City Pages live tweets the Fringe

Categories: Theater

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For theater critics around town, the Fringe Festival is a little like college finals: lots of studying, planning, writing, and late nights ending in exhaustion. While City Pages ran its festival preview in this week's issue, the paper writing and exams have only just begun.


Starting tonight our theater critic, Ed Huyck, is set to take in a butt-numbing (but hopefully exciting!) number of shows. He'll be sharing his experiences, tips, gossip, buzz, and moment-to-moment thoughts during his epic journey through the best, worst, and most bizarre plays in the Fringe.


Sound like fun? You can follow us at cpdressingroom. Or click here:



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Tech crews keep Fringe running behind the scenes

Categories: Theater

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Image courtesy Comedy Suitcase
Kafka Nuts is one of 169 shows in the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival
Making order out of the potential chaos -- and loss of blood -- are the hard working technical and house staff at each of the Minnesota Fringe Festival venues. They are in charge of keeping the clock running from show to show. Ten minutes to load in. Sixty minutes on stage. Ten minutes to load out. Boom! Next.

That's the only way to keep the Fringe running smoothly. Between tomorrow and August 10, 169 different shows will be presented at 15 locations around the Twin Cities. Each production will be presented at least five times. Everyday, each theater (apart from four site-specific pieces) will play host to four to seven different productions.

See also:

There will be blood and chaos behind the stage at this year's Fringe

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There will be blood and chaos behind the stage at this year's Fringe

Categories: Theater
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Katie Vannelli
There is a sense of danger at Fringe. Some of that is unintentional. Comedy Suitcase, the brainchild of Levi Weinhagen and Joshua English Scrimshaw, specializes in madcap, physical adventures. At times it can go very, very wrong.

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Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike presents a Chekhovian world

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Joan Marcus
Suzanne Warmanen (Sonia), Candy Buckley (Masha), Joshua James Campbell (Spike), and Charles Janasz (Vanya).
There's a high probability that your enjoyment of the Guthrie's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will be directly related to how familiar you are with the works of Anton Chekhov.

The great Russian playwright's stamp is all over Christopher Durang's modern comedy of manners. Three of the main characters have names pulled right out of Chekhov's work, and one is even referred to as "Uncle Vanya." Those characters spend plenty of time gazing into space and wondering what they've done with their lives.

See also:
Guthrie presents modern take on Chekhov

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Sex and sexuality explored in AKA: Fathers/Sons

Categories: Theater

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Photo courtesy Bedlam Theatre
Kevin "Kaos" Moore, Jordon Waters, and Harry Waters Jr.
Talking about sex and sexuality isn't easy for fathers and sons. And it's not just about the discomfort that comes from talking about the personal, but the way men are taught to hide their emotions deep inside.

Harry Waters Jr., his son Jordon, and local hip-hop artist Kevin "Kaoz" Moore bring that conversation to the fore in their new performance piece, AKA: Fathers/Sons. The constantly in-development work runs at the Bedlam Theatre in Lowertown this weekend.

See also:
"The Beast": Blood on the Tracks


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Guthrie presents modern take on Chekhov in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Joan Marcus,
Suzanne Warmanen (Sonia), Isabell Monk O'Connor (Cassandra), and Charles Janasz (Vanya).
Director Joel Sass gets a chance to helm a work by one of his favorite playwrights with the Guthrie Theater's production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Christopher Durang earned the 2013 Tony Award for best play with this Chekhovian remix, where elements of the great Russian playwright get a modern twist.

The company includes Candy Buckley, Joshua James Campbell, Ali Rose Dachis, Charles Janasz, Isabell Monk O'Connor, and Suzanne Warmanen. We asked Sass a few
questions via email about working on a Durang script and the particular challenges of this material.

See also:
Jungle visits
Detroit state of mind


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Southern Theater launches ArtShare, a new model for artists and audiences

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Photo by Bill Cameron
Black Label Movement 
The Southern Theater rolled out its new ArtShare program yesterday, offering a Netflix-like experience for audience members that will feature a lineup of local dance and theater companies. While single tickets for shows will continue to be available, the Southern is hoping to bring its patrons along on a more cooperative model, where a monthly membership affords them the opportunity to choose from a variety of rotating performances at a discounted rate. 


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Bain Boehlke to retire from the Jungle in 2015

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Photo by Michal Daniel
Bain Boehlke in A Life in the Theater.
Jungle Theater founder and guiding spirit Bain Boehlke will step aside after more than two decades in charge in June 2015. Boehlke, the company's artistic director, made the announcement Monday evening to the Jungle Board.

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After the flood, Showboat rolls on

Categories: Theater

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A flooded parking lot couldn't stop the Centennial Showboat Players, who have finally been able to get a steady run of this year's melodrama, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (With Musical Olios), up and running. So, several weeks after my original date with the show, I was able to take it in Wednesday evening. Was it worth the wait?

For the most part, yes. As always, these fresh-faced University of Minnesota students put on a fast-paced adventure interspersed with comic musical olios.

See also:
U of M's Centennial Showboat postpones Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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June looks at curious housewives before Stonewall

Categories: LGBTQ, Theater
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Rehearsal photo of June
June, a new play by Hannah Holman, gets a workshop performance this weekend by Savage Umbrella. The piece started with an image Holman had of June Cleaver in handcuffs at an interrogation table. While the script doesn't include the actual June Cleaver, there is a character named June, and she bears resemblance to the 1950s icon. The play that takes place mid-century in the underground lesbian bar scene.

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