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…

Pioneer Suite

By LIZ BYRON. I was a little wary as the lights dimmed around me before Saturday’s opening of Pioneer Suite. It’s a new musical by Keith Hovis that explores the lives of three Minnesotan women in the 19th century. Why was I wary? Well, I’m always apprehensive when it comes to new musicals; there are just so many moving…

If You Don’t Weaken

Have you ever done something without knowing why? –so asks a character in If You Don’t Weaken, and it comes at a very timely moment, for the audience may just be asking themselves why this woman is making such inexplicable, illogical decisions in her life. So is the character’s friend, for that matter. After all, why…

Crazyface

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN “Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work.” Clive Barker Perhaps knowing that Barker is regular and orderly in life is a relief (or a consolation). After experiencing Crazyface, I’m imagining him in a rocking chair sipping tea as the sun rises,…

Stop Kiss

By LIZ BYRON In some ways it is unfortunate that Diana Son’s play Stop Kiss is as relevant today as it was when it was first performed in 1998. Fourteen years later, and it is still not unthinkable that a person be attacked and beaten for being (or even just appearing to be) LGBTQ. And yet the very…

The Lower Depths

by SOPHIE KERMAN If you’re sick and tired of Christmas spirit, it might be time for a change of pace. Director Josh Cragun‘s adaptation of Maxim Gorky‘s The Lower Depths places you in the middle of a Great Depression basement-level tenement, peeling away all of the candy-coated materialism of the holiday season to reveal what happens to people when they…