THEATER REVIEW | "33 Variations" explores Ludwig van Beethoven at Park Square Theatre

Dr. Katherine Brandt (Karen Landry) tries to determine Beethoven (Edwin Strout)'s intentions despite the composer's notoriously bad handwriting. Photo courtesy of Park Square Theatre.

One of the most memorable moments in the film Amadeus depicts Antonio Salieri seeing a score of Mozart’s music for the first time. As his eye passes over the page, the music sounds in his head and Salieri describes each musical entrance and change in the composition’s texture with wondrous amazement. It is an experience, to the film’s viewer, of hearing something familiar again as if for the first time, so great is the difference when the details and elegance are made apparent. This is a scene that has made many lovers of classical music out of proud plebians, and one for which viewers of the stage play on which the movie was based wait in vain, as it was added especially for the film. Such a scene is found, however, in Moisés Kaufman’s play 33 Variations, now playing at Park Square Theatre.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Nice Work If You Can Get It" Ordway Center for the Performing Arts: Old dog, new tricks

Jimmy Winter (Alex Enterline) has lots of problems, and being loved by the female ensemble of Nice Work If You Can Get It is most of them. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

They say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but by golly the team behind Nice Work If You Can Get It has given it the old gangster try. This Gershwin jukebox musical passes the time pleasantly, forgoing musical innovations for tried and true melodies and a farce of a plot that steadily amps up the ridiculous complications.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Love over Gold, The Icicles, Erik Koskinen and the Real Phonic Radio Band at the Hill Library

Mayor Chris Coleman welcomed the crowd to Real Phonic Radio at the James J Hill Reference Library Thursday, October 16. And I have to say, our Mayor is a good sport, reading in the usual iireverant appraoch of regular spokesman, Thom MIddlebrook. He astutely observed that while we had enough entertainment for three shows in Minneapolis, it was all hitting one stage in St Paul—as it does every third Thursday.

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MUSIC REVIEW | The Glitch Mob crush it at Myth

Photos By: 
Emmerlee Sherman

When I arrived at Myth in Maplewood on October 16, I was completely worn out. I was dead tired from a long day, feeling the first symptoms of a cold coming on, and finding myself more or less in a state of mind that was probably completely the opposite of what I should have had heading into The Glitch Mob show. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, slightly grumpy, and more than a little ready to be annoyed.

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THEATER REVIEW | "The Marriage of Bette and Boo" a catch at Theatre in the Round

Photo credit Calabay Productions.

Christopher Durang is fast becoming one of my favorite living playwrights and the appeal of his morbid comedy is amply demonstrated by Theatre in the Round’s current production of Durang’s play The Marriage of Bette and Boo. Director Randy Reyes and a very effective ensemble tackle this complex comedy/tragedy emphasizing the family angst told through a lifetime of family gatherings. 

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MUSIC PHOTOS | The Gaslight Anthem at First Avenue

Photos by Alexa Jones

On Wednesday, October 15 The Gaslight Anthem played at First Avenue in Minneapolis.

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THEATER REVIEW | Mixed Blood Theatre's "Colossal": Football, dance and broken hearts

(Photo by Rich Ryan) Young Mike (Torsten Johnson) takes flight on the football field with a little help from his friends (Mathias Becker, Ryan Colbert, Ian Zahren, Casey Hoeksta) in Mixed Blood's production of Colossal.

Playwright Andrew Hinderaker’s mentor challenged him to write an unproducible play. So Hinderaker created a story that required a football team, a drum line, a modern dance company, and an actor in a wheelchair who is quadriplegic (21 performers in all). The play was structured to take place just like a football game—four quarters of 15 minutes each, plus a halftime show, and a pre-show warm-up. That play became Colossal, and instead of being unproducible, it’s getting a rolling world premiere at five different theaters across the United States as part of the National New Play Network. One those theaters is Minneapolis’ own Mixed BloodColossal lives up to its name and then some, in both physical size and emotional scope. It’s a powerful meditation on the seductive power of America’s most popular contact sport (some would argue its most popular form of entertainment, period).  It’s also a haunting rumination on the way young men punish their bodies for a shot at glory, and punish their hearts in the elusive pursuit of love—a love of people and a sport that may not love them back.

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THEATER REVIEW | Ten Thousand Things' "Romeo and Juliet": Streamlined, focused and powerful

(Photo by Peter Vitale) Anna Sundberg and Namir Smallwood as the title characters in Ten Thousand Things' production of Romeo and Juliet.

Right after A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet, if there’s a Shakespeare play I probably don’t need to see another production of, it’s Romeo and Juliet. So why go? Michelle Hensley’s Ten Thousand Things theater company is presenting Romeo and Juliet right now, under the direction of Peter Rothstein—that’s why you go. And the cast, oh the cast: David Darrow, Bob Davis, Kurt Kwan, Namir Smallwood, Dennis Spears, Anna Sundberg, Karen-Wiese Thompson, and Regina Marie Williams—that’s why you go. 

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PHOTOS | 2014 Zombie Pub Crawl

Photos by Emmerlee Sherman

On Saturday, October 11, the Zombie Pub Crawl took over downtown Minneapolis.

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