Springtime: get out of the house and out to the theater!

April is a perfect month to leave the house and go see a show. Our reviewers are very busy this month, both with our Aisle Say and our non-Aisle Say commitments. There are tons of shows opening over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for reviews of “The Magic Flute“, “The Shadow War“, “Hamlet“, and “Silkworms“,…

Home Street Home Minneapolis: No Turning Away

by BECKY DERNBACH, guest reviewer Becky Dernbach is the communications coordinator for Occupy Homes MN and the author of Fannie and Freddie, a rhyming picture book about the housing crisis. Home Street Home Minneapolis mixes song, spoken word, humor, and heartbreak with stories about homelessness in downtown Minneapolis, written and performed primarily by people who have experienced it.  “I’m…

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…

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…

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

by SOPHIE KERMAN Our language has changed quite a bit since 1613, but our sense of humor clearly has not. Sure, there are a whole lot of “forsooth”s in Thomas Middleton‘s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, but the characters it mocks are still alive and well today: the incessantly chattering gossips, the pretentious scholar spouting verbiage no…

Red, White, [Black & Blue]

by SOPHIE KERMAN Political theater has a fine line to walk between didacticism, partisanship, and voyeurism into trauma. This is something that co-creators Michael Opperman and Nathan Tylutki were deeply aware of when constructing Red, White, [Black & Blue]: Uncharged at Guantánamo, a performance piece about the detainees currently remaining uncharged at Guantánamo. The term “performance piece” (my…

The Big Show

by SOPHIE KERMAN How many ping pong balls can you pick up in 30 seconds? In 15 seconds, can you come up with 5 different things that you’d like to put in a mailbox but probably shouldn’t, because you’re pretty sure it’s a felony? Game shows are weird, unpredictable, and completely arbitrary, and this might…

Freud’s Last Session

by JAMES JOHNS, guest reviewer* Described as a play of “what if” by director Rob Melrose, Freud’s Last Session imagines a conversation, bordering on debate, between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis as they struggle to understand each other’s positions on logic, faith, and the existence of God. An older atheistic Freud, suffering from late stage oral cancer, requests a…

Tristan & Yseult

by SOPHIE KERMAN The story of Tristan and Yseult (or Isolde) has been told and re-told for centuries, from the original 12th-century French romance to Wagner’s 19th-century opera to Ridley Scott’s fairly atrocious 2006 adaptation. Such a long history provides the freedom to take a few liberties, to push and pull the tale into new forms…

The Naked I: Insides Out

by TAMAR NEUMANN This February experiences a different kind of love story – one that doesn’t stick to traditional heterosexual or homosexual norms. Instead it focuses on stories that are rarely heard, stories that explore queer and trans* experiences. The 20% Theatre Company, known for promoting the work of female and transgender theatre artists, has…