Theater

Three Penny Opera by Frank Theatre, performing at the Southern

Three Penny Opera by Frank Theatre, performing at the Southern

Three Penny Opera (Frank Theatre, performing at the Southern, through May 4) was written in 1928 by playwright Bertolt Brecht with music by composer Kurt Weill. I point this out because the program for the Frank production makes no mention of these two great artists; they are unnamed, un-bioed, unacknowledged in any way. Nor...
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Detroit at the Jungle Theater

Detroit at the Jungle Theater

A friendly backyard barbeque with the neighbors builds to the frayed edges of an absurd but frighteningly believable premise in the Jungle Theater’s production of “Detroit” by Lisa D’Amour. You just won’t believe what happens and it’s not what you think. Suburbia is crumbling, with each house a little pressure cooker of circumstances that...
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Once by Hennepin Theatre Trust, at the Orpheum Theatre

Once by Hennepin Theatre Trust, at the Orpheum Theatre

Compare the focused intimacy of Once (at the Orpheum, through April 6) with the over-the-top, big-bang-for-your-buck musicals recently produced in the same venue.  Phantom Of The Opera, Evita, The Book Of Mormon, et al. Once contains no gee-whiz, that-musta-costa-fortune scenic effects. No high-falutin orchestrations. No operatic, sung-through music. No cast of dozens. No hidden...
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The Mountaintop by Penumbra Theatre performing at the Guthrie

The Mountaintop by Penumbra Theatre performing at the Guthrie

We see it when we walk into the McGuire: the Lorraine Motel sign, visible through the window of Room 306, stark against the black Memphis sky, crashes of lightning bringing it into high relief.  The Lorraine.  Where Martin Luther King met his unwished-for martyrdom.  The site of unspeakable national tragedy, a place associated in...
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Porgy and Bess at the Ordway

Porgy and Bess at the Ordway

Soaring melodies! Big orchestrations and choruses of voices big enough to take it on! Diva voices larger than life! Oh, this is gorgeous! Thank you, Ordway, for bringing us our beloved “Porgy and Bess” in a form that befits this classic by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”...
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Cyrano at Park Square Theatre

Cyrano at Park Square Theatre

Park Square Theatre is now presenting the regional premiere of Cyrano, the Michael Hollinger translation of Edmond Rostand’s classic play. Hollinger also adapted with Aaron Posner, who directed its first production. I’ll talk about the adaptation, but first, this production: Joe Chvala directs a tight cast of local stars, in an exhilarating show, masterfully...
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The Odyssey by Walking Shadow Theatre Company, performing at Open Eye Figure Theatre

The Odyssey by Walking Shadow Theatre Company, performing at Open Eye Figure Theatre

The rosy red fingers of dawn steal over the wine dark Aegean Sea.  The rising (and eternal) Grecian sun shines down on wandering Odysseus, as he leads his battered fleet home from Troy. Odysseus!  He of the unflagging spirit, unending courage and near-terminal homesickness.  Odysseus the intrepid adventurer.  In performer/adapter Charlie Bethel‘s wonderful The...
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The Scarecrow And His Servant at Children’s Theatre Company

The Scarecrow And His Servant at Children’s Theatre Company

“Bigger!” the wonderful Doc Whiting used to shout at us in the olden days.  “Make it bigger!”  One step backward wasn’t enough; Doc wanted two step reactions.  Leaps of wild horror.  Pop-eyed grimaces.  Takes to the audience.  Always run.  Most important: have fun.  If you do, so will the audience. I suspect that Peter...
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Othello at the Guthrie Theater

Othello at the Guthrie Theater

In the dark and affecting Othello (at the Guthrie, through April 20) director Marion McClinton and costumer Esosa dress the Moor (played thrillingly by Peter Macon) in thick leather and stiff boots.  This imparts to him a lumbering, dominating authority.  Add to this the fact that Macon is a large man.  In comparison, the...
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Peter and the Starcatcher at the Orpheum Theatre

Peter and the Starcatcher at the Orpheum Theatre

Throw out your idea of what a Broadway show is supposed to be. Peter and the Starcatcher, now playing at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, has a new take: silly (but it’s clever-silly) goofy fun, fun, fun. If you like physical comedy lighted salted with clowning and classic cartoons sensibilities, this is your show....
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