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Ralph Remington, the founder of Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis and a one-time Minneapolis City Council member, is leaving his post at the National Endowment for the Arts.
Remington has been director fo theater and musical theater at the NEA since 2010. In January, he will become western regional director for Actors' Equity, the union of professional actors.
In his new job, he will "oversee the operations, collective bargaining, and contract administration in 14 states -- from Texas to Washington, including Alaska and Hawaii -- and supervise a staff of 22," Actors' Equity said in a statement.
Remington also will be assisant executive director to Mary McColl, the head of Equity and a one-time administrator at both St. Paul's Ordway and Cowles centers.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Ralph Remington to the Equity family as part of the leadership team,” said McColl. “He has a proven track record of success as a strategic planner and is a champion of cultural inclusiveness."
At the NEA, he has been a champion of theater, travelling frequently national and abroad to promote the field. He also has been responsible for oversight of the NEA's theater grant-making.
Remington was a member of the Minneapolis City Council from 2006-2009.
In 1992, he founded Pillsbury House Theatre, a company that continues to do daring work.
A Philadelphia native, Remington earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in drama from Howard University, where his classmates included Gavin Lawrence.
"The Scottsboro Boys," the controversial musical by John Kander and Feb Ebb that premiered in Minneapolis in fall 2010, is opening Oct. 29 at the 550-seat Young Vic in South London.
The show, which transferred to Broadway after its Minneapolis run, was nominated for 12 Tonys, including for stars Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon, both of whom are in the London production.
That produciton also stars Christian Dante White.
"Scottsboro Boys" became a source of controversy because of its uncritical use of blackface. It drew protests on Broadway.
The British production opens in the Halloween season, a time when celebrities usually draw attention to themselves by donning blackface. This year, the trend has been upheld by Utah-born actress Julianne Hough, a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars," and fashion designer Allesandro Dell'Acqua.
In London, "Scottsboro Boys" show runs through Dec. 21.
In “The Nose,” Kovalyov’s search for his missing nose, as orchestrated by a young but clearly fearless Dmitri Shostakovich, is a big noisy affair. Effusions of brass and long interludes of pure percussion mark the score, and the singing is mainly declamatory and boisterous. No attenuated love arias or heartbreak-by-moonlight songs here. What opera ever composed has so much work for the trombones?
The ICON movie theater in St. Louis Park was full on Saturday for the Metropolitan Opera’s live telecast of Shostakovich’s seldom-produced “The Nose,” which premiered there in 2010 and is being revived this season. (The high-definition video will be seen again this Wednesday evening in several Twin Cities theaters. Details here.)
South African artist William Kentridge, who made his Met Opera with this brilliant production, has imagined a frenetic world of creatures made out of typography, of inky figures drawing monstrous cartloads as if all Russia were their burden. Then these figures drag in a new scenic element -- a cramped barber shop, a tilted sleeping room on which Kovalyov tosses and turns in misery on his too-small bed.
Kentridge brings great inventiveness and hurly-burly to bear on the Gogol story. Presented in the black, gray, white and brilliant red color scheme of the Russian Constructivists, it’s a world where a newspaper office becomes a towering front page, out of which explode the pressman, the editors and reporters, each singing from their own grimy, newsprint-strewn window.
At one point, type moves like iron filings on a magnet until cohering into a giant image of Joseph Stalin, evoking the era when Shostakovich was emerging as a composer.
The production design shies away from the usual illusions of depth, opting instead for ladders, trap doors and trompe l’oeil effects in a dizzying, floor-to-ceiling 2D effect, like Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in as imagined by El Lissitzky. When an animated nose takes a dive, it splashes into a movie-reel swimming pool. The profusion of these dynamic visual effects throughout the opera is perhaps its biggest attraction. They added to, rather than distracting from, the music and the singers.
The crack Met orchestra was here conducted by Pavel Smelkov, and the terrific costumes are by Greta Goiris.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, whose stand-up shows at the Orpheum Theatre at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday Jan.16 have sold out, has added a 7 p.m. show on Jan. 16. Tickets will go on sale at noon on Fri. Nov. 1 at www.hennepintheatretrust.org.
Dark & Stormy Productions, the itinerant Minneapolis theater company that made a big splash last year with its arresting production of David Mamet's "Speed-The-Plow," has announced a new production that will star veteran actors Sally Wingert (pictured) and Harry Waters, Jr.
The company is producing Adam Bock's "The Receptionist," a play about workers in a seemingly mundane office. The play will be directed by Benjamin McGovern, who also staged "Speed-The-Plow." Founding artistic director Sara Marsh and associate artistic director Bill McCallum fill out the cast of this four-hander.
"The Receptionist" runs Dec. 11,2013-Jan. 4, 2014 at the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art., 250 3rd Ave. N, ste. 500, Mpls.