Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 by ANNA ROSENSWEIG The Guthrie’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is electric. The first few minutes of this Tennessee Williams classic promise a riveting theatrical experience, a promise that the rest of the show fulfills. Haunting in both its beauty and its sadness, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof achieves a kind…

Dangerous Liaisons

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG Looking for some deceit to spice up your week? Look no further than the Torch Theater’s production of Dangerous Liaisons. Based on the 1782 epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, this delightfully devilish drama presents the scathing battle of wills and desires between La Marquise de Merteuil (Stacia Rice), a wealthy…

Charley’s Aunt

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG Some shows sneak up on you and win you over, complicating your initial impressions. Charley’s Aunt is one such show, which provided a rather enjoyable evening at the theater, despite a slow start and uneven pacing throughout. Much of what makes the Guthrie Theater’s production of Brandon Thomas’ wildly popular 1892 farce…

I Wish You Love (Reprise)

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG The Penumbra Theatre is currently reprising its I Wish You Love, an exploration of Nat King Cole’s life, music, and times, after a highly successful world premiere in St. Paul last spring (2011) and a subsequent engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Set at the NBC studios, which somewhat ambivalently…

On the Spectrum

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG For the the third play in its Center of the Margins festival, the Mixed Blood Theatre Company offers the world premiere of On the Spectrum, an encounter between two young adults who live with different degrees of autism. Written by Ken LaZebnick and directed by Jack Reuler (Mixed Blood’s founder and artistic…

Gruesome Playground Injuries

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG Mixed Blood opened its Center of the Margins festival over the weekend, which features three plays that explore “the complex world of disability.” Staging these plays together thankfully avoids making any one stand for a supposedly universal experience of disability, and wards off the impression that there’s an ideal way to represent…

I Am My Own Wife

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG When asked by her mother if she’d ever marry, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf answered that she didn’t need to. She was and would always be her own wife. Von Mahlsdorf’s response to her mother can in part be explained by her decision to live as a woman. Born male as Lothar Berfelde in…

Bat Boy! The Musical

by Anna Rosensweig Halloween is a tricky holiday because it’s a hard one to halfheartedly celebrate. Sure you can show up at a costume party dressed in your usual clothes and some random hat. But it’s guaranteed you won’t have as much fun as your friends who go as Xena the Warrior Princess, a Keebler…

Il Campiello

By ANNA ROSENSWEIG To sit in a Ten Thousand Things audience is to become part of the show. The company performs in small, often unconventional spaces that make boundaries between actors and audience thin and porous. What’s more, Ten Thousand Things performs in the round and keeps the house lights on, so that the actors…

The Burial at Thebes

By ANNA ROSENSWEIG Adaptations of old plays for modern audiences too often miss the mark because they seek merely to update, and end up doing so cosmetically. A contemporary setting, fashion-forward costumes, or the newest gadgets all shoulder the work of making a play current, with little concern for what makes the play currently meaningful.…