Posts Tagged ‘ Penumbra Theatre ’

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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Black Nativity: A Holiday Concert at Penumbra Theatre

Black Nativity: A Holiday Concert at Penumbra Theatre

If you see one Christmas show this year, pick Black Nativity: A Holiday Concert. It’s absolutely wonderful, and it will make you feel wonderful, too. Penumbra Theatre is much more than Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity but it is the show most beloved of this local treasure. This year’s—number thirty-something?—is simply staged in their cozy...
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Spunk at Penumbra Theatre

Spunk at Penumbra Theatre

Review written by Janet Preus and John Olive. Penumbra Theatre came charging back to life last night with a production of Spunk, an adaptation of three stories by the great Zora Neale Hurston, written for the stage by George C, Wolfe, with music provided by Chic Street Man.  Penumbra’s iteration of Spunk is directed...
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The Amen Corner by Penumbra Theatre Co., performing at the Guthrie

The Amen Corner by Penumbra Theatre Co., performing at the Guthrie

Luke staggers into his ex-wife Margaret’s Harlem flat – it’s the closest thing he has to “home” – carrying one thing: his shiny, lovingly maintained trumpet.  Margaret, popular pastor of a fundamentalist church, is appalled to see him.  He represents a part of her life she had thought safely in her past.  He frightens...
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I Wish You Love at Penumbra Theatre Company

I Wish You Love at Penumbra Theatre Company

I approached the production of Dominic Taylor‘s powerful I Wish You Love (Penumbra Theatre, through May 22) with some trepidation.  Dennis W. Spears is lavishly talented, tall and charismatic, with a presence as big as the grand outdoors.  We recently saw him do a truly brilliant rendition of the 60s hit “Spooky”: it was...
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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a Penumbra Theatre production at the Guthrie Theater

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a Penumbra Theatre production at the Guthrie Theater

On rare occasions in theater, all the critical elements seem to converge in one glorious experience. The script is brilliant, the actors are perfectly suited to their roles, and the director, with great respect for both, seems to simply open up the story and let it live and breathe among us. This is the...
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“Black Nativity: Now’s the Time” at Penumbra Theatre

“Black Nativity: Now’s the Time” at Penumbra Theatre

This year’s Black Nativity, an annual tradition at Penumbra Theatre, takes a modern approach, hanging the nativity story on a contemporary American family. Conceived by Lou Bellamy and T. Mychael Rambo, and directed by Dominic Taylor, Black Nativity: Now’s the Time brings Mary and Joseph and the angels right into the living room of...
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Sleep Deprivation Chamber at Penumbra Theatre

Sleep Deprivation Chamber at Penumbra Theatre

The incident detailed in Adrienne and Adam P. Kennedy‘s harrowing and autobiographical Sleep Deprivation Chamber (at Penumbra, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul, penumbratheatre.org) is, unfortunately, as common as rain: a policeman commits a vicious assault and then concocts a lie in order to cover up his malfeasance.  That an innocent man might go...
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Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking at Penumbra Theatre

Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking at Penumbra Theatre

In his lovely Two Old Black Guys Just Sitting Around Talking (Penumbra, 270 Kent St., St Paul, through May 23, penumbratheatre.org) playwright Gus Edwards presents us with two gentlemen of a grand experience of life, inhabiting the trash strewn corner of a New York City park, watching the world pass by – and insulting...
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Black Pearl Sings at Penumbra Theatre

Black Pearl Sings at Penumbra Theatre

Playwright Frank Higgins does two very smart things with his vivid Black Pearl Sings! (at Penumbra, 270 N. Kent Street, St. Paul, through March 14, penumbratheatre.org). First, he shoehorns an amazingly wide range of Depression-era America into his story: the humid Texas penitentiary, complete with chain gang, the convict (Pearl) who holds, in her bones,...
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