With its themes of unrequited love, physical insecurity and note-passing, it's a wonder Cyrano de Bergerac wasn't originally set in high school. Now this "error" has been gloriously corrected in Calvin Berger, a hip and hilarious musical adaptation of the French classic from lyricist-composer Barry Wyner. Contemporary high school senior Calvin (Cyrano) is smitten with the beautiful Rosanna (Roxanne), but his insecurity about the size of his sniffer prevents any open declarations of love. Meanwhile Rosanna is attracted to Matt who, while interested, is painfully shy. Hijinks commence when Calvin offers to be Matt's "speech writer," as a means of getting closer to Rosanna even as he ignores signals from another interested girl (who is also his best friend). Deception and desire mix in this fresh, funny and smart musical at New Century Theatre.
One of America's most beloved films and novels, Alice Walker's inspiring saga comes to the stage with a rousing score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues. All her life, "Po' chile" Celie has known only hardship and cruelty. Twice pregnant by her abusive father, she is married off at the age of 14 to a callous local farmer. Her sole joy in the world is the letters she receives from her sister Nettie. But when sassy nightclub singer Shug Avery comes to town, Celie's awakening, emotional and otherwise, promises to lead her to healing and joy. With a jubilant score of roof-raising gospel, jazz and throaty blues, The Color Purple is the tale of an everywoman triumphing over adversity, and, through surprising discoveries of love, finds her own voice in the world. The Color Purple is a testament to the power of hope and a celebration of the loved ones we never leave behind.
Fifteen years after Paulina Escobar's torture at the hands of her government's secret police, she comes face to face with a man she believes she recognizes as one of her tormentors. Brought into her home unknowingly by her husband, this stranger's voice sounds unnervingly to Paulina like that of the man who once raped and viciously abused her as she lay blindfolded in a military detention center. What evolves is a tense and riveting look at a lingering trauma, and whether a woman, and by extension an entire country, can put such a violent past to rest. Winner of an Olivier Award for Best New Play when it premiered, Death and the Maiden was written by acclaimed Chilean political playwright Ariel Dorfman, and adapted into a 1994 Roman Polanski film starring Sigourney Weaver. This latest revival now comes to the stage at Minneapolis Theatre Garage.
Minneapolis' Mixed Blood Theatre transforms into a lively Chinese restaurant as Mu Performing Arts presents the Obie Award-winning Asian-American classic, F.O.B. by David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly). This landmark 1979 work uses its setting to explore relationships and conflicts between established ABC (American Born Chinese) and FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) newcomers, as three vibrant characters argue, flirt, lecture and of course eat, showcasing along the way the foibles of assimilation with humor and pathos. Immerse even deeper into the experience by ordering a Chinese "take-in" noodle box to enjoy during the show.
In Gertrude Stein and a Companion, Playwright Win Wells captures not only the veritable essence of this famous relationship, but also the magic years when a host of famous people including Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse graced the writer's salon.
The compelling drama, spanning the decades between the early 1900s to the 1960s, poignantly portrays the genesis and development of Stein and Toklas’ 40-year bond. Using text from Stein's writings, letters and interviews, Wells is able to gradually reveal the inner workings of their relationship.
Dolly Levi is a delightfully scheming busybody who makes her living as a matchmaker in glamorous New York City. She's out to make a match for Horace Vandergelder, the "well-known half-a-millionaire," with the charming hat maker, Irene Molloy - but in the process, Dolly snares a groom for herself. Dolly masterfully orchestrates romance and adventure in a glittering mixed up night on the town.
A boisterous and uplifting portrait of love in a nontraditional family, Tony Award-winning La Cage aux Folles has been one of Broadway's biggest hits for 30 years, and comes now to the Bloomington Civic Theatre. Georges and Albin, a gay couple who run and star in a popular drag show, find their domestic peace shattered when Georges' son (fathered during a one-night fling) announces his impending marriage to the daughter of a right-wing politician who wants to shut down the drag show. The lively and glittering spectacle that ensues celebrates family values, unconditional love and, above all, the need to be proud of who we are. The musical, which was adapted into the popular movie ,The Birdcage starring Robin Williams, features gorgeous costumes, fabulous dance numbers and a wonderful Jerry Herman score.
"I don't hate you," says Rosemary to Anthony. "I just don't like you." In John Patrick Shanley's (Doubt, Moonstruck) Tony Award-nominated Outside Mullingar, two introverted neighbors living in rural Ireland have known each other for years, but their lives intersect sharply when a parent dies and property rights come into question. Ultimately a tenderhearted romantic comedy, Shanley's play about new love in middle age has received rave reviews. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called Outside Mullingar "Shanley's finest work since Doubt," which won the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize in 2005, and inspired the 2008 movie starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. Don't miss this sweet, tender comedy when it makes its regional debut at the Old Log Theater.
Don't make resolutions in the New Year make reservations to PARTY IN THE REC ROOM! Join local author and actor Lorna Landvik as she throws another comedy bash, filled with characters created on the spot and margaritas created in a blender. Remember, if it's 2015 it's time to party!
Inspired by VH1's Pop Up Video series, this Fringe Festival favorite is a fresh and fun new version of a live musical revue. Pop Up Musical features four vocalists who'll take you on a high-energy tour of some of Broadway's biggest hits, with pit stops for some truly fascinating facts. You'll hear gems like "Give My Regards to Broadway," "Luck Be a Lady," "Edelweiss," "Seasons of Love" and more, accompanied by a flip chart with little-known trivia and some snarky comments as well. This Twin Cities hit takes the stage at the Plymouth Playhouse.
At the Blaine School for Girls in Scotland in the early 1930s, Jean Brodie’s young students
hang on her every word as she blithely dismisses the standard curriculum to passionately
expound on her own pet topics – from sexual freedom and Fascism, to herself and her
romances. But the formidable Miss Brodie faces her own real test when a love letter falls
into the hands of the headmistress.
Living in exile in Los Angeles after fleeing the Nazis, Brecht rehearses The Life of Galileo with his wife Helene Weigel and two of his former lovers, Elizabeth Hauptmann, a writer, and Ruth Berlau, a director. As they work on this epic history play over the summer of 1947, the themes of Galileo resonate with Brecht's own life and the unique relationships he had with his collaborators. Rehearsing Failure focuses on Brecht's ensemble, particularly the women who sacrificed their own recognition to create some of the most important theatre of the twentieth century. With original songs and an unconventional structure, Rehearsing Failure borrows from Brecht's own playbook - it's a play that reaches back into history to examine contemporary themes of politics, sex and complicity. By doing so, Rehearsing Failure asks the question: What do you need to survive, as an artist and a person, and what are you willing to sacrifice?
A jolly green giant sings a lot more than "Ho Ho Ho" in Shrek The Musical, the sensational stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning DreamWorks movie that's making its way to the Maplewood Performing Arts Theatre in Maplewood. Featuring a talented cast of adults and kids and with "guest stars" from nearly every children's classic on the shelf -- including the likes of Pinocchio, Gingerbread Man and the Three Little Pigs -- Shrek The Musical is a zesty comedy caper that celebrates and lampoons the Land of Make Believe. Join Shrek, a green swamp-dwelling ogre, on his life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Accompanied by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that real friendship and true love aren't just for fairy tales.
A broken fan is suddenly fashioned into a boomerang. A car trunk springs open into a wacky bedroom. And our stage is transformed into Snowflake’s kittywampus world, where the abandoned junk of life is reinvented by a goofy, sweet, slightly mad genius. Performed by comedic artist Gale LaJoye, Snowflake has moments that you’ll carry in your heart forever, including an unforgettable lyrical ballet performed on splintered skis. Bring your love of goofy, silly, kindhearted humor, and be ready: you’ll see your own world in a completely different light afterwards.
Fringe Festival favorites, the theater company known as Transatlantic Love Affair lands back at the Illusion Theater with its latest movement-based performance, in which the actors don't just inhabit the characters, but they also physically embody the settings as well. This romantic drama, co-created by artistic director Diogo Lopes and his ensemble, is set in an old folks' home, where a meaningful piece of music sparks memories of a lost love. This innovative company has had several hits in a row, including Pale Fisherman, Red Resurrected and Ash Land.
Two real-life couples star in this new musical comedy all about muddling through matrimony's highs and lows, coming to St. Paul's Art House North just in time for Valentine's Day. Created by Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble, who also star, 'Til Death finds a couple firmly ensconced in a midlife crisis, who become trapped in a tiny cabin with another duo (Nathan and Stephanie Cousins) who happen to be on their happy honeymoon. Enjoy dessert and fresh-roasted Dogwood Coffee at the show, included in the admission price.
Trick Boxing began its life as a 45-minute Minnesota Fringe Festival smash hit in 2002 and has been going strong since then. After taking the show as far as Edinburgh, London, Prague and Vancouver, Megan and Brian put it on the shelf for five years as they pursued other work in the Twin Cities. Then, in 2010, the pair decided to polish up the gem and take it to the New York International Fringe Festival where a critic for The New York Times called it "the best show I have seen." Two years later, after a significant rewrite, they premiered the now 90-minute show at the Guthrie's Dowling Stage, blew away box office projections, and took it on the road where they consistently "send the entire audience out of the theatre with a spring in their step," as The Guardian of London put it. Not content to rest on their laurels, the pair is creating a brand new opening for the "two-person tour de force" and will restage it to take specific advantage of the intimate thrust stage.