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Graydon Royce

Reporter, theater critic | Theater/Arts
phone: 612-673-7299
Graydon Royce has been in love with theater ever since he portrayed Crusher, Mad Dog Vachon and Wally Karbo to frenzied applause in the 6th grade talent show at Hilltop Elementary School. His most embarrassing moment in life was a dance audition at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in 1974. So many steps, so few feet. Now he just likes to watch.
Recent content from Graydon Royce
Review: History Theatre's 'George Bonga' a low-key portrait of a Minnesota legend

Review: History Theatre's 'George Bonga' a low-key portrait of a Minnesota legend

History Theatre's "George Bonga: Minnesota Voyageur" explores questions of identity and justice.
Twin Cities actor Tod Petersen is living life one chapter at a time

Twin Cities actor Tod Petersen is living life one chapter at a time

Local stage star Tod Petersen took a break to get off the grid and explore his love of life.
History Theatre show presents a multicultural hero from Minnesota's past

History Theatre show presents a multicultural hero from Minnesota's past

"We talk about Paul Bunyan — well, this guy was that mythic," playwright Carlyle Brown says. "He was like Minnesota's Daniel Boone."
What 'Pericles' tells us about Joe Haj's new direction at Guthrie

What 'Pericles' tells us about Joe Haj's new direction at Guthrie

Our critics look for lessons and signals in the new artistic director's first staging at the Guthrie Theater.
Hennepin Trust to bring Tony winners 'Fun Home' and 'Curious Incident' to Minneapolis

Hennepin Trust to bring Tony winners 'Fun Home' and 'Curious Incident' to Minneapolis

Ten shows are announced for the Hennepin Theatre Trust's 2016-17 season — but not "Hamilton."
'Great Expectations' brings Dickens' novel to Park Square Theatre in St. Paul

'Great Expectations' brings Dickens' novel to Park Square Theatre in St. Paul

Joel Sass brings Dickens' big book to the theater.
Stunning imagery in 'Pericles' inaugurates Haj era at Guthrie

Stunning imagery in 'Pericles' inaugurates Haj era at Guthrie

REVIEW: Joseph Haj opens his Guthrie tenure with an arresting staging of Shakespeare's episodic adventure.
Whittling 'Expectations': Joel Sass tells how he adapted Dickens for stage

Whittling 'Expectations': Joel Sass tells how he adapted Dickens for stage

How does one find the stage play within a sprawling novel spanning years and locations and myriad characters? Director Joel Sass talked about his process.
Act One for Joe Haj: 'Pericles' gives Guthrie audiences a look at his work

Act One for Joe Haj: 'Pericles' gives Guthrie audiences a look at his work

Guthrie audiences at last get to see the stage work of new artistic director Joseph Haj in "Pericles," opening Friday.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatre to get a change of scenery with planned face-lift

Chanhassen Dinner Theatre to get a change of scenery with planned face-lift

Big update planned for decor at quirky, vintage dinner theater.
'Lullaby' doesn't soothe in world premiere at Theater Latte Da

'Lullaby' doesn't soothe in world premiere at Theater Latte Da

New work is too loud and feels like a movie-of-the-week in a production by Theater Latté Da.
Loudmouth Collective looks at brotherly love in 'The Best Brothers' in Minneapolis

Loudmouth Collective looks at brotherly love in 'The Best Brothers' in Minneapolis

A small, familiar familial premise reunites siblings without too much grief.
Guthrie's new managing director will be 'last person in the room with Joe'

Guthrie's new managing director will be 'last person in the room with Joe'

The Guthrie Theater's new managing director talks about her aim to be an impact player on Joe Haj's team.
Ryan Taylor, new president of Minnesota Opera, is a baritone too

Ryan Taylor, new president of Minnesota Opera, is a baritone too

Ryan Taylor comes from Arizona but has roots with the Twin Cities company.
New shows bring in the new year in Twin Cities theater

New shows bring in the new year in Twin Cities theater

There is a great range of work opening on Twin Cities stages this weekend. Here's a rundown of what's in store.
Review: Sally Wingert brings an antic dimension to 'Beauty Queen of Leenane'

Review: Sally Wingert brings an antic dimension to 'Beauty Queen of Leenane'

Playwright Martin McDonagh offers an emotional look at Ireland in dysfunction drama.
Minneapolis-bred actor Karen Landry dies at 65 at her Los Angeles home

Minneapolis-bred actor Karen Landry dies at 65 at her Los Angeles home

A Minneapolis native who built a career in Los Angeles, she never trumpeted her success.
Review: 'Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' is more fun than foul play

Review: 'Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' is more fun than foul play

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" has its charms as an inconsequential night out.
Searching for a managing director, Guthrie finds a star

Searching for a managing director, Guthrie finds a star

Jennifer Bielstein, who managed the nationally prominent Actors Theater, will be Joseph Haj's partner in running Minneapolis' leading theater.
Tony winner for best musical, 'Gentleman's Guide' finally hits Minneapolis

Tony winner for best musical, 'Gentleman's Guide' finally hits Minneapolis

It took perseverance, but "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" ultimately won a Tony for best musical.
Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra musicians unite for concert to aid Syrian refugees

Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra musicians unite for concert to aid Syrian refugees

A benefit concert Sunday including Osmo Vänskä will go to relief efforts in the war-torn country.
'The Great Work,' now playing at the Guthrie studio, is not so great

'The Great Work,' now playing at the Guthrie studio, is not so great

REVIEW: A lovely score and fine voices cannot save this disjointed, unfocused musical.
Top theater of 2015: Musicals and a Joe Dowling trifecta top Royce's list

Top theater of 2015: Musicals and a Joe Dowling trifecta top Royce's list

The Guthrie director went out with a bang, and great musical productions sprouted all over town.
Minnesota Orchestra's Kevin Smith: Fanfare for an uncommon leader

Minnesota Orchestra's Kevin Smith: Fanfare for an uncommon leader

Kevin Smith had been answering questions about himself for nearly two hours. Grew up outside L.A., middle-class parents, got his degree in music and went…
New staging of 'All Is Calm' brings clarity, power

New staging of 'All Is Calm' brings clarity, power

REVIEW: Using 12 musical actors brings unity and greater illumination to this quiet holiday classic.
It's a wonderful life again for Mpls. actor Ross Young after cardiac arrest

It's a wonderful life again for Mpls. actor Ross Young after cardiac arrest

Actor Ross Young has returned from the dead for a busy holiday season, playing Clarence the angel.
Moving Company satirizes small-town life in 'Liberty Falls' at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis

Moving Company satirizes small-town life in 'Liberty Falls' at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis

"Liberty Falls" is full of clowning – including a funny corpse – but the show lacks bite.
Four holiday shows make their bow on Twin Cities stages this weekend

Four holiday shows make their bow on Twin Cities stages this weekend

There will be "Christmas Carols" and "Nutcrackers," solstice dramas and Hanukkah plays this month — more than you can possibly hope for.
Musicians give $250K gift to Minnesota Orchestra as it balances budget

Musicians give $250K gift to Minnesota Orchestra as it balances budget

Money came from musicians' group that was formed during lockout and is now dissolved.
Guthrie Theater's 'The Cocoanuts' is a hard nut to crack

Guthrie Theater's 'The Cocoanuts' is a hard nut to crack

REVIEW: This take on the Marx Brothers huffs and puffs far too much for its laughs.
'That Wonder Boy,' created by Twin Cities performer, wins 3 NY theater awards

'That Wonder Boy,' created by Twin Cities performer, wins 3 NY theater awards

The piece, written by Twin Cities performer Bob Stromberg, was named "Best One-Man Show"
Guthrie offers ritual of the familiar spirit in its 41st 'A Christmas Carol'

Guthrie offers ritual of the familiar spirit in its 41st 'A Christmas Carol'

The Guthrie opens its 41st production of Charles Dickens' classic essay on Christmas.
Lights, curtain, anarchy: Marx Brothers take Guthrie stage in 'Cocoanuts'

Lights, curtain, anarchy: Marx Brothers take Guthrie stage in 'Cocoanuts'

Groucho, Chico, Harpo and, uh, the other guy return in a Guthrie staging of "The Cocoanuts."
Park Square stages a timely version of South African drama 'My Children! My Africa!'

Park Square stages a timely version of South African drama 'My Children! My Africa!'

Park Square's staging of Fugard's "My Children! My Africa!" tests assumptions about protest.
Conor McPherson spins a simple twist of fate in 'The Night Alive' at Jungle Theater

Conor McPherson spins a simple twist of fate in 'The Night Alive' at Jungle Theater

Playwright Conor McPherson's latest play spins a small yarn out of a chance encounter.
'Sister Act' at Chanhassen finds depth amid the fun

'Sister Act' at Chanhassen finds depth amid the fun

Regina Marie Williams leads a great cast that finds the emotional core of the fluffy "Sister Act" at Chanhassen.
Ghost stories: Conor McPherson weighs life's mystery at Jungle Theater in Minneapolis

Ghost stories: Conor McPherson weighs life's mystery at Jungle Theater in Minneapolis

Noted Irish playwright deals with fate and the mysteries of life in his third staging at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis.
'Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune' needs more soul

'Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune' needs more soul

REVIEW: This staging of the rom-com about a cook and a waitress needs a side order of soul.
Swedish clarinetist cancels debut with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

Swedish clarinetist cancels debut with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

The Swedish musician, who was the orchestra's newest artistic partner, has been sidelined by Meniere's Disease.
SPCO charts new course with leadership team that includes musician

SPCO charts new course with leadership team that includes musician

President Bruce Coppock is stepping aside for a new team that includes a musician — a first for major U.S. orchestras.
John Irving wrestles with memory in 'Avenue of Mysteries'

John Irving wrestles with memory in 'Avenue of Mysteries'

For his latest book, "Avenue of Mysteries," the novelist found inspiration in dreams, religion and the vividness of childhood.
Bruce Hyde, known for role on classic 'Star Trek,' dies at 74 in St. Cloud

Bruce Hyde, known for role on classic 'Star Trek,' dies at 74 in St. Cloud

A professor at St. Cloud and actor in Twin Cities theater, he will forever be known for his work on the original "Star Trek" TV series.
Michael Kissin feels connection to MJTC's 'The Twenty-Seventh Man'

Michael Kissin feels connection to MJTC's 'The Twenty-Seventh Man'

Twin Cities stage vet Michael Kissin honors his Jewish roots in a play about Stalin's purge of Yiddish writers.
Jungle Theater's 2015-16 season includes two premieres

Jungle Theater's 2015-16 season includes two premieres

New work is prominent in Sarah Rasmussen's first season as the theater's artistic director.
3 ambitious small Minneapolis theaters launch seasons

3 ambitious small Minneapolis theaters launch seasons

Minneapolis companies open their 2015-16 seasons with work that defines their diverse missions.
'Glensheen' is a witty and fast-paced musical in its opening at History Theatre in St. Paul

'Glensheen' is a witty and fast-paced musical in its opening at History Theatre in St. Paul

REVIEW: The musical about the Congdon murders in Duluth has a droll edge and sensibility.
'The Events' is complex piece of theater in response to terrorism

'The Events' is complex piece of theater in response to terrorism

"The Events" invites its audience to participate in the real-life drama of mass terror and tragedy.
Meet 5 new faces of the Minnesota Orchestra's future

Meet 5 new faces of the Minnesota Orchestra's future

The Minnesota Orchestra has begun rebuilding after its bruising lockout. Here are five players who represent the orchestra's path forward.
Theater Latte' Da's 'Sweeney Todd' cuts like a knife

Theater Latte' Da's 'Sweeney Todd' cuts like a knife

Theater Latte' Da's staging of the Sondheim masterwork demands our attention.
SPCO signs contract extension that will raise salaries for some by $6,000 over two years

SPCO signs contract extension that will raise salaries for some by $6,000 over two years

Contract will give larger increases to lower-paid musicians and raise the minimum salary to $66K.
Notorious Congdon murders retold as new musical 'Glensheen'

Notorious Congdon murders retold as new musical 'Glensheen'

"Fargo" was still just a North Dakota city when Roger Caldwell and his then-wife, Marjorie, slammed into the center of one of Minnesota's most notorious murder cases. Now their story is a musical at History Theatre in St. Paul.
Mark Benninghofen sharpens singing voice for Theater Latté Da's 'Sweeney Todd'

Mark Benninghofen sharpens singing voice for Theater Latté Da's 'Sweeney Todd'

Razor-sharp actor Mark Benninghofen takes on "Sweeney Todd," his first musical.
Former Guthrie director Joe Dowling honored at Ivey Awards

Former Guthrie director Joe Dowling honored at Ivey Awards

The retired Guthrie director won the Ivey Lifetime Achievement award.
Guthrie's straightforward 'To Kill a Mockingbird' lets story take center stage

Guthrie's straightforward 'To Kill a Mockingbird' lets story take center stage

Review: The Guthrie show reminds us that we must teach our kids well.
"Velocity of Autumn" is slow stuff in Old Log Theater's new production

"Velocity of Autumn" is slow stuff in Old Log Theater's new production

Playwright Eric Coble spins his wheels in telling the story of a 79-year-old woman fighting removal from her apartment.
Classical music: Fall's big 5 include Mahler, Fröst and 'Dreams of the Fallen'

Classical music: Fall's big 5 include Mahler, Fröst and 'Dreams of the Fallen'

‘Dreams of the Fallen’ Jake Runestad, one of the choral world’s hot young composers, set music to the words of Iraq war veteran and poet…
Review: Yellow Tree's 'Lughnasa' is just right for the harvest season

Review: Yellow Tree's 'Lughnasa' is just right for the harvest season

Yellow Tree ably presents Brian Friel's warmest, most-accessible play.
New artistic director Joe Haj has big plans for Guthrie Theater

New artistic director Joe Haj has big plans for Guthrie Theater

For the first time in 20 years, an artistic director not named Joe Dowling will lead the Guthrie into a new season.
Minn. Orchestra bounces back with a balanced budget for 2015

Minn. Orchestra bounces back with a balanced budget for 2015

Strong fundraising helped the Minnesota Orchestra finish its 2015 season with a balanced budget, according to preliminary figures released Thursday morning.
Twin Cities theater companies kick off 2015-16 season

Twin Cities theater companies kick off 2015-16 season

Theater companies large and small offer many options as fall begins in earnest this weekend.
'Annapurna' opens in a well-acted production at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis

'Annapurna' opens in a well-acted production at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis

The play's dusty characters are in search of something that is just short of redemption.
Bedlam Lowertown needs $400,000 by end of year to stay alive

Bedlam Lowertown needs $400,000 by end of year to stay alive

St. Paul theater/club needs $400,000 by end of year to stay in business.
Director Joel Sass builds life-size trailer for Jungle Theater's 'Annapurna'

Director Joel Sass builds life-size trailer for Jungle Theater's 'Annapurna'

Director Joel Sass brings a life-size house trailer to the Jungle Theater stage for "Annapurna."
Minnesota Jewish Theatre finds the heart of Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Minnesota Jewish Theatre finds the heart of Dr. Ruth Westheimer

REVIEW: The solo show by Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company reveals the woman behind an icon.
'Pirates of Penzance' sails to safe harbor at Ordway

'Pirates of Penzance' sails to safe harbor at Ordway

REVIEW: James Rocco's production of "The Pirates of Penzance," which opened Thursday in St. Paul, satisfies the broad outlines of our expectations of Gilbert & Sullivan's opera. But in some regards, it might be a little too respectful.
'Stage Kiss' at the Guthrie Theater muses on power of romance

'Stage Kiss' at the Guthrie Theater muses on power of romance

Who says a kiss is just a kiss? One of the top playwrights of our time dissects the strange phenomenon of the "Stage Kiss."
Second act: Twin Cities actors leave the stage to launch new careers

Second act: Twin Cities actors leave the stage to launch new careers

Some of the Twin Cities' best-known actors have moved on to different stages in their lives.
Obituary: Entrepreneur Elliott Royce was a remarkable retiree

Obituary: Entrepreneur Elliott Royce was a remarkable retiree

At age 96, Elliott Royce attended trampoline class three times per week. The hobby fit with his retirement routine of falling five times every morning…
Review: There's more comedy than romance in Guthrie's 'Stage Kiss'

Review: There's more comedy than romance in Guthrie's 'Stage Kiss'

Sarah Ruhl's play has summery fun with actors who stumble into something like love.
James Sewell provides a new home for Myron Johnson's 'Nutcracker (Not So) Suite'

James Sewell provides a new home for Myron Johnson's 'Nutcracker (Not So) Suite'

Myron Johnson will bring back his "Nutcracker" to a new home: Cowles Center with James Sewell Ballet.
Nancy Burbidge, theater patron, dies at 81

Nancy Burbidge, theater patron, dies at 81

When Scott Mayer created the Ivey Awards 11 years ago, he wanted an advisory board steeped in the local theater community."Who can you think of…
Revew: Girl Friday Productions makes a perfect match with 'Matchmaker'

Revew: Girl Friday Productions makes a perfect match with 'Matchmaker'

Thornton Wilder's play "The Matchmaker" comes to life in a well-made production.
Interact Center of St. Paul performs for the princess of Thailand

Interact Center of St. Paul performs for the princess of Thailand

Artists from St. Paul-based Interact will meet the princess in Thailand and promote their program of using performance and art can benefit people living with disabilities.
Musicals on Glensheen murder, 1980s Minneapolis scene among History Theatre premieres

Musicals on Glensheen murder, 1980s Minneapolis scene among History Theatre premieres

Musicals about Duluth murder and Minneapolis music are among three premieres for 2015-16 History Theatre season.
Girl Friday plays 'Matchmaker' at Park Square with Thornton Wilder classic

Girl Friday plays 'Matchmaker' at Park Square with Thornton Wilder classic

Small theater company heads to Park Square to tackle its third Thornton Wilder play.
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