the critically acclaimed Best Picture Oscar nominated film, The Help, Leslie Jordan brings his autobiographical, one-man show, Stories I Can’t Tell Mama to the Cabaret at Camp Bar. The Emmy-winning star of Will & Grace and self-proclaimed “Gayest Man I Know,” Jordan promises a show that is fresh, riveting, and simply hilarious. You’ll laugh out loud at his behind-the-scenes stories from The Help and his wildly entertaining anecdotes about life on the road. Jordan’s natural born storytelling and innate gift for gab keeps every audience in stitches. He is the consummate raconteur in every sense; this is a show you must see!
Heiruspecs at McNally Smith – Thursday
Occasionally, McNally offers these terrific free concerts and one of them is coming up on Thursday. Saint Paul’s own Heiruspecs are playing at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday next week. Visit the website to figure out how to get tickets (McNally students get first crack at tickets) – but it will be a really great opportunity to see a terrific band in what is basically a private concert.
Blind Date at the Ordway - through April 1
In the brand- new play Blind Date, you’ll experience all the excitement and awkwardness of love as Mimi, a Parisian temptress played by Rebecca Northan, goes on a blind date with a different man every night—plucked right out of the audience! Straight from critically acclaimed, sold-out runs in New York City and Toronto and produced by Kevin McCollum, this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants show is sure to make you shriek with laughter while falling in love with Mimi and her man. Called “A flight of theatrical fancy that is absolutely magical” by the Toronto Star, this “must-see performance” (part burlesque, part Lucille Ball, part Match.com) will delight men and women alike.