CIRQUE DU SOLEIL'S 'DRALION'
Sept. 19-23 • Target Center • $32-$80
This energetic show fuses the 3,000-year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatics with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil to tell the story of a quest for balance between nature and humans. The title is derived from the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West. MELISSA WALKER
Sept. 20 • State Theatre • $30
The Grammy-nominated alt rockers still haven't ducked the Smashing Pumpkins comparisons, and considering the toiling distortion and delicately emotive vocals on this year's "Neck of the Woods," the comparisons are still apt. Having outgrown the shoegaze tag, the L.A. quartet seems bent on reaching for the rafters, except at Republican events. Last month the band ixnayed Mitt Romney's usage of "Panic Switch" on the campaign trail. Better stick with Kid Rock, Mitt.
Sept. 21-22 • $32 • The Cowles Center
Mathew Janczewski's troupe kicks off the Cowles season with a playful new work, "Les Petites Choses," set to music by Katerine, plus a sneak peek at 2014's "The Main Street Project," which focuses on how communication has evolved in the contemporary world. The program includes "huddle," a meditation on masculinity, and a revisiting of 2001's "These Yellow Sands."CAROLINE PALMER
Minneapolis-St. Paul fashion Week
Sept. 21-29 • www.mnfashion.org/events
The small but vibrant local fashion industry gets its moment in the spotlight with the fall edition of Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week. This fall's schedule of fashion shows, parties and open houses may look a bit skimpy in comparison with previous years, but the focus appears to be on quality over quantity. Top events include the biannual "Envision: Artopia," Blacklist Vintage's "Vintage Did It First" in-store show, and individual shows by Emma Berg, Christopher Straub and Samantha Rei. JAHNA PELOQUIN
'THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES'
Sept. 22 • Orpheum Theatre • $49-$129
There was a time when the thought of a symphony orchestra performing video-game music just seemed ridiculous. Those times have passed. On this tour, "The Legend of Zelda" franchise gets the royal treatment (and you'll be paying for it, with the top ticket price of $129). The production numbers will span all 25 years of the acclaimed video-game series, and with a complete four-movement symphony, no less. TOM HORGEN
Sept. 28 • Orpheum Theatre • $39.75-$59.75
She might be a terrible talk-show host, but the comedian is good at just about everything else. Sykes is a sitcom scene stealer and often a bright spot in otherwise ho-hum animated features, such as "Rio" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift." Onstage, her stand-up is a sarcastic ball of fire, catapulting jokes into the audience with that trademark nasally delivery. T.H.
Sept. 28 • Fine Line • $15
This London-based son of Ugandan immigrants has been getting love locally from 89.3 the Current and Cities 97 with his soulful ditty "Home Again." Onstage, his Bill Withers-smooth voice is nicely complemented by a Jack Johnson-like hippie acoustic vibe. CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
Sept. 29-Nov. 11 • Guthrie Theater procenium• $29-$64
The crown jewel of the Guthrie's Christopher Hampton festival fleshes out the ideas and history of two eras that are critical to U.S. civil rights. The first act centers on the events around Lee's surrender to Grant at the Appomattox Court House. The second act jumps 100 years to February 1965, when an African-American church deacon is shot by Alabama state troopers during a peaceful protest. GRAYDON ROYCE
8:30 p.m. • First Avenue • $35
After completing an album cycle on 2009's "Veckatimest," their most commercially successful disc to date (what up, Billboard Top 10?), these arty indie dudes went into six months of hibernation. Co-lead songwriter Daniel Rossen woke first, with a well received solo EP earlier this year, and now the Pitchfork-favored foursome is set to drop a new full-length titled "Shields" this week. Lower Dens open. M.R.
Oct. 4-5 • Minneapolis Convention Center • $45 • www.louisck.net.
When you've achieved near universal acclaim as the funniest stand-up comedian on the planet, you can basically do whatever the hell you want. Which is exactly what Louis C.K. is doing these days. For his latest tour, the hard-edged comic is selling his own tickets (via his website). He's essentially cut out the middleman and those annoying hidden fees. The price to see the best? A cool $45. T.H.
Oct. 5 • First Avenue • $15
The biggest of the many big album-release parties by local artists this fall won't just be a celebration of "Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color," the Minneapolis Muslim dad rapper's fourth album, due Sept. 18. It's also the first chance for hometown fans to hear him with his new five-piece backing band, Blank Tape Beloved. C.R.
The Haunted Basement
Oct. 5-31 • The Soap Factory • $22
The Soap Factory's dark and decrepit basement is back for a sixth year, filling those smelly depths with psychological terror and grotesque perversions. This time around, acclaimed Twin Cities theater director Noah Bremer takes the creative reins, with a résumé suggesting a Haunted Basement unlike any other. Most recently, he directed a gangster musical, a one-man absurdist play and performed as a clown in Cirque du Soleil. Scary.T.H.
MINNESOTA DANCE THEATRE
Oct. 5-7, 12-14 • Cowles Center • $30-36
Based on a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm, "The Enchantment: 12 Dancing Princesses" offers up a nocturnal adventure and quandary. Every night the seemingly content princesses go to bed; every morning the soles of their shoes are worn out. Where do they go and why? Choreographer Lise Houlton revisits this lively 2006 production set to music by Leo Janaek and Tom Linker, performed live by a quintet of strings and piano. C.P.
Oct. 9 • First Avenue • $22
Theirs is the gray-day, hurts-so-good album of the year, a gorgeously somber electro-pop record called "Myth" that was a perfect antidote to dumb summer music. Ethereal-voiced singer Victoria Legrand and her Baltimore-based partner, Alex Scully, could have 'em crying on the dance floor at this one. C.R.
Oct. 9-14 • Ordway Center • $35-$106 • subject to change
Winner of 10 Tonys, this blockbuster musical by Elton John and Lee Hall had a multi-week run in Minneapolis in 2010. The charming show, set during a coal-mine strike in Great Britain in the 1980s, returns for a quick pirouette across the river. It tells the story of a working-class British boy who has a lot of fight in his heart, even if he would rather learn to dance than box.ROHAN PRESTON
Oct. 10-14 • Trylon Microcinema & Ritz Theater • www.soundunseen.com
This annual music and film festival was one of the first of its kind when it began in 2000; since then it's become a social-calendar staple. Highlights look to be the Journey documentary "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey"; "Radio Unnameable," which tells the story of influential radio personality Bob Fass; and a new festival live-music headquarters at Harriet Brewing. J.P.
Opens Oct. 13 • Science Museum of Minnesota • $10-$13
The mysteries of the north African country are unearthed in this traveling exhibition. Find out how archaeologists use science and technology to uncover ancient civilizations and learn about Egypt's past and present through hands-on activities. Unveiled for the first time is a life-size prototype of a mummy in a stage of "unwrapping." M.W.
Zombie Pub Crawl VIII
Oct. 13 • West Bank, Mpls., and Midway Stadium, St. Paul • $19.99 before Oct. 1 • www.zombiepubcrawl.com
Like a real zombie outbreak, the Zombie Pub Crawl just keeps getting bigger, with somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 participants a year. Yet somehow it has yet to land in Guinness World Records for "Largest Gathering of Zombies." This year, organizers will try to rectify that with the all-ages "Zombie Island," a.k.a. Midway Stadium, which will also host carnival rides, entertainment and a shuttle to and from the West Bank, where the live-music lineup is yet to be announced.J.P.
Oct. 19 • First Avenue • sold out
The delightfully dim indie-pop trio impressed pretty much everyone with its stark but sterling self-titled debut, snatching the 2010 Mercury Prize. With their days old follow-up, the Londoners make good on their promise of a more club-influenced record. Sure, you could dance grimly to "Coexist's" more darkly percussive tracks, but they still cake on their signature puffy-eyed placidity like Robert Smith does guyliner. With John Talabot Live and 2:54. M.R.
Oct. 25-Nov. 18 • Ordway Center • $19-$44
Dieter Bierbrauer plays Bobby in this timely Theater Latte Da production of Stephen Sondheim's essay on marriage in contemporary society. On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Bobby wonders whether he is missing something by not being married. The Broadway production won six Tonys including best musical. G.R.
Oct. 28 • Varsity Theater • $37.50
The grunge era's dark soul rebels kicked off their first round of shows in 11 years this spring, earning resounding raves. Led by fiery howler Greg Dulli and anchored by Minneapolis' Rick McCollum on guitar, the Cincinnati-reared quartet saved the most intimate stop on its reunion tour for Twin Cities fans. C.R.
CHINA'S TERRACOTTA WARRIORS: THE FIRST EMPEROR'S LEGACY
Oct. 28-Jan. 20 • Minneapolis Institute of Arts • $18-$20
Dying was a capstone moment in the life of a Chinese emperor, which is why Qin Shihuang (259-210 B.C.) started building his tomb at age 13. Treasures and artifacts from Qin's tomb represent some of the most dazzling archeological discoveries of the 20th century. And they are still being dug up nearly 40 years after the site was rediscovered by Chinese farmers digging a well. MARY ABBE
Nov. 1 • First Avenue • $32.50
Supposedly, the gothic and glitchy duo plans to drop its third album sometime this fall, but as is often the case with the mysteriously posturing electronica act, details are sketchy. However, it sounds like the lyrics of bleak-as-she-wants-to-be Alice Glass are tied by a theme of dystopian oppression. Cheery, right? Still, Soundcloud teaser track "Plague" warrants excitement. Health and Kontravoid open.M.R.
Nov. 2-3 • Walker Art Center • $39
A stalwart of the music-and-performance avant-garde, Laurie Anderson returns to provocative form this year with a show of songs and hallucinatory musings that erupt from this year's bitter presidential contest. She addresses some of the charged themes that arise out of the crucible of U.S. politics by using references to feminism, Darwinism and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. M.A.
'IN THE NEXT ROOM (THE VIBRATOR PLAY)'
Nov. 2-Dec. 16 • Jungle Theater • $20-$38
If you caught the 2011 movie "Hysteria," you saw a lukewarm offering on this topic. Sarah Ruhl's Tony-nominated stage play has a tender and provocative take on Victorian manners and the stimulating changes brought about by the introduction of electricity. G.R.
Nov. 3 • Target Center • $38-$41
The semi-reformed metalhead's arena womp is a hot commodity. Last year the dubstep deity sold upwards of 250,000 tickets to his North American solo shows, behind only Tiesto and Deadmau5 for tops on the dance circuit. Forever beholden to bass, past remixes of Gogol Bordello and Ellie Goulding, and a Lupe Fiasco collab on his latest album show the real-life Lorin Ashton's eclectic tastes. With Zedd, Gramatik and Gladkill. M.R.
Nov. 3-4 • Xcel Energy Center • $47-$357
Finally. After 25 years. That's three lifetimes in a pop music career. Madonna last performed in the Twin Cities in 1987. She's coming back to prove that she's mother superior to all of today's female pop stars. She'll reach back to "Like a Prayer" but also offer plenty of her more recent stuff in what has been described as a thematic show that travels from darkness to light.JON BREAM
Nov. 7 • Xcel Energy Center • prices TBA
Forget Mr. Tambourine Man. He's a piano man, reimagining songs from one of the greatest catalogs of the past 50 years. Sometimes you recognize the tunes, sometimes you don't. He might even throw in a new number from "Tempest," which comes out on Tuesday. This will be his first Twin Cities concert since Election Day 2008. He's here the day after this year's big vote, so he may offer cryptic commentary. Opening is Mark Knopfler, the Brit who was accused of sounding like Dylan when he emerged with Dire Straits.J.B.
Nov. 10-Feb. 17 • Walker Art Center • $10
One of the best-known figures in contemporary art, Sherman has been hiding in plain sight for more than 35 years. Her first fame came with "Untitled Film Stills," a 1977-80 series in which Sherman posed as a character (ingenue, femme fatale, victim) in stills from imaginary films. Her first museum retrospective in 15 years, this show features 170 photos from the 1970s to the present, including recent photographic murals. M.A.
'THE HUMAN CONDITION'
Nov. 10-Jan. 4. • Mpls Photo Center • free
Curated by Annie Griffiths-Belt, a veteran National Geographic photographer, "The Human Condition" is open to all those dualities that mark life's journey: work and leisure, war and not-war, beginnings and endings, politics, pleasure, love and its discontents. Or, as the MPC says: "It's a search for purpose, sense of curiosity, and the inevitability of isolation and fear of death."M.A.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND
Nov. 11-12 • Xcel Energy Center • $68-$98
A same-old, same-old concert would be fine for most Boss fans. However, he significantly remade the band this year with Clarence Clemons' nephew Jake on sax and an expanded back line of horn players and backup singers. With the new album "Wrecking Ball" adding fuel, look for more of a fiery gospel tone to the usual 21/2-hour-plus Bruceathon. C.R.
MORE BIG GIGS
Kendrick Lamar: Sept. 21, Epic. Alt-J: Sept. 22, Triple Rock. Glen Hansard: Sept. 29, First Ave. Ed Sheeran:Sept. 26, State Theatre Mission of Burma: Sept. 27, 400 Bar Esperanza Spalding: Sept. 30, State Theatre. Grizzly Bear:Oct. 1, First Ave. The Go-Go's:Oct. 3, Mill City Nights. Owl City: Oct. 4, First Ave. MORE BIG GIGS Gossip: Oct. 6, Fine Line. Alanis Morissette: Oct. 12, State Theatre. Kimbra: Oct. 16, Varsity Theater. Old 97's: Oct. 18, First Ave. Dinosaur Jr.:Oct. 18, Cabooze. Meat Loaf: Oct. 19, Mystic Lake Casino. Smashing Pumpkins: Oct. 20, Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Heartless Bastards: Oct. 21, First Ave. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Oct. 22, Triple Rock. MORE BIG GIGS P.O.S.: Oct. 26, First Ave. Morrissey: Oct. 29, Orpheum. Red Hot Chili Peppers: Oct. 30, Target Center. Snow Patrol and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds: Oct. 31, Roy Wilkins. Allen Stone: Nov. 2, Fine Line. Eilen Jewell: Nov. 8, Dakota. The Gourds and James McMurtry: Nov. 10, Cedar Cultural Center. The Monkees: Nov. 15, State Theatre. Night Moves: Nov. 16, 7th Street Entry. Japandroids: Dec. 14-15, Triple Rock.