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THEATER REVIEW | Minneapolis Musical Theatre's "Happy Days A New Musical": Old jokes with fresh energy

Photo credit Heidi Bohnenkamp.

A musical rendition of a 1970s TV-Show centered in the 1950s, Happy Days A New Musical, is like the Inception of theatrical venues. Built on nostalgia upon nostalgia, the show and all its adaptations are a baby-boomer version of The Brady Bunch, centered around a knock-off James Dean. Whereas Grease could be posed as a satire, Happy Days is only palatable when you try to take it as a serious tribute to the golden days of musicals.


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.


Fundraiser May 10 at Bedlam Lowertown: Minnesota musicians give voice to "MN girls Are Not for Sale" campaign

In 2003, the FBI identified Minneapolis as one of 13 cities with a large concentration of child prostitution enterprises. That is shocking to me as a Minnesotan. It is frightening to me as a mother of three girls. It begs the question - how can we change that?


Jourdan Myers: Sweetest torch singer at Bryant Lake Bowl

Photos by Ann Treacy

Jourdan Myers is the sweetest torch singer you’re ever going to hear.


MUSIC REVIEW | Joe Bonamassa energizes the Orpheum Theatre two nights

Photos by Patrick Dunn

Have you noticed lately that most mainstream music we’re being fed is severely guitar solo deficient? Music fans in Minneapolis had an exceptional opportunity to supplement their listening diet at the Orpheum Theatre April 24 with a heavy dose of Vitamin JB. Fortunately there is no limit to the amount of Joe Bonamassa guitar mastery one can consume, which is why I expect many of the same faces will be back to the Orpheum Theatre again Saturday night April 25 as demand warrented a second performance.


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.


The Beatles are back!

Four teenage boys of Oslo, Norway - Kim, Gunnar, Ola and Zeb – are friends “just like the Beatles.” It’s Beatlemania era – the four lads hear the Beatles and form a band.

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