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Posts about Theater

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.

Date set for memorial for Children's Theatre costume designer

Posted by: Rohan Preston Updated: July 23, 2014 - 9:56 AM

A date has been set for the memorial for Mary Anna Culligan, the Children's Theatre costume designer who died unexpectedly on May 23. She was 52.

Culligan, who had a decades-long career at the nation's largest company for families, was known for her creativity and inventiveness. She often bought items from thrift stores and converted them into costumes for mainstage productions, including "Pippi Longstocking," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Romeo and Juliet."

Culligan also designed costumes for Mu Performing Arts, Mary Worth and other Twin Cities theater companies.

The service will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, at the Children's Theatre, 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. The celebration will be followed by a dessert reception.

Intermedia Arts announces its fall '14 season

Posted by: Rohan Preston Updated: July 22, 2014 - 11:38 AM

Intermedia Arts, the Minneapolis venue known for inclusive and sometimes transgressive performing and visual arts, has announced a fall season. 

The line-up kicks with Leilani Chan’s “Global Taxi Driver,” which is drawn from the lives of the international cast of characters behind the wheel. Chan wrote and directs this show, which runs Sept. 11-21.

Next up is “Girlywood,” choreographer April Sellers’ new show that includes “Jousting,” a duet with dancer Mary Ann Wall about feminism (“the new ‘F-word’”). Sellers (right) also perf “Big Baby,” which centers on female archetypes (Oct. 9-11).

Actor, playwright and director Shá Cage (left) is now adding curator to her titles. She assembles as cast of women of color for “The Blacker The Berry,” a visual exhibit that is accompanied by performances. 

The show celebrates the works of over 50 women, including Thomasina Petrus, Hope Cervantes, Eliza Rasheed, Marcie Rendon, Tish Jones, Beverly Cottman, Carolyn Holbrook, Jada Daniels, Ivory Doublette and Shavunda Horsley.

The Intermedia fall season also includes “Reconciliation,” Marisa Carr’s drama that is set in a future where indigenous people have been imprisoned for failing to reconcile. Dipankar Mukherjee directs for Pangea World Theater (Nov. 14-23).

Sally Wingert, up close and personal at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company

Posted by: Rohan Preston Updated: July 17, 2014 - 4:29 PM

Some lucky theatergoers will get to spend an intimate evening with stage star Sally Wingert in the dog days of summer.

Wingert will perform in “Rose,” Martin Sherman’s one-woman show about an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor. The two-hour show will be staged in various Twin Cities homes in August as the kick-off to the Minnesota Jewish Theatre’s 20th anniversary season.

Wingert has headlined other shows at MJTC, including "Family Secrets," "Woman Before a Glass," and "2.5 Minute Ride." Randy Latimer starred in MJTC’s production of “Rose” in 2002 and 2003. Hayley Finn directs the current revival (Aug. 9-24).

MJTC’s 2014-2015 line-up includes David Ives’ “New Jerusalem, the Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656." While Ives is known primarily for comedy, the funniest thing about "New Jerusalem" may be its long title.The drama, which centers on a would-be chief rabbi accused of atheism, will be directed by Kurt Schweickhardt, who has acted in or staged several shows at the St. Paul-based company (Oct. 18-Nov. 9).

Jenna Zark’s “The Chanukkah Guest,” which was commissioned by MJTC commission from Eric A. Kimmel’s book of the same name, will be MJTC’s holiday offering. Zark previously adapted “The Magic Dreidels” for MJTC. A director for “The Chanukkah Guest” has yet not been named (Dec. 4-21).

Stars of David,” a musical revue adapted from Abigail Pogebrin’s book, celebrates the lives of figures such as Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Michael Kissin directs (Feb. 14-March 8, 2015).

MJTC closes its season with Jack Canfora’s “Jericho,” which orbits the lives of 9/11 survivors. Warren Bowles directs (April 18-May 20, 2015).

Three- play season passbooks, $55-$75, are available. Individual tickets to “Rose,” $45-$55, also are avaialbe. The Aug. 9 opening performance includes pre- and post-show receptions. Tickets to the holiday production go on sale Nov. 7.

“It’s a very strong season with many different types of work,” said MJTC artistic director Barbara Brooks. “I’m thrilled that [producer] Daryl Roth’s office contacted me about the musical, ‘Stars of David.’ I’m thrilled that Mike [Kissin] is doing it. ‘Jericho’ is a very absorbing piece of theater that was first seen last fall. And I’m glad to be working with Sally again. It's a great season for us.”

Southern Theater announces membership model for 2015

Posted by: Graydon Royce Updated: July 15, 2014 - 3:26 PM

Photo by David Joles

For many years, there has been idle chatter about how smaller performance groups and venues could somehow leverage their disparate values into something greater.

The Southern Theater has put that concept to work in ARTshare, a new program that uses the subscription model to let audiences sample work from 15 resident theater and dance troupes. Patrons buy an $18 monthly membership and then are all set to pick and choose. Memberships go on sale July 22 for calendar year 2015. The Southern hopes to sell 1,500 memberships and will stop at 2,100.

At the same time, the Southern will change how it schedules performances and allow several companies to run in repertory.

“When multiple resident companies perform in the same week, audiences have more opportunities to see new work,” said Damon Runnals, the Southern’s executive director, in a statement.

The program provides stability for the companies involved, variety for audiences and a much stronger sense of purpose for the Southern, which has in recent years had financial and programmatic issues. The 200-seat theater on Washington Av. now has something that loosely resembles an eclectic season that relies on the strengths of the producing companies.

“The end result is hopefully a better fulfillment of The Southern’s mission: to foster a community of exceptional artists,” Runnals stated.  

There will be 15 productions, according to the press release, with 144 performances through 2015. A partial list of the companies includes: Black Label Movement, Four Humors Theater, Live Action Set, Mathew Janczeski’s ARENA DANCES, Sandbox Theatre, Savage Umbrella, Swandive, Sossy Mechanics, TigerLion Arts, Workhaus Collective.

Memberships and information will be available at the Southern’s website, starting at 2 p.m. on July 22.

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