Peter and the Starcatcher at the Orpheum Theatre

March 12, 2014
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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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Freud’s Last Session produced by the Guthrie Theater at the Dowling Studio

March 1, 2014
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Freud’s Last Session produced by the Guthrie Theater at the Dowling Studio

The Guthrie has borrowed from the current Off-Broadway theater for its new play, Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain. It’s cropping up from one coast to the other. Apparently there’s a hunger for a straightforward, intellectual, “talky” play – a meaty actor’s piece with no flash, no fantasy or women. Well, well! This...
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Walking Shadow Theatre Company presents Schiller’s Mary Stuart at Red Eye Theater

February 8, 2014
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Walking Shadow Theatre Company presents Schiller’s Mary Stuart at Red Eye Theater

Walking Shadow Theatre Company takes on a centuries-old mystery in a modernized version of Schiller’s Mary Stuart. On an art deco-suggestive unit set, courtiers in dark suits stride in and out with their urgent pleadings before the Queen. Elizabeth, played by Sherry Jo Ward, stands tall among them, resplendent in a long day dress...
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Ash Land by Transatlantic Love Affair, performing at Illusion Theater

January 31, 2014
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Ash Land by Transatlantic Love Affair, performing at Illusion Theater

Here’s the ensemble-created plot of the affecting Ash Land (Transatlantic Love Affair, performing at Illusion Theater as part of their Lights Up! series, through Feb 22): John and Mary Stone’s farm is suffering the triple whammy of Drought, Dust and Depression.  But before the farm dies, Mary does, leaving her dreamy and hapless husband John...
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Push Button, Get Bacon produced by The Recovery Party at Bryant-Lake Bowl

January 25, 2014
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Push Button, Get Bacon produced by The Recovery Party at Bryant-Lake Bowl

The Recovery Party returns to the Bryant-Lake Bowl with another serving of Push Button, Get Bacon. Sketches and satire, but no bacon. You’ll have to wait until the absolute last moment (no, not yet, not that moment… ok, now, this is the end. No, wait … ok, this is the end) to know what...
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar produced by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia at Children’s Theatre Company

January 19, 2014
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Children’s Theatre Company is ready to brighten up a cold, dark winter evening – with black light. And what a dandy way it is to bring the stories of children’s book illustrator and writer, Eric Carle, to life on stage. The production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites by Mermaid...
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NIWA GEKIDAN PENINO–”Out There” at The Walker

January 18, 2014
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NIWA GEKIDAN PENINO–”Out There” at The Walker

I think I’m going to stick with the theme of upended expectations while reviewing this year’s “Out There” Series at The Walker.  Last night’s production, Kuro Tanino’s “Nikwa Gekidan Penino” (The Room Nobody Knows) was the poster boys (boys?) for that concept.  Starting with seating the audience on the stage, which at this point in...
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Cabaret by Theatre Latté Da, performing at the Pantages

January 18, 2014
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Cabaret by Theatre Latté Da, performing at the Pantages

A match made in Thespic heaven: Theatre Latté Da, our premier purveyor of music theater, known for its non-treacly and trenchant intelligence and its astonishing ability to produce super-high-quality theater on a strict budget.  And Cabaret, (John) Kander and (Fred) Ebb‘s great masterpiece, set in the early 30s, in the Kit Kat Klub, where...
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The School For Lies at Park Square Theatre

January 17, 2014
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The School For Lies at Park Square Theatre

A play has two primary sources of appeal.  First, there is the moment-by-moment texture.  Is it fun to act?  Fun to watch?  Does the language enthrall, are there compelling nooks and crannies in the characters?  Does the design provide good eye candy? And then you have the overall arc: what do the moments add...
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Xtreme Theatre Smackdown, produced by Theatre Unbound

January 12, 2014
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Xtreme Theatre Smackdown, produced by Theatre Unbound

It’s called the Xtreme Theatre Smackdown: Six playwrighting teams, a collection of actors and directors, and all y’all out there who provided input on the producing company’s (Theatre Unbound) website. Judging by the size of the audience, that was a respectable number of Smackdown enthusiasts. Here’s how it works: Theater Unbound “referees” choose the...
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