Festival de las Calaveras’ annual Día de los Muertos festival starts the weekend after Halloween this year, which makes this an ideal opportunity to remind everyone that Día de los Muertos and Halloween are completely different holidays. Celebrating Latinx artists and also honoring traditions, the event marks a shift in mood as we move toward the colder part of the year. Read about it below, in addition to another Latinx artist, the Canadian singer Jessie Reyez, who heads to the Filmore on Sunday. Other events on this list include Frank James Meuschke’s eerie landscapes, a Jewish/Native American puppet show, and a choral concert with a social justice bent. Also, get in the mood for some good old family dysfunction when the Gremlin Theatre presents “The Boys Room.”
Don’t Go Into the Light
Artist Frank James Meuschke’s luminous and ghostly large-scale photographs are featured in a solo show at Rosalux Gallery. These works, created using translucent plastics as part of his photographic process, are purposefully foggy, detaching the viewer from the landscapes being shown. Relishing in uncertainty, they disarm and also provoke questions about the ecosystems that surround us. The opening reception takes place Friday, Nov. 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m at Rosalux (free). More information here.
The Boys Room
Brian Balcom takes the help as director for the area premiere of “The Boys Room,” by Joel Drake Johnson at Gremlin Theatre. A sometimes funny, sometimes brutal look at a dysfunctional American family, “The Boys Room,” which premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in 2011, follows two brothers who, because of life circumstances, return to live at their mother’s home. Lindsay Kelsey, Dan Hopman, Peter Christian Hansen and Lucy Farrell make up the intimate cast. It runs Friday, Nov. 4 through Sunday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 Fridays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays — no performance on Thanksgiving, at the Gremlin Theatre ($38). More information here.
Through the Narrows
Z Puppets Rosenschnoz’s “Through the Narrows” draws on Jewish and Native American histories as it travels through time and continents. Artists Shari Aronson and Chris Griffith draw on stories from their own ancestry in this piece directed by Laurie Witzkowski. The work has gotten support from the Jim Henson Foundation, as well as other funders. After the show, the audience is invited to make their own power figure puppets to complete the experience. Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m., at Z Puppets’ studio, 4054 Chicago Ave., S., Mpls., ($25). More information here.
Festival de las Calaveras: Día de los Muertos
Festival de Las Calaveras’ Día de los Muertos celebrations kick off this week, with music, art, celebrating and ancestors and traditions. On Saturday, the festival opens with a concert featuring music by the likes of Lady Midnight, spoken word by the Palabristas Spoken Word Collective, and dancing by Danza Mexica Yolotl. Xochi de la Luna emcees the event, and there will also be face paint artists on hand and art activities. Local restaurateur Hector Ruiz provides the eats via El Meson Latin Fusion Food Truck. The concert takes place Saturday, Nov. 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. ($15, $5 youth). After the concert, the festival continues Sunday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 13, on view 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (free), and then a closing party Saturday, Nov. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. ($5-10 donation). It’s all at the Squirrel House, a lovely, intimate gallery and music venue in South Minneapolis. More information here.
Jessie Reyez’s career was going strong in 2020. She received her first Grammy nomination that year, for her album, “Being Human in Public,” and opened for Billie Eilish on her “Where Do We Go” world tour. Then the pandemic hit and that tour was cancelled, as was Reyez’s gig at the Coachella festival. Reyez dove into her music, work that resulted in “YESSIE,” just released in September. So far it’s made a splash, with Drake, Diddy and other hip hop stars showing up for the release party. She’s also earned buzz on Jimmy Kimmel and on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert. Catch her at the Fillmore on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. ($35-55). More information here.
Chorus Polaris: Being Together, Singing Together, Living Together
Chamber choir Chorus Polaris, made up of professional and amateur singers, teams up with Park Center High School for a concert featuring nearly 100 voices. William Mathis, Chorus Polaris artistic director, and Kate Kallevig, Park Center’s choir director, also join forces for the special event, themed around social justice and featuring gospel and spiritual music as well as classic choral tunes. Sunday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Master ($10 in advance, $15 door, free for age 21 and under) and Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. (free). (More information here.)