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…

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…

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The Odyssey

by SOPHIE KERMAN Charlie Bethel has garnered rave reviews, both locally and nationally, for his one-man adaptations of classic texts from Beowulf to Gilgamesh and, now, The Odyssey. Local critics seem to enjoy listing positive adjectives to describe Bethel’s performance: Dominic Papatola calls him “dazzling”, Ed Huyck says the show is “funny, thrilling, moving, and educational”, and John Olive qualifies Bethel…

September 20 is a big day!

It seems that everyone has decided to open their shows around the weekend of September 20 this year, and we just can’t cover it all! You can stay tuned for reviews of Moon Show 143 at the Guthrie (Sept 14-18), Good People at the Park Square (previews Sept 13, opens Sept 20) and Uncle Vanya at the Guthrie (again, previews…

Katie Knutson. Photo by Scott Pakudaitis.

Fringe Day 10: “The Grimmer Side”

I had planned to cover more than one show on my last day at Fringe, but my plans got unexpectedly cut short after my first performance of the day. Although I’m disappointed not to have seen more, The Grimmer Side: Classic Stories for a Modern Time served as an excellent capstone to the festival, as it embodies…

Ariel Leaf in "Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid"

Fringe Day 8: “Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid”

As far as solo shows go, I discovered yesterday how much they can inspire self-reflection. Tonight’s experience was less about introspection and more about compassion: not only towards others, but towards oneself. In Died in a Trailer Park, Woke Up a Mermaid, actress Ariel Leaf tells the story of her own circuitous journey, from an abusive relationship…