Staff Directory 452754783

Chris Hewitt

Critic | Theater
Phone: 612-673-4367
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Theater critic Chris Hewitt previously worked at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, where he covered movies and then theater. Also, he occasionally gets to write book reviews.

Armed with a degree in the lucrative field of history, Chris has written for publications that vary from a small-town newspaper to a city magazine to national sites. He's probably reading a good book right this minute.
Recent content from Chris Hewitt
Jody Briskey returns as Judy Garland in the Carnegie Hall concert portions of "Beyond the Rainbow" at St. Paul's History Theatre.

Two plays opening this week add to the legend of Minnesota's own, Judy Garland

Judy Garland is everywhere, including four versions of her at St. Paul's History Theatre.
Nearly all of the 2018 cast of "All is Calm" returns for this season's Theater Latté Da show, which will be filmed for PBS.

Minneapolis musical 'All Is Calm,' ready for prime time, is being taped to air nationally on PBS

It began in a Minneapolis church. Next year, it will reach millions.
Andy Greenberg

Review: 'Sandworm,' by Andy Greenberg

NONFICTION: Andy Greenberg's book insists the U.S. is one computer virus away from infrastructure meltdown.
Joaquin Phoenix’s dance down the staircase in “Joker"has become instantly iconic.

9 best movie staircase scenes that aren't from 'Parasite' or 'Joker'

Going all the way back to the silent era, movies have loved to step it up.
This image released by Amazon Studios shows Adam Driver in a scene from "The Report." (Atsushi Nishijima/Amazon Studios via AP)

CIA torture tactics at the center of new thriller starring Adam Driver, Annette Bening

Scott Z. Burns gives his CIA drama the feel of a '70s thriller.
Children’s Theatre Company’s Andi Soehren tightened a corset onto actor Autumn Ness as they got ready in the dressing room for a dress rehearsal f

Spanx of a bygone era: Behold the power of the binding undergarment

The many corsets on Twin Cities stages signify many different things.
Rajané Katurah and Dwight Leslie in "Cinderella" at the Children's Theatre Company.

Children's Theatre Company's modern take on 'Cinderella' has pop hits, holiday carols, a nod to Lizzo

She goes to a ball, and you should be prepared to have one at Children's Theatre Company.
Golden Valley native Scott Z. Burns talks about making the CIA thriller, “The Report,” and how he found its hero (played by Adam Driver). With a t

Golden Valley native wrote two current thrillers, with a 007 movie on the way

Golden Valley native Scott Burns wrote "The Report" and "The Laundromat."
In this sequel to the 1980 film “The Shining,” Ewan McGregor’s Dan Torrance, now aimless and alcoholic, is drawn back into a world he thought he

'The Shining' sequel 'Dr. Sleep': Precisely two-thirds of it is good

Starring Ewan McGregor, the film works, to a point.
Dustin Bronson as Robbie and Gavin Lawrence as Joe in Mixed Blood Theatre’s production of “The Song of Summer.”

Mixed Blood's 'Song of Summer' comedy feels more like autumn

Some songs of summer endure beyond their appointed seasons (such as Drake’s “One Dance”), while others are tired before the leaves fall (Black Eyed Peas’…
Max Wojtanowicz and Elizabeth Hawkinson.

Fizzy musical at Old Log Theatre gets away with 'Murder'

Review: Witty "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" focuses on a charming hero who happens to be a serial killer.
“Trust Exercise.” by Susan Choi.

Bookmark: On 'Trust Exercise' and other books that spur 'mind-blowing' interpretations

If you’re in a book club, you should definitely read “Trust Exercise” by Susan Choi. Be prepared to disagree about it. I’m not talking about…
4130_D002_00630_RCynthia Erivo stars as Harriet Tubman in HARRIET, a Focus Features release.Credit: Glen Wilson / Focus Features

Biopic of Harriet Tubman is flawed, but star Cynthia Erivo is excellent

Cynthia Erivo's forthright performance as Harriet is the movie's biggest asset.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Edward Norton in “Motherless Brooklyn.” GLEN WILSON • Warner Bros.

Edward Norton loosely adapts beloved novel 'Motherless Brooklyn'

Edward Norton's detective character in "Motherless Brooklyn" has a way with words — and with clues.
Owner and stylist Melissa Taylor added color to Natalie Deeble’s hair at the Beauty Lounge in northeast Minneapolis.

The true beauty of the salon: 'People laugh in that chair and cry in that chair'

Babies, jobs, divorces, illnesses and more: As in "Steel Magnolias," Minnesotans share life's joys and sorrows in a "community" of their making.
Park Square Theatre’s artistic director, Flordelino Lagundino.

St. Paul theater cuts two shows, including 'Evita,' to counter budget shortfall

Because of larger casts, as well as musicians, musicals are generally costlier to produce than straight plays.
Benjamin Slye (on cot) and Peter Christian Hansen in Gremlin Theatre’s “Journey’s End.”

Gremlin Theatre puts us in the WWI foxhole with decisionmakers

Fine acting and a handsome set create a powerful mood.
Andrew Blauner

Review: 'The Peanuts Papers,' edited by Andrew Blauner

NONFICTION: Essays reveal Minnesota-born cartoonist Charles M. Schulz's lasting impact on literature.
Williem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in “The Lighthouse.”

Get ready to be creeped out, and puzzled, by latest Robert Pattinson drama

Robert Pattinson makes another offbeat choice with challenging black-and-white drama.
Antonio Banderas, left, and Julieta Serrano in a scene from “Pain and Glory.”

Antonio Banderas stars in Spanish director's 'brilliant' return to form

Pedro Almodóvar's "Pain and Glory" plays almost like an explanation/apology for why his last couple of movies sucked.
Screening at TCFF: Edward Norton directs and stars in “Motherless Brooklyn.”

Twin Cities Film Fest returns with Hollywood hits – and Minnesota's greatest onion ring

Film festival packs in big Hollywood titles and a documentary about a cook in Worthington, Minn.
Robert O. Berdahl as Billy Flynn and Britta Ollmann as Roxie Hart in “Chicago.”

Minneapolis theater's 'Chicago' connects the Jazz Age to reality television

Britta Ollmann and Reed Sigmund lead stellar Theater Latté Da cast.
Steven Epp won for playing Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Ivey Awards in 2017.

Twin Cities actor has been making it work ever since his South Dakota childhood

Steven Epp has made good on his teenage dreams of becoming an actor.
Will Smith stars in the Ang Lee film “Gemini Man.”

Will Smith acts opposite a fake-looking, de-aged version of himself in 'Gemini Man'

In brightly lit scenes, it looks like 51-year-old Smith is acting in a scene with his dead-eyed video game avatar.
Sue Scott led the second live performance of her “Island of Discarded Women” podcast.

Former 'Prairie Home' performer starts a new chapter with podcast about battling back

Sue Scott chuckles about it now, but her self-esteem took a serious hit when she was told she was let go from the radio show.
Jenna Wyse and Joey Ford with Emily Michaels King and Tyler Michaels King in “The Hollow” at the Cowles Center.

Minneapolis piece combines movement and rock music to thrilling effect

It's hard to pin down but the concert/dance/theater piece is thrilling.
Gracie Anderson, center, as Frank-N-Furter in “The Rocky Horror Show” at Park Square Theatre.

'Rocky Horror' still (somewhat) outrageous after all these years

The musical's second act falters, but lead Gracie Anderson never does.
Leslie Jamison

Review: 'Make it Scream, Make it Burn,' by Leslie Jamison

NONFICTION: Leslie Jamison's potent essays question everyone's motives, including her own.
Joaquin Phoenix gives a thrillingly unhinged performance in “Joker.”

Joaquin Phoenix gives the performance of his career as 'Joker'

An origin story of Batman's nemesis is also about what happens when society neglects its most vulnerable.
Gracie Anderson is Frank-N-Furter in “The Rocky Horror Show” at Park Square Theatre.

3 spooky musicals to catch this month

You know it's almost Halloween when even the musicals are horrifying.
Kurt Kwan contemplates an eggplant in “Aubergine,” playing at Park Square Theatre.

Beautifully acted St. Paul play has lots to say about food and grief

"Aubergine" overcomes rough spots to arrive at a beautiful place.
Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in "Judy."
Roadside Attractions

In 'Judy,' Zellweger balances the shaky superstar with the big-hearted person

Renée Zellweger's bold step into Judy Garland's ruby-red slippers should invigorate her career.
Novelist Alice Hoffman is part of Talking Volumes, with her WWII-set “The World That We Knew.” She opens the series Sept. 25 at the Fitzgerald The

'Write my life': A stranger's plea inspired Alice Hoffman's new novel

An encounter years ago led to Alice Hoffman's new Holocaust-inspired novel.
While some people do turn down her offer of a haircut, many others are eager for Katie Steller’s kind outreach and respect.

Stylist takes her Minneapolis salon to the streets — to cut hair for homeless people

Katie Steller is making this world a better place one cut at a time.
Jim Carter as Charles Carson in “Downton Abbey.”

Review: 'Downton Abbey' movie is everything fans of the series could hope for

It probably won't mean much to you if you didn't watch the TV version, since it picks up where the series left off, with no recap.
Carey Cox as Laura Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie.”

Must disabled characters be played by disabled actors? Guthrie Theater actor says yes

"Glass Menagerie" actor Carey Cox says it should be actors with disabilities.
Director Marielle Heller and Tom Hanks are on the set of TriStar Pictures’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

He's been dead 16 years but Mister Rogers remains force for change, director says

Mister Rogers is back in the neighborhood, with Tom Hanks in the role. Director Marielle Heller thinks we need the TV legend more than ever.
Jim Carter in "Downton Abbey."

Tighten up your corset and get ready for the 'Downton' movie

It's been a while, so here's what you need to know about the movie version of the TV series.
Rendell DuBose and China Brickey of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”

The hits keep coming in Ordway tribute to songwriters Leiber and Stoller

Leiber and Stoller's songs, including "On Broadway," power musical revue.
The cast of the Jungle's macabre musical, "Ride the Cyclone," features (front, from left) Gabrielle Dominique and Shinah Brashears. (middle) Josh Zwic

Minneapolis actor/singer appears in her third Jungle Theater show in six months

Nonspeaking part in her first play at Jungle Theater has led to a big year for Becca Hart.
Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort in “The Goldfinch.” Warner Bros.

Adaptation captures the story but not the feel of bestselling 'Goldfinch'

Movie crams in the plot of the bestseller but forgets everything else.
A friar (Neal Beckman, in black) attempts to wed Hero (Samantha Fairchild) and Claudio (Jacob Hooper). It doesn’t go well.

Double the sets, double the lines: Minneapolis theater puts on two classic plays at once

Witty music and a breezy setting update Shakespeare's classic rom-com.
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise in “It Chapter Two.” Warner Bros.

Stephen King contributes a deft cameo to 'It' sequel, but it's so-so

Bill Hader is great and some scenes have punch, but this sequel is a bumpy ride.
Jim Burke, at the 2019 Oscars.

2019 has brought this Minn. filmmaker big grosses and lifetime award

Producer Jim Burke's movies include "The Descendants," "Cedar Rapids," "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" and "Election."
A play a day: Your guide to Twin Cities theater in September

A play a day: Your guide to Twin Cities theater in September

To help you wrap your brain around these 30 crazy days, we've worked out your all-theater month.
Danielle Troiano, Mikell Sapp, Eric Sharp, Meghan Kreidler and Damian Leverett in “Hot Asian Doctor Husband.”

Minneapolis world premiere plays off 'Crazy Rich Asians,' views rom-coms through a biracial lens

Theater Mu's dark comedy says being biracial makes the dating puzzle even more puzzling.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” director Richard Linklater.

Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater put a bit of his own family in 'Bernadette'

Filmmaker found himself musing on his own family as he directed Cate Blanchett.
Cate Blanchett as the title character in “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.”

Cate Blanchett's intelligence shines in film adaptation of 'Bernadette'

Story of bohemian missing mom focuses on clarity and connection.
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows, from left, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy in a scene from "The Kitchen." (Al

Review: More blood than laughs in 'The Kitchen,' a new Melissa McCarthy-Tiffany Haddish comedy

Despite Haddish and McCarthy, there's more crime than comedy.
Reza Salazer, John Earl Jelks, Dame Jasmine Hughes and Andrew Veenstra in the world premiere of Lynn Nottage’s “Floyd’s” at the Guthrie Theate

World premiere in Minneapolis finds Pulitzer Prize winner in the mood to laugh

Guthrie commission from Lynn Nottage finds humor in a truck-stop kitchen.
“Size,” with Brave New Workshop star Lauren Anderson, tackles the issue of body image in songs, sketches and stories.

Four ways to choose your own Minnesota Fringe Festival adventure

With 142 shows, the Minnesota Fringe Festival offers a daunting smorgasbord.
“42nd Street” highlights the dancing at the expense of the story. RICH RYAN

In St. Paul, musical '42nd Street' plot makes no sense but who cares when the dancing is this much fun?

The plot makes no sense, but who cares when the dancing is this much fun?
Lynn Nottage at All Square in south Minneapolis. Her new play, "Floyd's," will premiere at the Guthrie. “The entire play is about using the imaginat

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner debuts her new comedy in Minneapolis

There are many ideas in the Lynn Nottage's comedy premiering at the Guthrie. Also, many sandwiches.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Al Pacino in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Quentin Tarantino's latest is a throwback to 1969 Hollywood

Brad and Leo and Margot and Quentin team up for a throwback to Tinseltown, 1969.
Foreground from left: Sally Wingert, puppeteer Reed Sigmund with Oscar, John Catron, and puppeteer Megan M. Burns with Evie in “Stinkers” at Jun

Minneapolis world premiere of 'Stinkers' blends laughs with astonishing puppet work

Puppets depict the enormous impact tiny people have on a family in the comedy "Stinkers."
Peter Christian Hansen and Audrey Park in “The Rats,” one of a trio of Agatha Christie mysteries at Park Square Theatre.

Murder mysteries are a comforting summer staple at this St. Paul theater

Every summer, St. Paul's Park Square Theatre brings a murder mystery to the stage.
A scene from “The Lion King.”

Disney remade 'The Lion King' – and they shouldn't have

Pointless remake reminds us that 1994's "Lion King" is an unimprovable gem.
Sarah Rasmussen, director of “Stinkers,” gave feedback to actor Sally Wingert, who plays Joyce, during a rehearsal at the Jungle Theater.

Three Minnesota stars join forces for a world premiere theatrical comedy

Somebody asked somebody to write a comedy. It opens this weekend at the Jungle.
Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani take a fun ride in “Stuber.”

Kumail Nanjiani enlivens otherwise so-so comedy about ride sharing, 'Stuber'

The Uber-set comedy succeeds when it lets Kumail Nanjiani rip.
Jack Reynor and Florence Pugh in “Midsommar.”

Review: 'Midsommar' is so scary you might walk out mid-movie

Horror film is a "Midsommar" nightmare that will either creep you out or drive you out.
Molly Diers raised concerns about inappropriate jokes and behavior in the Guthrie's scene shop.

Board finds Guthrie Theater engaged in 'unfair labor practices' against former employee

Ex-employee said her evaluations were downgraded after she complained about work conditions.
Keanna Wyro, Cordell McLean, Aniya Cook and Aeriyanna Cook played a game as they passed the time waiting for a show to start.

As drive-ins disappear, young people flock to Lake Elmo's Vali-Hi

The drive-in theater has changed a lot, especially if it's been a while since you drove in.
Jennifer Maren stars as Marjorie Caldwell in “Glensheen.”

Based on Duluth murders, 'Glensheen' musical returns to St. Paul for record-breaking run

History Theatre's musical, based on the Duluth murders, has become a fan fave.

Do you finish every book you begin?

Do you continue reading books you don't like? Or do you abandon them to find something better?
M.J. (Zendaya) catches a ride from Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

Newest Spider-Man movie, 'Far From Home,' takes a romantic comedy turn

Review: The new "Spider-Man" works best when it feels like a modern romantic comedy.
The cast of “Guys and Dolls” at the Guthrie Theater.

Guthrie produces can't-miss classic musical, 'Guys and Dolls.' It doesn't miss.

Guthrie production finds all the best stuff in the classic musical, and a few new things, to boot.
A girl wears a hat with a Soviet-era insignia.

Review: 'Disappearing Earth,' by Julia Phillips

FICTION: Two little girls' decisions affect an entire Russian city in a riveting debut.
Daisy Ridley plays the title character in “Ophelia.”

Daisy Ridley's fair 'Ophelia' shows her tough side

A twist on Shakespeare's "Hamlet" reveals something else is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson in "The Loudest Voice."

Naomi Watts fights the Man in new roles as Gretchen Carlson and Hamlet's mom

With a movie and a TV series coming in the next few days, Naomi Watts says things are looking up for female actors.
Woody, Buzz and Jessie return for more adventures in “Toy Story 4.”

'Toy Story 4' is funny, sweet and a little scary

The fourth "Toy Story" shows that the funny, poignant franchise is far from done.
Kelly Houlehan, Leslie Vincent, Zach Garcia and Ryan London Levin in “The Jefferson County Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant.”

St. Paul musical had a long, surprising trip to its world premiere

It took 14 drafts, dozens of songs and more than two years. But a revised Fringe work is finally ready for its debut.

Do trigger warnings ruin the show? Twin Cities theatermakers weigh in

Theater artists wrestle with warnings that prepare audiences but risk giving away too much.
Naomi Haag, Eva Gemlo and Cassidy Hall battled noisy geese last season at Bayport Marina in Shakespeare on the Point’s “Twelfth Night.”

6 Minnesota theaters welcome visitors (and angry geese) to outdoor shows this summer

In warm weather, these theaters meet you where you want to be: outside.
Emma Thompson is an ill-tempered talk-show host in “Late Night.”

Like Emma Thompson? Then you'll have no problem overlooking rough spots in new comedy

Emma Thompson is the lure in a workplace comedy that only occasionally rises to her level.
Darrick Mosley and Sara Marsh in “Dry Powder.”

Money trumps people for financial overlords in Minneapolis staging of 'Dry Powder'

A new play depicts financial hotshots obsessing over deals. Humanity? Not so much.