"Embers" at the Guthrie, plus "Photograph 51," dance and "Meronymy."
Opening: Synergy is the buzzword as the Guthrie opens the third and final play of its Christopher Hampton festival. "Embers," opening Friday in the Dowling Studio, runs alongside "Tales From Hollywood" and "Appomattox." Adapted from a novel of the same name by Austro-Hungarian writer Sandor Marai, "Embers" is about friendship, love and hate. It orbits the return of Konrad (Nathaniel Fuller), who abruptly left his best friend, Henrik (James A. Stephens), four decades earlier. Guthrie director Joe Dowling helms this show that also stars Barbara Bryne. (7:30 p.m. Fri., 1 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 1 & 7 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Thu., Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls., $29-$39. Ends Oct. 27, 612-377-2224 or www.guthrietheater.org.)
Opening: Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company opens its season with a play about Rosalind Franklin, who helped discover the structure of DNA. Bethany Ford plays Franklin, and Brandon Ewald and Dustin Bronson portray the scientists with whom she worked. They eventually received the Nobel Prize for the discovery while Franklin, whose findings were critical to the research, largely was forgotten. Warren Bowles directs the show. (8 p.m. Sat., 1 & 7 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu.; Hillcrest Center Theater, 1978 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul, $18-$26, 651-647-4315 or www.mnjewishtheatre.org.)
GRAYDON ROYCETHREADS DANCE PROJECT
Friday-Sunday: Choreographer Karen Charles leads her Threads Dance Project into its third season with a new production, "Dance Rhapsody." Charles tackles a variety of challenging subjects -- from love to grief -- through her contemporary dance works, and this program features the premiere of "Humanity & Elysian Fields Avenue," an exploration of Hurricane Katrina's immeasurable impact on New Orleans and its surrounding areas. Performed to music by New Orleans-born jazz artist Terence Blanchard, the work will examine the human toll of a tragedy -- measured not only by fatalities but also blows to the spirit caused by loss of home, family, neighbors, culture and much more. (8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., $25, Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-343-3390 or ticketworks.com.)
CAROLINE PALMERBALLET OF THE DOLLS
Opening Thursday: For its fall-season premiere, Ballet of the Dolls takes on a fairy tale -- Hans Christian Andersen's "The Peruvian Nightingale." For this work, choreographer Myron Johnson and company tell the story of a beautiful nightingale who entertains an emperor only to be replaced by a mechanical version. The moral, of course, is that an imitation can never capture the essence of the genuine article, and the real bird gets her due in the end. Expect a blend of reverence and cheekiness from the always creative Dolls. The piece will be set to soaring vocals from Yma Sumac, the Peruvian-born singer whose unparalleled vocal range was celebrated worldwide. (8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 7:30 p.m. Sun., $18.50-$23.50, ends Oct. 28, Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls., 612-436-1129, www.ritzdolls.com.)
Opening Friday: With characters named after types of speech (Synecdoche, Jargon, Abbreviation, Rhyme) and an experimental, multimedia, performance-art aesthetic, this new production seems ideally suited to open Red Eye's 29th season. Steve Busa directs the work of Twin Cities-based playwright Rachel Jendrzejewski, who asks, per press materials, "what happens when ancient mnemonic devices collide with hyper-speed technology?" The story concerns people in a house filled with stuff, with more deliveries coming all the time. In the end, says Red Eye's Miriam Must, the show is "about memory." Joining Must in the cast are Candy Simmons and three recent graduates of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie BFA acting program. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and Oct. 25, 7 p.m. Oct. 22 and 28, pay-what-you-can Oct. 12 and 22, $10-$25, Red Eye, 15 W. 14th St., Mpls., 612-870-0309, or www. redeyetheater.org.)