My Fair Lady

By CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE My Fair Lady at the Guthrie Theater is a lavish musical theater spectacle that stays true to the Lerner/Loewe, Moss Hart Broadway original while adding its own unique touches. The 1956 production set the record for the longest run of any major musical theater show at the time and has been called “the…

Our Country’s Good

by SOPHIE KERMAN “Theatre,” says Governor Phillip early on in Our Country’s Good, “is an expression of civilization.” In Timberlake Wertenbaker‘s 1988 play, now on the Guthrie Theater‘s McGuire Proscenium Stage, certainly makes a case that theatre has the power to provide dignity and self-respect in the most abject places. Set in 1788 in New South Wales (now Australia), the play…

Crimes of the Heart

by SOPHIE KERMAN There is a line between dark comedy and laughing at others’ misfortune, and the Guthrie‘s production of Crimes of the Heart has crossed it. This high-energy, highly theatrical interpretation of Beth Henley‘s 1978 Southern Gothic play gives the audience a healthy dose of belly laughs, and if that is what you want, then fine: but this…

The Three Musketeers

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE How do you take Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale of The Three Musketeers, which is over 600 pages long, and condense it into fresh version for the stage? Director Amy Rummenie and playwright John Heimbuch of Walking Shadow Theatre Company began by reading the story aloud over the course of several months…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

By TAMAR NEUMANN: I always think that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a comedy. You’re probably thinking, “Well that’s because it is.” But, is it really a comedy? It certainly has comedic moments. In fact, it actually has one of my all-time favorite scenes—“The Question Game.” Those of you familiar with the play will know…

Hamlet

by SOPHIE KERMAN A lot of theater companies and filmmakers seem to think that in order to make Shakespeare comprehensible to modern audiences, they need to place his plays in a modern setting. But it turns out that – wait for it, this might come as a surprise – Shakespeare was actually a really great writer of the English…

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…

Born Yesterday

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Fans of the 1950s classic movie, Born Yesterday, starring Judy Holliday and William Holden, will find much to enjoy in Guthrie Theater’s version, which is based on playwright Garson Kanin’s original Broadway play. Born Yesterday at the Guthrie is an amusing, well-acted romantic comedy and political satire, whose indictment of congressional corruption…

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),…