Mercy Watson To The Rescue at Childrens Theatre Co.

September 9, 2011
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Mercy Watson To The Rescue at Childrens Theatre Co.

Mercy Watson gets where she’s going in Act 1, Scene 1, page 1: “Toast!” she cries.  “Toast and butter!” Mercy, a pig, says this, oh, seven or eight hundred times during CTC’s charming Mercy Watson To The Rescue (at the Childrens Theatre Co., through Oct 23).  Mercy never sways from this desire.  Indeed, she...
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Photo Set: Headquarters and Dimes, The Loring Theater, September 3, 2011

September 7, 2011
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Hamlet at the Jungle Theater

August 26, 2011
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Hamlet at the Jungle Theater

Hamlet (at the Jungle Theater, through Oct 9) is the greatest play ever written.  William Shakespeare‘s sinuous exploration of (in no particular order) revenge, love, ambition, power, madness, violence, suicide, lust, agonizing passivity, aristocratic privilege represents, along with the Sistine Chapel, the Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Giza and the 9th Symphony, a truly...
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Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

August 6, 2011
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Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

Billed as “Minnesota’s festival of the performing arts”, The Fringe Festival boasts performances of 160+ shows spread over a breathless ten day period, Aug 4-14.  We at HowWasTheShow.com (J.O. = John Olive and J.P. = Janet Preus) offer herewith highly selected reviews of a few shows, in hopes that we can add to the...
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“9 to 5: The Musical” at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

July 15, 2011
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“9 to 5: The Musical” at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

The Ordway has picked a light, summertime treat with the national touring production of “9 to 5: The Musical.” Based rather faithfully on the 1980 movie, with over-the-top aw-shucks humor it tackles, somewhat literally, a very serious subject indeed: gender inequity and discrimination. But when the workplace is commandeered by a character like Frank...
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“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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