CTC Gets to Work with Busytown

Categories: Theater
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Dan Norman
Dean Holt, Kasono Mwanza, Gerald Drake, Autumn Ness, Reed Sigmund, Meghan Kreidler
Richard Scarry's Busytown books have been popular with generations of kids. Count director Sean Graney among those folks.

"I loved the books growing up, so I'm excited to work on this," Graney says.

See also:
The Cat in the Hat returns to delight audiences


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Actor Kate Wetherhead Is Thrilled to be in Town for The Heidi Chronicles

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Joan Marcus
Stacia Rice (April), Ben Graney (Scoop Rosenbaum), Kate Wetherhead (Heidi Holland), and Zach Shaffer (Peter Patrone) in The Heidi Chronicles.
Kate Wetherhead couldn't be more thrilled to be acting in the Twin Cities this fall in the title role of The Heidi Chronicles at the Guthrie Theater, even if it is half a country away from her home base of New York City.

"I regard it as fairy-tale land. I didn't think I would ever get to work here. The fact that I am here working on this particular play with this group of people is an embarrassment of riches," Wetherhead says.

See also:
Mary Zimmerman Makes a Mark at the Guthrie with "The White Snake"

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The White Snake Showcases What Great Theater Can Do

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Liz Lauren
Amy Kim Waschke (White Snake) and Tanya Thai McBride (Green Snake) in The White Snake.
Innovative director Mary Zimmerman's career includes plenty of stops where old tales have been recast and staged in brilliant ways. Count Chinese legend The White Snake among those triumphs.

Loaded with color and energy and featuring a big, beating heart that can't be repressed, The White Snake showcases theater at its best.

See also:
Mary Zimmerman Makes Mark at Guthrie with "The White Snake"


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Memories Won't Fade in The New Electric Ballroom

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Tony Nelson
Melissa Hart, Patrick Bailey, Virginia Burke, and Katherine Ferrand.
Memory is a tricky thing. We spend our time replaying moments from the past. They can be embarrassing moments, times of great pleasure, or a second where life changed.

Irish playwright Enda Walsh looks at a single evening from decades before in The New Electric Ballroom, an absurd and heart-wrenching work that gets a typically tough and insightful production by Frank Theatre.

See also:
Frank returns to Enda Walsh's world in "The New Electric Ballroom"


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Marcus: Part Three of a Trilogy Goes Wandering Off in the Dark

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Michal Daniel
Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet stands on big shoulders. It's the third part of a trilogy examining black life in a small Louisiana town. When Pillsbury House Theatre and Mount Curve Company presented the first two parts in 2011 and 2012, they ended up on a number of best-of lists.

Part three falls short.

See also:
Nathan Barlow embraces the words for
Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet

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Twin Cities Horror Fest Grows in Its Third Year

Categories: Theater

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Horror sequels tend to be grander, stranger, and bloodier than the original. For the third Twin Cities Horror Festival, organizers are trying for one additional thing: better.

This year, nine groups will haunt the Southern Theater for two weeks of the macabre, the strange, and the downright frightening (and, it must be said, of the goofy and the humorous as well).

See also:
The Walker Art Center Celebrates 75 Years


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Workhaus's Lake Untersee Makes Little of its Ideas

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp
Michael Booth, Adelin Phelps, and Jennifer Blagen.
Producing brand-new work is a bracing and frightening proposition for a theater company. It can be the same for an audience, who walk into the truly unknown, wondering if what they are going to see will succeed or fail.

Workhaus Collective's Lake Untersee falls into the second camp. It's a disorganized mess of a piece, loaded with unlikeable characters, preposterous action, and a tone-deaf script.

See also:
The Hollow: Mess in the Bayou


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Hello, Dolly! Shows Its Age at Chanhassen

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp
Michelle Barber as Dolly, along with her waiter chums.
Half a century in, and Hello, Dolly! is showing its age.

It was an old-fashioned show when it premiered in the first half of the '60s, with a thin plot and even thinner characters. It found success on the back of a mostly memorable Jerry Herman score and the sheer force of will of Carol Channing.

See also:
Mother-daughter team top Chanhassen revival of "Hello, Dolly!"


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The Rainmaker Arrives at Yellow Tree Theatre

Categories: Theater

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Image courtesy Yellow Tree Theatre
Jason Peterson, Dawn Brode, and Peter Christian Hansen.
After hearing about it for some time, Craig Johnson took the plunge and took in a show at the Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo.

"I went to see Sylvia, and I thought it was great. I feel in love with the space. I love small theaters," Johnson says.

See also:
Yellow Tree Theatre closes season with "The 39 Steps"

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Global Taxi Driver Drives Into Intermedia Arts

Categories: Theater
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Photo courtesy Intermedia Arts
Ova Saopeng, Shyamala Moorty, Nicole M. Smith, and Kevin Kaoz Moore.
Tonight marks the opening of a new play, by Leilani Chan (Refugee Nation) and TeAda Ensemble, that takes a look at the stories of taxi drivers from all corners of the world. Developed with a diverse ensemble made up of Los Angeles and Twin Cities artists, Global Taxi Driver opens this evening at Intermedia Arts, following a reception for the exhibit "100 Stories/365 Days" in the galleries.

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