In the Age of Paint and Bone Looks at the Mystery of Ancient Art

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Mathieu Lindquist
This may seem like I'm damning the latest Nimbus Theater show with faint praise, but the set is most definitely the most impressive thing about In the Age of Paint and Bone.

It's not that the show itself slouches along. The hour-long exploration of the ancient cave paintings that offer a link to our long-ago (as much as 40,000 years) ancestors has its moments, but the set itself is the star.

See also:
Ghost Sonata Goes All-In with Surreal Horrors

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Jekyll & Hyde: Blue Water Theatre Comes Alive Downtown

Categories: Theater
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Martin Gardner
C. Luke Soucy as Hyde
When Devon McNamara and Sarah Taft share the stage, both commanding attention in their own spotlights and relying on their voices alone, that's when Blue Water Theatre Company's Jekyll & Hyde wows.

Their duet "In His Eyes" is a surprising love song for two reasons. First, Blue Water consists of middle and high school actors, yet McNamara and Taft each possess vocal richness foreign to most secondary school theaters. Second, it's a simple moment in an otherwise dark musical full of extensively choreographed murder, promiscuity, and moral quandaries.

Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novella, Jekyll & Hyde adds a love triangle, more killing, and singing to the story of a doctor who splits his personality between good (Henry Jekyll) and evil (Edward Hyde).

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The Unsinkable Molly Brown Is Still a Thriller for Ten Thousand Things

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Paula Keller
Tyson Forbes and Maggie Chestovich
The combination of musicals and Ten Thousand Things Theatre -- the innovative company that performs in front of audiences at prisons, homeless shelters, and other nontraditional audiences -- would seem to be a hard sell.

Yet the company has made it work over the past 15 years, and is now returning to where it started with a raucous version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

See also:
Romeo and Juliet: Passion and Pain

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Skin Deep Sea Is a Rollicking Steampunk Adventure from Workhaus Collective

Categories: Theater

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Workhaus Collective
The mermaid Sorrow (Chloe Armao) enters Captain Wilson's dream
There's more to steampunk than brass fittings, aviator goggles, and airships. It's science fiction that looks to the past to speak of the present — and look cool while doing it. Stanton Wood knows this in his bones.

His latest play, Skin Deep Sea, makes for a wild romp from the Workhaus Collective through a fantastical 19th century that's probably closer to our own world than we'd like to admit.


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Guthrie Theater Announces Joseph Haj as Artistic Director

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Exterior shot by Sally Wagner. Images courtesy of the Guthrie Theater.
Joseph Haj is coming to the Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater is entering a new era. After two decades as artist director, Joe Dowling is retiring. That leaves a spot to fill. The theater announced today that Joseph Haj will be taking over the position.

One of only a few Arab-American artistic directors in the U.S., Haj will be relocating this year from North Carolina to Minnesota. Haj is the eighth artistic director in the Guthrie's history.

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Guthrie's Midsummer Night's Dream Still Flies High

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Dan Norman
Ain't no party like a fairy party in the Guthrie's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Three hours is a long time to sit and watch anything, but the time mainly flies by in the Guthrie Theater's latest version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

This is a vast, three-ring circus of a show (even the seating has been altered to make a performance in the round), where fairies, lovestruck couples, and bumbling amateur actors all spend a wild night at the intersection of waking and sleeping.

See also:
Midsummer Night's Dream Opens at the Guthrie

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Theater Legend Don Stolz Passes Away

Categories: Theater

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Photo courtesy of Old Log Theater
A few years back, I was at the Old Log Theatre to attend a new show. As always, longtime owner Don Stolz was there, greeting the evening's patrons as they filed in. He chatted with me and my guest for a few moments, and then asked if we'd like a cup of coffee.

Sure, we said, thinking he'd get someone on the kitchen staff to bring them out.

See also:
Old Log Theatre to be Sold


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Midsummer Night's Dream Opens at the Guthrie

Categories: Theater

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Photo by Dan Norman
The Rude Mechanicals get ready for their play within the play in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
When theater making is a family affair, it can make for difficult schedules.

Couple Angie Timberman and Jay Albright have performed for decades around the Twin Cities, and are featured in the Guthrie's latest production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

See also:
A Christmas Carol: Still a Comfy Ride

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God Girl Explores Ugly Side of Seminary Life

Categories: Theater

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Photo courtesy of the History Theatre
Playwright Kristine Holmgren and actor Summer Hagen
When Kristine Holmgren began studying in a master of divinity program on the East Coast in 1975, she found a school woefully unprepared for the influx of women that arrived with her.

"It was an institution set up for men and a few women. There weren't even any bathrooms for us," Holmgren says.

See also:
The Working Boys Band: Dignity of Labor

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The Coward Is a Bloody Farce That's More Monty Python Than Sons of Anarchy

Categories: Theater

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Dan Norman
Lucidus Culling, the man at the center of Nick Jones's bloody comedy The Coward, may seem like a minor character from Twilight, but he has bigger problems than sparkly vampires. He's a young gentleman in 18th-century Britain, a place where aristocrats are expected to defend their honor by dueling.

Lucidus is more into cakes and butterflies. He has little interest in defending his honor, even when someone denounces his horse as fat. Dueling, after all, can be hazardous to one's health. That's how both of his brothers died — one over an argument about whether or not snails have ghosts.


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