Best bets: 'Take it With You,' 'Sweet Charity' and 'Casablanca'
Blake and friends return
Blake and friends are back with Season 5 of "Take it With You," an original live radio theater podcast based around a fictional Duluth-based tavern — though who-knows-what might happen or where. Outer space, anyone?
Each episode features a wacky storyline, a guest from a local business and/or artist, and musical interludes. And if you can't get in to the frequently sold-out shows, you can always catch an episode when it goes online.
The first episode of the season is "A Super General Hospital: The One Where Andy Dies."
DJ Abilities plays at Sound
DJ Abilities, a Rhymesayers artist who has released two mixtapes and produced four full-length albums, returns to Duluth for a show Friday at Sound.
The heavy-touring DJ's most recent release is "The Blends," which he self-released in 2014. He made his debut in 2001 with the late rapper Eyedea.
Also on the bill: local pair LowHiFunk with DJ Delgado and Willie Diction.
DJ Abilities, LowHiFunk, DJ Delgado and Willie Diction perform at 9 p.m. April 20 at Sound, 132 E. Superior St. Tickets: $10 in advance at brownpapertickets.com, $13 at the door.
How 'Sweet' it is
"Sweet Charity" is the story of a cheery dance hall hostess with a big heart, but one that has also been dragged through the muck. Consider the case of a boyfriend who pushes her into the water and runs off with her purse. Luckily, new love is just an elevator away. Or is it?
"Sweet Charity," by Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon, is based on the Fellini movie "Nights of Cabiria." The soundtrack includes "Big Spender," "If My Friends Could See Me Now" and more. Amber Burns directs the local version starring Hayley Rosenthal in the title role that opens today.
"Sweet Charity" plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through May 5 at The Underground, 506 W. Michigan St. Tickets: $20 adults, $18 students at duluthplayhouse.org.
Big Finnish band
Frigg is a Finnish folk-fusion band that includes four fiddlers, a bass player, mandola and bagpipe player. The band's roots are Nordic, but has international influences. You like bluegrass? They got bluegrass.
Frigg's most recent album is the award-winning "Flying Fiddles," which was released in 2017. Roots magazine described the group as playing "shapely, ingenious and delivered with acute mastery and massive swing and energy."
Frigg plays at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at Sacred Heart Music Center. Tickets: $15 in advance at eventbrite.com, Electric Fetus or Globe News in Superior, $20 at the door.
Coming of age in 'November'
A movie about a family of women who have all come of age with the same rifle — set in Hibbing and written by a Hibbing native — gets two screenings at Zinema 2.
"Cold November" by Karl Jacob, who also plays Uncle Craig, is about 12-year-old Florence, who is about to go out deer hunting for the first time, as coached by her grandmother, aunt and mother. The award-winning, feature-length film shows the tradition of the season — the sauna, the stories, the memories.
"Cold November" plays at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. April 21 at Zinema 2, 222 E. Superior St. Tickets: $9.75 adults, $7 students, $6.50 seniors, $5.50 kids
Play it, NorShor
The NorShor Classic Film series is a new monthly feature hosted by Jody Kujawa, Jason Scorich and Justin Peck, that puts oldies-but-goodies on a big screen with a chance to chat about it afterward.
First up: "Casablanca," the old-skool story of a freedom fighter-turned-nightclub owner who helps refugees escape to the United States, a group that includes, suddenly, Ilsa, the one who got away — and her husband. But now she's only got eyes for Rick. The 1942 movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
"Casablanca" plays at 7 p.m. April 22 at the NorShor Theatre, 211 E. Superior St. Tickets: $10.
Beware the shapeshifter
There's not a lot you can do when you're stationed in Antarctica and you encounter a bad, bad being that can morph and change and absorb, for instance, beloved dogs or coworkers.
Zinema 2 and the Duluth Film Collective are screening the 1982 John Carpenter movie that Roger Ebert encouraged everyone not to see.
Variety also panned it, but threw it a nugget: "If it's the most vividly gruesome monster to ever stalk the screen that audiences crave, then The Thing is the thing."
Kurt Russell stars.
"The Thing" screens at 7 p.m. April 23 at Zinema 2, 222 E. Superior St. Tickets: $10.