Thursday, May 31, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: The GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN by Ten Thousand Things

Two of our bloggers saw Ten Thousand Things' Artistic Director and Founder Michelle Hensley's swan song THE GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN. She will be greatly missed, but we look forward to the next chapter of TTT! It closes this weekend but it's pretty much sold out (sorry!).
Cherry and Spoon
"One can only hope that all of the artists and audience members she's worked with and influenced in those years will continue on this tradition of inclusive, accessible, imaginative theater that is unlike anything else."
Play off the Page
"It is relevant and poignant. The cast is outstanding. The staging is alive and active, even interactive. Each actor plays many roles, moves sparse, yet fantastic, set pieces in and out. Peter Vitale provides music and sound-effects from one corner. Everything flows together like a fine-tuned musical ensemble."

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: AGE AGAINST THE MACHINE at Brave New Workshop

If you haven't seen The Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre's 60th anniversary show AGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, you still have a few weeks to catch it before it closes. PhenoMNal Twin Cities calls it "a fabulous way to catch up if you’ve missed some of the year’s productions and is also a really nice night out if you’ve seen it all before."

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Shows Closing This Week

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you all had a great long weekend, and now it's time to get back to the theater. Cherry and Spoon brings you a few LAST CHANCE shows closing this weekend. Click the links to read more and get tickets.
"With an excellent cast, plenty of Minnesota and Canada jokes, and clever theatrical tricks, it makes for a fun evening at the theater, laughing about the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction antics of a con man and his marks right here in Minnesota almost 150 years ago."
"We get to watch this relationship [teacher/student] play out in the hands of two talented actors (a beloved veteran and an exciting newcomer). It's an exploration of not just Shakespeare, but the changing phases of life, and whatever one's passion happens to be."
Hypnic Jerk Theatre: BULL
"Check it out for a short, intense, engaging, well directed and acted performance... It is indeed, as Hypnic Jerk's tagline says, a story that will jolt you awake."

Thursday, May 24, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Shows Closing This Weekend

As we head into the holiday weekend, here are a couple of LAST CHANCE shows closing this weekend.
Illusion Theater's ACTING BLACK by Carlyle Brown
"Brown uses the last half hour of the show to encourage members of the audience to talk with each other. Forced to confront our own internal reactions, and those of our peers, the realization that there is much more work to do comes swiftly and not without difficulty."
PhenoMNal Twin Cities
Sparkle Theatricals's THE ROOM WITH CLOSETS at The Southern Theater
"This is one of those theater experiences that is so mesmerizing, that so fully and specifically creates a world through words, movement, music, and visuals, that it absolutely casts a spell over the audience."
Cherry and Spoon

Monday, May 21, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: NEWSIES at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

It's the last week of May, which means it's almost summer! The Twin Cities Theater Bloggers would like to remind you of the fun and inspirational summer blockbuster musical playing at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres through September: NEWSIES!
Play off the Page
"Aleks Knezevich as Jack Kelly, the leader of the Newsies, is spectacular in the role. He can do it all, sing, dance, act, and charm the socks off of Katherine, and nearly everyone in the audience. He gives Jack heart, courage, compassion, and unfailing energy and devotion to the cause."
One Girl, Two Cities
"The overall message of the show is something many of us hold near and dear to our hearts right now: resistance. If we’re experiencing or witnessing injustices, more often people are taking a stand and pushing back. There is strength in numbers, and we can make a difference."
Compendium - Minneapolis
"I can't think of a better way to kick off CDT's 50th anniversary season (yes, 50 years - such an incredible achievement!) than this beautifully rendered production."
Brett Talk
"This cast really threw down the gauntlet this summer for musicals across the Twin Cities. The choreography was single handily the best I have ever seen."
Cherry and Spoon
"Children truly are our hope for the future, and Newsies celebrates that idea while providing a fun, entertaining, and inspirational show."
Info and tickets:
Photo by Rich Ryan

Friday, May 18, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at the Guthrie Theater

Check out what our bloggers had to say about Guthrie Theater's production of AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, a play over 100 years old that feels excruciatingly relevant.
Compendium - Minneapolis
"I really was surprised by how modern An Enemy of the People felt, and how resonant some of the pointed monologues were. Regardless of your political views, I think right now that most of us are really examining the role of the government and the people, the interplay between responsibility and contemporary practical realities, and the limits of power and conscience."
Play off the Page
"This play is screaming with relevancy. You have corporate greed, politics, science, and conscience all at battle. It’s like a car crash, and you can’t look away. I was riveted to the stage from start to finish (a 100 minute play with no intermission). It’s intense, and yet, not lacking humor. The actors, staging, set, sound, and lighting design are impeccable."
Brett Talk
"An Enemy of the People is a hauntingly relevant piece and one of the most thought provoking plays I’ve seen this year."
Cherry and Spoon
"A fantastic cast of local and national talent, a gorgeous crisp, clean, Scandinavian design, and timely and relevant themes make for another great night at the Guthrie."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Shows Closing This Weekend

Friends, don't miss your chance to see these shows closing THIS WEEKEND!
UNDER THIS ROOF by Full Circle Theater Company at Guthrie Theater
Cherry and Spoon
"It's a simple story of friendship and family, with moments of lyrical beauty mixed with the mundane stuff of everyday life... a realistic and ultimately hopeful look at the challenges that life throws at us."
MARISOL by Theatre Coup d'Etat at SpringHouse Ministry Center
Cherry and Spoon
"It's a wild ride, one that's at times confusing or difficult to watch, but so chock full of meaning and symbolism that I can't even begin to unpack it all. The production is very thoughtful and detailed, and not one I will soon forget."
THAIS by Minnesota Opera at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Bugaboo Musings
"Minnesota Opera’s production of “Thais” is a lavish spectacle that will leave you breathless. Stage Director Andrea Cigni masterfully brings to life the two disparate worlds of the main characters Thais and Athanael – two worlds that are destined to never coexist."
SHE LOVES ME at DalekoArts
Cherry and Spoon
"They employ a smaller cast and band on a much smaller stage, and blissfully no body mics, which only makes the experience more sweet and intimate. "

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Minneapolis Musical Theatre's HIGH FIDELITY at Electric Fetus

Our bloggers loved the fun and immersive experience of seeing a musical about a record store in an actual record store! Minneapolis Musical Theatre's HIGH FIDELITY runs just one more weekend with limited tickets remaining, so make your plans NOW to get to Electric Fetus this weekend!
Cherry and Spoon
"Maybe this show didn't/wouldn't play well in a traditional theater space, but in this intimate site-specific space that makes you feel like you're part of the story, it's a unique theatrical thrill. With a fantastic and hard-working 14-person cast, a rockin' band, and great use of the space, it's a sure-fire hit."
Minnesota Theater Love
"This show reminded me of a time that I LOVED hanging out in record stores. With the first song, "The Last Real Record Store," the audience was all about this show. Minneapolis Musical Theatre's tagline is "Rare Musicals. Well Done." and it's absolutely true."

Friday, May 11, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: INTO THE WOODS at Lakeshore Players

Lakeshore Players Theatre just opened a brand new performing arts center in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Two of our bloggers attended the inaugural show in their new space, Stephen Sondheim's INTO THE WOODS. Click the links to read what they thought about the show, and then check out LPT if you're in the area.
Brett Talk
"The cast is pretty rock solid. I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of ensemblebetween all the actors. With a show that has a cast of this size, it really is crucial that everyone is in perfect sync with each other. The dancing and singing were superb by everyone."
Cherry and Spoon
"I was impressed not only with the new facility, but also with the quality of their production of Into the Woods. Sondheim isn't easy for professional theaters, much less community theaters, but there were zero cringe-worthy moments and they really pulled off this tricky show remarkably well."

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Shows Closing this Weekend

For your consideration, Cherry and Spoon brings you a few shows that are closing this weekend (two brand new plays, and one little known classic). Check it out, and then go see a show!
Yellow Tree Theatre: STILL DANCE THE STARS
"The storytelling is completely unique, combining very real and natural dialogue, fantastical dream sequences in which stuffed animals come to life, dance, and music to tell a heart-wrenching and heart-warming story of grief, love, and family."
MN Jewish Theatre Company: NATASHA AND THE COAT
"An engaging look at a Hasidic Jewish family in the neighborhood of Williamsburg in early 21st Century Brooklyn, as well as the garment industry in that neighborhood... touches on themes of immigration, gentrification, and how to maintain one's culture and traditions while still functioning in modern American society."
"Thanks to Ghoulish Delights, you have a chance to revisit that history [of iconic TV detective Columbo] and see Columbo's origins on stage at the Phoenix Theater in Uptown: a must see for Columbo fans and fans of retro thrillers."

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: DR. SEUSS'S THE LORAX at Children's Theatre Company

photo by Dan Norman
"The Lorax is highly entertaining, thought-provoking, magically staged, and brilliantly cast."
"A charming, playful, and poignantly relevant musical."
"A triumphant, creative adaptation that pulls the heartstrings, teaches a lesson, and puts a wide smile on your face all at the same time."
"Sure to win the hearts of kids and adults alike."
These are just a few of the things our bloggers had to say, er... write, about Children's Theatre Company's US premiere of The Old Vic Theatre's musical adaptation of DR. SEUSS'S THE LORAX (which moves on to The Old Globein San Diego this summer). Read more at the links below, and click here for more information and to purchase tickets:…/201…/dr-seuss-s-the-lorax

Monday, May 7, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER at Guthrie Theater and THIS BITTER EARTH at Penumbra Theatre

There are two plays currently running on #TCTheater stages that feature interracial relationships.Both Guthrie Theater's GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER and Penumbra Theatre Company's THIS BITTER EARTH are beautifully produced, directed, and acted. But our bloggers had concerns about the dated former play and were uncomfortable with the audience reactions, while the latter play felt modern, relevant, and necessary. Read the reviews below to find out more.

Friday, May 4, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Theater Latte Da's FIVE POINTS

TGIF! The final two weekends are sold out, but we thought you still might want to read what our bloggers thought about Theater Latté Da's brand new totally original musical FIVE POINTS, extended through May 13 due to popular demand. (Maybe you can bribe someone to get in! But seriously, it's not a bad idea to call the box office about cancellations or last-minute openings.)
"It's an ambitious story set in Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1863, dealing with themes of immigration, racial tension, war, poverty, and of course, dancing. As always Latte Da has put together a top-notch creative team to bring this story to life, and the result is an exciting musical that's traditional in structure, gorgeously designed, fantastically performed, with many thrilling moments of dance."
Cherry and Spoon
"Five Points is lush, passionate, powerful and so worth seeing. It's a terrifically talented cast telling a new story with beautiful music - what's not to love?"
Compendium - Minneapolis
(Photo by Dan Norman)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Orchard Theater Collective's THOMAS TALLIS

Another show that the bloggers loved is closing this weekend, so act fast to catch The Orchard Theater Collective's lovely and intimate THOMAS TALLIS, performed in a church.
"New young theater company Orchard Theater Collective has chosen this play as their second work, staging a lovely and haunting production in Calvary Baptist Church."
Cherry and Spoon
"Thomas Tallis may be an imagined telling of his life and the historical times, but the themes and emotions portrayed ring true. The Orchard Theater Collective presents a beautiful story of suffering as well as hope and, of course, the stunning power of music."
Say Entirely
"The show is a thoughtful look into the forgotten name behind eternalized music and the history that shaped it. If you are a fan of choral music this piece is not to be missed."
Twin Cities Stages
"What you need to know is THIS: Set in the lovely Calvary Baptist Church, lit by candlelight and with no amplification other than the church's natural acoustics, with Thomas Tallis's gorgeous music sung by the choir, and a strong, endearing cast, this is a unique, gorgeous, compelling show. See it, support it, love it."
Minnesota Theater Love

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

TCTB Review Roundup: Follies at Artistry

Artistry MN's production of the rarely done Stephen Sondheim musical FOLLIES closes this weekend. Click the links below to read what our bloggers thought of it.
"Follies is a production that isn't done often so if you've never seen it or experienced the music I certainly recommend seeing it before they take their final bow."
Coffee Talk with Brett:
"I was primed and ready for this show, and I loved every minute of it. ..21-piece pit orchestra ...large and talented cast, plus the dazzling design do justice to Sondheim and book writer James Goldman's complicated and beautiful musical."
Cherry and Spoon
Details and ticket info:
(Photo by Devon Cox)