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Interview with Kevin Newbury of the Ordway's "The Manchurian Candidate": Paranoia, spying and politics

Leonardo Capalbo as Captain Ben Marco and Company in the Minnesota Opera production of The Manchurian Candidate, directed by Kevin Newbury. Photo by Michal Daniel.

The world premiere performance of the opera The Manchurian Candidate takes place this Saturday at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts’s Music Theater. This new opera by Mark Campbell and Kevin Puts was commissioned by Minnesota Opera as part of the company’s New Works Initiative, and adapts the bestselling 1959 thriller novel by Richard Condon. The Daily Planet sat down with The Manchurian Candidate’s stage director Kevin Newbury to discuss the opera.

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THEATER REVIEW | Mixed Blood Theatre's "Hir" an extremely queer play

Isaac (Dustin Bronson) finds his family - mother Paige (Sally Wingert), father Arnold (John Paul Gamoke), and brother Max (Jay Eisenberg) - very different than how left them when he went to war, in Mixed Blood Theater's production of Hir; photo by Rich Ryan

You should go see Mixed Blood’s current production of Taylor Mac’s comedy Hir, under the direction of Niegel Smith. It’s a chameleon of a play that can look different to everyone who watches it. Regardless of whether it ends up bewitching you or just weirding you out, it’s still a heck of a lot of fun to watch in action.

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Beautiful, aurally sumptuous Concert Hall opens at the Ordway

Patrons streaming into the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts' new Concert Hall space, pre-concert

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts formally inaugurated its new concert hall on Saturday with an elaborate gala celebration. The evening began with a cocktail hour and a formal dinner in the Music Theater, followed by a sumptuous concert in the new space and an afterparty that continued into the wee hours.

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Mobsters, pirates, plagues, and Mongol hordes in Ordway’s 2015-16 season

SEOP Dance Company, a South Korean ensemble playing at the Ordway on March 6, 2016.

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts announced its 2015-2016 season on Monday evening with a festive event at the Ordway’s Target Atrium. Highlights of the upcoming season include three self-produced musicals; dance performances such as Hip Hop Nutcracker, DanceBrazil, and Lulu Washington Dance Theatre; world music sensations Dengue Fever and Hanggai; and a return engagement by Pilobulus Dance Theatre.

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THEATER REVIEW | Open Window Theatre's "The Potting Shed" questions religion and faith

The troubled, extended Callifer family - Dr. Baston (Charles Numrich), Mary (Meri Golden), John (David Denninger), Sara (Sarah Preissner Stanbary), James (Jeremy Stanbary), and Anne (Ali Daniels) in Open Window Theatre's production of The Potting Shed; photography by Matt Berdahl

I’m starting to wonder if Open Window Theatre is critic-proof. Because it almost doesn’t matter what I say here. If you’re a fan of Open Window Theatre, then you’re already going and you’re not going to be dissuaded. Now in the middle of their fourth season, they’re expanding their space and operating on a budget of nearly $250,000. They’ve got a strong base of audience support. Nearly all their money comes from individuals rather than big corporations or foundations. Every show I’ve seen there, the audience has risen for a standing ovation at the end. Some of their shows have charmed me, some have baffled me, but their audience doesn’t care. There is a fan base for this theater that doesn’t feel served by other theaters in town. When Open Window puts up a production, this audience feels like they’re seeing their own story onstage in a way that they don’t get anywhere else. It’s theater with an overtly Christian religious bent to it. As someone who regularly pines for a more nuanced discussion on stage of religion and faith and their place in modern life, Open Window should be right up my alley. I really do appreciate what they’re trying to do here. I just wish the theater was better. Their current production of Graham Greene’s The Potting Shed is a great example of this conundrum.

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"Pippin" at the Orpheum Theatre: Let's Go to the Circus

I liked “Pippin”.  But I didn’t like Pippin.

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"Pippin" at the Orpheum Theatre: Spread a Little Pippin!

From February 17th to February 22nd, “Pippin” is being performed live at the&nb

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"Pippin" at the Orpheum Theatre

Pippin, frankly, leaves the audience stunned. In both good and bad ways.

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"Pippin" at the Orpheum Theatre: The Circus is in Town

Oh wait, it’s just the musical Pippin, at the Orpheum Theater. Pippin is a spectacle that can’t be missed.

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"Pippin" at the Orpheum Theatre: Time to Start Living

I had been looking forward to seeing “Pippin” ever since I first heard of it on the Tony Awards.

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