Fringe Day 6: Consciousness, Clowns, and Classrooms

Like Liz, I felt the need to try something a bit different today. There were some highs and some lows of tonight’s selections, but it was an interesting smorgasbord! I first went to the Southern Theater to see Gray Matter, a dance performance choreographed by Zoé Emilie Henrot. I usually shy away from dance – not because I…

Elemeno Pea

By MIRA REINBERG As spectators of television or theater we are lured by the sheer possibilities of delectation that are accessible to the very rich, even as we scoff at the disproportionate luxury surrounding them and ridicule their lifestyle of pampered oblivion. Molly Smith Metzler’s “class war” play, Elemeno Pea, inserts us into the emblematic…

Next to Normal

Next to Normal

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Next to Normal, winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is a rousing rock musical that explores mental illness, bipolar disorder, teenage angst, grief and suburban family dysfunction. Set to powerful lyrics and music, the musical balances these difficult and often uncomfortable topics with humor, humanity and raw honesty.  Standout vocals…

Learn to be Latina

By CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Learn to be Latina at the Mixed Blood Theatre throws political correctness out of the window and presents the notion of “palatably ethnic” entertainment to post-9/11 audiences. In the hysterical comedy written by Enrique Urueta and directed by Mark Valdez, the Lebanese-American heroine, Hanan Mashalani, played charmingly by Jaime Elvey in…

Minnecanos

by SOPHIE KERMAN For those of you with Mexican heritage – or for those of you who, like me, are ashamed of knowing so little about the Twin Cities’ sizable Mexican population – the Mixed Blood Theatre has brought an expanded production of Joe Minjares‘s Minnecanos to the Parkway Theater in South Minneapolis. Minnecanos has, in fact,…

Crashing the Party

by ANNA ROSENSWEIG What happens when two over-privileged adult children throw a birthday party for their wealthy father? This is the premise of Crashing the Party, a new play by Josh Tobiessen that wonders whether the tenacity needed to achieve the “American Dream” can be passed from one generation to another. Once one generation has…

Recap: Center of the Margins

by SOPHIE KERMAN Over the past few days, Anna and I have explored the three very different plays on offer at the Mixed Blood Theatre‘s Center of the Margins festival, which celebrates the often-neglected perspectives of individuals with disabilities. We have to commend the Mixed Blood for undertaking such a project to begin with: there…

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…