The Great Leap

by CHRISTINE SARKES The Great Leap at the Guthrie Theater, now through February 10, is funny, heartfelt and very entertaining. The play is about basketball players and the coaches who love the game, but also about identity, the American Dream and overcoming cultural barriers. The dialogue is amusingly sharp and the quirky characters immensely likeable.…

Disgraced

by CHRISTINE SARKES In Disgraced at the Guthrie Theater, playwright Ayad Akhtar lays bare the deepest, darkest prejudices and fears of his diverse cast. In some ways, this is the most important review I’ve written to date and, like the play itself, the pressure to get it right is intense. What is it like for…

South Pacific

by CHRISTINE SARKES La vie est belle, life is beautiful, on the set of South Pacific at the Guthrie Theater through August 28. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 Broadway musical (and 1958 film) is romantic and lush, with such indelible music and lyrics that many left the theater whistling the tunes. It takes on prejudice and…

Complicated Fun

by CHRISTINE SARKES Complicated Fun at the History Theatre through May 29 is a weirdly coincidental musical retelling of the history of First Avenue and the acts that made it famous, including Prince, who played frequently and filmed many scenes in Purple Rain there. In fact, Chris Osgood of The Suicide Commandos opened the show with a moving tribute…

To Kill a Mockingbird

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Guthrie Theater’s new artistic director Joseph Haj could not have chosen a more timely and relevant play to open his first season than Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, now through October 25 (recently extended) on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. As he states in the program’s introduction, “There is a timeliness to…

The Mystery of Irma Vep

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Looking for a light, campy Victorian supernatural-mystery-farce with hysterical scene-chewing acting, cross-dressing and clever staging? Then, The Mystery of Irma Vep at The Jungle Theater is just the play for you! I love physical humor and this play delivers. With two actors playing all eight characters, they move quickly through the…

Once

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE Once is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime theater experience with achingly beautiful melodies, a ridiculously talented cast of triple-threat actors (actor, musician, and singer) and a richly compelling story about falling in love and following your dreams. Winner of eight Tony Awards and an Academy Award for the movie version of “Falling Slowly” (one of…