Fall Arts & Food Pairings

By Lavender September 6, 2012

Categories: Arts & Culture, Featured - Home Page, Our Scene

Lavender presents the Fall Arts & Food Issue Pairings!  50 of the hottest shows to hit stages this season are paired with 50 of the most apropos places to dine.  Your theatre experience should match your culinary experience and, with the Twin Cities as your playground, we give you a list that’s as entertaining and tasty as the shows and restaurants on it.  The pairings are listed chronologically, but be sure to check the details for each show provided on the theatre websites—dates are subject to change.

by John Townsend, Joy Summers, and Carla Waldemar

 

Xanadu. Photo by Mike Hnida

Xanadu
through September 29, 2012
The words “thought-provoking” don’t apply. This musical spoof of the ’80s cult film is pure cotton candy—a tasty riff on a California lad’s dream of—no, not simply movie stardom, but opening a roller disco. He gets a little help from the movie’s Olivia Newton John lookalike, a blonde Greek goddess (natch). Plus, Chan’s terrific song-and-danceters get to strut their stuff on wheels.
Venue: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
–C.W.

Restaurant Pairing:
With a show that’s so deliciously fluffy, why even bother with the entrée? Head straight to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater’s Limoncello Cake, light cake soaked in lemon liquer, it’s just as sweet and decadent as this poppy little love story on skates. 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen www.chanhassentheatres.com
–J.S.

 

Waiting for Godot
through September 30, 2012
The Gone With the Wind of aburdist drama or comedy, whichever you prefer. At the Jungle, with Nathan Keepers and Jim Lichtscheidl in the main roles, you can expect it to definitely go in the comic direction. Playwright Samuel Beckett is considered to be one of the greatest playwrights ever.
Venue: The Jungle Theater
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Is the wait ever worth it? It is if you’re standing in the line that awaits Travail’s opening every day. See what the national press is buzzing about by ordering one of the most affordable and rewarding tasting menus in town. 4154 West Broadway, Robbinsdale www.facebook.com/Travailkitchen
–J.S.

 

The Rainbow Election: Mommies and Mormons and Gays, Oh My!
through November 3, 2012
Brave New Workshop
The best comedy revue to hit the Twin Cities in years. The Brave New Workshop ensemble is maturing and getting sharper. If you tend to idolize the current top political candidates and/or Ronald Reagan, prepare to have your illusions shattered. Andy Hilbrands and Bobby Gardner rock as Obama and Romney.
Venue: Brave New Workshop
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
We may have different beliefs as to who should win the impending election, but we all come from a common belief that all citizens deserve a decent meal. Come together at Common Roots Cafe – a great spot for meat-a-tarians and veggie-heads alike. Everyone can agree that the stuffed poblano is divine. 2558 Lyndale Ave, Mpls
www.commonrootscafe.com
–J.S.

 

The Brothers Size
September 7, 2012
Pillsbury House Theatre and The Mount Curve Company
The second in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays Trilogy is staged by Pillsbury House and the Mt. Curve Company at Guthrie’s Dowling Studio. Themes of prison, homosexuality, and race permeate this three man drama set in small-town Louisiana, with inspiration from Yoruban mythology. Directed by Marion McClinton.
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Before heading to the Bayou, duck in to Dixie’s in St. Paul for a bowl of their zesty gumbo and an order of their “soul fries.” Not sure what makes them “soul,” but french fries with blue cheese, scallions, and bacon are hard to resist. 695 Grand Ave, St. Paul www.dixiesongrand.com
–J.S.

 

Buccaneers. Photo by Joan Buccina, Buccina Studios, Bradley Greenwald, Megan Fischer

Buccaneers
September 11, 2012
A young girl rejects living with unlikable relatives, so she sails the ocean blue. But as fortune would have it, she falls into the clutches of pirates. Choreographer Joe Chvala says this world premiere will be ‘edgy’ with a score influenced by sea shanties and the ship’s diverse ship crew.
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
There is no better pirate-themed restaurant than Smalley’s Caribbean BBQ. Their food is killer with spice levels ranging from tame to nuclear. Be sure to get a side of their mac ‘n’ cheese with smokey peppers and bacon – it’s one of the best arrrrrhhound. 423 Main Street South, Stillwater www.smalleyspiratebbq.com
–J.S.

 

Red
September 14, 2012
Mark Rothko looms as one of modern art’s paragons, but what happens when a hungry younger generation starts to make itself felt? The setting is the late 1950s, not in a museum, but at the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue where Rothko is on commission.
Venue: Park Square Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Oceanaire went from past to present when they moved from the date Hyatt into their new digs in the heart of downtown. Interior décor also mixes eras, but that fantastic seafood remains the same. Get anything enhanced with “Dynamite.” 50 S 6th St, Mpls www.theoceanaire.com
–J.S.

 

Tales From Hollywood
September 15, 2012
Christopher Hampton’s 1983 drama explores the world of artists who left Nazi Germany and moved to Hollywood. Intellectual/artistic titans like Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann are incongruously fascinating additions to Tinseltown where, let’s face it, profit was (and still is) the bottom line. Cameos by Garbo, Tarzan, and Groucho.
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Enjoy a warm, fall evening on one of the best patios in town at the Black Forest Inn. Sample a few German dishes like Sauerbraten or their awesome potato salad alongside a cold beer. 1 East 26th Street, Mpls www.blackforestinnmpls.com
–J.S.

 

Les Petites Choses
September 21, 2012
ARENA DANCE
Choreographer Matthew Janczewski is known for his athletic and sensual dance performances. His Arena Dance troupe is what you could call ‘hip!’ You can expect testosterone-driven images and cutting edge music.You can also expect that the paradoxically intimate but spacious Cowles Center stage will enhance the primal power.
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Prepare yourself for this sensual evening with a taste of France by way of Vincent – A Restaurant. Chef and owner Vincent Francoual and staff create elegant meals with sophisticated comfort food flavors with a stunner of a wine list. 1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls www.vincentarestaurant.com
–J.S.

 

Nabucco. Photo by ©Scott Suchman for Washington National Opera

Nabucco
September 22, 2012
Minnesota Opera
Discover why critics call this “the most satisfying of the early Verdi operas.” Come prepared to suspend your disbelief in the story of Nabucco (the Biblical Nebuchadnezzer), who captures Jerusalem, enslaves its Jews, and—aha!—goes mad (Jehovah’s revenge is sweet) and, from prison, sees one daughter about to execute her sister and grab the throne. But! Sanity returns, amid glorious music like the tear-jerking “Va pensiero” chorus, and all is—well, wonderful opera. Stars fave diva Brenda Harris.
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
–C.W.

Restaurant Pairing:
A story about strife, hardship, and an intense love could very well be written about Stewart and Heidi Woodman. They’ve literally made it through fire and threaded through their every venture is their devotion to each other and their vision. Heidi’s in Uptown is sleek, elegant and serves a gorgeous lamb shank. 2903 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls www.heidismpls.com
–J.S.

 

Ivey Awards
September 24, 2012
The glory night for Twin Cities Theater will award performances, designs, productions, and theater companies that have created exceptional work over the past year. The most eagerly awaited award is generally the final one for Lifetime Achievement. It’s an elegant night where you may want to dress up and hobknob.
Venue: State Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Toast the Ivey Awards at the restaurant that keeps racking up the local and national awards: The Bachelor Farmer. Plus – they’ve got toast! The expertly crafted cocktails from Pip Hanson and crew will put you in the celebratory spirit. 50 North 2nd Street, Mpls www.thebachelorfarmer.com
–J.S.

 

The Cat in the Hat
September 25, 2012
For 60 years he’s been a favorite of mischievous kids everywhere! That cat in the tall, red-and-white striped hat with the big bow tie makes his American premiere. That’s because the original production was produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. In other words, that means ‘the gold standard.’
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Take young guests to a fancy dinner at the Oak Grill on Macy’s 12th floor for popovers and pot pie. Before leaving for the show, run through the basement or the yearly holiday show that ends in all kinds of sugary treats. 700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls www.macys.com
–J.S.

 

I Puritani
September 28, 2012
Minnesota Concert Opera
Vincenzo Bellini’s 1835 Italian opera actually takes place in England during its Civil War of the 1640s, also known as the Puritan Revolution. Set in a castle, it shows what happens when battles thwart a marriage. Though the Puritans were eventually defeated, their dreadful cultural influence still haunts us today.
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Dine on the best fish n’ chips in the cities at Anchor Fish and Chips before heading over. The gluttonous good food will vanquish any puritaniacal food feelings before this show. 302 13th Ave NE, Mpls www.theanchorfishandchips.com
–J.S.

 

Appomattox
September 29, 2012
The Court House in Appomattox, Virginia, was where Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee signed the treaty to end the American Civil War after the Southerner’s surrender. Christopher Hampton’s new play considers the profound problem of how a nation heals after a bloody prolonged conflict.
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
In the spirit of fellowship, gather at Republic at Seven Corners for a couple of pints of local, craft beer and a bit of tasty pub grub. 221 Cedar Ave S, Mpls www.republicmn.com
–J.S.

 

Next to Normal
October 4, 2012
The first local production of what the Pulitzer Prize Board called “a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals.” Tony-winner Tom Kitt’s evocative rock score was inspired by the likes of Billy Joel and U2.
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Go full-on rock for the night with a meal at Triple Rock Social Club. The food is killer bar food. Check out the “cheapo burger and a pint happy hour” or indulge in the Chef’s Revenge. Don’t worry, you’ll like it. 629 Cedar Ave, Mpls www.triplerocksocialclub.com
–J.S.

 

Bye Bye Birdie
October 5, 2012
It’s back to the ’60s as Chanhassen reinvents the Tony-winning musical spoof of an Elvis-like rock’n’roller, Conrad Birdie, in his final moment of freedom before the Army nabs him. His publicists promise his goodbye kiss will go to winner of a national contest—a homespun, small-town cupcake (did you doubt it?), to be smooched on the Ed Sullivan “shew,” as the iconic MC would say.
Venue: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
–C.W.

Restaurant Pairing:
The girl is from Sweet Apple, Ohio, so why not nibble on another sweet tart confection like the Chanhassen Dinner Theater’s Apple Bavarian Tart? That’s after you say a little bye-bye, birdie to a couple of munchable chicken fingers. 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen www.chanhassentheaters.com
–J.S.

 

Lombardi
October 6, 2012
We’re so bombarded with sports anymore that it’s easy to stop making distinctions about just who merits our attention v. who does not. But there can be no doubt that Green Bay’s most legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, is one of the sports world’s unquestionable titans. Jim Detmar stars.
Venue: History Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
All I need to hear is Green Bay and I’m craving some cheese. A place named Elsie’s has to have a soft spot for the dairy products and the show it with a great plate of cheese curds, made with fresh Wisconsin cheese. 729 Marshall Street NE, Mpls www.elsies.com
–J.S.

 

Billy Elliott The Musical
October 9, 2012
Tensions between a rugged blue collar worker and his adolescent son who wants to–and has the talent to–become a first-rate ballet dancer fuel the energy of this winner of 10 Tonys. Composer Elton John was drawn to the story because of his own father’s resistance to his music ambitions.
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Like Billy, Heartland came from humble beginnings and grew into something truly fabulous. The original space was cozy, but their new digs offer tons of space and expanded dining options. J’eté your way into the bar for a taste of their exquisite farm-to-table cuisine. Best of all, dinner doesn’t have to be overly fancy – they’ve even got a burger! 289 East 5th St, St. Paul www.heartlandrestaurant.com
–J.S

 

Embers
October 9, 2012
Christopher Hampton, the playwright the Guthrie celebrates this Fall, muses on the rupture of male friendship. Set in a Hungarian castle at the onset of World War II, a general finds out why his best friend of decades before mysteriously abandoned him while on a hunting trip. Joe Dowling directs.
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Such serious discussion requires a room of quiet elegance, simple comfort and exquisite service who can virtually melt into the background, if the conversation calls for it. Restaurant Alma has quietly slipping into the pantheon of classic, romantic restaurants and yet the food is always surprising and delightful. 528 University Ave, Mpls www.restaurantalma.com
–J.S.

 

Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Joan Marcus

Beauty and the Beast
October 16, 2012
Hennepin Theatre Trust
This show shifted consciousness of 1990s Broadway. The idea of a Disney film musical transforming into a Broadway smash was not only out of the box but also out of a fairy tale. But the idea of true love surmounting startling physical differences was an idea whose time had finally come!
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Be their guest at the opulent La Belle Vie. Known for having the best of everything from service to food to bar program, dine at the James Beard Award-winning restaurant before the show. Dine in the Lounge and feel free to bring younger diners for a meal befitting a princess or prince. 510 Groveland Terrace, Mpls www.labellevie.us
–J.S.

 

The Peruvian Nightingale
October 18, 2012
Ballet of the Dolls
Ballet of the Dolls re-tells the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about the emperor’s nightingale set in Peru with the voice of Yma Sumac as the Nightingale. Adorable Dolls veteran Stephanie Fellner stars. Choreographer Myron Johnson has an inspired gift for blending masterful dance technique with kinky sensual power.
Venue: Ritz Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
No visit to Peru would be complete without a taste of cebiche. Check out the new Somos Peru for a taste of this seafood delight. 6009 Nicollet Ave, Mpls www.somosperu.com
–J.S.

 

King Lear
October 29, 2012
Raye Birk plays the ultimate role for a middle-aged or older male actor. Shakespeare captures the delusional aspect of an arrogant man who insists on being flattered rather than being levelled with. Two of his daughters cruelly indulge him. But the one who truly loves him does not.
Venue: Park Square Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Dine like a king at King’s Wine Bar with their mix on upscale comfort foods like a tasty burger, braised chicken or pot roast. 4555 Grand Ave S, Mpls www.kingsmpls.com
–J.S.

 

Company
October 25, 2012
Theater Latté Da
It’s a great paradox that heterosexual marriage’s greatest proponent may well be the gay master of American musical theater, Stephen Sondheim. His intimate classic, Company, with book written by George Furth, captures the essence of what it means to devote your life and your self to another and the beautifully turbulent commitment that is.
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Contemplate the state of marriage than with a naughty little wink and nod at the Strip Club. Nibble steaks with naughty named toppings and quaff a couple of the best cocktails to be found in town, like Nameless Lover. 387 Maria Ave, St. Paul www.domeats.com
–J.S.

 

James Sewell Ballet:
Ballet Macabre
October 26, 2012
James Sewell Ballet
Minnesota’s acclaimed and dreamy modernist ballet troupe imagines the work of Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849). The legendary Romantic fiction writer is ideal for dance because of his nightmarish connection with other dimensions. It was often rumored that he had turbulent gay romantic relations with Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Blackbird isn’t a far more friendly avian friend than the ominous raven. Dine on the exquisite fusion of their comfort food, like their fabulous bahn mi. 3800 Nicollet Ave, Mpls www.blackbirdmpls.com
–J.S.

 

In the Next Room
November 2, 2012
Sarah Ruhl is one of the top young playwrights of her generation. She is known for her comic flair and daring observations. This Tony-nominated comedy is aka The Vibrator Play because it looks into the fear of female sexuality and the mystery of the female orgasm in Victorian times.
Venue: The Jungle Theater
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
The fabulous, tingling burn causes flushed faces and a craving for more. This eye-popping play calls for the addictive spice of Little Szechuan. Order the beef in spicy broth and discover a taste that will jolt those taste buds back to life. Sip a cocktail at the West End location. 5377 West 16th St, St. Louis Park
www.littleszechuan.com
–J.S.

 

How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Photo by Dan Norman

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
November 6, 2012
The Christmas spirit just cannot countenance curmudgeons, even if they’re as creatively unique as Dr. Seuss’ cantankerous Grinch! But just how will the Whos from Whoville deal with the grump’s foul moods? The Children’s Theatre has become a sure hand at staging the classic books written by Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss).
Venue: Children’s Theatre Company
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Take young guests to a fancy dinner at the Oak Grill on Macy’s 12th floor for popovers and pot pie. Before leaving for the show, run through the basement or the yearly holiday show that ends in all kinds of sugary treats. 700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls www.macys.com
–J.S.

 

Mu Performing Arts:
Mu Daiko
November 8, 2012
Mu Performing Arts
Mu Performing Arts drumming ensemble exudes primal and powerful female energy. This Japanese drumming tradition starts out soft and slow and incrementally accelerates. Mu Performing Arts has established itself as the region’s pre-eminent creator of performance by Asian-American artists with a heart and mind toward Asian cultural traditions.
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
The Left Handed Cook combines Asian flavors with comforting foods. Try their take on the Canadian classic, poutine, topped with kimchee, or their unmissable fried chicken. 920 East Lake St, Mpls
www.midtownglobalmarket.com
–J.S.

 

Anna Bolena
November 10, 2012
Minnesota Opera
By Mr. Bel Canto himself, Gaetano Donizetti, this trillerama concludes the Opera’s Tudor trilogy with the story of the imprisoned English queen. Intrigue, betrayal, and gorgeous arias by an equally gorgeous soprano make this ultra-sumptuous production a must-see.
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
–C.W.

Restaurant Pairing:
We all know where this is going and things are not going to end well for Anne. Before the show, celebrate her best known body part by partaking in a little head cheese from Corner Table’s dazzling charcuterie plate. Their attentive service and killer wine pairings will make you feel like a king. 4257 Nicollet Ave, Mpls www.cornertablerestaurant.com
–J.S.

 

A Christmas Carol
November 13, 2012
If you feel that Christmas season has lost the spirit of unconditional love and generosity that many Christians still hold as intrinsic to their faith, then be restored by this wonderful Guthrie staple. This year the brilliant Joe Chvala, who has choreographed past Christmas Carols, now directs the whole show!
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Get into the yuletide spirit inside the cozy walls of Forepaugh’s. Inside a beautiful, old neighborhood, graced with shimmering lights that reflect off each little snowflake, dine on roast chicken and take a moment to count all your blessings. 276 South Exchange St, St Paul
www.forepaughs.com
–J.S.

 

Hofesh Shechter Company
November 13, 2012
Northrop Dance and Walker Art Center Present Hofesh Shechter Company
When a choreographer creates dance pieces with titles like “Uprising,” “deGENERATION,” and “Political Mother,” you likely expect a forceful sensibility. And top critics in England, where Shechter’s troupe is based, back that up passionately. A graduate of Jerusalam Academy for Dance and Music, Shechter has played London’s major dance venues.
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Go way modern with stellar desserts at Cosmos. Their award-winning pastry chef spins desserts of dazzling tastes that have likely never been experienced before. They are stunning works of art. 601 N 1st Ave, Mpls
www.cosmosrestaurant.com
–J.S.

 

Zenon Dance Company’s Fall Season
November 16, 2012
Zenon Dance Company
When it comes to contemporary dance, our own Zenon Dance Company is among America’s greatest. There’s a luminosity and a transcendence that come through their inspired blend of jazz and modern dance. And figures of consequence like Susanna Tambutti, Danny Buraczeski, and Tamara Ober are part of the Zenon firmanent.
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
The food from the raw bar at Sea Change could be described using many of the same words, illustrious, illuminating, and transcendent. The langostine presentation is simply one of the best dishes in the cities, if not the entire Midwest. 806 S 2nd St. Mpls
www.seachangempls.com
–J.S.

 

I Wish You Love
November 18, 2012
Dennis Spears astounds as Nat King Cole as he struggles against systematized racism in the early age of television. The vocals are so creamily beautiful that you may be stunned at the ugly injustice done to the man singing them at the time he sings them. A powerful musical experience.
Venue: Penumbra Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Enjoy the smooth, jazz, cool of the Imperial Room while sipping one of their fine martinis. A sentimental journey to the another era, thankfully free of some of the uglier parts of reality. 417 North 1st Ave, Mpls www.imperialroom.com
–J.S.

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photos by Petronella Ystma

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
November 19, 2012
The most popular comedy of not only Shakespeare, but of all time, is a perennial favorite and a signature production for Park Square audiences. And what sets their interpretation apart from others is its ethereal sensuality. In ‘The Dream’ the bard has a mischievous sense of the laws of erotic attraction.
Venue: Park Square Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Tuck inside the playful room of the boho chic Loring Pasta Bar. Imps could likely be hiding anywhere. Lounge under the fairy lights dotting the decor and enjoy a bit of lip licking pasta before the show. 327 14th Ave SE, Mpls www.loringcafe.com
–J.S.

 
A Don’t Hug Me
Christmas Carol
November 23, 2012
Hennepin Theatre Trust
Phil Olson’s gigantic holiday hit spoofs our beloved Minnesota with tunes like “Gunner Fell Into An Ice Hole” and “Gramma Cut the Christmas Cheese.” When a feisty Bunyan Bay bar owner snowmobiles on an icy lake, next thing he knows he’s dreaming in a coma, guiltily haunted by ghosts!
Venue: New Century Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
For a Minnesota fine dining twist with a wink and a nod as a perfect pairing for this play, check out Haute Dish. Their take on tater tot hot dish is playful and rich. Look to their cocktail list for some of the best mixed in the cities with enough bourbon to get anyone through forced family fun time. 119 Washington Ave North, Mpls www.haute-dish.com
–J.S.

 

Christmas of Swing
November 24, 2012
A nostalgic take on Minnesota’s The Andrews Sisters, who entertained American troops during World War II. Their voices produced the definitive vocal sound of the 1940s USO shows. Other characters in this holiday treat: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, the crackerjack comic duo Abbott & Costello, and of course, Santa Claus.
Venue: History Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Nestle into a steakhouse of a bygone era at Jax Cafe in Nordeast. Sit in the stunning bar and order a Manhattan with a fine red meat dinner. It’s a classic. 1928 University NE, Mpls www.jaxcafe.com/
–J.S.

 

Sinderella at the Ritz
November 30, 2012
Ballet of the Dolls
Ballet of the Dolls choreographer Myron Johnson is a Twin Cities legend known for his iconoclastic spirit and witty dance technique. This time he’s especially controversial in resetting the Cinderella story in a brothel where the stepmother ‘rents out’ her daughters. Johnson also says the show will have transgender characters.
Venue: Ritz Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Toast the manic, beautiful crazy at nearby Psycho Suzi’s with some of their signature tiki drinks and fried food niblet bonanza. 1900 Marshall Ave NE, Mpls www.psychosuzis.com

 

The Servant of Two Masters
December 1, 2012
The Guthrie Theater presents this production by the Yale Repertory Theatre
Venetian Carlo Goldoni is Italy’s most beloved historical comic playwright. The Venetian’s 1740s madcap classic stars the extraordinary Steven Epps fresh from a hit run at the distinguished Yale Repertory. Mistaken identities, broken engagements, and crossgender antics make for mischief. In the spirit of Theatre de la Jeune Lune.
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
A convivial play calls for boisterous dining – pop in to the nearby Zen Box Izakaya where the staff happily calls out greetings as you walk in the door. It’s a Japanese Cheers, they can’t wait to know your name. Slurp up a bowlful of joy in their tasty ramen and the chicken Kara-Age. 602 Washington Ave S. Mpls www.zenboxizakaya.com
–J.S.

 

Elf The Broadway Musical
December 5, 2012
When an orphan crawls into Santa’s bag and ends up at the North Pole, he’s so young and naive that he doesn’t realize he’s actually human. But St. Nick allows him to go to New York to find his birth father. An boy’s exploration of identity.
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Gimble’s, the department store where Buddy creates his Christmas magic, sounds a lot like Macy’s New York. Dine in department store splendor at Macy’s River Room. Sip wild rice soup and nibble at those famous popovers under their beautiful chandeliers, set against the salmon walls – not unlike those of the Candycane Forest. 411 Cedar Street, St. Paul www.macys.com
–J.S.

 

Catch Me If You Can. Photo courtesy of Hennepin TheatreTrust

Catch Me If You Can
December 12, 2012
Hennepin Theatre Trust
Gay master playwright Terrence McNally wrote the libretto for the story of the beguiling Frank W. Abignale, Jr., who forged checks while he pretended to be a doctor, lawyer, and pilot. But the FBI is on his tail. Four 2011 Tony nominations including Best Musical. Spielberg directed the film version.
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Swing in to the Monte Carlo for that dashing style of a bygone era. Swank martinis are icy and they serve the best dry wings known to man. The room has hardly been touched by the hands of time. 219 3rd Ave North, Mpls www.montecarlomn.com
–J.S.

 

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
December 14, 2012
Minnesota Dance Theatre
The late Loyce Houlton founded the Minnesota Dance Theatre and her splendid version of the Russian Christmas classic is one of their signature pieces to this day. From a queer perspective, composer Tchaikovsky was gay, so consider what may percolate beneath the duet between the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier!
Venue: The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Russian dining at Moscow on the Hill is full of wonderful winter heartiness, pillowy piroshki, or savory pelmeni. A sweet White Russian for dessert and the stage is set for a magnificent evening. 371 Selby Ave., St. Paul www.moscowonthehill.com
–J.S.

 

All is Calm
December 19, 2012
Theater Latté Da
The World War I Christmas Truce of 1914 between troops of the Entente and Central Powers was a miraculous moment when soldiers at a battlefield on both sides bucked their superiors and shared in a spirit of reconciliation and brotherhood. Theater Latte Da has shaped this into a holiday tradition.
Venue: Pantages Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
All is right with the world when you’re sipping a perfectly crafted cocktail. Bradstreet Crafthouse mixes drinks in a pre-Prohibition style with glittering ice cubes, perfect for imagining that holiday season when the world was quiet. 601 1st Avenue North Hennepin Ave, Mpls www.bradstreetcrafthouse.com
–J.S.

 

AIDA
January 3, 2013
Theater Latté Da
Elton John and Tim Rice’s eclectic take on Verdi’s opera was actually inspired by Leontyne Price’s children’s book version. This epic tale muses on conflicting loyalties between an Egyptian captain and the Nubian female beauty he captures. One asks what is more important: one’s patriotic duty or following one’s heart?
Venue: Pantages Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Celebrate the soaring struggle for freedom with a flavor riot at Saffron. Take a gourmet tour of food of the world with octopus al la plancha, grilled haloumi and kefta tagine. Fuel the night with the sweet cardamom spiced Turkish coffee. 123 North 3rd Street, Mpls www.saffronmpls.com
–J.S.

Priscilla Queen of The Desert. Photo by Joan Marcus

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
January 8, 2013
Hennepin Theatre Trust
Get out your headdress girlfriend! Producer Bette Midler’s stage musical version of the queer cult film celebrates how we celebrate ourselves when we defy gender norms. Stephan Elliot, who wrote and directed the 1994 drag/trans film smash, has co-written the musical with Allan Scott. Defiantly and divinely fabulous!
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Grab your flower ‘fro, best flip-flop dress and get ready to shake your groove thang. Prime yourself at the fabulous Rosa Mexicano bar with pink lights, the La Antiqua and a couple of tasty little tacos. 609 Hennepin Ave, Mpls www.rosamexicano.com
–J.S.

 
Long Day’s Journey into Night
January 12, 2013
Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical milestone is called The Great American Play perhaps more frequently than any other. Guthrie icons Peter Michael Goetz and Helen Carey play the Tyrones. She’s medically addicted to morphine. He thinks she simply lacks the will to ‘just say no!’ as Nancy Reagan might have put it.
Venue: Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Get ready for loud, family together-ness with a big meal at Rainbow Chinese. Reserve the table with the lazy Susan and learn to share their traditional Chinese food favorites. 2739 Nicollet Ave, Mpls www.rainbowchinese.com
–J.S.

 

The Ultimate Pajama Party
January 17, 2013
An engaging cast of zany characters, celebrities, sponsors, and get-your-girl-on party games and activities. Women come in their pajamas and enjoy a diva-licious appetizer and dessert bar, followed by an interactive show then a live dance party! An ultimate celebration of women moving on and moving forward for women with a passion for life!
Venue: The Lab
–J.T.

 

Doubt
January 26, 2013
A Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative Production
Perhaps you know the premise, as told in the Pulitzer-winning play, produced by Ten Thousand Things and then Park Square, involving a morally-prickly nun’s shocking accusation against a fellow cleric. This round, it’s set to music by Douglas Cuomo and receives its world premiere in early 2013 with an all-star cast.
Venue: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
–C.W.

Restaurant Pairing:
Get in touch with your sweet, pious side by getting a pre-show treat at the new Angel Food Bakery. Their sweet confections and stiff coffee will satisfy every sweet tooth beyond a shadow of a doubt. 86 S 9th St, Mpls www.angelfoodmn.com
–J.S.

 

Nellie
January 26, 2013
Kim Hines was one of Lavender’s Top Five Theater Artists of the 1990s. Since then she has been produced across the nation including The Kennedy Center. Now she’s back in the local spotlight with a play about one of Minnesota’s greatest Labor leaders and Civil Rights pioneers, Nellie Stone Johnson.
Venue: History Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Express a little solidarity at Citizen Cafe in South Minneapolis. Try their Citizen Joe, their take on a sloppy Joe, because bringing people together is never a tidy affair. 2403 East 38th Street, Mpls www.thecitizencafe.com
–J.S.

 

The Book of Mormon. Photo by Joan Marcus

The Book of Mormon
February 5, 2013
Hennepin Theatre Trust
The South Park creators have actually crafted a Broadway smash that won nine Tony Awards. Goes to show you can create a great show about what seems like the unlikeliest of topics. But then hot guys in black dress slacks and plain white button down shirts exude that Mormon mystique!
Venue: Orpheum Theatre
–J.T.

Restaurant Pairing:
Celebrate your evening of perversity by beginning where you’re likely going to end up: Hell. Hell’s Kitchen is both cheeky and tasty. Try the sausage bread, nonsensical, but fabulous, just like the idea that the guys from South Park would win a slew of Tonys. 80 S 9th St, Mpls www.hellskitcheninc.com
–J.S.

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