2016 Ivey Awards

by CHRISTINE SARKES Inclusiveness and gratitude were the themes of the 12th Annual Ivey Awards held last evening at the Historic State Theater, downtown Minneapolis. Theater professionals honored their own and one of ours–Star Tribune theater critic Graydon Royce–as they reached beyond the typical candidates by awarding a non-actor, costume designer Trevor Bowen, with the Emerging Artist Award. Bowen got his…

Peter Pan

BY TAMAR NEUMANN: Peter Pan has always held a magical place in our hearts since it first took the stage. I think it’s because Peter Pan, the boy, reminds us all of the innocence of childhood. Either that, or we all just wish we had the ability to fly. In any case, Peter Pan continues…

Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

BY TAMAR NEUMANN:  ‘Twas two weeks before Thanksgiving and all through the cities each holiday show began their stirrings. Each cast and director were fully prepared in the hopes that audiences soon would be there. The children were excited for they already knew, the Grinch would soon be back to steak Christmas anew. I’ll spare…

Seedfolks

 BY TAMAR NEUMANN: The Children’s Theatre Company is known for commissioning new works for younger audiences. They have commissioned over 200 plays in their long history and they continue to add to that number every season. This season they have chosen to adapt Paul Fleishman’s book Seedfolks into a short (a little over an hour) one-woman…

Balloonacy

By TAMAR NEUMANN: Balloonacy, the Children’s Theatre Company’s (CTC) new play for preschoolers, is a delightful little play about a man and a red balloon. While the play is not long (a running time of only 30 minutes—it is designed for children with short attention spans), it manages to capture a range of emotions. This is…

The Scarecrow and His Servant

By TAMAR NEUMANN: I often forget that theatre can be magical. That was theatre’s original purpose—creating an enchanting world where you could escape your everyday problems. Now, theatre is often used for a different purpose, because movies provide escape and theatricality, but when I see a show at The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) I am reminded…

The Wong Kids and the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!

by SOPHIE KERMAN Sure, saving the universe sounds awesome. Superpowers, space travel, battling aliens… there’s no down side, right? Well, as it turns out for Bruce and Violet Wong, all this superhero stuff is actually kind of stressful. Just as stressful, in fact, as it is to be an awkward, sci-fi loving middle schooler. In…

2013 Ivey Awards

by SOPHIE KERMAN The 2013 Ivey Awards, the Twin Cities’ celebration of the best of theatre, have been awarded! How many have you seen? Lifetime Achievement Award: playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, nationally-renowned playwright, the Lifetime Achievement Award, Aisle Say reviews of a few of his plays: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, Standing on Ceremony (contributor),…

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

by SOPHIE KERMAN I look for two things in a children’s show: first, that the kids like it, and second, that it’s got something to entertain adults, too. The Children’s Theatre Company leaves no doubt about either in its revival of the holiday favorite, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s a book most Americans have…

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG How do we talk to children about race? With its recent production Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, The Children’s Theatre Company provides an answer to this question by rejecting its premise. In this new play, an adaptation of Gary Schmidt’s 2004 Newberry Award-winning children’s novel based on a true story, it…