The 21-piece Saints of Swing Big Band is one of the newest big bands in the Twin Cities. This popular ensemble will play music of the Big Band era for your listening and dancing pleasure. The evening will include free swing dancing lessons, open dancing and a cash bar. Put on your dancing shoes and head over to the Withrow Ballroom for a fun evening of swing! $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Lessons, 7:15–7:45 p.m., dancing, 8–11 p.m. Withrow Ballroom, 12169 Keystone Ave.
Arts & Performance
The always delightful Little Orphan Annie makes her way to Lakeshore Players. The tale of this curly-haired dynamo who brought sunshine to billionaire “Daddy Warbucks” and her fellow orphans during the Great Depression is a classic for all ages. $20, general admission; $18, seniors and students. Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. Lakeshore Players Theatre, 4820 Stewart Ave., White Bear Lake; 651.429.5674; lakeshoreplayers.com
Don't miss your chance to see an incredible international talent this weekend! Alexander Yakovlev, winner of the World Piano Competition, returns to Mahtomedi Friday, May 2 to perform a preview concert of his upcoming Carnegie Hall Recital.
Lakeshore Players Theatre holds a highly regarded 10-minute play writing contest. Both novice and published playwrights from around the world submit new works with the 10 best picked for performance. See what all the fun is about, as directors and actors from across the Twin Cities debut new works on the Lakeshore stage. All 10 plays will be performed at every show. (Content varies; some plays may not be suitable for younger audiences.) June 4 is a pay-what-you-can performance and preview. $16 general admission; $14 seniors and students. Wednesday–Friday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.
This event is a result of the partnership between MacPhail Center for Music and the Metropolitan Library Service Agency to provide public programs at libraries demonstrating ways to incorporate music and stories for children to create a connection between music and literacy. The Water Makes Music event explores lakes, rivers and oceans and finds the steady beat in all of them through musical play. Limit of 20 children. For children birth through age 5. Registration required.
“It’s a Hard-Knock Life” for Annie—the red-haired orphan who has stolen hearts in comic strips, on stage, and on screen—until she’s adopted by the billionaire Daddy Warbucks in the midst of the Great Depression. The Lakeshore Players perform this Tony Award-winning musical, which includes well-known numbers such as “Tomorrow” and “Easy Street.” Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.. 651.429.5674.
Over the past six years, it’s become “tradition” for Sunrise Park and Central Middle Schools to join up in the spring to form the Middle School Players. This time around, the kids will be performing Fiddler on the Roof, Jr. Let the youngsters transport you to early 20th-century Russia, a world filled with matchmakers love old and new, and, of course, tradition. 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday. 651.653.2888.
Ever wanted to see a true piano prodigy? Last April, more than 40 young pianists took part in master pianist Vincenzo Balzani’s master class; five of them, between the ages of 6 and 17, have distinguished themselves with particularly skilled playing. They’ll be sharing their immense talent with the public at this recital. 651.269.9888.
Artsy Smartsy is a program designed to combine crafting with art history in a hands-on art lesson, and this session’s project is springtime perfection. Tina Ottmar will teach you to paint Andy Warhol-style acrylic flowers on canvas to create a unique piece for your home, and you’ll learn a little about Warhol and the midcentury Pop Art movement along the way. Space is limited, so early registration is recommended. 651.724.6071.
Don’t miss this special visit from author David Housewright at the Wildwood Branch Library. As part of the library’s Book Club Special Edition series, the author of the critically acclaimed Curse of the Jade Lily will give a talk and answer questions about his crime novel. 651.426.2042.