Downtown West and East

"Wicked": What is this feeling?

Any person who grew up watching The Wizard of Oz (myself very much included) will absolutely adore Wicked, now at the Orpheum from September 16th to October 27th. The audience is Immediately drawn in to the complicated love-hate relationship of Oz's two favorite witches, Galinda Upland (Jenn Gambatese) and Elphaba Thropp (Alison Luff). As schoolmates, they initially share an "unadulterated loathing" for one another, but they overcome their differences to form the friendship of a lifetime. It's got everything, from talented stars to enthralling subplots, whirling costumes to dazzling lighting. It's absolutely captivating, and (aside from a few minor slip-ups) it was perfectly executed.

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"Wicked": The absolutely true diary of an Elphaba standby (the worst job on Broadway)

Hey all, welcome to my blog, where I talk about all things Wicked. Well, it's been a loooooong tour, and I still haven't gone onstage once.

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THEATER REVIEW | "How to be a Korean Woman," at the Guthrie Theater, is a humorous and heartfelt take on adoption and identity

Sun Mee Chomet. Photo by Aaron Fenster, courtesy Guthrie Theater.

Strive for one as we may, there’s really never a finish line in sight when it comes to the search for one’s true self. The same existential questions keep nagging at us for the entire short time we’re here, each adding layer upon layer of doubt that make it hard for any of us to know our innermost core. Who am I? What’s my purpose? Who would I be if things were just a little bit different?

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MUSIC REVIEW | Iron & Wine fall into a routine at First Avenue

“It’s New Year’s Eve/…Back home the hammer always has to fall/cross is barely hanging on the wall/some day I know you’ll never leave me/but we’re far from the hard light tonight.”

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With Eddie Griffin, Diana Ross, and Mary Mary, August was a sterling month for black entertainment on Hennepin Avenue

August was a pretty good month for black entertainment in downtown Minneapolis—and not even February. You had hot national acts Mary Mary, Diana Ross, and Eddie Griffin, all of it hosted by Hennepin Theatre Trust.

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"Four Humors' Lolita" at the Minnesota Fringe Festival: Kubrick gets his comeuppance

Four Humors’ Lolita does one of the most difficult, most important things a theatrical production can do: it says something interesting about the way we tell stories, especially stories about pain and abuse. It also manages to be riotously entertaining.

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Transatlantic Love Affair's "These Old Shoes" at the Minnesota Fringe Festival: Still worth the hype

You could be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the biography of These Old Shoes director Diogo Lopes, who declares himself “interested in finding a pure theatrical language through the discovery and implementation of the Clown state, where playfulness is paramount.” However, Transatlantic Love Affair—the company Lopes founded with his wife Isabel Nelson—demonstrates just how sublime the Clown state can be.

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Heidi Arneson's bloody brilliant "Bloodymerryjammyparty" is a Minnesota Fringe Festival must-see

Bloodymerryjammyparty is probably the only 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival show that blurbs me on its postcard (“top 10 plays of the year”), so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this abbreviated adaptation of Heidi Arneson’s 2011 musical about a tweenage sleepover. Seeing this show again, though, reminded me just how really great it is. Do not miss this opportunity to see one of the most compelling pieces of theater I’ve seen in recent years.

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"Stubble" at the Minnesota Fringe Festival: Freaking awesome

In the audience for the August 3 performance of Stubble, I ran into Minnesota Fringe Festival director Robin Gillette. “What should I expect from this show?” I asked Robin.

“I think it’s going to be a spectacle,” replied Robin. “In a good way.”

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