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  Play Details

The Birthday Party

Jungle Theatre
2951 Lyndale Ave South Minneapolis

From the very start, Stanley senses danger when two mysterious strangers (Tony Papenfuss and Martin Ruben) arrive on a day that his landlady insists is his birthday. What do these men want? Who are they looking for? And what’s inside their briefcase? The only other party guest turns out to be the attractive next-door neighbor Lulu (Ivey Award-winning Katie Guentzel) and after a few glasses of whiskey and a game of blindman’s buff, Stanley’s innocuous birthday party turns into a totalitarian nightmare.

Thru - May 13, 2012

Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm



Price: $10-$38

Box Office: 612-822 7063

www.jungletheater.com



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  Review Round-Up

Star Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Playing the work this way is not an unreasonable approach, if the aim is a comic aeration. And indeed, Pinter felt he was having a laugh with "The Birthday Party." But this is humor with a threat; our laughter shivers through tension, nervously fending off the ridiculous absurdity that could invade our own lives. Is this really us, we ask? If we stop to examine our lives, would they appear this banal, meaningless and vulnerable?"
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Graydon Royce


St. Paul Pioneer Press - Recommended

"...Richard Ooms and Claudia Wilkens play Petey and Meg - the husband and wife who run the boardinghouse - with a sense of the mundane that has been twisted a half turn: The marital banter of these characters bookends the play, giving us an initial sense of discomfit at the beginning and a lingering sense of dread at the end. Katie Guentzel completes the cast with a coy turn as a young woman named Lulu whose presence and purpose in the play is, frankly, a mystery to me. "
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Dominic P. Papatola


How Was The Show - Recommended

"... The danger with The Birthday Party would be to play the ominousness too overtly. This wouldn’t work; the play would quickly become one overblown moment after another. Director Joel Sass wisely avoids this and keeps things zipping comically along. He has also had the great good sense to cast the delightful Claudia Wilkens, who plays Meg with sweet gusto and a surprising amount of sexual zeal. Her work is nicely balanced by Richard Ooms (Wilkens’s real life husband) who plays Petey with lumbering charm. Petey seems to be the play’s only genuinely happy character, and we adore him. These two anchor the play satisfyingly. As the putative assassins Tony Papenfuss and Martin Ruben energize the play admirably as they circle and harass our hapless hero."
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John Olive


Aisle Say Twin Cities - Somewhat Recommended

"...Still, although this Birthday Party doesn’t quite pack the punch that one might hope for, it’s an incredibly rich play that has much to offer our contemporary moment. After all, exploring the ways repression – in all of its myriad forms – barges into our private lives remains of the utmost importance."
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Anna Rosensweig



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