ComedySportz Twin Cities ready to celebrate 25 years

Categories: Theater

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Image courtesy ComedySportz Twin Cities
For two and a half decades, improv battles have raged on at ComedySportz Twin Cities, with teams of performers entertaining numerous audiences throughout the years.

In September, the Uptown institution celebrates 25 years with a month of events.


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Off-Leash Area launches their annual neighborhood garage tour

Categories: Theater
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Off-Leash Area brings their popular neighborhood garage tour back for their fifth season this weekend. The show, Stripe & Spot (Learn to) Get Along, will travel to various suburbs and towns before returning to Minneapolis. The tour is aimed at bringing theater to communities that don't necessarily have a lot of art experiences available. 


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Jungle revisits The Mystery of Irma Vep

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Michal Daniel
Bradley Greenwald.
Charles Ludlum's The Mystery of Irma Vep is many things. One thing it is not: easy.

The Jungle Theater revisits the play starting this week. Joel Sass directed the first production in 2010, and this marks his third time in the chair of the play, which tells a fast-paced adventure with only two actors.

See also:
"The Heiress" examines love and loss


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Pleasure Rebel aims to subvert at Bryant-Lake Bowl

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Moheb Soliman
 
Pleasure Rebel, a subversive performance series at Bryant-Lake Bowl, is expanding in scope by bringing in an out-of-town artist. Qilo Matzen, a Bay Area dancer and improviser, will be joining two up-and-coming local artists, Moheb Soliman and Pramila Vasudevan, for what promises to be an intriguing evening of new work.


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Old Log opens 75th season with new look and doo-wop musical

Categories: Theater

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Photos courtesy Old Log Theatre
The cast of Life Could be a Dream.
Greg and Marissa Frankenfield know mistakes were made during the first year they owned the venerable Old Log Theater, but they're confident the second season will continue to smooth the transition.

"We have an understanding of what is important to our audience and the folks who eat here," Frankenfield says.

See also:
Old Log shows teething pains at opening of
Cowgirls

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August Strindberg's old-school selfies at the American Swedish Institute

Categories: Art, Theater
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Strindberg and Harriet Bosse, sort of. 
You may think of the selfie as a relatively new invention to arise in the age of Facebook and Instagram, but it turns out the practice has been going on for quite some time, way before cell phones. In "The Image of Strindberg" at the American Swedish Institute, 32 framed photographs and modern prints of the playwright are on display. The exhibit, produced by Fotografiska, the Swedish Museum of Photography, gives a fascinating look at the infamous megalomaniac and his fixation with himself and his own image.
 
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The Book of Mormon returns, as fun and offensive as ever

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Joan Marcus
Denèe Benton and Cody Jamison Strand.
As I was killing time at home Thursday night before heading to the Orpheum for The Book of Mormon, I saw that New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley had posted a re-review of the longstanding hit Broadway musical.

In a nutshell: He still loved it. And after Thursday night, I can say that I still love it as well.

See also:
"The Book of Mormon": Having fun and offending all


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Food, merriment, punk rock in the cards with King Arthur

Categories: Theater
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Photo by Ty Sassaman
Grant Schumann as Oswald, Peter Middlecamp as Sir Gawain, Cassie McNally as Clovis in King Arthur.
The latest picnic operetta created by Mixed Precipitation goes places the company hasn't gone before. The operatic music, created by composer Henry Purcell, is sung in English. And the other songs? They're drawn from the songbooks of the likes of Strummer, Jones, Rotten, and Stooge. 

Honestly, what other group would, or could, open a summertime picnic show with a raging version of the Stooges' "Seek and Destroy?"

See also:
Picnic Operetta: "It gives people an abundance of warm summer fuzzies"


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The Big Lowdown returns with big theatrical games

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Ed Huyck
Don't believe the stories, this giant puppet dog is as friendly as they come.
I didn't know I would be revisiting my childhood Saturday evening when I headed for Lowertown and the second Big Lowdown event.

Yet there I was, almost four decades since my last round, leading a game of Red Light/Green Light, while a cadre of my fellow travelers tried to tag me it.

See also:
The Big Lowdown hits Lowertown this weekend

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The Big Lowdown hits Lowertown this weekend

Categories: Theater
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Photo by Farrington Starnes
The gang at Bedlam Theatre is taking over Lowertown this weekend for The Big Lowdown: Lowertown Playground, an evening of games and performances presented in collaboration with Placebase Productions. Audiences will wander to different spots around the neighborhood where they'll participate in an interactive experience of theater and play, learning about the history of the area as a bonus.

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