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Posts about Theaters

'Survivor' contestant is son of a former St. Paul mayor

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: August 28, 2014 - 11:38 AM

 

 

Reed Kelly/photo courtesy of CBS

"Survivor" doesn't usually recruit players with Minnesota ties, but the show is making an exception for this upcoming season.

Reed Kelly, 31, may be best known for appearing in Broadway productions of "Wicked" and "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." But around these parts, he's simply the son of former St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly.

Kelly will compete against his boyfriend, composer Josh Canfield, in a season in which loved ones will be pitted against each other.

Kelly isn't the highest profile contestant. That honor goes to former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker.

"Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" premieres Sept. 24 on WCCO, Ch. 4.

Old BNW space at 2605 Hennepin Avenue is sold

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: August 13, 2014 - 4:45 PM

The old Brave New Workshop at 2605 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis, has been sold and will be rebranded as a performance space operated by a new nonprofit.

Dudley Riggs had moved his comedy troupe into the building in the early 1960s and it served as home to shows almost continuously until 2011, when the owners of the business moved the club downtown.

Still, the Workshop was using the 2605 Hennepin space as the Brave New Institute School, where classes in improvisation and other stagecraft were held. No one from the Workshop was available to comment on the future of that program. Mike Fotis and Joe Bozic, both veterans who had performed on stage, had been co-directors of the school. They both left earlier this year for other jobs. The Brave New Workshop business is owned by John Sweeney and Jenni Lilledahl, who purchased it in 1997 from Riggs.

The theater, which had about 200 seats, will be remodeled and operated as the Phoenix Theatre. A nonprofit called The Arts’ Nest is being launched to program the space, according to the group’s executive director, Jenna Papke.

Papke said the purchase price was $485,000 and the buyer was an individual who has organized a limited liability partnership called ERK. She did not identify the person, other than to say he or she is on the Arts’ Nest board of directors. The building is being rented to The Arts’ Nest for the cost of taxes and insurance, Papke said. Records show that the 2014 tax bill was about $25,000.

Those documents also show that the previous owner was RICMAR LLC, with an address for Richard Kohn of Cumberland, Wis.

Papke said the new space will open in November. Mission Theatre Company will be the first company to use the theater, with a new work by playwright Sam Graber. The play, "Detainee," will run Nov. 6-15.

Hundreds of actors and writers found their legs in The Brave New Workshop at 2605 Hennepin. Al Franken and Tom Davis did shows there. Hollywood screenwriter Pat Proft called the theater one of best rooms for comedy because of the way laughter resounded off the walls. Sweeney and Lilledahl had moved BNW shows to Calhoun Square for about three years but moved back in 2002.

Acme Comedy Co. to test the Asian market

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: August 5, 2014 - 4:17 PM

Louis Lee (center) surrounded by Acme club regulars. / Photo by Tom Wallace

Acme Comedy Co. is taking its show on the road in the biggest way possible.

Louis Lee, the owner of the Minneapolis club, is taking three comedians to Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau, the first time the Acme brand has traveled outside of North America.

Lee, who is from Hong Kong, thinks there's a lot of potential in an area that is just starting to get a taste of American comedy through movies and TV sitcoms.

"It's like the '80s were over here," Lee said."Beyond bars and restaurants and hotels, there really isn't a place for comedy yet. But I think it's in the early stages of it happening. The main reason I'm doing this is to see how feasible it is and how the media reacts."

Lee purposely picked three comics -- Pete Lee, Tom Segura and Chad Daniels -- who have never performed in the area.

"That part of Asia gets the same 10 or 15 guys all the time," he said. "I want to try to bring something new and generate some interest over there."

No word yet if the frequent flyer miles go to the comedians or Acme.

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.

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