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Posts about Casting news

Barkhad Abdi jumps aboard Judd Apatow's 'Trainwreck'

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: April 1, 2014 - 12:37 PM


Barkhad Abdi. Photo: AP

Barkhad Abdi. Photo: AP

Barkhad Abdi will test his comedy chops in Judd Apatow’s next directorial effort, “Trainwreck,” according to the entertainment trade magazine Variety.

Amy Schumer, who wrote the script will play the lead role. Plot details are scarce, but according to the website Slashfilm, it concerns "a basket case (Schumer) trying to regain control of her life. Other key characters in the film include the woman's boyfriend, her best friend/co-worker, and her parent."

His “Trainwreck” part is Abdi’s first major role since earning an Oscar nomination for “Captain Phillips,” where he played young Somali hijacker Muse. His performance in the film won the BAFTA best supporting actor award.

If the rest of the desired cast signs on, this could have of the oddest ensembles in years. Among those eyeing roles are Tilda Swinton, pro wrestler John Cena, standup comedian Mike Birbiglia and Bill Hader. Let’s hope Abdi ends up as the romantic foil for Swinton. That would be very Apatowian.


Mill City Summer Opera to do 'Tosca'

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: March 14, 2014 - 11:53 AM

Jill Gardner as Tosca in a still from Boston Lyric Opera. Photo by Jeffrey Dunn.

For its third season of outdoor, summertime opera, Mill City Summer Opera has chosen to stage "Tosca," the Puccini tearjerker, with Jill Gardner in the title role. Artistic director David Lefkowich will direct a staging set in the 1940s, and Brian DeMaris will be the show's music director.

Other cast members include Jake Gardner (Scarpia) and Dinyar Vania (Cavaradossi).

As usual, Mill City will stage the opera outdoors in the Mill City Museum's Ruin Courtyard. The past two seasons ("Pagliacci" and "The Barber of Seville") have mostly sold out, so this is a hot ticket. Tickets to the opening night are on sale now; tickets for six scheduled performances July 12-22, go on sale in mid-May at 612-875-5544, or the opera's website.

These plays coming to Jungle Theater next year

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: November 14, 2013 - 1:13 PM

The Jungle Theater brings back "The Mystery of Irma Vep," with Steven Epp (at left) and Bradley Greenwald, as part of its 2014 season. Star Tribune photo by Tom Sweeney.

Wendy Lehr, currently wonderful in "Driving Miss Daisy" at the Jungle, will be back a year from now when the Minneaplis theater presents her in "On Golden Pond." Bain Boehlke directs and costars in that show about a couple celebrating 48 years of marriage at a lake cabin. (Nov. 7-Dec. 21, 2014).

Also in the 2014 Jungle season:

"Shakespeare's Will," by Vern Thiessen. Boehlke directs Cathy Fuller in the one-woman play about Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway. (Feb. 7)

"Detroit," the play by Lisa D'Amour, won an Obie and was a Pulitzer finalist. Joel Sass directs. (April 11-May 25)

"The Heiress," a Tony-winning play by Ruth Goetz & Augustus Goetz based on Henry James' novel "Washington Square," will be directed by Boehlke. (June 20-Aug. 10)

"The Mystery of Irma Vep," by Charles Ludlam. The high-speed Victorian comedic melodrama won good reviews in 2010, and returns, again directed by Sass, with Steven Epp and Bradley Greenwald. (Nov. 7-Dec. 21)

Season tickets are now on sale. 612-822-7063, www.jungletheater.com.

Local cast of "Captain Phillips" to attend red carpet screening in St. Paul Tuesday

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: October 14, 2013 - 12:40 PM
Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, and Mahat Ali in "Captain Phillips." (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland)

Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, and Mahat Ali in "Captain Phillips." (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland)

Casting is crucial to any feature film’s success. When you’re seeking newcomers to hold their own against a two-time Oscar-winner the stakes are higher still. So it was a coup when four novice actors from Minneapolis’s Somali community were cast to play the pirates holding Tom Hanks captive in “Captain Phillips.” 

Three Hanks’ costars and the casting agents who discovered them will tell the unlikely story at a red carpet screening and panel discussion of “Captain Phillips” Tuesday.
Faysal Ahmed, who plays the gun-waving loose cannon Najee, Barkhad Abdiriham, the baby-faced reluctant kidnapper Bilal, and Mahmet M. Ali, the tense navigator Elmi, will join the film’s Search Casting Director Debbi DeLisi and her associates Lynn Younglove and Kati Batchelder. The event is hosted by Minnesota Women in Film & Television.
WHAT: “Captain Phillips” screening and panel discussion
WHERE: Grandview Theatre, 1830 Grand Av., St. Paul, (651) 698-3344
WHEN: 6:30 (arrivals and seating), 7:30 screening Tuesday
TICKETS: $20.00 advance; $25.00 at the door. Order at http://mnwift.org/?p=1159 or https://mnwiftcaptainphillips.eventbrite.com/
For further information, email events@mnwift.org.

New plays announced for fall

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: August 22, 2013 - 2:55 PM


Kelsey Cramer (left) and Kelsey Cramer (right), in "Good Woman of Setzuan" at Theatre Pro Rata. Photo by Charlie Gorrill. 

Two small theaters have recently announced plays they will present in the fall and winter seasons.

Theatre Pro Rata will open Bertolt Brecht's "Good Woman of Setzuan" at Intermedia Arts on October 26. Directed by Carin Bratlie and starring Kelsey Cramer, thee production runs through Nov. 10.

Walking Shadow Theatre reported a four-play season that opens Nov. 22 at the Theater Garage in Minneapolis with "The Sexual Life of Savages," a new play by Ian MacAllister-McDonald to be directed by Amy Rummenie.


Also coming from Walking Shadow is "Schiller's Mary Stuart," an adaptation by Peter Oswald of a drama about Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth (opens Feb. 7, 2014 at Red Eye); "The Odyssey," adapted and performed by Charlie Bethel (opens March 21, 2014 at Open Eye);and a new adaptation by John Heimbuch of the Dumas novel "The Three Musketeers," directed by Rummenie (opens May 9)


Charlie Bethel.


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