Kathryn O'Reilly, Anna Tierney, Victoria Gee, Tom Andrews, Jessica Tomchak, and Sam Graham in "Our Country's Good". Photo by Robert Workman.

Our Country’s Good

by SOPHIE KERMAN “Theatre,” says Governor Phillip early on in Our Country’s Good, “is an expression of civilization.” In Timberlake Wertenbaker‘s 1988 play, now on the Guthrie Theater‘s McGuire Proscenium Stage, certainly makes a case that theatre has the power to provide dignity and self-respect in the most abject places. Set in 1788 in New South Wales (now Australia), the play…

Maggie Chestovich, Ashley Rose Montondo and Georgia Cohen in "Crimes of the Heart". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Crimes of the Heart

by SOPHIE KERMAN There is a line between dark comedy and laughing at others’ misfortune, and the Guthrie‘s production of Crimes of the Heart has crossed it. This high-energy, highly theatrical interpretation of Beth Henley‘s 1978 Southern Gothic play gives the audience a healthy dose of belly laughs, and if that is what you want, then fine: but this…

Bring It On: The Musical. Photo by Clint Tuccio

Bring It On

By LIZ BYRON If you have ever thought to yourself, “Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if I could go see a musical about how tough it is to be a high school cheerleader?” you are in luck! Bring It On: The Musical is playing at the Ordway Theatre until May 18, and it is jam-packed with teenage angst, singing and…

Meredith Larson as Jussac. Promotional image by Dan Norman at ww.walkingshadowcompany.org

The Three Musketeers

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE How do you take Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale of The Three Musketeers, which is over 600 pages long, and condense it into fresh version for the stage? Director Amy Rummenie and playwright John Heimbuch of Walking Shadow Theatre Company began by reading the story aloud over the course of several months…

Mrs Charles, by Ruth Virkus

Mrs Charles

BY LIZ BYRON It is a frustrating thing when the first thing I have to say about a play has nothing to do with the script, the performance, or even the set. After seeing Mrs Charles, a world premiere production by Freshwater Theatre, the first thing that I blurted out to my partner as we exited…

Grant Fletcher Prewitt, Ian Gould, and Patrick Lane in The Acting Company/Guthrie Theater Production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Photo by Will Sanderson

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

By TAMAR NEUMANN: I always think that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a comedy. You’re probably thinking, “Well that’s because it is.” But, is it really a comedy? It certainly has comedic moments. In fact, it actually has one of my all-time favorite scenes—“The Question Game.” Those of you familiar with the play will know…

Hamlet

Hamlet

by SOPHIE KERMAN A lot of theater companies and filmmakers seem to think that in order to make Shakespeare comprehensible to modern audiences, they need to place his plays in a modern setting. But it turns out that – wait for it, this might come as a surprise – Shakespeare was actually a really great writer of the English…

Michael Milligan in "Mercy Killers". Photo by Michal Daniel.

Mercy Killers

by SOPHIE KERMAN Testimonial theatre, particularly when created for a political purpose, is fraught with danger. Actors run the ethical risks of co-opting someone else’s story, as well as the theatrical risks of not being able to do that story justice. And then there is the challenge of avoiding heavy-handedness when it comes to the play’s…

Layla Claire as Pamina and Andrew Wilkowske as Papageno. Photo by Michal Daniel.

The Magic Flute

by SOPHIE KERMAN You might think you know what opera looks like: big people in old-fashioned clothing repeating the same phrases over and over. Right? Wrong. The Minnesota Opera‘s production of Mozart‘s The Magic Flute is colorful, dramatic, and surreal. An opera, yes – but not like you’ve ever seen one before. The Magic Flute is a weird opera…

L-R:  Mary (Angela Timberman), Kenny (Tyson Forbes), Ben (John Middleton),  and Sharon (Anna Sundberg)
PHOTO CREDIT:  Michal Daniel

Detroit

By LIZ BYRON. The tragedy of Detroit is its relatability. There are far too many people who will relate to this story of broken promises and lost dreams. At the same time, it is not a depressing play; its strength comes from its ability to look into these dark subjects and find hope. Detroit follows…