Minneapolis / St. Paul Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: Stages Theater Presents the Magic of Humanity in WHOEVER YOU ARE BWW Review: Stages Theater Presents the Magic of Humanity in WHOEVER YOU ARE
by Peggy Sue Dunigan - May 21, 2018

Housed on Main Street in Hopkins, Minnesota, Stages Theatre Company (STC) persevered for almost 35 years by producing exceptional, professional theater for young audiences. Believing in the enchantment, images and power of theater, especially for youth, the company produces world premiere production... (more...)
BWW Review: Heightened Silliness Meets Speculative History: 
 LORD GORDON GORDON at History Theatre BWW Review: Heightened Silliness Meets Speculative History: LORD GORDON GORDON at History Theatre
by Karen Bovard - May 16, 2018

The History Theatre is having fun this month, with a world premiere by the popular writing duo known as 'Hatchling': Jeffrey Hatcher (book) and Chan Poling (music and lyrics). LORD GORDON GORDON is a romp of a musical in the tradition of con man stories like THE MUSIC MAN. It's based on little kno... (more...)
BWW Review: A Brand New Look for AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at the Guthrie Theater BWW Review: A Brand New Look for AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at the Guthrie Theater
by Karen Bovard - May 11, 2018

The plot of AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE seems ripped from today's headlines: think Flint, think Detroit. Of course, Norwegian Henrik Ibsen (an iconoclast in his day, generally regarded as "The Father of Social Realism" in western theater history) penned this prescient piece back in 1882. What the Guthr... (more...)
BWW Review: Tender and Topical THIS BITTER EARTH in Regional Premiere at Penumbra Theatre BWW Review: Tender and Topical THIS BITTER EARTH in Regional Premiere at Penumbra Theatre
by Karen Bovard - May 07, 2018

In this 50th anniversary year of the Loving vs. State of Virginia Supreme Court case that made interracial marriage legal in all 50 states, it is right that the renowned Penumbra Theatre, which puts questions of social justice at the center of its artistic mission, should take up gay rights. THIS B... (more...)
BWW Review: Yellow Tree Theatre's World Premiere New Play STILL DANCE THE STARS is a Heart-Wrenching and Heart-Warming Story of Grief, Love, and Family BWW Review: Yellow Tree Theatre's World Premiere New Play STILL DANCE THE STARS is a Heart-Wrenching and Heart-Warming Story of Grief, Love, and Family
by Jill Schafer - May 01, 2018

Last week in the cozy intimate space of Yellow Tree Theatre, in a strip mall in Osseo, I saw a world premiere new play that's unlike anything I've seen before. As someone who sees a lot of theater (and I mean a lot), that's a rare occurrence. While playwright Jayme McGhan's STILL DANCE THE STARS rem... (more...)
BWW Review: The Old Vic's Charming, Magical, Fun, and Poignant New Musical DR. SEUSS'S THE LORAX Receives its Triumphant U.S. Premiere at Children's Theatre Company BWW Review: The Old Vic's Charming, Magical, Fun, and Poignant New Musical DR. SEUSS'S THE LORAX Receives its Triumphant U.S. Premiere at Children's Theatre Company
by Jill Schafer - May 01, 2018

Unless. What a powerful word. So many scary things might happen. Unless. Unless what, you ask? 'Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.' The best thing to happen lately in this dark and scary world is people caring a whole awful lot about things, an... (more...)
BWW Review: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER at The Guthrie BWW Review: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER at The Guthrie
by Karen Bovard - April 23, 2018

The Guthrie can be counted on to mount beautifully designed and lit shows on its two main stages, peopled by fine actors under crisp direction, and this production of GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER is no exception. Playwright Todd Kreidler, who worked for many years with August Wilson, penned this ada... (more...)
BWW Review: Mixed Blood Theatre Adds Music to a Rolling World Premiere Play to Create a Funny, Sweet, Relatable, and Poignant New Original Musical MERMAID HOUR: REMIXED BWW Review: Mixed Blood Theatre Adds Music to a Rolling World Premiere Play to Create a Funny, Sweet, Relatable, and Poignant New Original Musical MERMAID HOUR: REMIXED
by Jill Schafer - April 13, 2018

On a snowy Sunday afternoon, several of the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers gathered in an old firehouse in Minneapolis to witness the rolling world premiere of a new play called MERMAID HOUR, which means that the premiere is happening in several theaters around the country. In this story of a 12-year-... (more...)
BWW Review: Illusion Theater's THE PINK UNICORN is a Funny, Poignant, Relatable Story of a Small Town Woman Turned Activist in Support of Her Gender Queer Child BWW Review: Illusion Theater's THE PINK UNICORN is a Funny, Poignant, Relatable Story of a Small Town Woman Turned Activist in Support of Her Gender Queer Child
by Jill Schafer - April 10, 2018

When you need to dig in your purse for a tissue to blow your nose after seeing a play, you know it was a good one. I don't cry, but @IllusionTheater #pinkunicorn made me cry with its beautiful message of love, hope, & acceptance. #tctheater #bringtissues #openheart #walkwithme Thus reads my 280-c... (more...)
BWW Review: The History Theatre and COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company Join Forces on the Wonderful Original Dance Musical DANCE 'TIL YOU DROP BWW Review: The History Theatre and COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company Join Forces on the Wonderful Original Dance Musical DANCE 'TIL YOU DROP
by Jill Schafer - April 06, 2018

What do you get when you combine COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company, known for creating original dance musicals, with the History Theatre, dedicated to creating new work based on or inspired by true events in Minnesota history? You get DANCE 'TIL YOU DROP, a dance musical about a Minnesota dance team ... (more...)
BWW Review: Full On Teen Female Bonding in THE WOLVES at Jungle Theater BWW Review: Full On Teen Female Bonding in THE WOLVES at Jungle Theater
by Karen Bovard - April 02, 2018

The WOLVES are a girls travel soccer team of highly competitive high school athletes, many hoping to be noticed and recruited by college coaches. Yes, they are fierce, and yes, they howl. They also grapple with issues as varied as (spoiler alert!) genocide and justice, social anxiety, love and sex... (more...)
BWW Review:  Lyric Arts' SHE LOVES ME Channels Tangled True Love BWW Review: Lyric Arts' SHE LOVES ME Channels Tangled True Love
by Peggy Sue Dunigan - March 30, 2018

Spring's rebirth in March invites magical thoughts of budding romance. A beloved multi-award winning musical rom-com, She Loves Me, sings in the sunny emotions and weather at Anoka's Lyric Arts. The playful musical first ran on Broadway in 1963, and was translated from Miklos Laszlo's 1937 play "Par... (more...)
BWW Review: Only One Weekend Left to See Skylark Opera Theatre's Beautifully Moving Contemporary Opera AS ONE BWW Review: Only One Weekend Left to See Skylark Opera Theatre's Beautifully Moving Contemporary Opera AS ONE
by Jill Schafer - March 22, 2018

The new incarnation of Skylark Opera Theatre, under new Artistic Director Robert Neu, is presenting their third work of accessible, intimate opera. As someone who usually stays on the musical theater side of the music-theater spectrum, this approach seems like a good one for me, sort of bridging tha... (more...)
BWW Review: Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's Summer Blockbuster NEWSIES is a Big, Bold, Energetic, Rousing Regional Premiere BWW Review: Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's Summer Blockbuster NEWSIES is a Big, Bold, Energetic, Rousing Regional Premiere
by Jill Schafer - March 20, 2018

The Children's Crusade: kids walk out of their jobs or schools to take to the streets and stand up for what they believe in, for a fairer and safer world. Does this describe recent current events, a historical event, or the plot of a Disney musical? Trick question - the answer is all of the above! A... (more...)
BWW Review: FAMILIAR at Guthrie BWW Review: FAMILIAR at Guthrie
by Karen Bovard - March 20, 2018

Gurira's family drama FAMILIAR has just opened in a lavishly designed and carefully calibrated production at the Guthrie. It's familiar in many ways, as a well-made play on a single set (the interior of an upscale household in Minnetonka, MN) unrolling in real time, that dives into the secrets and ... (more...)
BWW Review: INDECENT at the Guthrie BWW Review: INDECENT at the Guthrie
by Karen Bovard - February 28, 2018

INDECENT is a play about a play: Sholom Asch's GOD OF VENGEANCE, first performed in 1907 in Berlin, then widely across Europe, and eventually in 1923 in New York. There it was censored and the acting troupe was arrested and jailed. It's also about how writers work, about forbidden love, about fam... (more...)
BWW Review: Theater Mu and Mixed Blood's Successful First Collaboration on the Hilarious New Play TWO MILE HOLLOW Provides Smart Commentary on Race and Class in America BWW Review: Theater Mu and Mixed Blood's Successful First Collaboration on the Hilarious New Play TWO MILE HOLLOW Provides Smart Commentary on Race and Class in America
by Jill Schafer - February 22, 2018

My 280-character (or less) review of Theater Mu and Mixed Blood Theatre's first ever collaboration: 'Friends, run don't walk to see #twomilehollow (co-production from @theatermu and @mixed_blood). I can't decide whom I love most in this cast of comic geniuses! But behind all the wackiness and humor ... (more...)
BWW Review: Faithful and Funny Updated PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Park Square Theatre BWW Review: Faithful and Funny Updated PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Park Square Theatre
by Karen Bovard - February 20, 2018

'History is something that we can and should improve upon' sings the modern Major General in an added lyric in this cleverly refreshed production of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic. The laugh-out-loud show remains faithful to the original while integrating historical asides and contemporary politica... (more...)
BWW Review: Illusion Theater's Funny and Sobering New Play DANCING WITH GIANTS Explores the Intersection of Sports and Politics Through Pre-WWII Boxing BWW Review: Illusion Theater's Funny and Sobering New Play DANCING WITH GIANTS Explores the Intersection of Sports and Politics Through Pre-WWII Boxing
by Jill Schafer - February 15, 2018

I'll admit it. Before I was a theater geek, I was a TV geek. I grew up watching TV, and my best friends were characters on TV shows. I'm still a TV geek, and I still consider TV characters* my friends. So when I heard that an actor from two of my favorite current shows was doing a play in Minneapoli... (more...)
BWW Review: In the Heart of the Beast's MAKE BELIEVE NEIGHBORHOOD Pays Homage to the Beloved Mister Rogers, as Well as the Heroes of Its Own Neighborhood BWW Review: In the Heart of the Beast's MAKE BELIEVE NEIGHBORHOOD Pays Homage to the Beloved Mister Rogers, as Well as the Heroes of Its Own Neighborhood
by Jill Schafer - February 13, 2018

I, like millions of children in America and across the world, grew up watching MISTER ROGERS NEIGHBORHOOD, which aired on PBS from 1968 through 2001. But I don't think I realized at the time what an exceptionally good and kind human Fred Rogers was, a strong advocate for children's education and dev... (more...)
BWW Review: Brilliant ASSASSINS at Theater Latte Da BWW Review: Brilliant ASSASSINS at Theater Latte Da
by Karen Bovard - February 13, 2018

It's hard to imagine a better production of the Sondheim/Weidman dissection of the perpetrators of violence toward US presidents than the ASSASSINS that has just opened in Minneapolis at Theater Latte Da. Running a brisk 100 minutes without intermission, it is staged, sung, and performed with terri... (more...)
BWW Review: A CRACK IN THE SKY at History Theatre BWW Review: A CRACK IN THE SKY at History Theatre
by Karen Bovard - February 12, 2018

A CRACK IN THE SKY is a new autobiographical play about an immigrant from Somalia who arrived in the Twin Cities in 1997. As a civic project-something the arts can and should provide-this event is hard to beat. Still, it is true that as a play, A CRACK IN THE SKY is not very compelling theater.... (more...)
BWW Review: Penumbra Theatre and Children's Theatre Company's First Collaboration is a Hit - the Fabulous and Inspirational THE WIZ BWW Review: Penumbra Theatre and Children's Theatre Company's First Collaboration is a Hit - the Fabulous and Inspirational THE WIZ
by Jill Schafer - January 30, 2018

'Combining CTC's critical literacy work and Penumbra's racial justice work allows us to forge something together that neither could do alone.' These words in the playbill of THE WIZ, the first collaboration between these two acclaimed #TCTheater companies, brought tears to my eyes before the show ev... (more...)
BWW Review: CARDBOARD PIANO at Park Square Theatre BWW Review: CARDBOARD PIANO at Park Square Theatre
by Karen Bovard - January 29, 2018

CARDBOARD PIANO is an ambitious play centered on questions of trauma: what can and can't be fixed. It opens with life-affirming and joyous love between two young women in Uganda.... (more...)
BWW Review: The Intense Two-Hander A STEADY RAIN is a Brilliantly Written Play that's Impeccably Executed by the Team at Gremlin Theatre BWW Review: The Intense Two-Hander A STEADY RAIN is a Brilliantly Written Play that's Impeccably Executed by the Team at Gremlin Theatre
by Jill Schafer - January 20, 2018

For their second show in their new space, Gremlin Theatre is presenting the intense two-hander A STEADY RAIN. Buckle up, friends, this is a tough one. But so beautifully done. In what's basically a treatise on toxic masculinity and the damage it can do, playwright Keith Huff has created two complex ... (more...)