Weekend picks: Street photography from Africa at Weisman; ‘Boy Wonder,’ a musical about Harold Stassen; and Low Cut Conn…

Urban street photography from Lagos and Johannesburg, a musical about Minnesota’s youngest governor, staged opera scenes and arias, and an Indigenous festival on both sides of the Stone Arch Bridge are in store for this week’s cultural schedule. Also, Low Cut Connie heads to First Avenue, bringing the band’s intoxicating theatricality with it, and jazz vocalist Elaine Dame heats up the Dunsmore Room at Crooners.

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‘Urban Cadence’: Street scenes from Lagos and Johannesburg

A new exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum features the art of street photography in two cities on opposite sides of the African continent. Using the lens of cadence — a word that refers to rhythm and musicality, often of the human voice — curator Carol MaGee proposes the artists that are part of the show capture the sound and beat of the two vibrant urban centers. Both cities have booming youth populations, and both are international music hotspots. The photographs in the show are filled with movement — from people captured walking, turnin, and engaging with daily life, as cars and public transportation. One particularly striking image comes from Akintunde Akinleye, a Nigerian photographer, whose photograph “Each Passing Day” (2006) offers a view Lagos’ Oshodi terminal, an enormous swath of buses, umbrellas, tightly packed crowds of people and buildings, seen from atop a pedestrian bridge. Other more abstract photographs by the South African photographer Jo Ractliffe play with time as different moments after apartheid are blurred together like a tone poem in music.

The opening party for the exhibition takes place Thursday, Oct. 5, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Weisman ($20), with Nigerian food by WaZoBia and a cash bar, plus a live performance by the Black Atlantics, led by Afrofusion musician Obi Original. More information here. There’s also a virtual artist talk featuring Akintunde Akinleye on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (free). More information here. The exhibition runs through Dec. 31.

A rehearsal photo of “Boy Wonder” featuring Evan Tyler Wilson, center, as Harold Stassen.

Courtesy of the History Theatre

A rehearsal photo of “Boy Wonder” featuring Evan Tyler Wilson, center, as Harold Stassen.

‘Boy Wonder’

Playwright Keith Hovis is in some ways uniquely experienced to take on a musical about Minnesota’s 25th governor, Harold Stassen. He’s had a concurrent career working in communications for the likes of Mayor Chris Coleman, Gov. Mark Dayton and different state departments. He’s also a composer, and penned the music for his latest work about Stassen, “Boy Wonder.” Laura Leffler directs the piece, which focuses on Stassen’s achievements — like helping start the United Nations — and his relationships, including with his wife, Esther, played by Emily Dussault. Evan Tyler Wilson takes on the role of Stassen, with Jen Maren, star of “Glensheen,” Bradley Greenwald and Eric Pogi Sumangil among the ensemble cast. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m., through Oct. 29 ($48-74) at the History Theatre. More information here.

Elaine Dame

Suzanne Plunkett Photography

Elaine Dame

Elaine Dame Trio

Chicago-based jazz singer Elaine Dame heads to the Dunsmore Room at Crooners lounge for her third appearance, part of her coast-to-coast tour that highlights old and modern standards filled with her popping expression and deep understanding of rhythm. She’s joined by Twin Cities musicians Kavyesh Kaviraj (piano) and Graydon Peterson (Stand-up Bass). Friday, Oct. 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ($25-35). More information here.

Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie

In 2022, Low Cut Connie gave a vibrant, theatrical performance at the Minnesota State Fair, with frontman Adam Weiner delighting audiences with virtuosic piano playing and flamboyant stage presence. The band has a classic rock feel with the panache of artists like Elton John and Billy Joel. This week, the group heads to First Ave, promoting the recently released album, “Art Dealers,” dedicated to Lou Reed. Matthew Logan Vasquez and Mik Cool open. Saturday, Oct. 7, at 8:30 p.m. ($25). More information here.

Bridging the Past, Building the Future: A Concert Fundraiser of Staged Opera Scenes and Arias

The Opera Reading Project will be sharing music from Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, who died in June of this year and whose last work, “Hush,” had its world premiere on Aug. 24. The group, which focuses on professional development for opera singers, also shares music by living contemporary composers Daniel Catán and Jocelyn Hagen, along with works by Aaron Copland, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi. Marcela Lorca, artistic director of Ten Thousand Things, has staged the scenes, working with ORP’s artistic director Lara Bolton. Saturday, Oct. 7, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Landmark Center ($30 suggested, $5-10 sliding scale). More information here.

Owámni: Falling Water Festival

Bring your appetite to the Owámni: Falling Water Festival, where a host of Indigenous food trucks — including Tatanka Truck, Pow Wow Grounds, and NATIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, the nonprofit founded by The Sioux Chef Sean Sherman). Also on hand will be Austin Barhold (of Gatherings Cafe) catering and food samples from Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette, who will speak about food sovereignty in Canada and across borders. The festival takes place on both sides of the Stone Arch Bridge, at Father Hennepin State Park and Mill Ruins Park, with music on both sides. From vocal groups to the hip-hop of Tall Paul, to a fashion show, it should be a great way to experience Native knowledge and culture and take in the changing colors of the fall landscape. Saturday, Oct. 7, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Mill Ruins Park, Water Works and Father Hennepin Bluff Park (free). More information here.

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