“West Side Story” at the Orpheum Theatre

July 14, 2011
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“West Side Story” at the Orpheum Theatre

  There’s still time to make a performance of West Side Story brought to the Twin Cities by the Hennepin Theatre Trust – and you should! This recent revival keeps all the grace and beauty of the original Broadway production, adding a little contemporary raunch for enough punch to reach today’s audience. Inspired by...
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Photo Set: Basilica Block Party, Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 11, 2011
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Waiting For Godot by Theatre Pro Rata at the Hollywood Theatre

July 8, 2011
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Waiting For Godot by Theatre Pro Rata at the Hollywood Theatre

In a just world, the Hollywood Theater, that Depression-era temple to the art of cinema, would thrive.  A small but worthy arts group – like, oh, say, Theatre Pro Rata – would take over, quickly find the dough for lovely and efficient air conditioning, silent and  effective air circulation.  New plumbing would get laid...
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Street Scene by Girl Friday Productions at the Minneapolis Theater Garage

July 7, 2011
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Street Scene by Girl Friday Productions at the Minneapolis Theater Garage

Elmer Rice‘s brilliant Street Scene (beautifully done by Girl Friday Productions, performing at the Minneapolis Theater Garage through July 30) burst onto the Broadway stage in 1929.  Groundbreaking, realistic but not grimly naturalistic, Street Scene explores the textures of life in a lower-class NYC neighborhood during one incident-rich 24 hour period.  Characters struggle with...
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H.M.S. Pinafore at the Guthrie Theater

June 24, 2011
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H.M.S. Pinafore at the Guthrie Theater

Perhaps director Joe Dowling and playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (provider of “additional material”) are right: as it stands Gilbert and Sullivan‘s gloriously English, emphatically 19th century H.M.S. Pinafore (at the Guthrie, through August 28) is too dry and dreary for 21st century Americans.  The story, of the sea captain’s daughter torn between her love for...
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Photoset: Rock the Garden 2011

June 20, 2011
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Panic at Park Square Theatre

June 19, 2011
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Panic at Park Square Theatre

In Panic (at Park Square Theatre, through July 10), playwright Joseph Goodrich creates a “cozy” mystery: characters are powerful, wealthy, self-assured.  They live postcard-perfect lives.  Henry Lockwood, famous film-director, prepares to open his latest film (a grand success, of course) and is starting work on his newest (a mystery, naturally).  His semi-invalid wife, Emma,...
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Kaivama CD Release Party featuring Arto Järvelä at the Cedar Cultural Center

June 17, 2011
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Kaivama CD Release Party featuring Arto Järvelä at the Cedar Cultural Center

Seeing Finland’s Arto Järvelä and Minnesota’s Kaivama perform together at The Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis Friday night made me feel downright happy. For a musical performance to be a success, happiness need not be either the intention or the result, but regardless, it’s a great bonus. Arto Järvelä is a founding member of...
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Photo Set: Kaivama CD Release with Arto Järvelä at the Cedar Cultural Center

June 17, 2011
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Guys And Dolls at the Ordway

June 17, 2011
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Guys And Dolls at the Ordway

“What kind of doll are you?” Sky Masterson, high-roller extraordinaire, asks incredulously. To which Sergeant Sarah Brown, proud marcher for the Salvation Army, now sober after getting herself roundly sloshed on Bacardi-flavored milkshakes, replies defiantly, “I’m a mission doll!”  End of Act One. I tried hard, I really did.  But I couldn’t entirely shrug...
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