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2013 Ivey Awards

by SOPHIE KERMAN The 2013 Ivey Awards, the Twin Cities’ celebration of the best of theatre, have been awarded! How many have you seen? Lifetime Achievement Award: playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, nationally-renowned playwright, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Aisle Say reviews of a few of his plays: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Standing on Ceremony (contributor),…

Ensemble, including Cosette (Lauren Wiley) and Jean Valjean (Peter Lockyer) on the left, and Enjolras (Jason Forbach) and Marius (Devin Ilaw) in the center. Photo by Kyle Froman.

Les Misérables

Over 60 million people worldwide have seen the powerhouse musical Les Misérables since it opened in Paris in 1980 (the first English-language production was in London’s West End five years later). Les Misérables is the kind of show for which people will buy tickets regardless of the cast, venue, or dates; they just want to…

Phyre Hawkins, Mark Evans and Christopher John O'Neill in "The Book of Mormon". Photo by  Joan Marcus.

The Book of Mormon

by SOPHIE KERMAN Wholesomely all-American, with unrelenting optimism and unquestioning zeal: am I talking about musical theater, or about the Mormon Church? In The Book of Mormon, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone have found the perfect subject for a Broadway musical. Religious conviction, fear of hell-fire  and idealistic missions seem to have been made for nothing if not…

Amanda Weis (Mary Lane), Garrick Dietze (Lecturer), and Kurt Bender (Jimmy) in "Reefer Madness". Photo by Laurie Etchen.

Reefer Madness

by KAREN BORCHERT, guest reviewer The musical parody of the 1936 film by the same name, Reefer Madness, presented by Minneapolis Musical Theatre and Hennepin Theatre Trust, is well-timed given the sensation around marijuana legislation in recent months. The 1936 film, which warned of the evils of the “leafy green substance,” had somewhat of a cult following for its…

Wade McCollum, Bryan West and Scott Willis (center) and Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

by SOPHIE KERMAN Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical is the reason why musicals were born. Adapted by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott from the 1994 movie starring Guy Pearce and Hugo Weaving, Priscilla the Musical takes the film’s original heart and love of glamour, and cranks up the volume, the budget, and exuberance to create a spectacle that takes you…

Austene Van (Aida) and Jared Oxborough (Radames). Photo by Michal Daniel.

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida

by SOPHIE KERMAN In the new production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, the Hennepin Theatre Trust and Theater Latté Da present us with an excellent performance of a deeply problematic musical. The show opens a new collaborative series between the HTT and Latté Da called Broadway Re-Imagined, which casts local Minnesota talent in high-profile Broadway shows under…

Santaland Diaries

Santaland Diaries

by MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN This play is a holiday favorite, particularly for many who don’t much like the holidays.  Based on David Sedaris‘ cynical & searing true chronicles of working as an elf at Macy’s during the holidays, the Santaland Diaries were first read on National Public Radio 20 years ago. In the Frank Theatre…