frankie-johnny

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

In only their second ever production, Casting Spells Productions takes on Terrence McNally‘s late-80s play, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. It’s a bold choice, given that it’s a two-hour production with a very intimate setting and features only two characters; with a weak performance by either actor or mismatched chemistry, the whole thing would fall apart. Luckily,…

Jamila Anderson, Megan Burns with Aditi Kapil and Trevor Bowen

An Octoroon

BY TAMAR NEUMANN: Mixed Blood Theatre’s opening show, An Octoroon, is a fitting show for the talents of Mixed Blood. Known for their plays on, about and for diversity, An Octoroon, fits right in. By way of a brief synopsis, An Octoroon is a play within a play (somewhat). It’s about a playwright who adapts an…

Photo courtesy of the Classical Actors Ensemble

The Tempest

BY TAMAR NEUMANN: If you have been following Aisle Say you will know that there are a couple of current Shakespeare and Shakespeare contemporary plays being performed in the Twin Cities right now. Since it is Fall, that means two of those productions are being done by the Classical Actors Ensemble. This year they have chosen…

Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Things Theatre Company

Henry IV Part I

BY TAMAR NEUMANN: Every once in a while I see a Shakespeare play that completely redefines the way I think about a particular play. It doesn’t happen often. I happen to see quite a bit of Shakespeare and I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to see some of the world’s best acting companies perform it. I’ve…

Michael Ooms as Doctor Faustus; photo from www.classicalactorsensemble.org

Doctor Faustus

By LIZ BYRON. One of the first things most sources say about Christopher Marlowe is that he was a contemporary of William Shakespeare. This, of course, instantly sets up a comparison between the two, with Shakespeare frequently coming out on top. However, as far as the Classical Actors Ensemble‘s fall repertory goes, it’s Marlowe who’s the…

Gail Ottmar as Mary, Kendall Anne Thompson as Martha, Kelly Matthews as Margaret. Photo from www.freshwatertheatre.com

Pioneer Suite

By LIZ BYRON. I was a little wary as the lights dimmed around me before Saturday’s opening of Pioneer Suite. It’s a new musical by Keith Hovis that explores the lives of three Minnesotan women in the 19th century. Why was I wary? Well, I’m always apprehensive when it comes to new musicals; there are just so many moving…

DN_8348

Ariadne auf Naxos

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos is an oddball opera, and requires a deft hand to stage. Understanding its conception helps provide some context for the compositional and constitutional strangeness. The opera was originally conceived as a thirty-minute divertissement intended to be performed at the end of a Molière adaptation. The opera ended…