The Reagan Years Heads Back to the Big, Bad '80s

Categories: Theater

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Image courtesy Workhaus Collective
Young and in Charge: The cast of The Reagan Years.
Dominic Orlando knows the '80s like the back of his hand.

The prolific playwright lived in New York City at the time. Growing up in an Italian-American family in NYC with older brothers, he also learned a lot about family dynamics.

See also:
Workhaus's "Lake Untersee" Makes Little of its Ideas

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Surrealist Leonora Carrington Inspires Shadow Puppet Opera

Categories: Art, Theater
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This weekend at Bedlam Lowertown, visual artist Erik Ruin and the band Spires That in the Sunset Rise will debut Down Below, or Womb of the Worlds: A Shadow Puppet Opera, a collaborative work that takes inspiration from surrealist artist/writer Leonora Carrington. With shadow puppets, projections of Ruin's drawings, live music, and narration, the piece takes on a dreamlike quality similar to Carrington's artwork, creating a feast of images and sound.


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Yellow Tree Tackles Next to Normal

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Michal Daniel
Jessica Lind Peterson
Yellow Tree Theatre's latest production, Next to Normal, is the biggest, most ambitious piece they've produced during their seven seasons. The award-winning musical is so big, in fact, that they had to cut a hole in the back of the stage to have a place for the band.

Yellow Tree tapped Ben McGovern to direct the play. "We're really drawn to directors with a unique vision," says theater co-founder Jessica Lind Peterson, who also plays the show's main character, Diana.

See also
Yellow Tree Prepares for Frights of
The Woman in Black

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Mad Munchkin Productions Presents Puppetry Shorts for "Out of the Blue"

Categories: Theater
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Mad Munchkin Productions is doing something different for its latest work. Rather than putting on a full-length show, the company will present a series of puppetry shorts, all tied to the theme of "out of the blue." Though they have done sketch comedy shorts in the past, this endeavor is completely new for the company.


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Park Square Theater Offers a Gripping Tale of Dementia with The Other Place

Categories: Theater

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Petronella J. Ytsma
Juliana Smithton's life is unraveling. Her husband has filed for divorce. She hasn't seen her daughter in years after the youngster left home with Juliana's lab assistant. And she thinks she has brain cancer.

It's all a lie.

As Sharr White's dark and hypnotic play unfolds in a gripping production at Park Square Theatre, we learn that nearly everything in Juliana's life isn't as it appears. Dementia has scrambled her memories and perceptions.


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Red Eye Gives Menace a Pleasing Face in will you still love me, tomorrow

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Matt Benyo
Keven McLaughlin as M.
The latest Red Eye production, will you still love me, tomorrow, is not your everyday walk in the theatrical park. The play focuses not just on crime and murder, but what these acts to do the community as a whole.

The piece uses Fritz Lang's silent classic M as a foundation, but spins the story and experience out in unexpected ways. There is music, shadow puppets, and a frightening real-life radio call at the end. All of this works together to explore how we react to violence.

See also:
will you still love me, tomorrow Offers Fear and Loathing at Red Eye


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And the World Goes 'Round: Put It Back in the Trunk

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Michal Daniel
You wouldn't think putting together a revue of Kander and Ebb songs would be all that hard. Select some classic songs. Find a few obscurities in the trunk. Hire a few singers. You'd be set.

You'd also be wrong, if the Jungle's And the World Goes 'Round is any indication.

See also:
John Command in Charge Again for Jungle's
Kander and Ebb Revue


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Mary Poppins Makes the Most with Less

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp
Anne Michels and Mark King.
It's no wonder Victorian London was covered with a thick layer of sooty fog, considering all the chimney sweeps ever did was tap dance the days away with a couple of lonely children and a haughty nanny.

At least, that's the impression you get by watching Mary Poppins at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre during its standout, second-act production number, "Step in Time."

See also:
Actors Ready to Fly in Chanhassen's
Mary Poppins

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Mr. Burns, a post-electric play Offers a Very Simpsons Apocalypse at the Guthrie

Categories: Theater

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Kevin Berne
During intermission at the Guthrie Theater Saturday night, some people talked excitedly about the Simpsons-obsessed, post-apocalyptic world in Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. Others couldn't stand it. "I want to slit my wrists now," said one.

I loved it. And I loved that viewers were so divided about it — and so passionate with their opinions. Too often, Twin Cities theater is a passive experience. Here is something that will shake an audience out of complacency. The clever script is loaded with enough pop-culture references to make Seth MacFarlane dizzy, but also has enough tough and even frightening moments to truly sell a terribly changed world.

See also:

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


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will you still love me, tomorrow Offers Fear and Loathing at Red Eye

Categories: Theater

WillYouStillLoveMe.jpg
Photo by Matt Benyo
Keven McLaughlin as M.
German director Fritz Lang has inspired generations of filmmakers and storytellers. Even Lemmy from Motorhead penned "Metropolis" after seeing Lang's landmark silent science-fiction film.

Steve Busa and Red Eye have used another one of Lang's works, M, for the company's latest creator-devised work, will you still love me, tomorrow.

See also:
The Secret Lives of Coats Offers Charming Absurdities at Red Eye

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