Circus Juventas: STEAM

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN When I heard oohs and ahs from my nine year old daughter sitting next to me, I knew that Circus Juventas had mounted yet another wonderful production. The entire experience is compelling, and it starts before one even enters the Big Top. The grounds are beautifully manicured and foster a feeling…

Saturday, April 23: TAIKOPROJECT (One Night Only)

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN For 25 years, the Ordway has been bringing contemporary performing artists from around the world to Minnesota through the Target® World Music & Dance Series. Since the initiative began in 1991, more than 900,000 P-12 students have attended performances. Thousands more have attended public performances, participated in workshops, and experienced pre-show…

Tosca

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN The Minnesota Opera’s production of Tosca included drama that is usually reserved for the opera itself. Only a few days before opening night, Hungarian soprano Csilla Boross backed out of the role of Tosca for “personal reasons.” Kelly Kaduce stepped in, having sung the part only once professionally (for the Houston…

Target® World Music and Dance Series: SEOP Dance Company

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN For 25 years, the Ordway has been bringing contemporary performing artists from around the world to Minnesota through the Target® World Music & Dance Series. Since the initiative began in 1991, more than 900,000 P-12 students have attended performances. Thousands more have attended public performances, participated in workshops, and experienced pre-show…

Ariadne auf Naxos

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos is an oddball opera, and requires a deft hand to stage. Understanding its conception helps provide some context for the compositional and constitutional strangeness. The opera was originally conceived as a thirty-minute divertissement intended to be performed at the end of a Molière adaptation. The opera ended…

Junie B. Jones The Musical

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN “A little glitter can turn your whole day around,” according to Junie B. Jones. And so can a children’s musical this good. Artistic Director Sandy Boren-Barrett and Director Cody R. Braudt have staged a whimsical, joyful production of the (in)famous Junie B. Jones’ experiences in 1st grade. Stages Theatre Company was…

Road to the City of Apples; A Clown in Exile; In Algeria They Know My Name: Three Plays at the New Arab American Theatre Works Festival

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE  How do you navigate the cultures of the Middle East and America’s heartland as an Arab-American experiencing an identity crisis? A trio of plays by impressively talented local Arab-American playwrights and artists explore this theme and are showcased this week through July 12 at Mixed Blood Theatre. The festival is organized by a group of  Minneapolis-based artists of the…

The Elixir of Love

by  MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN Act I opens on a piazza floating in a bucolic Italian countryside. As idyllic as a scene from a Sophia Loren movie. Field workers and townspeople move around the square.  We see our first glimpse of Nemorino (Leonardo Capalbo), the erstwhile hero of the story.  Expressive and charismatic, Capalbo wanders the…