Lorna Landvik in "Party in the Rec Room" at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

Party in the Rec Room

By ERIKA YASMEEN SASSEVILLE, Guest Reviewer Lorna Landvik, nationally known author and locally known actor/playwright presents an annual solo improvisation show on the Bryant-Lake Bowl stage through the end of January. From the moment she steps on stage, Landvik creates interesting and energetic audience-suggested characters, complete with costumes and props. Wigs, facial hair and 70s rec…

Sam Pearson stars as Alceste in The Misanthrope, playing January 2-17 at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. Photo by Jane Ojile.

The Misanthrope

By LIZ BYRON. I remember being wildly unimpressed the first time I read The Misanthrope. I was a college sophomore taking my first French literature class, and my impatient 19-year-old brain thought it was slow, wordy, and didn’t particularly seem to have a plot. A few years later, I re-read it for a graduate class…

Katie Adducci & Zach Curtis; photo credit Walking Shadow

The Whale

BY TAMAR NEUMANN: The Whale is about a 600 pound man who lives alone in Idaho and the moments in his life that lead him to this particular period. Of course, it’s not just about him—it’s about questioning the role of religion in our lives (and I do mean religion and not faith) and about how…

Peter Thomson (Bradley) and Rod Brogan (John) in the Guthrie Theater's production of The Cocktail Hour, by A.R. Gurney. Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp.

The Cocktail Hour

by ADAM SCHENCK and REBECCA HALAT. We live in an age of oversharing, as if our every whim must be declared on social media. In politics, partisanship prevents us from reaching compromise; we go to Target instead of Wal-Mart; Facebook prompts us to say where we work and whom our romantic partners are. We “like”…

The cast of A Hunting Shack Christmas.

A Hunting Shack Christmas

By LIZ BYRON. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking about Yellow Tree Theater’s holiday season production. On the other hand, something doesn’t have to be groundbreaking to be good, and A Hunting Shack Christmas is very good. It’s got a compelling plot, it’s funny, it’s got enough heartwarming moments to give you the warm fuzzies but…

J.C. Cutler (Ebenezer Scrooge) and Tracey Maloney (Ghost of Christmas Past) in the Guthrie Theater's production of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, adapted by Crispin Whittell and directed by Joe Chvala. Photo by Dan Norman

A Christmas Carol

by REBECCA HALAT and ADAM SCHENCK. Christmastime is a reminder that our best stories are not new. The Guthrie’s annual production of A Christmas Carol is just such a story. How then to make the old familiar story new? The Guthrie celebrates its 40th year of A Christmas Carol this year, and this classic production…

Reed Sigmund and Brandon Brooks. Photo by Dan Norman

Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

BY TAMAR NEUMANN:  ‘Twas two weeks before Thanksgiving and all through the cities each holiday show began their stirrings. Each cast and director were fully prepared in the hopes that audiences soon would be there. The children were excited for they already knew, the Grinch would soon be back to steak Christmas anew. I’ll spare…