Three shows top my list for 2017. Batting leadoff is “Safe at Home,” a Mixed Blood Theatre production at CHS Field — home of the St. Paul Saints — that uses baseball as a prism to examine topics such as immigration, politics and celebrity. Theater founder Jack Reuler directs this epic premiere March 7-12, with a cast of 18 performing throughout the stadium (dugout, locker rooms, batting cages).
New York-based playwright and performer Zakiyyah Alexander teams with Imani Uzuri for “Girl Shakes Loose,” a new musical at Penumbra Theatre about a woman’s search for herself. Based on the fiery poetry of Sonia Sanchez, the April 20-May 14 show is directed by May Adrales, who helmed Qui Nguyen’s critically acclaimed “Vietgone.” (That play, incidentally, will get its regional premiere at Mixed Blood April 10-30, it was announced last week.)
Finally, while Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford are grabbing the Broadway spotlight with their limited-run concert version of “Sunday in the Park With George,” you can look forward to the whole kit-and-caboodle at the Guthrie June 17-Aug. 20. It’s directed by Joe Haj, whose “South Pacific” sold out its run last summer. The Guthrie’s first mainstage production of a Stephen Sondheim musical is likely to create a similar buzz.