2014 Spring Arts & Dining

Plan your Spring & summer Arts enjoyment with these Arts & dining Pairings & Previews

Shakespeare's Will. Photo by Drew Trampe

Shakespeare’s Will. Photo by Drew Trampe

Shakespeare’s Will
The Jungle Theater
www.jungletheater.com
Venue: The Jungle Theater
through March 23, 2014
Cathleen Fuller gives a sumptuous solo performance as Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare. While Will was procured in London at the behest of Queen Elizabeth and then King James, Anne kept home fires burning at Stratford. The bard’s bisexuality is focused on in parts.

The Diary of Anne Frank
Park Square Theatre
www.parksquaretheatre.org
Venue: Park Square Theatre
through May 9, 2014
Hiding out with her family when the Nazis were terrorizing Amsterdam, adolescent Anne Frank looms as the symbol of destroyed innocence during World War II. Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett adapted her diary into a play almost 60 years ago and it has become one of the most produced plays of the past century.

A Snowplow Named Desire. Photo by Dani Werner

A Snowplow Named Desire. Photo by Dani Werner

A Snowplow Named Desire
Brave New Workshop
www.bravenewworkshop.com
Venue: Brave New Workshop
through April 5, 2014
The region’s premiere comedy theater brings Melanie Wehrmacher on board as a new player in its wacky ensemble. Their winter offering features a high school class in female sexuality, one of the scariest kitty cats you will ever see, sexual aspects of preparing a pie, and abuse of baby penguins.

Coup d’ etat
Uptown’s new kid on the block is getting all kinds of love for giving people what they want: A beautiful setting with an approachable menu. Comfort food classics like flatbread pizza mingle with more adventurous things like bone marrow appetizer (it’s better than it sounds). Chase them with whatever bar maestro Jesse Held recommends.
www.coupdetatmpls.com
–Pat Evans

Tristan & Yseult. Photo by Steve Tanner

Tristan & Yseult. Photo by Steve Tanner

Tristan & Yseult
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
through March 23, 2014
The medieval tale of adultery, honor, and a magic potion is presented by Great Britain’s inventive and irreverent Kneehigh troupe. It gathered raves in the UK press, as did another work presented a while back at the Big G, Brief Encounter. Another example of the Guthrie’s bringing foreign works to its stages.

The Doyle and Debbie Show. Photo by Brianna Royle Kopka

The Doyle and Debbie Show. Photo by Brianna Royle Kopka

The Doyle and Debbie Show
Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.hennepintheatretrust.org
Venue: New Century Theatre
through March 30, 2014
David Andrew Anderson plays Doyle and Kim Kivens plays Debbie. Anderson knows country music style, having played George Jones and Hank Williams. Kivens has given splendid performances in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Dosey Doh to tunes like I Ain’t No Homo, When You’re Screwin’ Other Women (Think Of Me), and Barefoot and Pregnant.

Gidion’s Knot. Photo by Michal Daniel

Gidion’s Knot. Photo by Michal Daniel

Gidion’s Knot
Pillsbury House + Theatre
www.pillsburyhouseandtheatre.org
Venue: Pillsbury House + Theatre
through March 23, 2014
Johnna Adams has penned a parent-teacher conference for the ages. When a 5th-grader is suspended from school for acts that are deemed politically incorrect. Aditi Kapil and Laura Esping play the roles. Noel Raymond directs. Adams is also the playwright of The Sacred Geometry of S & M Porn.

Freud’s Last Session
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s
Dowling Studio
through March 16, 2014
An imagined session between Sigmund Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, in the weeks before his death, and Christian theologian, C. S. Lewis . Set on the eve of the beginning of World War II, Mark St. Germaine’s play evokes major ideas of the time. The secular and the spiritual play out.

Sanctuary
Everyone needs to find their own respite from the “craziness” of the world and the vibe here is Zen calm. The only debate you’ll have is with yourself and what to choose to eat. At $35.00, Chef Patrick Antanalian’s 5-course tasting menu is one of the Cities’ best values (available M-Th). Menu selections are classic Mediterranean with Japanese influences. Even Freud and C.S. Lewis would have found common ground to please them at this Sanctuary.
www.sanctuaryminneapolis.com
–Pat Evans

The Sun Serpent. Photo by Heather Hill

The Sun Serpent. Photo by Heather Hill

The Sun Serpent
Mixed Blood Theatre
www.mixedblood.com
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre
through March 22, 2014
The conquest of Aztec Mexico by Hernando Cortes and his conquistadors causes harsh family divisions. Two brothers face off. One of them stands against the Spanish. The other supports them, thinking they are spiritual beings meant to be honored. Produced by one of the nation’s most prestigious multicultural theaters.

Othello. Photo by Mike Habermann

Othello. Photo by Mike Habermann

Othello
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage
through April 20, 2014
A consummate view of possessiveness and the destructive nature of sexual innuendo. Othello, a man of color, has met with financial success in Venice, the most cosmopolitan city of Europe’s Renaissance. When rumors crop up about the alleged infidelity of his gorgeous beloved, Desdemona, he has a meltdown.

The Little Mermaid
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
www.chanhassendt.com
Venue: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
through mid-August, 2014
Based on the beloved, best-selling Disney animated feature, Disney’s  The Little Mermaid was originally rooted in Hans Christian Andersen’s enchanting fairy tale. In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. With an award-winning musical score by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman (additional lyrics by Glenn Slater), and book by Doug Wright, this Midwest premiere of The Little Mermaid will be sure to please audience members young and old at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

The Scarecrow and His Servant. Photo by Dan Norman

The Scarecrow and His Servant. Photo by Dan Norman

The Scarecrow and His Servant
Children’s Theatre Company
www.childrenstheatre.org
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
March 11 – April 6, 2014
You may know Philip Pullman for his astonishing fantasy book about the disappearance of children, The Golden Compass. CTC presents a stage adaptation of his lesser known, The Scarecrow and His Servant – the story of a scarecrow who comes to life after lightning strikes him and a boy who assists him.

Peter And The Starcatcher. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Peter And The Starcatcher. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Peter and the Starcatcher
Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.hennepintheatretrust.org
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
March 11 – March 16, 2014
This prequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy, as in Peter Pan, is based on a 2006 novel. This Broadway show is the nominee of various Best Play awards including the Tony and winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Favorite Play. Nice catch by Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Our Town
Theater Latté Da
www.latteda.org
Venue: The Lab Theater
March 12 – April 6, 2014
Thornton Wilder’s 1938 masterpiece is known for its innovative use of minimal settings and a fluid shifting of time that revolutionized the way Americans perceived theater. It uniquely blends Americana with Zen consciousness. A stage manager narrates the seasons of the lives and afterlives of the citizens of a New Hampshire village.

Seconds Festival
Mixed Blood Theatre
www.mixedblood.com
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre
March 14, 2014 through March 23, 2014
Three previously produced plays are given readings of revisions made since their last productions. Three directors guide the way: Mark Valdez, Bill Partlan, Marion McClinton. A great opportunity to observe the creative process of a play and see actors as they show basic strokes that ultimately shape characters on stage.

Cyrano. Photo by Petronella Ystma

Cyrano. Photo by Petronella Ystma

Cyrano
Park Square Theatre
www.parksquaretheatre.org
Venue: Park Square Theatre
March 14 – April 6, 2014
Edmund Rostand’s classic portrays a man with an overly large nose who is madly in love with the physically beautiful Roxanne. It’s a landmark piece that reveals society’s obsession with what’s generally regarded as consummate physical beauty and the wretched self-esteem of those who measure themselves against that.

Meritage
Having a big nose might actually be a really good thing here, after all, there are so many wonderful things to take in. For my money, a trip to Meritage is about as close to Paris or Montreal café French culture as you can get around the Cities. I love so many things about this romantic cozy and unpretentious place. The food is nicely portioned and presented and the service is great. Steak au poivre and French onion soup are my particular favorites.
www.meritage-stpaul.com
–Pat Evans

Tim O’Brien’s
The Things They Carried
History Theatre
www.historytheatre.com
Venue: History Theatre
March 15 – April 6, 2014
An adaptation by Jim Stowell from the work of Minnesota’s pre-eminent observer of the Vietnam era is directed by Leah Cooper. The terrific Stephen D’Ambrose plays a man who transitions from small town Minnesota to the Vietnam jungle.

Lonely Soldiers. Image courtesy of History Theatre

Lonely Soldiers. Image courtesy of History Theatre

Lonely Soldiers
History Theatre
www.historytheatre.com
Venue: History Theatre
March 16 – April 6, 2014
Helen Benedict interviewed eight women soldiers on the front lines in Iraq. Their trauma on battlefield and on base are shared and re-enacted. In recent years more and more stories have been emerging about the abuse that women in the military have been subjected to by fellow male troops and officers.

Abe Lincoln and Uncle Tom in the White House
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s
Dowling Studio
March 21- April 6, 2014
Historically centered playwright Carlyle Brown muses on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictional Uncle Tom and the man who presided over the Civil War. Previous remarkable Brown works have examined how 19th century horse racing and Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunt have affected African Americans.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone
Theatre in the Round Players
www.theatreintheround.org
Venue: Theatre in the Round
March 21 – April 13, 2014
If you feel the movie Her is a cop-out about really fathoming the dangers of technology, then you may want to see a play written by Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, The Clean House), a superior mind compared to filmmaker Spike Jonze.

Sing-a-long-a
Sound of Music
Ordway
www.ordway.org
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
March 22, 2014
When adjusted for inflation it’s the third most popular film of all time. When it was reissued in the 1970s the blurb said “thrill again to the happiest sound in all the world!” No wonder people still want to sing along to it. SOM is a truly glorious film that will send your spirit soaring!

Louis Ristorante and Bar
Perched on top of the venerable and massively expanded Cosetta’s market, Louis is the home of Italian comfort food classics. Tea and jam may have sufficed for the Von Trapps, but if you really want to hit all the right notes, it’s best to have something more substantial. Heaping portions of such deliciousness as sausage and peppers, speidini di mozzarella oozing with cheese, and my fav, pollo rizzo scarpariello with bone-in chicken and sausage make me swoon. Happy hour is from 3 to 6 pm and features affordable prices on appetizers and some cocktails.
www.cosettas.com
–Pat Evans

Balloonacy
Children’s Theatre Company
www.childrenstheatre.org
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
March 25 – May 4, 2014
It won the American Association of Theater in Education’s Distinguished Play Award but I hope that all cranky middle-aged and older men get out to see this one! A solitary senior citizen’s daily rut is finally challenged when a balloon demands he be his buddy. It’s about renewing your life, guys!

The Gershwins’
Porgy and Bess
Ordway
www.ordway.org
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
March 25 – March 30, 2014
You will find few musicals with so many phenomenal tunes and I mean genuinely phenomenal: Catfish Row, Bess,You is my Woman Now, I Got Plenty of Nothin’, Summertime, and It Ain’t Necessarily So. George and Ira Gershwin’s milestone has been revised and won the 2012 Tony for Best Revival.

The Mountaintop. Photo by Tim Fuller

The Mountaintop. Photo by Tim Fuller

The Mountaintop
Penumbra Theatre Company
www.penumbratheatre.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire
Proscenium Stage
March 28 – April 19, 2014
The Olivier Award is London’s equivalent of the Tony Award. And Katori Hall’s play won it in 2010. The subject: Martin Luther King. It reimagines his hotel maid in Memphis on the night before his assassination. She illuminates his consciousness. A co-production with Penumbra Theatre directed by Lou Bellamy.

Union
Sometimes you need to get up high to see things more clearly, and if that truly is the case, then you can’t go wrong at this impressive rooftop bar and restaurant. The retractable roof opens to the sky, seasonally of course. Casual. Perfect for drinks and appetizers or heartier fare. There’s everything from savory donut holes to salads, steaks, fish and chicken. (Fancier fare is downstairs at the new Union Fish Market.)
www.unionmpls.com
–Pat Evans

Once. Photo by Joan Marcus

Once. Photo by Joan Marcus

Once
Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.hennepintheatretrust.org
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
April 1 – April 6, 2014
Actors play their own instruments in this unusually minimalistic Broadway show. When a Dublin busker almost gives up his dream he is unexpectedly inspired. Based on the 2006 independent film, Once, portrays the plight of being torn between two people. Winner of eight Tony awards including Best Musical.

Naked Darrow
Illusion Theater
www.illusiontheater.org
Venue: Illusion Theater
April 3 – April 12, 2014
A one-man play written and performed by Gary Anderson, Naked Darrow explores the great American Attorney, Clarence Darrow, in the later years of his life. Directed by Michael Robins, the play follows Darrow as he packs up his office and reveals his thoughts about his cases, his public and very private life, revealing his triumphs and his personal demons. This is a provocative look at the legendary lawyer who took on racism, social injustice and the death penalty in the first decades of the 1900s.

Detroit. Photo by Drew Trampe

Detroit. Photo by Drew Trampe

Detroit
The Jungle Theater
www.jungletheater.com
Venue: The Jungle Theater
April 11 – May 25, 2014
OBIE Award Winner for Best New American Play of 2013. Playwright Lisa D’Amour examines the economic downturn of the Bush and Obama eras through the eyes of two straight couples. It is part of a trend in recent American drama that weighs in on the lingering financial crisis.

The Gray House
Let’s face it, sometimes it’s a jungle out there. Happily, Ian Gray’s food is comforting yet interesting enough and terrific. Like all good chefs, Gray puts the spotlight on local and seasonal but doesn’t shy from global flavors. The menu covers a range of small and large plates and pastas and sides, so the fun is in ordering to share. Chorizo tacos, spicy squash dumplings, and braised rabbit pack flavor and surprise.
www.thegrayhouseeats.com
–Pat Evans

Shrek The Musical
Children’s Theatre Company
www.childrenstheatre.org
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
April 22 – June 8, 2014
Among the best stage musical adaptations of a movie ever. In a fantasy kingdom a grotesque ogre and a princess with pluck meet up with a goofy donkey. Lyrics and book by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) and music by Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change).

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
The Acting Company & Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
April 22 – May 4, 2014
Tom Stoppard’s comedy re-imagines Prince Hamlet’s two ‘friends’ summoned by his King Uncle Claudius to spy on him. Their surveillance efforts become entwined with the actions of the company of actors who are also being hosted at the castle. A co-production between the Guthrie Theater and The Acting Company.

Hamlet. Photo by Michael Lamont

Hamlet. Photo by Michael Lamont

Hamlet
The Acting Company & Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
April 23 – May 4, 2014
Considered the greatest play ever. William Shakespeare’s young prince protagonist is saddled with the horrible knowledge that his calculating Uncle has killed his King father and hence, usurped the Danish throne. Worse yet, his Uncle has claimed Hamlet’s mother as his new wife. Co-presented by the Guthrie and The Acting Company.

Mercy Killers
Pillsbury House + Theatre
www.pillsburyhouseandtheatre.org
Venue: Pillsbury House + Theatre
April 23 – May 4, 2014
Michael Miller’s enthusiastically acclaimed one-man show reveals the horrors of the American health care system as set into motion by Republicans and then badly addressed by Democrats in the Obama era. An uninsured blue collar man influenced by Tea Party propaganda wakes up when his uninsured wife contracts cancer.

Inferno
James Sewell Ballet
www.jsballet.org
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
April 25 – May 4, 2014
Dante’s Divine Comedy is actually the inspiration of this dance work. Dante is driven toward the dark and guided to the nine circles of hell as he searches the path for right thought and right action. It takes on a perspective of a contemporary mid-life crisis.

Passing Strange. Photo-by Howard University, Justin Knight

Passing Strange. Photo-by Howard University, Justin Knight

Passing Strange
Mixed Blood Theatre
www.mixedblood.com
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre
April 25 – May 18, 2014
A 2008 Tony Award-winning comedy about an emerging African American musician on a world tour discovering himself as he experiences various musical styles. The title comes from a quote in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello and was developed in part at the Sundance Institute. A blend of music and theater you’ll want to see!

Starry River of the Sky
Mu Performing Arts
www.muperformingarts.org
Venue: Hopkins Center for the Arts
April 25 – May 18, 2014
What happens when only one person, a boy, notices that the moon is missing from the sky?! One of Minnesota’s top playwrights, Jeannine Coulombe, adapts Newberry-winning author Grace Lin’s beloved book for the stage. Coulombe wowed audiences a few years ago with Matt Sciple’s staging of The Mill, set in northern Minnesota.

Behind the Eye
Park Square Theatre
www.parksquaretheatre.org
Venue: Park Square Theatre
April 25 – May 18, 2014
Photographer Lee Miller (1907-1977) led an unconventional life. She modeled for Vogue in the 1920s, hung out with the surrealist crowd in 1930s Paris, and photographed the horrors of the Nazi era. Playwright Carson Kreitzer also reveals a woman whose view of motherhood and relationships was transgressive.

Love, Loss, and
What I Wore
Theatre in the Round Players
www.theatreintheround.org
Venue: Theatre in the Round
April 25 – May 18, 2014
Nora and Delia Ephron’s play is based on Ilene Beckerman’s book. Issues around women’s relationships and the clothes they wear are presented in a series of monologues performed by a all-female ensemble. Issues arising from prom dresses to women wearing black give five actresses their own golden moments to shine.

Crimes of the Heart.  Artwork by Brian Bressler

Crimes of the Heart. Artwork by Brian Bressler

Crimes of the Heart
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage
May 3 – June 15, 2014
Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy is a hilariously observed masterpiece of the Southern Gothic style. When their hospitalized grandad brings the Magrath sisters back together, they discover the past isn’t exactly what they thought it was. A welcome response to those who have been concerned that the Guthrie shortchanges women playwrights.

Working Boys Band
History Theatre
www.historytheatre.com
Venue: History Theatre
May 3 – June 1, 2014
Dominic Orlando and Hirum Titus delve into child labor issues before World War I and the work of Professor C.C. Heintzman. At the time the exploitation of children in perilous work sites where they risked life, limb, and physical health, was tragically common. Child labor still haunts the world.

Miss Spider's Tea Party. Photo by Erik Sautilis

Miss Spider’s Tea Party. Photo by Erik Sautilis

Miss Spider’s Tea Party
James Sewell Ballet
www.jsballet.org
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
May 3, 2014
Reif Dance of Grand Rapids, MN returns to perform one of James Sewell’s youth-oriented ballets. Based on David Kirk’s children’s book, it deals with a spider who must get beyond the fears of her insect neighbors’ irrational fears. They see ulterior motives where there actually are none.

The Three Musketeers
Walking Shadow Theatre Company & Guthrie Theater
www.walkingshadowcompany.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s
Dowling Studio
May 9 – May 25, 2014
John Heimbuch has established himself as one of the region’s top directors of plays dealing with big topics in Western History at Walking Shadow Theatre Company. His sensibility will surely serve well the sensibility of Alexandre Dumas, the French novelist whose tale of machismo in decadent Paris is etched in our cultural history.

Zenon 31st Spring Season; My Quarreling Heart, by Kyle Abraham. Photo by William Cameron

Zenon 31st Spring Season; My Quarreling Heart, by Kyle Abraham. Photo by William Cameron

31st Spring Season
Zenon Dance Company
www.zenondance.org
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
May 9 – May 18, 2014
Minneapolis is proud of having one of the nation’s premiere repertory dance companies. Zenon artists blend jazz and modern dance into their own distinct style and their inclusion of emerging choreographers and international luminaries makes for exquisite performances. Some names its known for are Bebe Miller and Bill T. Jones.

Bring It On – The Musical
Ordway
www.ordway.org
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
May 13 – May 18, 2014
Extreme competition is glorified in this smash hit musical that engages the talents of Jeff Whitty of Avenue Q, Manuel Miranda and Alex Lacamoire of In the Heights, Tom Kitt of Next to Normal, with choreography by In the Heights’s Andy Blankenbuehler. A hip contemporary show that catches the wave of our time.

St. Paul Grill
Grills may have gotten their start on the east coast, but this landmark restaurant in the River City has become a shining star in its own right. Bring on the big basket of bread filled with all kinds of carb-worthy selections. Bring on the wedge salad smothered in blue cheese and bacon, bring on the perfectly seared lamb chops with jalepeno mint jelly. Not in the mood for meat? Maybe the daily fresh fish selection will help kick up your heels. Don’t stop there, bring it all on and don’t stop until you dig your fork into the decadent delights found in the sinfully good chocolate turtle tart.
www.stpaulgrill.com
–Pat Evans

Our Country's Good. Photo by Robert Workman

Our Country’s Good. Photo by Robert Workman

Our Country’s Good
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
May 21 – June 29, 2014
In the 1780s England’s Royal Marines rode the First Fleet with convicts to set up the first penal colony in Australia. While incarcerated, they became captivated with rehearsing and staging a play, transcending their dreadful situation, at least in spirit. Playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker read First Fleet members’ journals while developing the play.

Dr. Seuss’
The Cat In the Hat
Children’s Theatre Company
www.childrenstheatre.org
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
May 22 – July 20, 2014
He wears a tall red-and-white-striped hat. He is mischievous and tricky. Rather than getting down in the dumps on a rainy day he has an adventure! But what happens when he reveals Thing One and Thing Two? CTC has become absolutely masterful at embodying Dr. Seuss’s absurdist style.

Glam Doll Donuts
With names like Flirty Frenchie, Pinup Girl, and Starlet, the menu might sound more R than PG. But this doll’s donuts are to die for. Several are even topped with bacon, how can that be bad? Sugar has known properties for boosting energy and creativity, so you just know, the good Dr. Suess would approve of a stop here before or after the show.
www.glamdolldonuts.com
–Pat Evans

Sister Act. Photo by Joan Marcus

Sister Act. Photo by Joan Marcus

Sister Act
Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.hennepintheatretrust.org
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
May 27 – June 1, 2014
When a crime witness named Delores is hidden away in a convent by police order, for her own protection, she shakes up the nuns. The suspicious Mother Superior sees the attitudes of her nuns change considerably. Oscar and Tony-winning Alan Menken is the composer. Inspired by the Whoopi Goldberg movie.

The Red Box
Park Square Theatre
www.parksquaretheatre.org
Venue: Park Square Theatre
May 30 – July 13, 2014
Legendary mystery writer Rex Stout wrote the legendary fictional detective genius Nero Wolfe. This stage adaptation of one of the Nero Wolfe series has a model who dies from what is apparently poisoned candy. Park Square always presents a mystery thriller every year and they always deliver an intriguing production.

The Beaux’ Stratagem
Theatre in the Round Players
www.theatreintheround.org
Venue: Theatre in the Round
May 30 – June 22, 2014
First produced in 1707, George Farquhar’s classic comedy revolves around two gentlemen who lack sufficient funds to support their extravagant lifestyle. So they troll around England to prey on a rich heiress. A mischievous devil-may-care play with a window into gender dynamics in the 18th century class system.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Photo courtesy of Hennepin Theatre Trust

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Minneapolis Musical Theatre and Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.aboutmmt.org
Venue: New Century Theatre
June 6 – June 29, 2014
The founder of the Democratic Party is reviled for his removal of Native Americans and owning slaves. He also expanded the vote to white non-land-owning men and defied the monetary elite. This Tony-nominated rock musical will surely stimulate lots of thought. Presented by Minneapolis Musical Theatre and Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Broadway Songbook: Comden and Green
Ordway
www.ordway.org
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
June 13 – June 15, 2014
James Rocco presents a lively remembrance of American musical theater and film’s greatest male/female duo, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Best known for the movie smash, Singin’ in the Rain, they were also the heart and soul behind The Band Wagon, On the Town, and The Will Rogers Follies.

Ghost Tour UK. Photo by Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Ghost Tour UK. Photo by Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Ghost
Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.hennepintheatretrust.org
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
June 18 – June 23, 2014
Molly’s murdered fiance, Sam, gets caught between earth and afterlife. When he finds she is in mortal danger, he contacts a questionable psychic to save and protect her. Ashley Warren choreographs. Based on the popular film with Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, and Whoopi Goldberg who won an Oscar for it.

Passing the Beat 2014
Mu Performing Arts
www.muperformingarts.org
Venue: Sabes Jewish Community Center
June 20 – June 22, 2014
Taiko students give their popular annual recital with their Mu Daiko instructors. This percussive tradition began in Japan before 900 CE and was influenced by artistic energy from China and Korea. It is a Mu Performing Arts tradition and Mu Performing Arts rates as the region’s top Asian-American performing arts organization.

The Heiress
The Jungle Theater
www.jungletheater.com
Venue: The Jungle Theater
June 20 – August 10, 2014
Few plays capture the ways in which 19th century white middle class women were insidiously controlled by codes of sublimated humiliation like this one. When a naive and sheltered young woman falls in love with a dashing gentleman, her father objects severely. Adapted for stage from novelist Henry James’s Washington Square.

My Fair Lady. Artwork by Brian Bressler

My Fair Lady. Artwork by Brian Bressler

My Fair Lady
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage
June 28 – August 31, 2014
Lerner & Loewe’s musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion is one of musical comedy’s most enduring works. The story of an illiterate Cockney lass swept up by an educated man of the upper class in order to be ‘re-made’ into a lady of well-spoken sophistication pushes many buttons.

Sea Change
Everybody loves a good makeover, and what reknown Chef Tim McKee started a few years ago is only getting better. Now in the hands of Jamie Malone, who is one of the hottest chefs in the country, Sea Change truly is a destination rather than a theatre that serves food. Can you imagine how much fun that awful misogynist Professor Higgins would have had showing Eliza Doolittle around this world class menu?
www.seachangempls.com
–Pat Evans

Godspell
Theatre in the Round Players
www.theatreintheround.org
Venue: Theatre in the Round
July 4 – July 27, 2014
Hey! Fellow Wicked freaks! Did you know this was Stephen Schwarz’s first big musical! Its flower child sensibility, gorgeous folk/rock style music, and poetic lyrics capture the real spirit of Christ’s teachings: Day by Day, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, All Good Gifts. Frankly, a even better score than Wicked.

The Wreck
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s
Dowling Studio
July 11 – July 20, 2014
Carl Flink is a master genius choreographer whose athletic demands are often breathtaking. This extraordinary work has the dancers render the actions and horrors of those aboard a sinking ship. As the ship goes down the dancers imagine being in a state of unbridled panic to get to whatever pockets of air they can.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Artwork by Brian Bressler

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Artwork by Brian Bressler

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Guthrie Theater
www.guthrietheater.org
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
July 19 – August 31, 2014
Gay master playwright Christopher Durang’s comedy won the Tony Award for Best Play. He mixes Anton Chekhov’s style with contemporary quirkiness. Durang’s past works of note include Sister Mary Ignatius…. and The Actor’s Nightmare. Another example of the Guthrie snaring one of the hottest new plays. Way to go Big G!

A Little Night Music
Mu Performing Arts
www.muperformingarts.org
Venue: Park Square Theatre
July 25 – August 10, 2014
One of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s few comedies, Smiles of a Summer Night, was adapted for the musical stage by Stephen Sondheim. One of musical theater’s loveliest tunes, Send in the Clowns, is what it is best remembered for.

The Book of Mormon. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Book of Mormon. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Book of Mormon
Hennepin Theatre Trust
www.hennepintheatretrust.org
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
August 20 – September 7, 2014
The South Park take on Mormon missionary youths in Uganda has been sensationally popular. If you like snark, irreverence, and campy innuendo this is your musical. Reminiscent of the musical Avenue Q, be warned that this is not a dramatization of Joseph Smith and the religious text, The Book of Mormon.

The Saloon
As one of Minneapolis’s longest-running gay owned and operated bars and restaurants, for some, this is kind of like going to church. Whether its to lift one’s “spirits,” find the one or maybe the one for a night, or even to munch on a tasty burger, this place delivers. And if your are really lucky, maybe one of those cute guys who are in The Book of Mormon just might pop over to show you his famous ‘Mormon” underpants.
www.saloonmn.com
–Pat Evans

The Mystery of Irma Vep
The Jungle Theater
www.jungletheater.com
Venue: The Jungle Theater
August 29 – October 19, 2014
Actor/Playwright Charles Ludlam was an icon of camp performance. His work at the Ridiculous Theatre in New York in the 1980s was a beacon of camp consciousness. Irma Vep, with two characters playing mulitiple roles, crossing gender lines, in a Gothic thriller spoof, is his crowning achievement. A madcap gem.

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