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…

Home Street Home image only

Home Street Home Minneapolis: No Turning Away

by BECKY DERNBACH, guest reviewer Becky Dernbach is the communications coordinator for Occupy Homes MN and the author of Fannie and Freddie, a rhyming picture book about the housing crisis. Home Street Home Minneapolis mixes song, spoken word, humor, and heartbreak with stories about homelessness in downtown Minneapolis, written and performed primarily by people who have experienced it.  “I’m…

Tales From Camelot

By TAMAR NEUMANN: The story of Merlin and King Arthur has been re-told in a thousand different ways with almost as many different interpretations of each character. Phillip Andrew Bennet Low states, “The value of a . . . good yarn lies . . . not in invention—but re-invention,” and his words readily apply to the…

Gary Anderson as Clarence Darrow. Photo by Petronella Ytsma.

Naked Darrow

by SOPHIE KERMAN “If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.” – Clarence Darrow If you grew up in a radical left-wing household – or if you’ve been to law school – you’ve probably heard of Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney whose messy personal life didn’t interfere with saving 102 individuals from…

Robert Dorfman and the Red Balloon in Balloonacy. Photo by Dan Norman

Balloonacy

By TAMAR NEUMANN: Balloonacy, the Children’s Theatre Company’s (CTC) new play for preschoolers, is a delightful little play about a man and a red balloon. While the play is not long (a running time of only 30 minutes—it is designed for children with short attention spans), it manages to capture a range of emotions. This is…

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the ONCE Tour Company, Photo by Joan Marcus

Once

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Once is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime theater experience with achingly beautiful melodies, a ridiculously talented cast of triple-threat actors (actor, musician, and singer) and a richly compelling story about falling in love and following your dreams. Winner of eight Tony Awards and an Academy Award for the movie version of “Falling Slowly” (one of…