Minneapolis Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: Anoka's Lyric Arts Presents 'it's De-lovely' Anything Goes BWW Review: Anoka's Lyric Arts Presents 'it's De-lovely' Anything Goes
by Peggy Sue Dunigan - July 25, 2017

Anoka's Lyric Arts Main Street Stage returns this summer with the comedic and uplifting Cole Porter, Guy Bolton, PG Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse musical Anything Goes. First produced in 1934, in the beginning of the Great Depression, Porter's memorable musical questions the country's... (more...)
BWW Review: Gremlin Theatre Opens Their New St. Paul Performance Space with DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER - Escapist Entertainment Perfect for a Warm Summer Night BWW Review: Gremlin Theatre Opens Their New St. Paul Performance Space with DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER - Escapist Entertainment Perfect for a Warm Summer Night
by Jill Schafer - July 21, 2017

Good news friends, Gremlin Theatre is back with a new performance space in St. Paul! Four years after losing their space on University and Raymond, which also hosted other theater companies and the Minnesota Fringe Festival, they've opened a brand new space just a few blocks away on Vandalia. They a... (more...)
BWW Review: Girl Friday Productions Returns with their Biennial Production - the Smart, Funny, and Sobering IDIOT'S DELIGHT BWW Review: Girl Friday Productions Returns with their Biennial Production - the Smart, Funny, and Sobering IDIOT'S DELIGHT
by Jill Schafer - July 11, 2017

IDIOT'S DELIGHT is one of those deceptive plays that makes you think it's a light and fun romp through the past, until you begin to see the seriousness behind the beautiful clothes and pretty music. WWI vet Robert E. Sherwood's play premiered in 1936 and is eerily prescient about the impending war i... (more...)
BWW Review:  Shimmering SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at the Guthrie Theater BWW Review: Shimmering SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE at the Guthrie Theater
by Karen Bovard - June 28, 2017

Design. Pattern. Composition. Balance. Light. Dark. Harmony. These are the principles artist Georges Seurat-as imagined by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine-names in his struggle to paint in a new way. All these principles are present in the musical SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. The current prod... (more...)
BWW Review: Old Log Theatre's GHOST THE MUSICAL is Better than Broadway; the Smaller Cast and Fewer Magic Tricks Serve the Story Better BWW Review: Old Log Theatre's GHOST THE MUSICAL is Better than Broadway; the Smaller Cast and Fewer Magic Tricks Serve the Story Better
by Jill Schafer - June 27, 2017

Old Log Theatre's contribution to the summer blockbuster musical is GHOST THE MUSICAL, based on the popular 1990 movie. It premiered on Broadway in 2012 and ran for only a few months, and when I saw the tour the following year I was not impressed. At the time I wrote, 'At its core, GHOST is a small ... (more...)
BWW Review: The Jungle Theater's Production of the Off-Broadway Musical FLY BY NIGHT is an Infectious Retro-Folk-Pop-Rock Delight BWW Review: The Jungle Theater's Production of the Off-Broadway Musical FLY BY NIGHT is an Infectious Retro-Folk-Pop-Rock Delight
by Jill Schafer - June 21, 2017

A new original folk-rock musical? It's like FLY BY NIGHT was created and brought to the Jungle just for me. The rare bird that is the new original musical is my favorite thing in the world, and folk-rock/folk/Americana is my favorite genre of music. I was primed and ready to love this show, and love... (more...)
BWW Review: Ambitious, Controversial REFUGIA at Guthrie Theater BWW Review: Ambitious, Controversial REFUGIA at Guthrie Theater
by Karen Bovard - June 15, 2017

"Refugia" is a Latin term meaning "an area where special circumstances have enabled survival after extinction in surrounding areas." The adventurous theater explorers of The Moving Company (themselves displaced from the renowned Theatre de la Jeune Lune, which closed in 2006) have devised multiple r... (more...)
BWW Review: Nilaja Sun's Beautiful One-Woman Show PIKE ST., on Tour at Pillsbury House Theatre, is Not to Be Missed! BWW Review: Nilaja Sun's Beautiful One-Woman Show PIKE ST., on Tour at Pillsbury House Theatre, is Not to Be Missed!
by Jill Schafer - June 08, 2017

Pillsbury House Theatre is hosting New York based theater artist Nilaja Sun's acclaimed one-woman show PIKE ST. for three weeks, and my Minnesota theater friends - this is an opportunity you don't want to miss. A native of the Lower East Side, Nilaja brings all the beauty, diversity, community, and ... (more...)
BWW Review: Trademark Theater Debuts with THE BOY AND ROBIN HOOD, an Exciting, Engaging, Creative, and Bold New Take on an Old Tale BWW Review: Trademark Theater Debuts with THE BOY AND ROBIN HOOD, an Exciting, Engaging, Creative, and Bold New Take on an Old Tale
by Jill Schafer - June 03, 2017

A third new theater company is making its #TCTheater debut this month, following a charming new original musical RAGTIME WOMEN by Theatre Elision and LITTLE WARS, a powerful story of women in their prime brought to us by Prime Productions. Now we have Trademark Theater, whose mission is to 'expand t... (more...)
BWW Review: Artistry's WIT Takes the Audience on a Beautifully Painful Journey BWW Review: Artistry's WIT Takes the Audience on a Beautifully Painful Journey
by Jill Schafer - May 16, 2017

I don't know where to begin with this one. Artistry's production of the Pulitzer Prize winning play WIT is simply devastating. But it's also funny, and smart, and philosophical, and enlightening. This is my first experience with the play, and I really can't think of anyone I'd rather see in the lead... (more...)
BWW Review: New Company Prime Productions Debuts with LITTLE WARS BWW Review: New Company Prime Productions Debuts with LITTLE WARS
by Karen Bovard - May 15, 2017

There's a brand new professional theater company in the theater-rich Twin Cities. Called Prime Productions, they've got a clear sense of mission: to present work with roles for women over 50, both on and off-stage. LITTLE WARS, by Steven Carl McCasland, imagines a dinner party that never happened... (more...)
BWW Review: PROMETHEUS BOUND at Uprising Theater BWW Review: PROMETHEUS BOUND at Uprising Theater
by Karen Bovard - May 01, 2017

Uprising is one of the younger companies in the Twin Cities' rich and diverse theater landscape. They are very clear on their mission: to tell compelling stories that humanize the issues we grapple with as a society and then to convert audience response into concrete and practical action, immediate... (more...)
BWW Review: Mixed Blood Theatre's In-Your-Face New Play VIETGONE Beautifully Captures the Refugee Experience and Challenges the Audience's Perception of the Vietnam War BWW Review: Mixed Blood Theatre's In-Your-Face New Play VIETGONE Beautifully Captures the Refugee Experience and Challenges the Audience's Perception of the Vietnam War
by Jill Schafer - April 21, 2017

Another smart and funny new play fresh from a successful Off-Broadway run has landed in Minneapolis. In addition to Josh Tobiessen's hilarious and heart-breaking LONE STAR SPIRITS at the Jungle Theater, we also have Qui Nguyen's ambitious and genre-blending VIETGONE at Mixed Blood Theatre. The playw... (more...)
BWW Review: Jungle Theater's Hilarious and Heart-breaking LONE STAR SPIRITS Smartly Examines Small Town Life, Regrets, and Family BWW Review: Jungle Theater's Hilarious and Heart-breaking LONE STAR SPIRITS Smartly Examines Small Town Life, Regrets, and Family
by Jill Schafer - April 12, 2017

Y'all, Jungle Theater's LONE STAR SPIRITS got me feeling all the feels! Hilarious and heart-breaking, it's one of the best plays I've seen this year. Brought to us by wife/husband director/playwright team Sarah Rasmussen and Josh Tobiessen, it features crisply drawn characters beautifully brought to... (more...)
BWW Review: Wayward Theatre Company and Mission Theatre Company Bring a Fun and Thrilling GHOST TRAIN to the Minnesota Transportation Museum BWW Review: Wayward Theatre Company and Mission Theatre Company Bring a Fun and Thrilling GHOST TRAIN to the Minnesota Transportation Museum
by Jill Schafer - April 04, 2017

Wayward Theatre Company, the company that recently brought us an 'innovatively imagined and well executed' TARTUFFE at the James J. Hill House, is now partnering with Mission Theatre Company to bring us the deliciously fun and spooky GHOST TRAIN in another one of 19th century railroad millionaire Ja... (more...)
BWW Review: URINETOWN-THE MUSICAL Holds Riveted Audiences to their Seats at Lyric Arts BWW Review: URINETOWN-THE MUSICAL Holds Riveted Audiences to their Seats at Lyric Arts
by Peggy Sue Dunigan - March 29, 2017

At the intimate theater in downtown Anoka, Minnesota, Lyric Arts presents an absolutely 'pee-popping' version of the 2001 Broadway hit Urinetown; The Musical. When the musical was first proposed, producers initially rejected the comic/tragic satire (A 'sad' musical as the character Little Sally name... (more...)
BWW Review: MACBETH at Park Square Theatre BWW Review: MACBETH at Park Square Theatre
by Karen Bovard - March 27, 2017

This pared down adaptation of one of Shakespeare's shortest tragedies moves swiftly from an original opening scene to a disappointing final one. As a contemplation of ambition and ruthlessness and the drive to political power, it is ever timely.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE PAPER DREAMS OF HARRY CHIN at History Theatre BWW Review: THE PAPER DREAMS OF HARRY CHIN at History Theatre
by Karen Bovard - March 20, 2017

Jessica Huang's new play is about a time gone by but the issues it raises feel very immediate. Kaleidoscopic and timely, it turns on the true story of an ethnic immigration ban overcome, a hard-working new American, his efforts to support his village back home while starting anew here, and the way... (more...)
BWW Review: Open Eye Figure Theatre Re-Imagines Hans Christian Andersen's THE RED SHOES as a 20th Century Noir Thriller BWW Review: Open Eye Figure Theatre Re-Imagines Hans Christian Andersen's THE RED SHOES as a 20th Century Noir Thriller
by Jill Schafer - March 07, 2017

You may be familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen story THE RED SHOES, in which a vain little girl with pretty red shoes is cursed so that her shoes will never stop dancing. But you may not recognize what the ingenious minds of Joel Sass and Kimberly Richardson have turned it into. Yes there are ... (more...)
BWW Review: KING LEAR Kills at Guthrie Theater BWW Review: KING LEAR Kills at Guthrie Theater
by Karen Bovard - March 06, 2017

'Disciplined' may seem an odd word to apply to a production of KING LEAR, a tragedy that is about personal and societal dissolution into madness, both individually and at large. But the current mounting in Minneapolis earns that moniker, both in actorly control and design restraint. The result is... (more...)
BWW Review: The Guthrie Theater's Production of the New Play WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT is Funny, Innovative, Relevant, and Shocking BWW Review: The Guthrie Theater's Production of the New Play WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT is Funny, Innovative, Relevant, and Shocking
by Jill Schafer - February 28, 2017

The ending of WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT, now playing in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio, is unlike anything I've ever seen in theater. It left me shocked, confused, and a little traumatized, but mostly it left me incredibly moved. It's such a powerful and important piece, forcing us to look at the long-l... (more...)
BWW Review: Ten Thousand Things' Signature Bare-Bones Staging Brings New Urgency and Clarity to the Classic FIDDLER ON THE ROOF BWW Review: Ten Thousand Things' Signature Bare-Bones Staging Brings New Urgency and Clarity to the Classic FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
by Jill Schafer - February 27, 2017

It never fails. Whenever I go to see a Ten Thousand Things show, the storytelling is so clear it's as if I'm truly seeing it for the first time, even if it's a piece I've seen one or many times before. In their signature bare bones theater style, they've cut out all the fluff from the beloved musica... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SNEETCHES: THE MUSICAL at Children's Theatre Company BWW Review: THE SNEETCHES: THE MUSICAL at Children's Theatre Company
by Karen Bovard - February 13, 2017

This world premiere of a new musical based on a short story by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, has just opened in Minneapolis. It's the latest collaboration between Seuss Enterprises and the Children's Theatre, and it's clearly a parable for our time-despite the fact that it's been in the works for... (more...)
BWW Review: THE ROYAL FAMILY at Guthrie Theater BWW Review: THE ROYAL FAMILY at Guthrie Theater
by Karen Bovard - February 10, 2017

Of the three shows currently running at the Guthrie, THE ROYAL FAMILY is definitely the lightweight, longer on comedy and razzle-dazzle production values than on importance. (The other two shows are KING LEAR and PROMISE LAND, a barebones physical theater take on the Hansel and Gretel tale retold as... (more...)
BWW Review: Jomama Jones Brings Hope in a Troubled Time with BLACK LIGHT: A SOULFUL EMBRACE OF LOVE AND LIGHT, at Penumbra Theatre through This Weekend Only! BWW Review: Jomama Jones Brings Hope in a Troubled Time with BLACK LIGHT: A SOULFUL EMBRACE OF LOVE AND LIGHT, at Penumbra Theatre through This Weekend Only!
by Jill Schafer - February 09, 2017

In the darkness of the theater, a soothing voice was heard saying 'what if I told you: we're going to be all right.' I exhaled deeply, as if I'd been holding my breath for the last two weeks. Because in my 43 years on this planet, there's never been a time when I've been less sure that 'we're going ... (more...)