THEATER | A night of “Symbolism and Decadence” at the Colonial Warehouse Building

I had the opportunity on Sunday to see the last night of MPLS Autotelic: An Evening of Symbolism and Decadence, which was co-produced by Mixed Precipitation and Nightpath Theatre Company, and I was so happy I did. The luxurious evening highlighted the beauty of the Colonial Warehouse Building and featured some wonderfully over-the-top performances featuring Twin Cities theatre makers and performance artists. Before I go on, I should mention that I was originally going to be part of the festival, so this is more an insider reflection than a review. This is the second year that curator Scotty Reynolds has organized an evening of performances in the Colonial Warehouse. Last year, he curated an event that featured works by and inspired by Harold Pinter (I was in one of the performances last year). Continue Reading

THEATER | “Rent” feels fresh and thrilling in homegrown production at The Lab Theater

The production of Rent currently playing at The Lab Theater is the kind of thing you don’t see very often: a homegrown, fully-staged, professional production of a Broadway musical. There’s a good reason you don’t see such productions very often, and it’s not an artistic reason—as this production makes clear, we have no shortage of dazzling local talent. The reason is economic: professional musicals are expensive, and without the tourist traffic of New York or the economies of scale enjoyed by touring productions, it’s hard not to lose your shirt. The ominous number of empty seats at Thursday night’s performance of Rent augur that locally-produced musicals may continue to be a rarity, so catch it while you can.I’d never seen any production of Rent prior to Thursday night—there hadn’t seemed to be much reason to. The last touring production that came to the Orpheum was greeted with a big shrug; even my mom called it “a period piece.” Continue Reading