Thursday, April 30, 2020

Theater Crush Thursday: Minneapolis Musical Theatre

The Twin Cities Theater Bloggers are taking this long intermission in live theater to highlight some of our favorite #TCTheater Companies.
Today, we’re giving a little love to Minneapolis Musical Theatre, a scrappy theater with a big heart. Founded by Kevin Hansen and Steven Meerdink, MMT specializes in “Rare Musicals, Well Done” and some of our most memorable musical theater experiences have been courtesy of MMT.
MMT started its full theater seasons at Hey City Theater in downtown Minneapolis and our fond memories from that time include La Cage Aux Folles (with Hansen and Meerdink—former partners in life as well as theater—as Albin and Georges), a sweet and lovely production performed during Pride. Other shows in those years included Chess, Zombie Prom, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Zanna, Don’t and Mame with Hansen in the title role. Insert many heart emojis here. Despite changes in leadership, they continued to live up to their mission with shows like Reefer Madness, Sunset Boulevard, Carrie and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Eating Raoul, Calvin Berger and Murder Ballad. Unique shows and regional premieres are their specialty. We love their ambition and their eclectic selections.
In recent years, MMT has upped their game and entered a new era of quirky, eclectic shows with an even higher level of artistry. Three words: Silence! The Musical. This SHOW. Performed at the Lab Theater, we saw this hilarious musical retelling of Silence of the Lambs multiple times and LOVED it every single time. The production was spare but ingenious and the cast KILLED it.
And then there was High Fidelity, the musical based on the movie based on the book by Nick Hornby. Performed at Minneapolis’s legendary record store, I will NEVER forget standing in the Electric Fetus as the cast—browsing the selection among the audience—kicks off with the first song and the unbelievable joy on the faces of the audience members. Fantastic cast, perfect site-specific location, and one of the best shows we’ve seen in recent years.
Last year, MMT brought us Be More Chill, a show we saw on Broadway that left us cold, but was performed by MMT with such heart and sincerity that it was a whole new show to us. This winter, we caught MMT’s Daddy Long Legs, a sweet, two-person musical produced perfectly at the James J. Hill House and performed gorgeously. We’re beyond sad we can’t see their take on Lizzie, the rock musical about Lizzie Borden, but are hopeful we’ll see it sometime in the future.
Won’t you join us in supporting ( this scrappy theater with heart? We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.

- Minnesota Theater Love