October, a Busy Month for Theater

by SOPHIE KERMAN Every weekend in the fall, there seems to be an endless stream of shows opening around the Twin Cities, and despite the best efforts our tireless band of volunteer reviewers, we can never manage to see everything. October feels like a record high for opening weekends this year: although Anna Rosensweig and…

Next to Normal

Next to Normal

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Next to Normal, winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is a rousing rock musical that explores mental illness, bipolar disorder, teenage angst, grief and suburban family dysfunction. Set to powerful lyrics and music, the musical balances these difficult and often uncomfortable topics with humor, humanity and raw honesty.  Standout vocals…

Appomattox

by EMILY MEISLER, guest reviewer Appomattox, a new play by Christopher Hampton and commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, presents two distinct snapshots of American history: April 1865, the end of the Civil War; and April 1965, after the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson and just before the passage of President Johnson’s Voting Rights Act. While these…

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

by SOPHIE KERMAN Despite knowing and loving Kurt Vonnegut, Jr for novels like Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle, fans should not be surprised that he was also a playwright. After all, his witty, cutting dialogue is precisely what makes his novels so readable and  so incisive. In Happy Birthday, Wanda June, Vonnegut’s trademark style leaps off the page;…