Fruit Fly: The Musical Offers an Often Funny, Often Real Gay-Straight Alliance

Categories: LGBTQ, Theater

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Lauren B. Photography
Max and Sheena have been best friends forever. The only thing that keeps them from being a full-time couple is that Max is gay. No matter. They share their evenings drinking boxed wine, watching racy films, and enjoying Stephen Sondheim albums.

When love enters the fray, their relationship heads toward the rapids. Can Max and Sheena find happiness if Sheena is spending more time with another man?

See also:
Fruit Fly Ready for Its Full-Length Spotlight

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Jungle Theater Names Sarah Rasmussen Artistic Director

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Image courtesy of Jungle Theater
This summer, founder Bain Boehlke will be leaving the Jungle Theater after 24 years with the organization. This afternoon, it was announced that Sarah Rasmussen will be filling his shoes starting in July.

See also:

Bain Boehlke to retire from the Jungle in 2015


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Mr. Burns, a post-electric play Brings a Twisted Simpsons to Stage

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Kevin Berne
The company brings new life to an old Simpsons story.
You don't have to be a Simpsons expert to fully appreciate Anne Washburn's new play, but it certainly won't hurt.

Washburn used the classic episode "Cape Feare" as inspiration for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. In it, she posits a future where the episode has become a major cultural touchstone for those living after the apocalypse.

See also:
The Nature Crown Offers a Forest of Whimsy, Humor, and Heart


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If You Don't Weaken Has Trouble Finding Line Between Comedy and Drama

Categories: Theater

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Image courtesy Freshwater Theatre
Charles Numrich and Rebecca Gebhart.
Jenna Zark's latest play suffers from a kind of identity crisis. It's never sure if it wants to be an off-kilter comedy or a tense drama. There are moments in both halves that work, but the show as a whole suffers from an identity crisis.

At its heart, If You Don't Weaken is about grief and recovery. Amy has not just lost her beloved grandfather, but her way. She is in her late 20s, and unsure where life is taking her. She hones in on her Jewish heritage, and decides to say the Kaddish, a traditional mourning prayer, for Sidney.

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Freshwater Theatre Explores Memory in Two Shows Opening This Weekend


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The Debutante's Ball Offers Mix of Filipino, Minnesota Culture

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Scott Pakudaitis
The young actors in The Debutante's Ball
While not perfect, Eric "Pogi" Sumangil's The Debutante's Ball offers many delights, giving us an engaging group of young characters as they walk the line between American and Filipino cultures.

The play centers on the titular ball, which has been a longstanding tradition in the Twin Cities Filipino community. The three young women all have their reasons for participating, as do the three young men who will be their escorts.

See also:
God Girl Explores Ugly Side of Seminary Life


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Freshwater Theatre Explores Memory in Two Shows Opening This Weekend

Categories: Theater
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Freshwater Theatre Company continues its season-long investigation into memory with two shows opening this weekend. Running in repertory, Jenna Zark's If You Don't Weaken follows a woman seeking to mourn her grandfather, and Recollection Collection is a series of short plays. Both look at how memory affects our lives.

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The Nature Crown Offers a Forest of Whimsy, Humor and Heart at the Guthrie

Categories: Theater

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Bill Cameron
For Theatre Forever founder and director Jon Ferguson, The Nature Crown is an intensely personal piece about summers spent in the north of England and the youthful adventures of his grandfather. For the rest of us, the new show is a whimsical and often touching ride into the real and imaginary worlds of our own lives.

The play is British to its tea-drinking core, but it connects with emotions that most people feel: that they've lost a connection to the person they were as a child and to the place where they grew up.


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Fruit Fly Ready for Its Full-Length Spotlight

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Lauren B. Photography
Max Wojtanowicz and Sheena Janson
When it debuted at the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival, Fruit Fly: The Musical found an instant audience for its tale of two best friends -- one a gay man, the other a straight woman -- and how their relationship changes over time. That the two creators used their own real-life relationship helped to build that connection.

After going through several workshop versions, Fruit Fly is back at the Illusion Theater starting this weekend. Creators Max Wojtanowicz and Sheena Janson return, as do songwriter Michael Gruber and director Nikki Swoboda. We caught up with Wojtanowicz for a quick email chat.

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Revised
Fruit Fly Ready for Fresh Ink

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Jon Ferguson Digs into His England for The Nature Crown

Categories: Theater

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Photo courtesy of Jon Ferguson
Jon Ferguson was inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, George Winchester McKenzie (right), for Theatre Forever's latest work, The Nature Crown.
While he was born in Great Britain, Jon Ferguson moved to Florida at an early age. His homeland became an idyllic place he visited each summer.

"I have this memory of glorious summers in England in the countryside, of going out in the woods and being transformed. There was a lot of tea and a lot of English quirkiness to it," Ferguson says.

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The Brutes: War Is... You Know

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Boeing Boeing: Air Travel Isn't Like This Anymore

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Thomas Sandelands
Zach Curtis and Stacia Rice
There's nothing like a well-oiled machine, as Torch Theater's Boeing Boeing proves.

Marc Camoletti's 1960s-era farce would seem to be a relic of a long-ago, pre-cell-phone world, but this tale of a man trying to juggle three air-hostess fiancees over one long night at his swank Paris apartment remains fresh due to the amazing hard work put in by everyone involved.

See also:
Death and the Maiden Offers Absorbing Look at Torture, Revenge, and Justice


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