Author Archive

The Reagan Years, The Workhaus Collective performing at The Playwrights Center

The Reagan Years, The Workhaus Collective performing at The Playwrights Center

Do you, like me, remember the 1980s as a heady combination of amnestic hedonism and unapologetic avarice and acquisitiveness? If so, I bet you’ll enjoy Dominic Orlando‘s zippily paced The Reagan Years, a celebration (if that’s an appropriate word) of alcoholic rapacity, 80s-style. The opening image, of the bottle and beercan strewn Long Island...
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Pussy Valley at Mixed Blood Theatre

Pussy Valley at Mixed Blood Theatre

Katori Hall, to her credit, does not, in Pussy Valley (Mixed Blood Theatre, though May 10) have an agenda. No authorial condescension is in evidence. As a straight forward portrait of the denizens of the Pink Pony, a gritty titty bar in the over-heated Mississippi Delta, Pussy Valley works beautifully. We get the desperate...
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Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at the Guthrie Theater

Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at the Guthrie Theater

We live in apocalyptic times: permanent droughts in Australia and California (the state from which Mr. Burns, a post-electric play playwright Anne Washburn hails). Ocean acidification, disappearing icecaps, Bangladesh soon to be 60% under water, Pakistan 18%, large Chinese rivers which never reach the sea. The human species will expire, it seems clear (to...
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And The World Goes ‘Round at the Jungle Theater

And The World Goes ‘Round at the Jungle Theater

Miss Latté Da’s exquisite production of Cabaret last year? You can atone, by betaking yourself down to the jewel box Jungle and taking in the sophisticated and entertaining revue of John Kander and Fred Ebb songs, And The World Goes ‘Round (at the Jungle, through May 24). For nonstop energy, grab-you-by-the-collar enthusiasm, and pure...
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Death Tax at Pillsbury House Theatre

Death Tax at Pillsbury House Theatre

Death Tax, by Lucas please-buy-a-vowel Hnath (Pillsbury House Theatre, through April 4) is an entertaining play about a super-serious subject: death. Do subjects get seriouser? Bed-ridden nursing home resident Maxine has acquired an unholy obsession, that her daughter is attempting to murder her. Daughter’s motivation: if Maxine expires before Jan 1, her estate will...
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Huck Finn at the Childrens Theatre Company

Huck Finn at the Childrens Theatre Company

CTC presents us with a seriously Bowdlerized version of Mark Twain‘s difficult masterwork, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (Childrens Theatre Co., through April 4). Calling their version Huck Finn, versatile director/adapter Greg Banks (he did CTC’s marvelous Pinnocchio a few season’s back) eliminated much – most – of the book’s often crude and racially insensitive story...
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Hir at Mixed Blood Theatre

Hir at Mixed Blood Theatre

“Let’s put the fun in dysfunctional!” exclaims playwright Taylor Mac and – for a while, anyhow – he succeeds. The Mixed Blood stage for Hir (at MB through Mar 22) swirls with a wild scatter of dirty laundry (“I don’t do laundry any more,” asserts Mistress Paige, played by the great Sally Wingert. “I’m...
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Guthrie Theatre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Guthrie Theatre

The Guthrie‘s production of William Shakespeare‘s delightful A Midsummer Night’s Dream clocks in at a bladder busting three plus hours. Loud and long, massive and ambitious, this show entertains – does it ever – but doesn’t pull you in. One sits back, marveling at the talent and creativity so richly on display. But one...
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Oliver! by Theater Latté Da, performing at the Pantages Theatre

Oliver! by Theater Latté Da, performing at the Pantages Theatre

I took my 18 yo son to see Oliver! (Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust, performing in the exquisite Pantages Theatre, through March 1). During intermission, we had the following conversation: “Whaddaya think?” “I’m having a problem with the tech – the mics. I keep hearing scratching and feedback. Uneven sound. Sometimes the...
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The Coward by Walking Shadow Theatre Company, performing at Red Eye Theater

The Coward by Walking Shadow Theatre Company, performing at Red Eye Theater

I have never ever, in my exalted theatrical career, seen so much blood. The Red Eye stage is awash in it and, indeed, the raked set (a terrific design by Eli Schlatter) contains a trough, to catch the copious sanguine flow. The Coward features myriad deaths by handgun: head shots, chest shots, gut shots....
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