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Posts about Theater

This Friday's 'Wits' postponed

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: March 19, 2015 - 11:13 AM

This Friday's installment of the radio-variety "Wits" at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul has been postponed due to a death in the family of the scheduled featured guest, actor Cary Elwes. Elwes was to appear with musician Kat Edmonson. Tickets will automatically be transferred to a new date, to be announced. Ticketholders who prefer a refund can call 651-290-1200 or go to the Fitzgerald box office (10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul)  between noon - 5 p.m. Tues.-Fri.

Penumbra Theatre leader wins fellowship

Posted by: Rohan Preston Updated: March 17, 2015 - 12:40 PM

Sarah Bellamy, co-artistic director of Penumbra Theatre, has won a fellowship from the Bush Foundation, the St. Paul-based philanthropy announced Tuesday.

Bellamy is among 23 winners of the prestigious award. The roster of recipients, who hail from Minnesota and the Dakotas, includes child welfare advocate Amelia Franck Meyer, deaf educator Alex Zeibot, and Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundation.

The fellowship, which comes with a purse that goes up to $100,000 over two years, helps leaders develop skills and capacity. Bellamy expects to use her fellowship to help her as she takes over the highly esteemed company founded by her father, Lou Bellamy.

Mill City Opera will produce "The Daughter of the Regiment"

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: March 10, 2015 - 3:58 PM

Soprano Leah Partridge.

Mill City Summer Opera has announced it will produce Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” this July in the courtyard of the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.

This is the company’s fourth year of presenting an outdoor summer opera in the ruins of the old mills. The previous three seasons have sold out. This year’s schedule has six shows and runs July 11-21.

Soprano Leah Partridge will play the title character. At the Metropolitan Opera in 2010, she sang the role, subbing for an ill Diana Damrau. She is joined by tenor Chad Johnson, baritone Bradley Greenwald, bass Nathan Stark and mezzo Cindy Sadler.

David Lefkowich, the company’s artistic director, will stage the performance. Brian DeMaris is the music director.

Tickets for opening night are on sale now. Donors who give $250 or more will be invited to a pre-sale for general tickets on May 11 and the remainder of seats will be opened to the public on May 18.

612-875-5544 or www.millcitysummeropera.org

Ellison will speak at theater panel

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: March 4, 2015 - 3:28 PM

Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison will join a discussion about immigration and perceptions of Muslims, following the March 14 matinee of “Shooting Kabul,” at Steppingstone Theatre for Youth Development.

Artistic director Richard Hitchler leads a panel of Ellison, playwright Kim Hines and author Naheed Hasnat, who wrote the book about a young Afghan refugee who flees to the United States.  A photography competition gives the lad a chance to return to Kabul to search for his lost sister.

(Performance at 3 p.m., discussion at 4:10 p.m.; Steppingstone Theatre, 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul; 651-225-9265)  

Will Mark Rylance be the Guthrie's next artistic director? His answer

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: January 19, 2015 - 4:57 PM

Mark Rylance

LOS ANGELES -- The highest-profile candidate to take over as the Guthrie's artistic director is not in the running.

Acclaimed actor Mark Rylance said Monday morning that he won't be replacing Joe Dowling who previously announced that this will be final season at the helm.

"I can't do that at the moment," he said. "It wouldn't be the right time. Maybe, I think, five or 10 years from now, I'd be much more interested. Maybe when the next person moves on."

In many ways, Rylance would have been the ideal choice.

His success on Broadway, which includes Tony-award winning work in "Boeing Boeing" and "Jerusalem," have made him an international star, one who would certainly attract major talent.

He has ample experience on the Guthrie stage through a 2008 production of "Peer Gynt" and 2013's "Nice Fish," which he co-wrote with Duluth poet Louis Jenkins. He grew up in neighboring Wisconsin, attended the University School of Milwaukee and has an affinity for Midwest audiences.

"There's a side of me that English audience don't know," said Rylance who was born in England. "They wouldn't know the references. People have asked why I haven't taken 'Nice Fish' to London, but that particular dry humor won't work over there. Minneapolis people say if a Wisconsin man tells you a joke, you don't laugh until a week later. That's how dry it is."

Rylance also has the experience. He was the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's first artistic director, a post he stepped away from in 2005 after a 10-year run.

But there's a problem: Rylance is too hot right now to spend much of time behind a desk.

He was attending the TV Critics Assocation press tour Monday to promote a PBS production of "Wolf Hall," in which he plays Thomas Cromwell. Emmy winner Damian Lewis. The mini-series, which has already aired in England, was described in the Telegraph as "masterful" and described Rylance's performance as"steely yet vulnerable, mesmerically still."

His film career is also on the fast track. He'll soon appear in a Cold War thriller opposite Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan and Alan Alda. Later this year, he'll start production on "The BFG," a film based on a kids' novel by Roald Dah. Both movies are being directed by Steven Spielberg.

"I'm in a moment in my career after 10 years at the Globe where all this kind of film stuff is opening up," he said. "It very challenging and interesting to me."

Rylance was somewhat coy about whether or not anyone from the Guthrie directly asked him to consider the post.

"I've talked to a lot of people, including Joe, about it and his hopes for the place," he said. "They asked me my views as someone whose worked there. I hope they want me to carry on in some capacity. It's so very handy for me to have a place where I can express things that have to do with my Midwest upbringing, the four seasons and the people from that time in my life."

When asked what he thought Dowling would do next, Rylance predicted he'd take a rest. When I countered that that didn't sound like Dowling, Rylance quickly concurred.

"Yeah, that's true. He's been a phenomenal artist for that theatre and that community," he said. "I hope he'll enjoy being a freelance artist and be able to focus only on his acting and his directing. That's been something I've certainly enjoyed after all the responsibilites, the fundraising and being a leader in the community and dealing with frustrations and the triumphs of communities. A lot gets put on an artist that shouldn't necesarry be part of his responsibility."

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