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Review: RUNESTONE! A ROCK MUSICAL at History Theatre

This production runs now through May 29th

Review: RUNESTONE! A ROCK MUSICAL at History Theatre World Premiere Musical

"1898. Swedish immigrant Olaf Ohman digs up a rock on his property near Kensington, MN with "a story on carved runes" that tells that The Vikings were the first Europeans to set foot in Minnesota. He is praised for his discovery but soon controversy erupts and his life is turned upside down with claims of "Fake! Fraud! Liar!" Step back in time and enjoy the ride with this whimsical rock 'n roll musical. Rock on!!"

I really enjoy how the History Theatre produces musicals that have a Minnesota tie. It makes any one who has a tie to Minnesota feel a connection to a show. It's also fun to go to a show that you do not know anything about or any of the music. I always enjoy seeing original musical works and the History Theatre always puts on fabulous productions!

I am not originally from the state of Minnesota, so I am not aware and as familiar with these back stories, characters, or legends. This story is about Kensington Runestone. The museum is in Alexandria, Minnesota, which now I am tempted to make the trip to now after seeing this production.

Review: RUNESTONE! A ROCK MUSICAL at History Theatre

We go through the journey with the eight actors who narrate the story. Sasha Andreev (Olof) does an excellent job at portraying the character. Though I don't know much about the back story, Sasha makes the character of Olof believable, his conviction and passion is strong and he has an excellent singing voice. The remaining cast, Ivory Doublette will portray Karin Ohman. The talented ensemble cast features Ryan London Levin, Kiko Laureano, Eric Morris, Wesley Mouri, Jon Andrew Hegge and Adam Qualls. The band includes Brian Pekol, Gary Rue, Colby Hansen, and David Rapheal. The creative team includes Joel Sass (Scenic), Karin Olson (Lighting), Stephanie Anne Bertumen (Choreographer), Sonya Berlovitz (Costume), Abbee Warmboe (Properties), and C Andrew Mayer (Sound).

Review: RUNESTONE! A ROCK MUSICAL at History Theatre

Everything the creative team did a wonderful job with the set, costumes, lighting, and sounds. It was very effective for the space. I also really liked the music. The entire cast had excellent singing voices and the songs were fun and catchy! The vibe and style of this production reminded me of the musical Come From Away. The staging was all good and the ensemble members who had to play multiple characters did an excellent job and everyone had a great connection and chemistry with each other.

I would highly recommend seeing this production, there is also a live-stream option available.

Runestone! A Rock Musical

book & lyrics by Mark Jensen

music & additional lyrics by Gary Rue

musical arrangements by Gary Rue

directed by Tyler Michaels King

musical direction by Brian Pekol

Photos courtesy of the History Theatre

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From This Author - Jared Fessler