BWW Reviews: Classical Actors Ensemble's TWO GENTLEMAN OF VERONA is Shakespeare As It's Intended - Playful, Energetic, Immediate, and Outdoors!
(6/28/2015) - The best thing about living in Minnesota is: a) theater, and b) lakes. Combine those two, and you have about as perfect of a Minnesota experience as you can have. Classical Actors Ensemble is presenting Shakespeare's comedy TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA at Lake of the Isles (and other select locations) this summer. I saw the matinee yesterday, and it was a lovely way to spend a picture perfect Minnesota summer afternoon. The show is utterly charming, and something about doing it outdoors in a public space makes Shakespeare seem more immediate, natural, and real, like this is a story that's happening in our world here and now. I sometimes have a hard time getting into Shakespeare, but this company makes it extremely accessible and so easy to become engaged in the stories, characters, and Shakespeare's beautiful words, which sound modern and fresh in this context. Their mission is: 'Classical Actors Ensemble is dedicated to engaging audiences by capturing the spirit in which plays of the English Renaissance were originally performed - with immediacy, passion, and as popular entertainment.' Mission accomplished.
The Ordway Kicks Off 2015 Summer Dance in Rice Park This Week
(6/25/2015) - The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce 2015 Summer Dance. Now in its sixth year, Summer Dance offers free, family-friendly dance events and live music in Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul. This year, the Ordway and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival will co-present Summer Dance as a three-evening event, this week, June 25-27. Each evening will highlight a different dance and music genre, offering free dance lessons from professional instructors from around the community, followed by live music and open dance in the park.
BWW Reviews: ONCE Is Not Your Typical Broadway Musical, Using Music Organically to 'Speak and Sing of What It Is to Be Human'
(6/24/2015) - There's no big opening number, no splashy dance with dozens of chorus girls and boys, no pit orchestra, no large moving set pieces, no colorful glamorous costumes. ONCE is not your typical musical. In fact, according to The Cherry and Spoon Music-Theater Spectrum it's not a musical at all, but rather a play with music. Yet this atypical not-really-a-musical musical won eight Tony Awards in 2012. Why is that? Why was this quiet and quirky musical based on a little Irish movie awarded Broadway's biggest prize? Perhaps because it is different from other musicals. Perhaps the voters awarded the creative and organic way music is used to tell this beautifully simple and non-traditional love story. ONCE is a new kind of music-theater, and proves that musicals don't always have to be big and loud to have a profound effect on the audience. ONCE is quietly, beautifully stirring.
BWW Reviews: The Guthrie Theater's CHOIR BOY Uses Music to Perfection in Telling This Affecting Coming of Age Story
(6/23/2015) - What do you get when you combine a talented young playwright, an excellent cast that includes five up-and-coming actors and two beloved veterans of local stages, stirring a capella gospel music arranged by a local musical legend, and the Twin Cities' best director of 'theater musically?' You get CHOIR BOY, a lovely and affecting play about a young gay man coming of age in an African American boarding school. The playwright is Tarell Alvin McCraney of the excellent Brother/Sister trilogy that Pillsbury House Theatre has produced in its entirety in the last several years. While those plays have an epic, mythical quality, CHOIR BOY is more grounded in reality, but just as beautifully written. Add in musical direction and arrangement by Sanford Moore and direction by Peter Rothstein, an expert at using music in the best possibly way to enhance the theatrical storytelling, and you have something quite special going on in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio.
The Ordway Announces 23rd Annual Sally Award Winners!
(6/23/2015) - The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce the recipients of the 23rd annual Sally Ordway Irvine Awards. The prestigious Sally Awards recognize and honor individuals and institutions that strengthen and enrich the state through their commitment to the arts and arts education.
Dark & Stormy Productions to Launch 2015 Season With EXTREMITIES, 8/27-9/19
(6/22/2015) - Dark & Stormy Productions today announces the producers, venue, and partners for its upcoming production of Extremities by William Mastrosimone. Previously, Dark & Stormy has presented Outside Providence by Edward Allan Baker, Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet, The Receptionist by Adam Bock, The Drunken City by Adam Bock, and The Hothouse by Harold Pinter. Extremities will be the first production of Dark & Stormy's 2015 season.
BWW Interviews: 6 Questions & a Plug with MUSIC MAN's Tony Vierling
(6/22/2015) - You are used to seeing the leads in local and touring shows get featured in this space but not as often the 'unsung' heroes of the stage - the ensemble cast who are out there hoofing it show after show. Actor Tony Vierling is filling that role this time and shared some thoughts in 6 Questions & a Plug.
BWW Interviews: 6 Questions & a Plug with ONCE's Dani DeWaal
(6/22/2015) - ONCE is the show you cannot see just one time -- the popularity is still surging and the national tour is going strong. BWW Minneapolis got a chance to interview actress Dani DeWaal, who plays Girl again. Get to know her more in 6 Questions & a Plug.
Ordway Welcomes New Board Officers
(6/19/2015) - The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts today announced two new additions to its board of directors. The officers, David Kuplic and Daniel Wrigley, were elected during a recent board meeting and will each serve a three-year term.