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THEATER REVIEW | "The White Snake" captivates the Guthrie Theater

Photo credit Liz Lauren

The White Snake delivered just what you’d expect from a Tony Award winning director in Mary Zimmerman as her cast presented a heart-filled performance at the Guthrie Theater on September 13.

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White Snake at the Guthrie - A sociological review

This is a beautiful play which transports the audience to China by means of a rain of ribbons and clouds of cloth.

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Penumbra Theatre: Making an artistic statement with style

(Photo by Allen Weeks) Bianca Williams performs on stage at Penumbra Theatre as part of a three-year leadership development program that aims to teach teens how to translate their love for the arts into social justice and equity.

With the spotlight squarely on her, Bianca Williams strutted to the center of Penumbra Theatre’s stage last summer.

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THEATER REVIEW | Little Lifeboats' "Raise Your Voice (Suzanne Cross): That F***ing Harriet Tubman Play" blends comedy with discomfort

Victoria (Victoria Pyan) and Suzanne (Suzanne Cross) in Little Lifeboats' production of Raise Your Voice (Suzanne Cross): That F***ing Harriet Tubman Play - Photography by Stacey Kanarski

Recently I was out for a walk and saw one of those rental moving vans which had a marketing campaign with state-specific images of Americana plastered on the sides of their vehicles. This particular one caught my eye because it had a picture of Harriet Tubman leading the way along the Underground Railroad to help bring slaves to freedom. While I appreciated the nod to history, Harriet Tubman on the side of a U-Haul just seemed vaguely wrong to me, but in a way I couldn’t adequately articulate. Otherwise I probably would have found a way to make a joke about it. The fact that my internal sensor was fighting furiously to get me to keep my mouth shut was something I found instructive, but again not in a way I could put into words.

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Children’s Theatre Company's Curtain Call Ball: Tinkerbell meets Steampunk

Labor Day has come and gone, and the Children’s Theatre Company is buzzing with activity. Actors are rehearsing, dancers checking choreography, decorators prepping sets, and caterers waiting in the wings. “Caterers?” you might ask. “Did I read that right?” Yes, you did–because these are not preparations are not a traditional theatrical performance, but for the company’s annual Curtain Call Ball and Backstage Bash. This evening affair, taking place on Saturday, September 6, is a major fundraising event for CTC and informally kicks off the company’s new season. It is also one of the most anticipated social events in the Twin Cities arts scene.

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Swandive Theatre celebrates five years of community engagement

2014 marks the fifth year of Veggie Stock Theatre, a backyard play reading series, presented by Swandive Theatre. Veggie Stock Theatre, the brainchild of Swandive founders Meg DiSciorio and Damon Runnals, began in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood and moved with them to Corcoran when they bought their home in 2011. Each year during the last two Saturdays in August and the first two Saturdays in September their backyard is transformed into an impromptu performance space.

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THEATER REVIEW | "Evita The Musical" returns, this time to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

(Photo credit: Richard Termine) Juan Peron (Sean MacLaughlin) and Eva/Evita Peron (Caroline Bowman) in the Evita national tour.

Local theatregoers can be forgiven a sense of déja vu. Just six and a half months after the new Evita tour played at the Orpheum in Minneapolis, this same production has come to roost in St. Paul at the Ordway. Those who caught the first visit will find the Pig’s Eye stop cut from the same cloth, from the set and the cast to the giant heads of Eva and Juan Péron that greet the audience are the same. So what’s different?

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"What You Will" at the 2014 Fringe Festival

What You Will works if you are an aficionado of Shakespearian humor with a hint of raunchiness. If you do not like this sort of thing then you may have wanted to see one of the other 168 shows available at this year’s Fringe Festival. The plot was hard to follow and the acting was just a bit overdone. My largest dissatisfaction with the show was that there were quite a few characters who seemingly had superfluous roles. When you try compacting a Shakespearian inspired piece chocked full of modern innuendos with a wide-range of characters in less than an hour, the result often is a turgid mess that only a certain target audience will receive with enthusiasm.

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"Hi! Hello! Namaste?" at the 2014 Fringe Festival

Now I may not be a connoisseur of Bollywood dance styles, but I do know a good dance production when I see one. Hi! Hello! Namaste? is a truly unique experience at this year’s Fringe Festival. It offers an alternative to the festival’s slate which is comprised mainly of comedic productions. The show was full of amazing outfits and even better dancing. The very large cast worked well, offering a magnificent sight to the audience. While I’ll admit that the plot was a little vapid and cliché, this show is intended to highlight the unique style of dance that you can only find in this Bollywood inspired show.

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