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Continued: Theater: The Old Log changes hands

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 21, 2013 - 9:36 AM

The Old Log opens Sept. 5 with “Cowgirls,” a musical about classical musicians who find themselves booked at a honky-tonk bar. Knutson’s cast includes Seri Johnson, Andrea Wollenberg and Summer Hagen. The change in programming is most evident with the second offering of the season, “Rancho Mirage,” which runs Nov. 7-Dec. 7. Former Minnesota playwright Steven Dietz wrote the script about three couples in a dinner party that gets pretty honest — along the lines of “God of Carnage” or “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” A regional premiere, the production stars Denton, the erstwhile hunk from “Desperate Housewives,” along with Rice, Michels, Mo Perry and David Mann.

Knutson indulges his love for musicals with “A Year With Frog and Toad,” for the holidays, Nov. 18-Dec. 29. “Almost, Maine,” a play that is among the nation’s most-produced shows, will try to capture the midwinter audience, Jan. 23-March 29. Carolyn Pool and Natalie Wass are in the cast. The season will conclude April 4-May 17 with the familiar “Steel Magnolias.” The cast includes Jody Briskey, Greta Grosch and Laura Rudolph.

Knutson said the programming is not all that different from the fare Don Stolz had been offering in recent years, with such productions as “The Dixie Swim Club,” “Forever Plaid” and “On Golden Pond.” The addition of the two small musicals and the Dietz play are indications of tweaks that he and Frankenfield want to make.

As Greg Frankenfield walked a visitor around to the many buildings on the grounds — including the old log cabin that gives the place its name — he talked about his dreams for this space and that. In many ways, the tour reveals that Don Stolz’s imprint remains, with props, sets, furniture and scripts piled high in ancillary buildings. Frankenfield notes the Lake Minnetonka regional bike trail that runs within spitting distance of the property. Would it be possible, he muses, to make the Old Log a trailhead or a stopping point? Are the grounds a good picnic location? he asks.

“It’s a little gem in the middle of Greenwood,” he said.


Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299


  • related content

  • Video: Big changes underway for Old Log Theatre

    Monday July 22, 2013

    The Old Log Theatre is under new ownership and will see some much-needed updating but the spirit remains the...

  • Kent Knutson, left, has joined the Old Log Theater as artistic director under new owners Greg and Marissa Frankenfield. The three are making changes to the venerable theater, but programming will be similar to the template set by founder Don Stolz.

  • Back in 1958, Old Log performances were in the original theater, which is now a scene shop on the property.

  • old log season

    Cowgirls: Sept. 5-Oct. 26

    Rancho Mirage: Nov. 7-Dec. 7

    Frog and Toad: Nov. 18-Dec. 29

    Almost, Maine: Jan. 23-March 29

    Steel Magnolias: April 4-May 17

    Tickets: 952-474-5951 or

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