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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
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.
What's a Minnesota getaway without a little summer theater?

What's a Minnesota getaway without a little summer theater?

Summer theater has become part of the “destination” for “destination vacation spots.” Those who want to fish, play golf, bike, hike or camp can also scratch the itch for some performance. You might even see former Twin Cities anchor Don Shelby as Mark Twain.
Review: "Music Man” rides energy of dance scenes at Guthrie

Review: "Music Man” rides energy of dance scenes at Guthrie

The music and movement pulse with energy, but Prof. Harold Hill doesn’t cut a wide swath in “The Music Man.”

Theater Latté Da plans two world premieres and 'Sweeney Todd' for its 2015-16 season

Five shows are on the slate next season, including two world premieres and a revival of “Gypsy.”
Discovering America in 'The Music Man' at Guthrie Theater

Discovering America in 'The Music Man' at Guthrie Theater

“The Music Man” brings its rural mythology and transformational story to the Guthrie stage for the first time.
Jungle Theater's "You Can't Take it With You” boasts appealing cast but lacks fizz

Jungle Theater's "You Can't Take it With You” boasts appealing cast but lacks fizz

REVIEW: “You Can’t Take It With You” loses the effervescence that once made it au courant.
Original 'Church Basement Ladies' returns to Plymouth Playhouse

Original 'Church Basement Ladies' returns to Plymouth Playhouse

Ten years after it launched a theatrical brand, “Church Basement Ladies” returns.
Cabins and fishing meet reflexology at Crow Wing Crest Lodge

Cabins and fishing meet reflexology at Crow Wing Crest Lodge

Our daughter Addie was 10 months old when we made our first trip to Crow Wing Crest Lodge. This summer will be her 25th. Addie…
Superhero gets serious in Jane Martin's 'H2O' at Gremlin Theatre

Superhero gets serious in Jane Martin's 'H2O' at Gremlin Theatre

A Hollywood star seeks meaning in his chaos in “H2O” at Gremlin Theatre
In his Guthrie finale, Dowling stages emotional 'Juno and the Paycock'

In his Guthrie finale, Dowling stages emotional 'Juno and the Paycock'

The Guthrie director stages an Irish play with deep meaning for him.
A tale of harp – and heart – from orchestra's trip to Cuba

A tale of harp – and heart – from orchestra's trip to Cuba

The harp has a bad reputation in Cuba, but four young students hope to change that with help from the Minnesota Orchestra.
Novelist Richard Ford brings back his most enduring character

Novelist Richard Ford brings back his most enduring character

Pulitzer-winning author Richard Ford comes to St. Paul with a new book about his most enduring character, Frank Bascombe.
Orchestra signs multiyear deals with Vänskä, musicians

Orchestra signs multiyear deals with Vänskä, musicians

The music director will be here through August 2019; union contract goes to 2020. Donors contributed $6.5 million to help fund the agreements.
Guthrie's upcoming season gives a taste of Haj

Guthrie's upcoming season gives a taste of Haj

The new artistic director will direct two shows in a 2015-16 season that mixes the familiar with more adventurous works.
Minnesota Orchestra enjoys one last, late night in Havana

Minnesota Orchestra enjoys one last, late night in Havana

Musicians left a gift of music in the Cuban capital and came home with a new purpose.
Minnesota Orchestra wins hearts, while bridging divide in Cuba

Minnesota Orchestra wins hearts, while bridging divide in Cuba

The 160-person Minnesota contingent won the hearts of schoolchildren, university students and music lovers with educational visits, gifts of musical supplies and concerts on Friday and Saturday night that sold out quickly to audiences eager to witness this moment.
Musical diplomacy blooms in Havana heat

Musical diplomacy blooms in Havana heat

“Cultural ambassadors” are healing rifts within the Minnesota Orchestra while building ties to Cuba.
Minn. Orchestra draws enthusiastic crowd, media at first Cuba concert

Minn. Orchestra draws enthusiastic crowd, media at first Cuba concert

The Minnesota Orchestra’s visit to Havana this week has drawn crews from Al Jazeera America, the BBC and other U.S. and Latin American news outlets. "They killed it" at the first concert Friday night, one observer said.
Minn. Orchestra finds new magic in Havana after its bitter lockout

Minn. Orchestra finds new magic in Havana after its bitter lockout

As they prepare for a historic concert Friday night, musicians and board members find a groove together.
With selfies and Tchaikovsky, orchestra arrives in Havana

With selfies and Tchaikovsky, orchestra arrives in Havana

Minnesota Orchestra becomes the first from U.S. to visit Cuba since the thaw in relations.
Minnesota Orchestra tours Havana, prepares for first Cuba rehearsal

Minnesota Orchestra tours Havana, prepares for first Cuba rehearsal

Costumed dancers on stilts, accompanied by congas and cowbells, greeted the Minnesota Orchestra on a walking tour of Old Havana on Wednesday evening.
Symphonic diplomacy is goal of Minnesota Orchestra's Cuba trip

Symphonic diplomacy is goal of Minnesota Orchestra's Cuba trip

Minnesota Orchestra will carry state’s banner to Havana this week.
Obituary: Attorney Lee Henderson, staunch advocate for the Minnesota Orchestra

Obituary: Attorney Lee Henderson, staunch advocate for the Minnesota Orchestra

Lee Henderson was excited about joining the Minnesota Orchestra on its upcoming historic trip to Cuba from May 13-17.Henderson and his wife, Polly, attended an…
Shakespeare, 'South Pacific' on slate for Guthrie's new director

Shakespeare, 'South Pacific' on slate for Guthrie's new director

The new Guthrie Theater season announced Wednesday gives the theatergoing public its first glimpse at some of the work that interests new Artistic Director Joseph Haj, who takes over from Joe Dowling on July 1.
'Jersey Boys' has fresh legs at the Orpheum in Minneapolis

'Jersey Boys' has fresh legs at the Orpheum in Minneapolis

REVIEW: “Jersey Boys” is not showing its age in the national tour that hit Minneapolis on Tuesday.
Review: Provocative new Lee Blessing play shines light on sexual abuse

Review: Provocative new Lee Blessing play shines light on sexual abuse

Lee Blessing’s new play “For the Loyal” escapes the bounds of reality to shine a light on a complex subject.
Review: Guthrie keeps 'Crucible' epic, fresh

Review: Guthrie keeps 'Crucible' epic, fresh

Director Joe Dowling finds the relevance in a play that seems so familiar.
Review: Guthrie's 'Crucible' has power of epic fable

Review: Guthrie's 'Crucible' has power of epic fable

REVIEW: Director Joe Dowling finds the urgent message and relevance resting within a play that seems so familiar.
'Late Nite Catechism': A change in habit at Plymouth Playhouse

'Late Nite Catechism': A change in habit at Plymouth Playhouse

Caution: Do not chew gum if you attend “Late Nite Catechism.” The Sister has a keen eye out for gum chewers and if she catches…
Joe Dowling has last dance with Arthur Miller at Guthrie

Joe Dowling has last dance with Arthur Miller at Guthrie

This weekend Joe Dowling opens “The Crucible,” the seventh time he has put Arthur Miller on a Guthrie stage — more than any writer not named William Shakespeare.
SPCO plans Asian tour as Fröst joins for 2015-16 season

SPCO plans Asian tour as Fröst joins for 2015-16 season

In its first full year at new Ordway hall, the orchestra welcomes Martin Fröst.
Book review: Lights on at Ten Thousand Things

Book review: Lights on at Ten Thousand Things

Book review: Artistic director Michelle Hensley discusses in a personal way her theories and practices of theater.
Linda Kelsey gets a 'Place' to call her own

Linda Kelsey gets a 'Place' to call her own

Actor Linda Kelsey saw “The Other Place” in New York and immediately knew she had to play that role in the Twin Cities.

Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis loses its managing director

Tim Jennings helped to stabilize children’s troupe, leaves for Shaw Festival.
Review: Park Square's 'Shooting Star' a familiar take on nostalgia

Review: Park Square's 'Shooting Star' a familiar take on nostalgia

“Shooting Star” lands in familiar territory with pleasant nostalgia.
'Simpsons'-inspired 'Mr. Burns' presents Bart as art

'Simpsons'-inspired 'Mr. Burns' presents Bart as art

The Guthrie hosts “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play."
Old Log's 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is light and cheeky fun

Old Log's 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is light and cheeky fun

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” now running at the playhouse in suburban Greenwood, capitalizes on crisp choreography and rock-solid musical direction, to fashion a fine piece of entertainment.
Guthrie play 'Mr. Burns' turns Bart into dramatic art

Guthrie play 'Mr. Burns' turns Bart into dramatic art

A play at the Guthrie uses TV’s “The Simpsons” to reflect on the touchstones we cling to after a disaster.
Jungle Theater tabs young, connected new director

Jungle Theater tabs young, connected new director

Rasmussen will succeed Jungle founder Bain Boehlke in July.
Jungle is latest Twin Cities theater to usher in change

Jungle is latest Twin Cities theater to usher in change

It named a new artistic director: Sarah Rasmussen, a nationally connected young director.
VocalEssence and the Singers annnounce 2015-16 seasons

VocalEssence and the Singers annnounce 2015-16 seasons

A Gertrude Stein opera, Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” and Robert Shaw are some highlights.
The unsinkable Thomas Scallen: Old-school showman and dealmaker dies at 89

The unsinkable Thomas Scallen: Old-school showman and dealmaker dies at 89

In a long and colorful career, he owned Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, the Harlem Globetrotters, Ice Follies and a pro hockey team. He died at 89.
'Debutante's Ball' dances with energy at History Theatre

'Debutante's Ball' dances with energy at History Theatre

New play takes a charming look at the traditions of Filipino-Minnesotans.
'Practically perfect' Ann Michels gets her turn in 'Mary Poppins'

'Practically perfect' Ann Michels gets her turn in 'Mary Poppins'

Ann Michels takes on the biggest challenge of her career in “Mary Poppins” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.
Theater: "That Wonder Boy” finds the joy in comedy

Theater: "That Wonder Boy” finds the joy in comedy

Bob Stromberg searches for the funny bone that inspired him to find his purpose as a comic artist.
'Debutante's Ball' dances with tradition at History Theatre

'Debutante's Ball' dances with tradition at History Theatre

“The Debutante’s Ball” finds the drama that many young Filipino-Americans face: How to fit in while still standing out.
Review: Pillsbury House offers bare-bones and potent 'Death Tax'

Review: Pillsbury House offers bare-bones and potent 'Death Tax'

Issues of money, family and the end of life make for a slim but powerful play with “Death Tax.”
REVIEW: Chanhassen Dinner Theater's 'Mary Poppins' is a brisk gust of wind

REVIEW: Chanhassen Dinner Theater's 'Mary Poppins' is a brisk gust of wind

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres’ production is spit-spot proper, but the heart wishes for more from this oddly cool musical adaptation.
Sommerfest 2015 will offer a taste of Cuba

Sommerfest 2015 will offer a taste of Cuba

Andrew Litton will return for the monthlong summer festival.
Pulitzer winner Puts returns to Minn. Opera with high expectations

Pulitzer winner Puts returns to Minn. Opera with high expectations

Kevin Puts won a Pulitzer for his first work for Minnesota Opera. Word on the street is “The Manchurian Candidate” is even better.
'The Shining' set for Minnesota Opera's 2015-16 season

'The Shining' set for Minnesota Opera's 2015-16 season

The world premiere is part of a slate that includes “Tosca” and “Magic Flute.”
Descendant presents the gospel according to Dickens

Descendant presents the gospel according to Dickens

Gerald Dickens comes to town to premiere a play based on his great-great-grandfather's lessons to his children.
A new Joe at the Guthrie: Joseph Haj named artistic director

A new Joe at the Guthrie: Joseph Haj named artistic director

Joseph Haj, who runs a troupe at the University of North Carolina, was named Tuesday to succeed Joe Dowling at the Guthrie. Haj, 51, is the eighth artistic director since legendary Broadway director Tyrone Guthrie founded one of the nation’s largest regional theaters in 1963.
Don Stolz, Twin Cities theater legend, dies at 97

Don Stolz, Twin Cities theater legend, dies at 97

He ran the Old Log Theater for 72 years and was the acknowledged godfather of Twin Cities theater.
Guthrie Theater names new artistic director

Guthrie Theater names new artistic director

Haj, who runs a troupe at the University of North Carolina, was named Tuesday to succeed Joe Dowling.
Review: A fresh 'Midsummer' at Guthrie

Review: A fresh 'Midsummer' at Guthrie

Joe Dowling's last Shakespeare production at the Guthrie is one of his best.
Aug. 31, 2012: Old Log Theater's Don Stolz still runs the show

Aug. 31, 2012: Old Log Theater's Don Stolz still runs the show

After 66 years, he continues to direct and call the shots at the venerable playhouse, despite rumors that it's about to be sold.
May 4, 2013: Old Log Theater is sold

May 4, 2013: Old Log Theater is sold

Excelsior theater to reopen in June, buyer Greg Frankenfield says.
Minnesota Orchestra to make historic tour to Cuba in May

Minnesota Orchestra to make historic tour to Cuba in May

The Minnesota Orchestra will be the first U.S. orchestra to perform in Cuba, following President Obama’s announced desire to normalize relations with the Caribbean island nation.
Minn. Orchestra to make historic tour to Cuba

Minn. Orchestra to make historic tour to Cuba

This will be the first U.S. orchestra to visit the nation since President Obama announced plans to normalize relations.
Review: Walking Shadow's 'The Coward'

Review: Walking Shadow's 'The Coward'

“The Coward” is a thin comedy that overstays its welcome – until one glorious bloody denouement.
'The Coward' at Walking Shad

'The Coward' at Walking Shad

“The Coward” fumbles until bloody finale.
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