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BWW Reviews: THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM Offers a Complex, Disturbing, and Completely Engrossing Enda Walsh Play Review BWW Reviews: THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM Offers a Complex, Disturbing, and Completely Engrossing Enda Walsh Play
by Jill Schafer - September 17, 2014

Enda Walsh seems to be a perfect match for Frank Theatre. Their mission is 'to produce unique work that stretches the skill of the artists who create the work while simultaneously challenging the everyday perceptions of the audience.' In other words, they do weird stuff, but weird in the best possible way, in the way that challenges the audience and encourages us to look at things in a new way, even if we don't quite understand it. Irish playwright Enda Walsh also writes weird and interesting and challenging and utterly unique plays. As with last year's Ivey award-winning MISTERMAN, Frank once again does beautiful work with this weird, challenging, disturbing, completely engrossing, crazy brilliant play. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TigerLion Arts' Outdoor Walking Play NATURE at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Embodies the Spirit of Nature Through the Lives of Emerson and Thoreau Review BWW Reviews: TigerLion Arts' Outdoor Walking Play NATURE at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Embodies the Spirit of Nature Through the Lives of Emerson and Thoreau
by Jill Schafer - September 15, 2014

I went for a walk today. The sky through the trees caught my eye. The sound of music floated in and out between the calling of the birds, and the smell of the late summer prairie was all around me. I followed Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau through their lives, studies, and friendship. I thought about nature not as something to be visited occasionally, but as something we live in the midst of daily, whether we're aware of it or not. Sometimes her voice is obscured by the busyness of modern life, but she's always there if we take the time and listen hard enough. TigerLion Arts' outdoor walking play, NATURE, is more than just theater, it's an experience. The story of the life of writers, philosophers, scholars, and friends Emerson and Thoreau includes one very important character, nature, as experienced through the beautiful grounds of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. (more...)


BWW Reviews: THE WHITE SNAKE Mesmerizes Audience with Magical Storytelling Review BWW Reviews: THE WHITE SNAKE Mesmerizes Audience with Magical Storytelling
by Libby Ryan - September 15, 2014

When it comes to differing accounts of a story, which do you believe - the logical or the mystical? "The White Snake", directed by Tony winner Mary Zimmerman, asks this question many times whenever the tale of the magical snake reaches a fork in the road where the story could be explained by the divine or the mundane. (more...)


BWW Review: Multiple Fantastic Performances by Just Two Actors Highlight the Return of The Jungle Theater's Hit THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP Review BWW Review: Multiple Fantastic Performances by Just Two Actors Highlight the Return of The Jungle Theater's Hit THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP
by Jill Schafer - September 08, 2014

Vampires, werewolves, Egyptian mummies, English moors, haunted portraits, a sophisticated Lord and Lady, an Irish maid, a Scottish stable hand, and a euphonium. Mix it all up and you have the ridiculous and hugely entertaining farce that is THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP. This 2010 Jungle hit is back again this year with the same director/scenic designer, Joel Sass, and one of its stars, Bradley Greenwald (proving once again there truly is nothing he can't do). The role(s) previously played by Stephen Epp is played by another Stephen, Cartmell, and he brings his own kind of brilliance to the show. Watching these two actors fully commit to the distinct outrageousness of multiple characters is a joy. (more...)


BWW Reviews: TAKE IT WITH YOU, Live Radio Theater from Duluth, Charms with its Great Music and Hometown Humor Review BWW Reviews: TAKE IT WITH YOU, Live Radio Theater from Duluth, Charms with its Great Music and Hometown Humor
by Jill Schafer - August 22, 2014

There's something cool going on in Duluth. I mean, there are lots of cool things going on in Duluth; it's one of Minnesota's top tourist destinations, with the lake and the big ships and all. But specifically on the music-theater front, which is what brings joy to my heart, there is something new and cool going on. It's called TAKE IT WITH YOU and it's live radio theater, recorded monthly at The Underground in Duluth's historic Depot, and available for free online listening. This scripted serial radio program hearkens back to the days when people used to gather around their radios to listen to music and stories about their favorite characters. Now we can gather around our computers to listen, or plug into a podcast, as we follow this quirky cast of characters on their monthly adventures. It's described as 'CHEERS meets A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION meets AUSTIN CITY LIMITS,' but I encourage you to give it a listen and see for yourself just how charming and funny and silly and musically delicious it is. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Sally Wingert Transports the Audience through 20th Century Jewish History in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company's ROSE Review BWW Reviews: Sally Wingert Transports the Audience through 20th Century Jewish History in Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company's ROSE
by Jill Schafer - August 14, 2014

Who can resist a one-woman show by Sally Wingert, one of the Twin Cities best actors? Add to that an intimate in-home setting and an epic story that encompasses the entire scope of Jewish history in the 20th Century, and you have an unforgettable evening of theater. Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company's production of Martin Sherman's play ROSE, which is being performed in homes around the Cities, is inspirational, horrifying, funny, charming, disturbing, brutally honest, and entirely compelling. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Ordway's BROADWAY SONGBOOK: THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY is Once Again an Informative and Entertaining Look at Musical Theater History Review BWW Reviews: The Ordway's BROADWAY SONGBOOK: THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY is Once Again an Informative and Entertaining Look at Musical Theater History
by Jill Schafer - August 08, 2014

The Ordway is opening its fourth season of the BROADWAY SONGBOOK series with a retrospective of the first 100 years of Broadway. If you're like me, your first question is - when did Broadway begin? It's debatable, but Professor James Rocco - who presides over what feels like a college seminar on musical theater history with live show-and-tell by the Twin Cities' best musical theater performers - tells us that the beginning of Broadway can be marked by THE BLACK CROOK in 1866. This is just one of the things you'll learn in this BROADWAY SONGBOOK, but don't worry, it is anything but dry and pedantic. The stories are fascinating and entertaining (at least to a musical theater nerd like myself), James has chosen just the right collection of songs to illustrate his points, and music director Raymond Berg has beautifully arranged the songs, which are performed with much passion, emotion, and humor by the talented cast of actor/singer/dancers. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Minnesota Fringe Festival Mid-Week Favorites - FAILURE Is A Success! Review BWW Reviews: Minnesota Fringe Festival Mid-Week Favorites - FAILURE Is A Success!
by Jill Schafer - August 07, 2014

It's day 7 of the 11-day Minnesota Fringe Festival, in which 169 one-hour plays, musicals, dramas, dance performances, and comedy shows are presented at 19 venues across Minneapolis. I've seen about half of my 30-some planned shows, and one stands out above the rest - Failure: A Love Story. I love this piece so much because it is so many things at once - funny, heartbreaking, clever, innovative, tragic, and absolutely beautiful. Read about this and five other shows I loved. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Guthrie Theater's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Entertains with Deliciously Over-the-Top Comedic Performances Review BWW Reviews: The Guthrie Theater's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE Entertains with Deliciously Over-the-Top Comedic Performances
by Jill Schafer - August 04, 2014

In a lovely bit of symmetry, the Guthrie is closing a season that began with Chekhov's Uncle Vanya with a new play by Christopher Durang that uses Chekhovian characters and themes in a decidedly modern way - Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Whatever Durang's inspiration was, the result is a hilarious comedy about a dysfunctional trio of siblings and the wacky people that surround them. Even though I'm sure I missed many of the Chekhov and other references, I thoroughly enjoyed the play. It's great fun, with fantastic performances by everyone in the six-person cast. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Mu Performing Arts' Production of Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is Another Must-See Summer Musical Review BWW Reviews: Mu Performing Arts' Production of Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is Another Must-See Summer Musical
by Jill Schafer - July 28, 2014

A few weeks ago I wrote that the Guthrie's My Fair Lady is the must-see summer musical. Correction: it's one of two. Mu Performing Arts' production of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music should also be on your must-see list; it's every bit as good as My Fair Lady. The songs might not be as 'hummable and quotable,' but they're clever and beautifully complex in a way that only a Sondheim score can be. The music sounds gorgeous, the costumes are luscious, the show is funny but a little sad too, and the cast is fantastic (and by the way, they also happen to be Asian-American). It's another gorgeous production of a classic. (more...)


BWW Reviews: CAT IN THE HAT Has the Desired Effect at Children's Theatre Company Review BWW Reviews: CAT IN THE HAT Has the Desired Effect at Children's Theatre Company
by Kristen Hirsch Montag - July 21, 2014

What better way to review a Children's Theatre Company show than to have a real mom and her little boy attend and tell us about the experience? This first-hand review by a first-time reviewer will charm you into attending one of the remaining performances as the show closes this Sunday, July 27. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Lyric Arts Company of Anoka Does Jonathan Larson Proud with their Production of RENT Review BWW Reviews: Lyric Arts Company of Anoka Does Jonathan Larson Proud with their Production of RENT
by Jill Schafer - July 15, 2014

RENT gets me every time. Seeing it for the 14th time is just as thrilling, emotional, and epic as the first time I saw it 17 years ago. I can't even put into words why it has such a strong grip on my soul. It's just such a beautiful message of love, hope, community, and life, made all the more poignant by creator Jonathan Larson's untimely passing. Lyric Arts' new production is truly beautiful; the cast is energetic and talented, the sets and costumes have that cool rock show vibe, and the staging is different enough to make it feel fresh and original, but similar enough to the Broadway version to feel familiar to RENTheads like me. RENT is a brilliantly written piece of music-theater, and Lyric Arts has done Jonathan Larson proud. I can think of no higher praise. (more...)


BWW Reviews: The Guthrie Theater's Gorgeous New Production of MY FAIR LADY is a Musical with Style and Substance Review BWW Reviews: The Guthrie Theater's Gorgeous New Production of MY FAIR LADY is a Musical with Style and Substance
by Jill Schafer - July 10, 2014

There's a reason My Fair Lady is one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Not only does it feature a bunch of wonderful songs by Lerner and Loewe that have become classics, but it's based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion that deals with issues of class, gender, societal expectations, and the intersection of wealth and power. It's a musical that has style and substance. The Guthrie's gorgeous new production does well by this classic. The show is perfectly cast, the familiar music sounds great, the choreography is fantastic, and the sets and costumes are luscious. This hugely entertaining show is definitely a must-see summer blockbuster musical. (more...)


BWW Reviews: In The Jungle Theater's Beautiful Production of THE HEIRESS, a Woman Discovers Her Own Power through Pain and Heartache Review BWW Reviews: In The Jungle Theater's Beautiful Production of THE HEIRESS, a Woman Discovers Her Own Power through Pain and Heartache
by Jill Schafer - June 26, 2014

Last weekend I saw the classic play The Heiress, about Catherine, a wealthy heiress lacking in social graces with a stern father and an unexpected suitor. I was having a hard time wrapping my head around the play until I had a sudden revelation the next morning - Catherine is Mad Men's Peggy. The Heiress is all about Catherine reclaiming her power, even if it comes at the expense of her own happiness. (more...)


BWW Reviews: 7th House Theater Collective's Inventive Take on LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is Deliciously Fun and Entertaining Review BWW Reviews: 7th House Theater Collective's Inventive Take on LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is Deliciously Fun and Entertaining
by Jill Schafer - June 23, 2014

The great thing about the Twin Cities theater community is that not only can you see big lavish productions at the Orpheum, Ordway, or Guthrie, but you can also see small low-tech productions in odd or tiny spaces that will surprise and delight you every bit as much as those big productions, or even moreso. 7th House Theater Collective's 7-person stripped-down version of the cult horror movie turned off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors is just such a show. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Skylark Opera Showcases Two Celebrated 20th Century American Composers in its Summer Festival Review BWW Reviews: Skylark Opera Showcases Two Celebrated 20th Century American Composers in its Summer Festival
by Jill Schafer - June 17, 2014

For their annual summer festival, Skylark Opera is presenting the Leonard Bernstein classic operetta Candide and the musical revue Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Minneapolis Musical Theatre's BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON is an Entertaining and Controversial Political Satire Review BWW Reviews: Minneapolis Musical Theatre's BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON is an Entertaining and Controversial Political Satire
by Jill Schafer - June 10, 2014

Minneapolis Musical Theatre's production of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, a Broadway musical with sharp political satire and social commentary wrapped up in a great emo-rock score, has sparked controversy. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Yellow Tree Theatre's Zany British Comedy THE 39 STEPS is Good Old-Fashioned Theatrical Entertainment Review BWW Reviews: Yellow Tree Theatre's Zany British Comedy THE 39 STEPS is Good Old-Fashioned Theatrical Entertainment
by Jill Schafer - June 06, 2014

Yellow Tree Theatre concludes their excellent sixth season with the zany British spy thriller comedy THE 39 STEPS, in which just four actors play dozens of characters and employ many delightful theater tricks to tell a story and entertain. (more...)


BWW Reviews: SISTER ACT's Diva Nuns Steal the Show Review BWW Reviews: SISTER ACT's Diva Nuns Steal the Show
by Kristen Hirsch Montag - May 30, 2014

The nuns of SISTER ACT are the heart and dancing sole of this musical version reset in 1970s Philadelphia. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Go See this Show at ONCE Review BWW Reviews: Go See this Show at ONCE
by Kristen Hirsch Montag - April 03, 2014

Falling slowly into a relationship with ONCE and its quirky characters stirred memories in the hearts and minds of lost loves and fleeting past moments. Catching this show at Minneapolis' Orpheum should be done pretty quickly with the run ending April 6. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID Makes Poseidon (and Disney) Proud Review BWW Reviews: Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID Makes Poseidon (and Disney) Proud
by Noah Lee Jordan - March 21, 2014

My tiny companion, Mia (she's 5-years-old) is sitting in a chair, staring intently at the stage-as she does when she's completely engaged-watching Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's regional premiere of THE LITTLE MERMAID. And just like that, I knew that no matter how I felt, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's THE LITTLE MERMAID was a success. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Fun, Puns and Tons of Imagination, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Review BWW Reviews: Fun, Puns and Tons of Imagination, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
by Noah Lee Jordan - March 14, 2014

Before there was Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Wendy and those two annoying little brothers--there was just a boy who didn't have a name, a few orphan friends, a 'starcatcher' named Molly and a ship named Neverland... (more...)


BWW Reviews: FREUD'S LAST SESSION is an Enticing 'What If' Story Review BWW Reviews: FREUD'S LAST SESSION is an Enticing 'What If' Story
by Kristen Hirsch Montag - March 10, 2014

Intriguing 'what if' play about an imaginary meeting between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis that raises important questions of our existence. Catch the final week in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio. (more...)


BWW Reviews: A New EVITA Missed a Few Notes Review BWW Reviews: A New EVITA Missed a Few Notes
by Kristen Hirsch Montag - February 03, 2014

A new production of Evita just completed a run at Hennepin Theatre Trust's Orpheum in Minneapolis. High flying, adored: Che. Requiem for the Eva we know and loved: changes in the show both enhanced and detracted from the love of Eva Peron. (more...)


BWW Reviews: Happy Full or Uncomfortably Full? MMT's FIVE COURSE LOVE Review BWW Reviews: Happy Full or Uncomfortably Full? MMT's FIVE COURSE LOVE
by Noah Lee Jordan - January 30, 2014

FIVE COURSE LOVE by Gregg Coffin has a fairly simple premise, five different love stories set in five themed restaurants and three actors playing all the roles. It's a fast-paced, campy, and wildly outrageous comedy that weaves together music, humor and a little dash of heart. (more...)


 
🔀MINNEAPOLIS SHOWS
Dirty Dancing in MinneapolisDirty Dancing
(Runs 10/7 - 10/19)

(Runs 9/12 - 11/16)
Ring of Fire
(Runs 7/18 - 11/22)
Footloose in MinneapolisFootloose
(Runs 11/14 - 11/22)
Once Upon a Mattress in MinneapolisOnce Upon a Mattress
(Runs 11/20 - 11/23)
White Christmas in MinneapolisWhite Christmas
(Runs 12/4 - 12/21)
Motown the Musical in MinneapolisMotown the Musical
(Runs 12/16 - 12/28)

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