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…

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…

Emma Woodhouse Is Not A Bitch

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE For Jane Austen fans and readers of her romantic novel, Emma, the central challenge is to overcome your distaste for Emma’s patronizing, meddling matchmaking in order to understand the onerous class distinctions that characterized everyday interactions between neighbors, family members and friends in the early 1800s. For local playwrights, Savage Umbrella’s  Laura Leffler-McCabe and…

Venus in Fur

by SOPHIE KERMAN Although the Jungle Theater‘s decision to produce Venus in Fur may be capitalizing on the spotlight “50 Shades of Grey” has placed on BDSM relationships, David Ives’s play – which pre-dates the publication of “50 Shades”  by about a year – has greater ambitions than simply titillating its viewers. A play about a theatrical adaptation of Leopold…