Best bets: NorShor comedy, Barbra tribute and classical music
Four funny people to perform at NorShor Theatre
Four nationally-known comedians walk into a revamped historic theater ... stop us if you've heard this one. Duluth's first Comedy Fest, by Jade Presents, features four biggies in the biz — including headliners Gary Gulman (Friday), a stand-up comedian with "Last Comic Standing" cred and Tig Notaro (Saturday), a Grammy Award nominee and the creator-star of the Amazon series "One Mississippi."
Friday's support is Alex Edelman, who has a one-hour BBC radio special "Peer Group" and won the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his one man show "Millennial." Saturday's opener is Brian Posehn, whose hour-long special "The Fartist" was released in 2013 on Netflix and who was a supporting actor on "The Sarah Silverman Program."
Renegade Improv Comedy is performing before the show both nights at Zeitgeist.
Duluth Comedy Fest is at 8 p.m. Friday (Gary Gulman feat. Alex Edelman) and 8 p.m. Saturday at the NorShor Theatre, 211 E. Superior St. Tickets at duluthcomedyfest.com.
The way she is
Melody Mendis, a Twin Cities actress and singer, brings Babs to the Spirit of the North Theater. "With Love from Barbra" is a Valentine's Day-themed Barbra Streisand tribute show that includes all the music, clothing and voice to the musician's catalogue.
Mendis was part of a Liberace and Liza tribute that played here in 2017.
Streisand, who never actually goes out of style, is trending extra hard right now — she's also the subject of a story in the Feb. 18 New Yorker magazine.
For the uninitiated: Streisand is an EGOT winner — though one was a non-competitive award. She's known for songs like "People," "The Way We Were," and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (with Neil Diamond).
Rubber Chicken Theater presents "With Love from Barbra" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15-16 and 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at Fitger's Complex, 600 E. Superior St. Tickets: $25 adults, $20 students and seniors. Go to rubberchickentheater.com for more info.
Friday, he's in love
Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant star in the story of an editor, the latter, about to lose his top reporter, the former — who is also his ex-wife and engaged to someone new.
This month's pick for the NorShor Theatre's Classic Film Series is the 1940 comedy "His Girl Friday." He asks her to sign on for one more story together: The case of Earl Williams, a convicted murderer who is on Death Row — maybe wrongly. Then Williams escapes, and the newsies get extra involved.
The Classic Film Series is hosted by Jody Kujawa, Justin Peck and Jason Scorich. Stick around afterward to talk about the film.
"His Girl Friday" plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at the NorShor Theatre, 211 E. Superior St. Tickets: $12.
Three faiths, in song
The College of St. Scholastica is hosting a much-researched musical performance that considers the history and intersectionality Abrahamic faiths. "Land of Three Faiths: Voices of Ancient Mediterranean Jews, Christians and Muslims" is billed as being about the Iberian Peninsula between the 12th and 13th centuries — when three faiths lived among each other, for a while, in peace. There will also be music from North Africa, Turkey and the Balkans.
The Rose Ensemble, led by Jordan Sramek, is headlining and will be joined by American-Uruguayan soprano Nell Snaidas and Jerusalem-born Palestinian multi-instrumentalist Zafir Tawil. Afterward, there will be a discussion led by MPR host Mindy Ratner.
"Land of Three Faiths: Voices of Ancient Mediterranean Jews, Christians, and Muslims" is at 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica. Tickets: Free, open to the public.
World-classical percussionist plays Weber Music Hall
Percussionist-composer-producer-educator Yousif Sheronick, a world and classical musician who has had a broad reach, will perform as a guest artist along with the University of Minnesota Duluth's percussion ensemble. Sheronick's music has touches of Brazil, India, Africa and the Middle East, where he has studied. The New York Times has credited him with having "dazzling improvisations" and "wizardry on a range of humble frame drums."
Yousif Sheronick performs at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Weber Music Hall. Tickets: $16 adults, $11 seniors/veterans, $9 UMD faculty/staff, $8 students, $6 UMD students.
Mezzo-soprano returns to UMD for concert
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Knott received a master's degree in voice performance from the University of Minnesota Duluth. She returns to perform the world premiere of "Brittle, Bright," a song cycle by UMD professor Brad Bombardier with text by Marion Thompson van Steenwyk.
Knott, who has performed around the country, won top prize at the Thursday Musical Competition and Schubert Club Competition in St. Paul. Opera News credited her with "getting the maximum response with a minimum of mocking sycophancy" when she was Mistress Quickly in Bronx Opera's "Falstaff." She has been on stage with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Arrowhead Chorale.
Sarah Knott performs at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Weber Music Hall. Tickets: $16 adult, $11 senior/veterans, $9 UMD faculty/staff, $8 student, $6 UMD student.