THEATER REVIEW | Theatre Novi Most's "Rehearsing Failure" at Southern Theater: Theater porn (in a good way)

The ensemble of Theatre Novi Most's Rehearsing Failure rocks out - (rear, l to r) Pearce Bunting, Sara Richardson, Annie Enneking, (front) Billy Mullaney, Barbra Berlovitz. Photo by Bill Prouty

I'm glad that Theatre Novi Most's latest production Rehearsing Failure is part of the new ARTshare program at the Southern Theater. Since I'm a member, I can go back whenever I like and see it again.  And I'd like to, very much. This production bears repeated viewing, as there's a whole lot going on in any given moment.

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THEATER REVIEW | "The Color Purple" inspires at the Park Square Theatre

Photo credit Petronella J. Ytsma

Park Square’s Theatre ambitious production of the musical The Color Purple creates an exuberant production that was well deserving of the standing ovation it was given on opening night. The musical is based on the Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning book of the same name. The book for the musical was written by Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. In the regional premiere of the musical, Lewis E. Whitlock directs an exceptionally talented cast in a production that brings out both the humor and pathos of the story.

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Opera in the color of Siena: A conversation with Siena Forest

Soprano Siena Forest

Minnesota Opera is nationally known not just for its flagship productions, but also its programs devoted to the future of opera. Its New Works Initiative is still riding high on the success of Silent Night, a commissioned opera that has been picked up by other opera companies both domestically and abroad, and has built considerable buzz about its upcoming Manchurian Candidate premiere. Among early-career opera professionals, however, the program that attracts the most interest is MN Opera’s Resident Artist program. Originally started by Dale Johnson to train singers, the program has since expanded to include professional training and apprentice roles for a conductor, a stage director, an artistic administrator, and two coach-accompanists – in addition to six singers.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Snowflake" masters puppetry at Children's Theatre Company

Gay LaJoye in Snowflake.

There is a line in entertainment when something passes from the comedic to the profound, from the parody and sendup to the deeply moving. On the one hand are Charlie Chaplin’s silent comedies starting The Tramp, films like Gold Rush that speak with a humor that knows no language barriers. Then, on the other, is the same filmmaker-actor’s The Great Dictator. Both are greatly amusing, but with one comes a slow realization of the undergirding – that some of the laughs add up to something terrible or tragic. To do this without words is something genius.

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THEATER REVIEW | "I Love Lucy: Live on Stage" a classic at the State Theatre

Photo by Justin Namon.

Minneapolis’s State Theatre took the time machine back to the early 1950s for a live studio recording in Los Angeles for back-to-back episodes of the classic CBS hit sitcom I Love Lucy.

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Wintertide at Public Functionary: Juried and varied visual art

Saturday night, Public Functionary opened their Wintertide show. A biennial art exhibition presented by Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) and Public Functionary. It's a juried show of mixed visual art forms - photography, mixed media, painting and drawing and sculpture. It was a mix of themes and perspectives. There were more than a few pieces that caught my eye.

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MUSIC REVIEW | The Current showcases mostly local music: Cold War Kids, Dead Man Winter, Hippo Campus and Allan Kingdom

Photos by Ann Treacy

The Current celebrates their birthday in style but more importantly with great variety. The penultimate birthday event on Jan. 23 night at First Avenue included four bands with four different sounds: rap, pop, Americana and indie rock. And if you dig deeper at all, there were really more sounds within each performance.

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Opera minus the high costs and testosterone

A semi-staged performance of The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret , winner of the National Opera Association's 2014-2016 Chamber Opera Competition, in a hotel ballroom.

The French playwright and actor Molière (1622-1673) once remarked, “Of all the sounds known to man, opera is the most expensive.” A glance at the budget of the Opéra National de Paris today does little to dispel this perception: annual expenditures exceeding 200 million euros (approximately $225 million), a professional orchestra of 170 players, a chorus of 110 singers, and a ballet corps of 150 singers – to say nothing of the administrators and backstage staff required to support this flagship operation. This is opera in one of its grandest forms.

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Satanic Rituals and Tiki Bars at The Trylon

On Thursday, March 12, The Trylon will present two feature films from opposite ends of my twenty-year filmmaking career here in Hollywood, Minnesota.

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THEATER REVIEW | "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" charms Theatre in the Round

At the Blaine School for Girls in Scotland in the early 1930s, Jean Brodie’s young students hang on her every word as she passionately expounds on her pet topics – sexual freedom, Fascism, and her romances. ©2014 Aleutian Calabay

Theatre in the Round’s staging of Jay Presson Allen’s play The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a rare treat. Dann Peterson directs a well-paced production with some excellent performances. 

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