If you love local theater, consider the Theater All Year program offered by the Twin Cities Media Alliance, the Daily Planet's parent nonprofit. For only $99, you can buy six vouchers good for tickets to shows by dozens of top local theater companies.

(The Theater All Year program is run independently of the Daily Planet's editorial coverage, and participation in the program does not affect the likelihood or content of any Daily Planet previews or reviews.)

THEATER REVIEW | Minnesota Opera puts on Puccini with "La fanciulla del West"

(Photo by Michal Daniel) Sheriff Jack Rance (Greer Grimsley) calms himself before proposing to Minnie in La fanciulla del west.

The Twin Cities opera scene kicked into high gear on Saturday with Minnesota Opera’s annual gala and opening night of La fanciulla del west. The opera’s live performance at the Ordway was simulcast into neighboring Rice Park, courtesy of grants from the Knight Foundation and the St. Paul Cultural Star. The outdoor event drew an audience that began assembling more than two hours in advance and stuck out through a pre-show rainsquall.

MORE »

Red Hot Gold Rush and more at Minnesota Opera Gala

Minnesota Opera celebrated the start of its 2014-2015 season on Saturday with a gala dinner, a Puccini opera, and an elaborate post-performance afterparty. The Wild West setting of the opera was matched by the Red Hot Gold Rush theme of the afterparty, and patrons were treated to live music, dancing, and themed activities such as panning for gold.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | "Sexy Laundry" amuses, doesn't titillate at Park Square Theatre

Henry (John Middleton) and Alice (Charity Jones) try to rekindle their romance in Sexy Laundry.

Park Square Theatre’s new Andy Boss Thrust Stage is still under construction, but in the meantime the old stage is keeping warm with Sexy Laundry. The regional premiere of this work by Canadian playwright Michele Riml is an amusing and unexpectedly serious romp, if not quite as steamy as the title might imply.

MORE »

Wingert, Michaels sweep 2014 Ivey Awards at the State Theatre

The 2014 Ivey Awards ceremony at the State Theatre on September 22 honored three productions and fourteen individuals. Veteran actress Sally Wingert was recognized for notable performances in four separate productions, while Tyler Michaels’s own four appearances earned him the Emerging Artist Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Bonnie Morris and Michael Robins for their work at Illusion Theater.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | Workhaus Collective's "Lake Untersee" navigates glaciers, divorce, autism

Rocky (Michael Thurston) and an ill-dressed Phyllis (Jennifer Blagen) explore the Antarctic. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

One of the most transformative movements in 20th-century opera was verismo, which foregrounded realistic depictions of everyday life. This focus on realism, especially in examinations of contemporary lower-class life, opened the floodgates to a rich array of stories that simply had not been told or were previously being swept under the rug. Lake Untersee similarly pulls back a veil, revealing a story that delves into a condition still largely absent from the theatrical limelight.

MORE »

Wendy Wasserstein's great play: Leigh Silverman on directing The Heidi Chronicles at the Guthrie

(Photo: Courtesy of Guthrie Theater) Leigh Silverman: Wendy is one of our major American playwrights, and her Jewishness was a big part of who she was.

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein was the theatrical voice for a slice of women from the Baby Boom generation. In her most popular play, The Heidi Chronicles, the eponymous protagonist, Heidi Holland, moves around in time: from a high school dance in 1965; through feminist consciousness-raising, in the 1970s; and coming to terms with her life and career choices, in 1989.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | "Test Pilot" at The O'Shaughnessy: The untold story of the Wright brothers' sister

Soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw as Katharine Wright in Test PilotPhoto by Jack Dant.

St. Catherine University launched its 2014-2015 Women of Substance series on September 12 with Test Pilot, a striking new music and dance piece. The work, billed as a dance opera, delves into the early history of aviation from an unusual perspective: that of the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine. The explorations of flight, its mechanics, and the build-up to the final flight are engagingly rendered in vocal and instrumental music and in modern dance.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | "Hello, Dolly!" greets the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for the third time

(Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2014) A team of waiters welcomes matchmaker Dolly Levi (Michelle Barber) back to New York's most exclusive restaurant.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has been under new ownership for three and a half years, now, and the artistic team seems to have settled into a strong groove. Spring and summer see a contemporary work gracing the main stage, while autumn and winter see something out of the cabinet of classic repertoire. Hello, Dolly!, which opened on Saturday, September 12, is one of the latter blasts from the past. This is a show with bright fall colors and flavors that are predominately light, refreshing, and a little sweet; it’s more apfelwein than heavy beer and bratwurst – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

MORE »

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.

MORE »

THEATER REVIEW | Fortune's Fool Theatre's "In the White Room" and "A Slight Ache": Short and strange (in a good way)

(Photo by HM Photography LLC) The ensemble of Fortune's Fool Theatre's double bill of A Slight Ache and In The White Room - Ariel Leaf, Michael Ooms, John Leaf and Lacey Zeiler.

This will be a rare spoiler-free review because I honestly have no idea what happened in this play and couldn’t explain it simply even if I did. And that’s as it should be. Because it’s Harold Pinter. He loves being obtuse and screwing with your head. He can pack more dread and unsettling questions into a short play than almost any writer I know. It’s why actors and directors can’t get enough of the man’s plays. You can interpret and re-interpret and re-re-interpret the work almost any way you like and almost never be wrong, because the specifics refuse to be pinned down.

MORE »
Syndicate content