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PREVIEW | Opera’s most famous femme fatale is back in Minnesota Opera’s "Carmen"

Carmen (French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Nora Sourouzian) catches the men’s eyes with a little table dancing. Photo by Michal Daniel.

April 25 was opening night for Carmen at Minnesota Opera. This classic drama about a Spanish femme fatale has been an audience favorite for most of a century and a half, a staple of stages around the world. There are many hit operas, but this is one that audiences tend to come back to again and again, thanks to its thrilling music, magnetic and seductive leading leady, and realistic characters whose actions and emotions wreak havoc and wreck lives onstage.


Getting ready for Showtime — MayDay, May 3, 2015

All life is twined together. A Tree of Life.

The celebrants of the MayDay Parade and Ceremony are fixing their ideas and concepts with tape, paper, and paste.


THEATER REVIEW | "Detroit ’67" at Penumbra Theatre: A look back at the future with a great soundtrack

Photo credit Allen Weeks

The Penumbra Theater brings to life segments of history that many of us didn’t read in our textbooks. Detroit ’67 is an inside look at the race riots from the view of a basement in Detroit near the epicenter of the riots. Main characters Chelle and Lank have inherited the house from their parents. They host house parties in the basement to make money; the work is more regular and profitable than factory jobs.


THEATER REVIEW | "Fruit Fly The Musical": Fringe show buzzes back at Illusion Theater

Sheena Janson (left) and Max Wojtanowicz (right) in Fruit Fly: The Musical.

This is the season of Minnesota Fringe Festival show planning. Lottery numbers were drawn in late February, venue assignments and showtimes went out to producers last week, and Minnesota Playlist is sprouting Fringe-related casting notices and other classifieds. For some teams, now is the time when the writers first begin to frantically craft material; for others, the scripts and scores were set in stone well before their applications went in. The clock is ticking: in less than four months’ time, the country’s largest unjuried theatre festival will have come and gone, bringing about 50,000 attendees – 10,000 more than Target Field’s maximum, and about 91% of the capacity of the old Metrodome – to Minneapolis stages.


Making MayDay Parade, Ceremony, Festival happen – get involved

After two community meetings, and many gatherings, discussions, and meetings with the artists on the 2015 MayDay roster, the theme for 2015 settled on i


THEATER REVIEW | The Chameleon Theatre Circle's "Jesus Christ Superstar" powerful, frightening

Passion Sunday has come and gone, but the passion and drama live on in Burnsville in The Chameleon Theatre Circle’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar. This staging of the classic musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is recast by co-directors Jim Vogel and Bradley Donaldson as a pot of mob violence on the verge of boiling over. The result is striking, arresting, and often frightening in its power.


"Down Below or The Womb of the World: A Shadow Opera" on the life of Leonora Carrington

Leonora Carrington was an artist and writer. Her art is like a mashup of Beatrice Potter and Hieronymus Bosch, intricate and complicated with the nursery rhyme sweetness of Potter and dark edge of Bosch. There’s something compelling that makes you look closer. Her life reads the same way.


THEATER REVIEW | "The Other Place" transcends subject matter at Park Square Theatre

Photo courtesy Park Square Theatre

The Other Place, one of the most powerful plays I have seen in the last year, opened at Park Square Theatre on April 3. Shari White’s play concerns a medical researcher working on a drug to combat dementia who, herself, is suffering from early on-set Alzheimer’s. Aditi Kapil masterfully directs this intense show which highlights how fragile the mind can be.


THEATER REVIEW | "And the World Goes ‘Round" showcases John Kander and Fred Ebb's hits (and nonhits) at Jungle Theater

Photo credit Michal Daniel

And the World Goes ‘Round  at the Jungle Theater is a musical revue of songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the team that gave us the great musicals of Cabaret and Chicago. The production was “conceived by” Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson. Although the songs from these two musicals are featured, so are the songs from lesser known musicals by the pair including The Happy Time, The Rink, The Act, Woman of the Year, and Flora, The Red Menace. Unfortunately, for the most part the songs in these lesser known musicals only serve to demonstrate why they are lesser known musicals.


Rain Taxi Presents: A Literary Tribute to Grant Hart and Husker Du

A dozen Husker Du and Grant Hart inspired poets and writers came together Friday night sharing their literary homage to Husker Du and Grant Hart, presented by Minneapolis-based literary organizatio

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