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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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THEATER REVIEW | Mu Performing Arts' "Middle Brother" not lost in translation

(Photo © 2014 Michal Daniel) Brothers from two different countries Hyung (Sherwin Resurreccion) and Billy (Eric Sharp) meet for the first time in Mu Performing Arts' production of Middle Brother.

There’s a powerful and very funny play tucked inside of everything that’s going on in Mu Performing Arts’ world premiere production of Eric Sharp’s new play Middle Brother. Right now it feels like the only thing standing in the way of the play reaching its full potential is a fictional Korean royal family, but we’ll save talk of them for later.

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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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