Deathtrap

By MIRA REINBERG From the first words he pronounces, Sidney Bruhl (Steve Hendrickson) delivers such clever lines in Deathtrap that it is somewhat curious he should be the frustrated mystery playwright that he is. And frustrated he is at the writer’s block afflicting him, even if the obstruction to his creativity is alleviated by the…

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…

In the Next Room or the vibrator play

by MIRA REINBERG That the vibrator gained wide and accepted usage to treat hysteria in women during what is considered one of the most demure of social ages – Victorian times, is a historical reality brimming with irony and asking to be dramatized in theatre. Playwright Sarah Ruhl put history into literary action in In…

The Ivey Awards

by SOPHIE KERMAN Aside from honoring the Twin Cities’ most hard-working and talented theater professionals, the Ivey Awards also provides reviewers and theater fans with a chance to see how they did. What must-see shows did we miss this year? And did we agree with the Ivey committee’s choices? Here is a list of this year’s…

Waiting for Godot

By MIRA REINBERG Audiences and readers of Samuel Beckett have long since become aware that of all the different nuances that the playwright attributed to the meaning of responsibility, Beckett has never deemed it his task to attenuate the gravity with which he beheld life. He doled out his views of the absurdities and ruthlessness…

Noises Off

By MIRA REINBERG Western audiences have been indulging in farcical sketches since the times when the classics of tragedy were being performed in Greece although most extant manuscripts date to the Middle Ages. Undoubtedly the magnetism of farce derives from the genre’s capacity to cast an oblique look at the chain of circumstances that generate…

The Birthday Party

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG There’s a ceiling fan that slowly turns throughout the entire production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, currently on stage at the Jungle Theater. The fan, one of the many subtle touches of Joel Sass’ beautifully shabby set, marks time steadily and faithfully, and this constant rhythm underscores the deceptively quotidian nature…

Dial M for Murder

by SOPHIE KERMAN Although witty, suspenseful and well-acted, the Jungle Theater‘s latest production is not a Valentine’s Day offering for the insecure couple. As you get sucked into the detective work and criminal reverse-engineering that drives Frederick Knott‘s Dial M for Murder, you may find yourself glancing sideways at your date and wondering just how much…

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…