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Posts about Culture

Workhaus Collective will stage three new plays

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: August 7, 2014 - 11:32 AM

"Lake Untersee," a new play by Joe Waechter about a disaffected teen who travels to Antarctica, will open the 8th season of Workhaus Collective in Minneapolis. It will be directed by Jeremy Cohen of the Playwrights' Center, and will be staged at Illusion Theater in downtown Minneapolis.

The Workhaus season continues with "Skin Deep Sea," by Stanton Wood. It is described as "an unusual love story about a two-headed witch, a pirate airship captain cursed with bad luck, a Cuban war hero in search of a meaningful cause, and the two feuding daughters of robber baron Penelope Cooke, the fifth richest person in America." It opens in February at Playwrights' Center. 

The third play is "The Reagan Years," by Dominic Orlando. The play follows four friends as they graduate from college. Their attempt to "keep the party going" runs spectacularly off the rails. It will open in April at Playwrights' Center.

The Minneapolis-based Workhaus Playwrights Collective includes Trista Baldwin, Alan Berks, Jeannine Coulombe, Christina Ham, Carson Kreitzer, Dominic Orlando, Joe Waechter, and Stanton Wood.

Tickets for "Lake Untersee" are available not via Illusion's box office at 612-339-4944. Or click on the Workhaus website.

Lincoln Center gig a first for Ragamala

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: August 5, 2014 - 11:44 AM

Aparna Ramaswamy rehearsed "Song of the Jasmine" in Minneapolis in May, 2014. Star Tribune photo by Elizabeth Flores.

Ragamala Dance gives the New York premiere of its "Song of the Jasmine" at a Lincoln Center Out of Doors performance Thursday night.

The work, incorporaing Ragamala's south Indian dance vocabulary with music by jazz saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, was premiered in Minneapolis in May. It was a commission of Walker Art Center.

Showtime Thursday is 7:30 p.m., at the Damrosch Park bandshell. Admission is free. Ragmala Dance co-founders Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy give a free talk at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Asia Society.

Ranee Ramaswamy, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Aparna Ramaswamy. Star Tribune photo by Elizabeth Flores.

These shows had sold-out performances at Fringe Festival

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: August 4, 2014 - 2:19 PM

"Native Man the Musical" was among sold-out shows at weekend one of the Fringe Festival. Image provided by Fringe Festival.

Ticket sales for the opening weekend of Minnesota Fringe Festival were almost exactly the same as last year, said Fringe officials Monday.

In the first four days of the Festial, the Fringe issued 17,700 tickets to 347 performances, compared to 17,780 tickets to 384 performances in 2013.

“Last year, we had more performances during the opening weekend, but we have almost identical ticket sales this year," said Executive Director Jeff Larson, "which means our average house size is larger this year.”

There were several sold-out shows over the weekend, including:

“The History of Minnesota – Unscripted” presented by The Theater of Public Policy

“The Finkles' Theater Show!!!” presented by Ryan Lear and Rachel Petrie

“Top Gun: The Musical” presented by Rooftop Theatre Company

"Pretty People Suck"

“Pretty People Suck (And Other Indisputable Fact about the Universe)” presented by Arc Stages Satellite

"Crime and Punishment"

“Crime and Punishment” presented by Live Action Set (3 performances)

“Into the Unreal City” presented by Catalog Models (4 performances)

“Native Man the Musical” presented by New Native Theatre

“The Sex (Ed) Show” presented by V as in Victor (3 performances)

“It Only Takes One: A New Musical” presented by World Tree Theatre

“Slut Club” presented by Showers in the Dark Productions

“Macaroni On A Hotdog” presented by Snapdragon Theatre

The 2014 Minnesota Fringe continues through Aug. 10. A full schedule of the festival’s 169-show lineup and links to buy tickets can be found at fringefestival.org.

See reviews of Fringe shows by Star Tribune writers at startribune.com/fringe

These Fringe shows are selling well

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: July 25, 2014 - 10:33 AM

Cast members of "Another Opening, Another Show" previewed their Fringe show on July 21. Star Tribune photo by Renee Jones Schneider, reneejones@startribune.com

The Minnesota Fringe Festival, that unpredictable, 11-day cavalcade of monolog, dance, comedy, drama and musicals, opens in a week and runs July 31 to Aug. 10. Based on ticket sales in the past seven days, Fringe executives says these are the top-selling shows.

1. There is No Myth
2. Crime and Punishment
3. The Tiger in the Room
4. Top Gun: The Musical
5. A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant
6. A Christmas Carol Passover
7. The Whole World is Here
8. It Only Takes One
9. Sex & Turkey
10. Flushing New York

We preview the risk-takers who produce musicals at the Fringe in a story on Sunday (July 27). We publish the complete Fringe schedule online and in print on Thursday (July 31). Those with intense interest may view this year's complete Fringe listings right this minute right here.

Beginning next Friday and Saturday, watch the Star Tribune for short reviews of 40 Fringe shows by our crack squad of veteran Fringe-critiquers.

The captains of Fringe have gathered short preview videos of a bunch of shows on their YouTube page.

 

 

Cast members of "Strangetalk," a Fringe show by Theatre Passe-passe. Star Tribune photo by Renee Jones Schneider.

Knight arts-challenge grant finalists announced

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: July 14, 2014 - 4:00 PM

A winter Fringe Festival is one of 69 ideas floated toward the Knight challenge grant committee that passed muster as a finalist.

A few months back, the Miami-based Knight Foundation dropped a big windfall on the city of St. Paul, pledging $8 million toward arts organizations and arts-related projects over the next three years. More than half that amount was earmarked for "arts challenge grants" for which anyone could apply, as long as they kept the idea to 140 words or less and the idea somehow benefits St. Paul.  Of the 850 concepts that rolled in for the first year, 69 have been chosen as finalists. Many are predictable extensions of what existing arts groups already do, but there are also some fresh and quirky notions:

--Erik Barsness wants to bring a new chill to Saint Paul Winter Carnival audiences through concerts performed on xylophones, marimbas and vibraphones made entirely out of ice by Swedish instrument builder Tim Linhart.

-- Stahl Construction Company wants to preserve the legacy of St. Paul’s architecture by restoring the historical company signs that distinguish Lowertown.

--The Baroque Room aims to showcase the city's classical-music scene during the Art Crawl through performances in art gallery spaces.

--City of Skate would be a skateable art plaza that brings out the creativity of skateboarders and the community with skateable sculptures, a video screen and performance stage.

Winners (the number of them depends on how much the judges are wowed by final proposals) will be announced in September. 

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