Archive for February, 2013

Elemeno Pea at Mixed Blood Theatre

Elemeno Pea at Mixed Blood Theatre

Money porn. There’s a long tradition in American storytelling of asking audiences to gawk at the shallow goings-on of the ultra-rich.  The tradition began in the 20s with the work of Edith Wharton, came into its own during the Depression (My Man Godfrey), found real traction in the Ronald Reagan 80s (Tom Wolfe’s hootingly...
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The Seven by Ten Thousand Things Theater Company

The Seven by Ten Thousand Things Theater Company

Ten Thousand Things’ (TTT) Artistic Director Michelle Hensley has a way of spotting the timeless themes in a play and grounding her company in them. In this case, she served as producer, but her vision and focus was surely guiding this wonderful theater on its path with a new play, The Seven cleverly conceived by...
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Other Desert Cities at the Guthrie Theater

Other Desert Cities at the Guthrie Theater

The past is ineluctably and achingly present in Jon Robin Baitz‘s moving (and occasionally frustrating) drama, Other Desert Cities (at the Guthrie through March 24).  The Wyeths, Polly and Lyman, have left smoggy L.A., chockfull of ego and intrigue and have moved to the desert, to happy happy Gerald Ford-land – Palm Springs –...
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The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Walking Shadow Theatre Company performing at Red Eye

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Walking Shadow Theatre Company performing at Red Eye

One hates to begin a rave notice with a negative, but it has to be said and I may as well say it now: if you’re looking for a straight forward, coherent and accessible reading of Washington Irving‘s enduring Halloween masterwork The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (Walking Shadow Theatre Company performing at Red Eye,...
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After the Apple produced by Table Salt Productions at The Playwright’s Center

After the Apple produced by Table Salt Productions at The Playwright’s Center

You might think “comedy and improv” when you think of Table Salt Productions, and you would be right. But that’s not all that they do. They are on a mission to produce new work of many kinds – in this case a collection of short plays written by local women playwrights and directed by...
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Shadowlands by Open Window Theatre

Shadowlands by Open Window Theatre

William Nicholson‘s Shadowlands (Open Window Theatre, through March 10) is a modest play – and I intend this to be high praise.  It contains no screechy over-the-top theatrics, no check-me-out-ain’t-I-clever acting, no self-consciously “original” story-lines.  Rather, Nicholson simply and effectively evokes a time and place: Oxford University in the 50s, in a Neverneverland England,...
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The Book Of Mormon at the Orpheum

The Book Of Mormon at the Orpheum

Mormonism offers a broad-side-of-the-barn target for satirists. Just a few historical details (I can’t help myself): in the 1830s Joseph Smith dug up (on a hill in upstate NY) a set of golden plates etched with writing (“reformed Egyptian”).  Using a “peepstone” and a hat, Smith translated the plates and the resulting Book Of...
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Reefer Madness produced by Minneapolis Musical Theatre

Hennepin Theatre Trust and Minneapolis Musical Theatre (MMT) have teamed up to present a new musical inspired by the 1936 film, Reefer Madness, which dramatizes (like the movie)  the downward spiral of clean-cut kids lured into using the “evil weed,” inevitably leading to debauchery and violence. The movie expected to be taken seriously. This...
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Circle Mirror Transformation at Yellow Tree Theatre

Circle Mirror Transformation at Yellow Tree Theatre

Fiction writers (and playwrights) are taught to construct a story that has a protagonist who wants something, is dissuaded by forces around her and ultimately either succeeds at getting what she wants or does not. In this case, the “want” is getting a creative dramatics class to count to ten.  That provides a beautifully...
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