Best bets: Music from Dylan, Parr, gospel and Maxi Childs Trio
Nine days of Dylan
Remember that time the folkiest of folk icons, an actual Nobel Prize winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree, stood on a stage at Bayfront Festival Park, pointed into our mess of hills and said "I was born up on that hill over there. Glad to see it's still there." It's time to celebrate that guy. The annual Duluth Dylan Fest is nine days of music, tours, lectures and a good old fashioned b-day party in the front yard of Bob Dylan's childhood home — the very same yard where urban legend has, in the past, found Dylan skulking around, perhaps playing memory lane. For the newbies: Bob Dylan was born here, spent his early childhood here, then moved to Hibbing before striking out for a brilliant career.
Duluth Dylan Fest is May 18-28 at venues in Duluth. Go to www.bobdylanway.com for more info.
Parr, Cook to play Sacred Heart
Charlie Parr and Phil Cook, who are briefly touring together, will play Sunday at Sacred Heart Music Center. Parr, with that world-weary voice and wicked picking, has been out on the road with his album "Dog" and is about to announce the followup — a fall release. Cook produced Parr's "Stumpjumper" and has a ton of projects, including Hiss Golden Messenger.
Charlie Parr and Phil Cook play at 8 p.m. May 19 at Sacred Heart Music Center, 201 W. Fourth St. Tickets: $18 at www.eventbrite.com, Globe News and Electric Fetus.
Now you see it ...
"The Illusionists," which has proven to be super hot at box offices, is billed as a night of magic, stunts and wonder. It features seven illusionists who mix humor and what-thes. Expect sharp facial hair, fire, projections. A review from the Orlando Sentinel credited the sense of grandeur and growing intensity of tricks. Broadway World noted the gothic-ness, close magic and audience participation.
"The Illusionists: Live from Broadway" is at 7:30 p.m. May 21 at Symphony Hall. Tickets start at $45 at Ticketmaster outlets including the DECC box office and www.Ticketmaster.com.
Attention: art on deck. Literally. Local artists have decorated skateboards for the annual Plys with Purpose, a show-slash-silent auction to raise money for local skateboard parks. Among the featured artists, a mix of locally and internationally known: Jonathan Thunder, Zach Moser, and Flo Matamoros, in addition to French artist Lucas Beaufort, Ontario artist Isaac Watamaniuk and Montreal-based artists Marie-Claude Hebert and David Bicari. According to a news release, the artists were selected based on their impact in their own skateboarding community, skateboard culture in their life and willingness to donate time and talent.
Plys with Purpose opening reception is at 7 p.m. May 17 at Prove, 21 N. Lake Ave. Tickets: Free, open to the public.
Twin Cities Gospel Choir to perform at Sacred Heart
The Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir will perform popular spiritual tunes from the past 200 years during its "For the Love of Gospel" concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Music Center. Expect a mix ranging from "Dem Bones" to "Precious Lord" to "O Happy Day."
Twin Cities Gospel Choir's "For the Love of Gospel" is at 7 p.m. May 18 at Sacred Heart Music Center, 201 W. Fourth St. Tickets: $20 in advance at www.arrowheadchorale.com and $25 at the door.
Maxi and The Dolls
Maxi Childs Trio, which had a standing gig at Blackwater until the lounge closed during Superior Street repairs, brings its smooth and social jazz to the Rathskeller for a performance with Duluth Dolls, the local burlesque troupe. There will be back-to-back performances — and the latter one is billed as more risque than the early show.
Burlesque with Maxi Childs Trio is at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. May 17 at the Rathskeller, 132 E. Superior St. Tickets: $20 at www.store.fitgersbrewhouse.com.