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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
Meet the anti-diva: Minn. native Kelly Kaduce stars in 'The Shining' opera

Meet the anti-diva: Minn. native Kelly Kaduce stars in 'The Shining' opera

Minnesota-bred soprano Kelly Kaduce has succeeded in opera by hitting the high notes with a joyous attitude.
How Minnesota Opera scored Stephen King's OK for 'The Shining'

How Minnesota Opera scored Stephen King's OK for 'The Shining'

Saturday's opening of "The Shining" will be its fifth world premiere in the past decade.
Theater review: 'Complicated Fun' can't catch the spirit of Minneapolis music scene

Theater review: 'Complicated Fun' can't catch the spirit of Minneapolis music scene

History Theatre's latest is a tame pageant about the Minneapolis music scene of the 1980s.
Theater review: 'Every Sentence Is For The Birds' by Moving Company at the Lab Theater

Theater review: 'Every Sentence Is For The Birds' by Moving Company at the Lab Theater

The Moving Company explores acculturation summary in a still-thin new piece of work.
History Theater musical 'Complicated Fun' is a Minneapolis mixtape

History Theater musical 'Complicated Fun' is a Minneapolis mixtape

"Complicated Fun" is a musical love letter to the 1980s Twin Cities music scene.
Northrop announces 2016-17 dance season in Minneapolis

Northrop announces 2016-17 dance season in Minneapolis

Several debuts mix with work by Merce Cunningham, the Eifman and the Scottish Ballet.
Theater review: "Six Characters in Search of an Author" at Park Square in St. Paul

Theater review: "Six Characters in Search of an Author" at Park Square in St. Paul

Adaptation of Pirandello's work is a better idea than stage show.
Review: The stars hold an infinite fate in 'Constellations' at Jungle Theater

Review: The stars hold an infinite fate in 'Constellations' at Jungle Theater

"Constellations" allows two characters to play life over and over again.
Theater review: "Harvey" at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis

Theater review: "Harvey" at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis

It's easy to miss the innocent message embodied by Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible friend.
After more than 50 years, U of M is shuttering its Showboat

After more than 50 years, U of M is shuttering its Showboat

A summer tradition that traversed more than 50 years will end in August, after the Minnesota Centennial Showboat concludes its final season.
Graydon Royce: My Perfect Saturday

Graydon Royce: My Perfect Saturday

I am a child of western Hennepin County — rural hobby farm country, not the Lake Minnetonka swell set. So even though I have loved…
What's the future of Minnesota's cultural institutions? An all-star cast weighs in

What's the future of Minnesota's cultural institutions? An all-star cast weighs in

At the Star Tribune Arts Forum, hear from Twin Cities cultural leaders during a round-table April 26 at Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis.
Review: Cyrano truly sings in Latté Da's poetic new musical 'C.'

Review: Cyrano truly sings in Latté Da's poetic new musical 'C.'

The old story of Cyrano de Bergerac retains its charm in premiere by Latté Da.

Not all that glitters online is theater gold

There's more performance video than ever, but it's better for study than entertainment.
Is it live or is it YouTube? Theater goes digital

Is it live or is it YouTube? Theater goes digital

The theater world is getting new audiences to tune in, on screens big and small.
Review: Minneapolis' Orpheum gets a 'Joseph' that's done on the cheap

Review: Minneapolis' Orpheum gets a 'Joseph' that's done on the cheap

REVIEW: A touring production at the Orpheum relies on the show's popularity to keep a lackluster effort afloat.
SPCO catches a new-music wave with violinist Pekka Kuusisto

SPCO catches a new-music wave with violinist Pekka Kuusisto

Just "jump on," advises the new-music-loving violinist, here for concerts this weekend.
Life is still a cabaret for Alan Cumming, who brings a new show to Minneapolis

Life is still a cabaret for Alan Cumming, who brings a new show to Minneapolis

The performer brings an evening of song and stories to Orchestra Hall on Saturday.
Review: 'Watermelon Hill' offers poignant tale of unwed mothers at History Theatre in St. Paul

Review: 'Watermelon Hill' offers poignant tale of unwed mothers at History Theatre in St. Paul

Poignant play relates the humanity and sad tales of teenagers who were forced to give up their babies.
Theater Latte Da hopes to buy Ritz Theater in northeast Minneapolis

Theater Latte Da hopes to buy Ritz Theater in northeast Minneapolis

The musical theater troupe is negotiating with foundation that owns the building.
Twin Cities chorus, dance troupe take on Thomson-Stein opera

Twin Cities chorus, dance troupe take on Thomson-Stein opera

A rarely performed 1934 opera by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein gets a Twin Cities staging.
'Beauty and the Beast' roars to life at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre

'Beauty and the Beast' roars to life at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre

"Beauty and the Beast" roars to life at the Chanhassen.
Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana will reunite for Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest

Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana will reunite for Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest

Twin Cities-bred Broadway star Laura Osnes will make her first professional Minnesota performance in nearly a decade as part of the Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest.
Burden of 'Beast': Chanhassen show puts heavy load on costume shop

Burden of 'Beast': Chanhassen show puts heavy load on costume shop

For "Beauty and the Beast," which opens in a new production Friday at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, it's the costume shop's turn to step up and take a bow.
Park Square ups the ante with a 13-show season in downtown St. Paul

Park Square ups the ante with a 13-show season in downtown St. Paul

The 2016-17 stage slate promises that the St. Paul company will stay busy.
SPCO names Jonathan Cohen, a British Baroque specialist, as artistic partner

SPCO names Jonathan Cohen, a British Baroque specialist, as artistic partner

This is Jonathan Cohen's first engagement as an artistic leader with a major U.S. orchestra.
Review: Beckett's 'Happy Days' at Open Eye offers hope in the face of absurdity

Review: Beckett's 'Happy Days' at Open Eye offers hope in the face of absurdity

Open Eye's production finds the optimism in Samuel Beckett's bleak representation of life.
Diversity is key as Joseph Haj unveils Guthrie Theater's 2016-17 season

Diversity is key as Joseph Haj unveils Guthrie Theater's 2016-17 season

The first slate chosen by new artistic director Joseph Haj mixes classics with fresh faces.
Young performers inspired by Dennis Swanson pay tribute

Young performers inspired by Dennis Swanson pay tribute

Long before Laura Osnes would star in "Grease" on Broadway and years before she would earn two Tony nominations for her performances in "Bonnie and…
David Chase, actor, singer, commercial talent, dies at 79

David Chase, actor, singer, commercial talent, dies at 79

In a business of egos, high stress and expectations, David Chase brought a spirit of warmth, generosity and rascally charm. Chase, who went by the…
Review: Theater is the target of a delightful Guthrie double-header

Review: Theater is the target of a delightful Guthrie double-header

"The Critic" and "The Real Inspector Hound" skewer theater's unsacred cows.
Minnesota Orchestra preps for a high-stakes return to Carnegie Hall

Minnesota Orchestra preps for a high-stakes return to Carnegie Hall

Osmo Vänskä tries to downplay the significance of his orchestra's return to New York's fabled Carnegie Hall next Thursday.
VocalEssence announces its 2016-17 choral season in Minneapolis

VocalEssence announces its 2016-17 choral season in Minneapolis

New work from Stephen Hough is a highlight.
Theater review: Theater Latte Da opens 'Gypsy' in Minneapolis

Theater review: Theater Latte Da opens 'Gypsy' in Minneapolis

Michelle Barber and Cat Brindisi headline Peter Rothstein's beautiful production.
Playwrights, with help from Jeffrey Hatcher, take aim at critics in Guthrie double bill

Playwrights, with help from Jeffrey Hatcher, take aim at critics in Guthrie double bill

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher offers up a critique of his relationship with critics.
'Crow Boy' takes flight at Heart of the Beast

'Crow Boy' takes flight at Heart of the Beast

REVIEW: Sandy Spieler and her crew spin an artistic tale that reminds us why Heart of the Beast matters.
Review: Minnesota Jewish Theatre's 'Allergist's Wife' is pitch-perfect absurdity

Review: Minnesota Jewish Theatre's 'Allergist's Wife' is pitch-perfect absurdity

"The Allergist's Wife" isn't great drama, but Minnesota Jewish Theatre makes it wickedly funny.
Walking Shadow gives a quietly powerful production of 'The Aliens'

Walking Shadow gives a quietly powerful production of 'The Aliens'

Review: Walking Shadow slows things down with Annie Baker's "The Aliens."
High-volume Shakespeare ushers in new era Jungle at Jungle Theater

High-volume Shakespeare ushers in new era Jungle at Jungle Theater

Artistic director Sarah Rasmussen gets off to a raucous start .
It's Stagezilla! Is this the Twin Cities' busiest theater weekend ever?

It's Stagezilla! Is this the Twin Cities' busiest theater weekend ever?

Here on the drama desk we're referring to this weekend as "Stagezilla!" So if your best boo says they'd love to take you out but there's nothing going on, take the hint — it's time to browse eHarmony.com.
Welcome to the new Jungle: Sarah Rasmussen takes over Mpls. theater

Welcome to the new Jungle: Sarah Rasmussen takes over Mpls. theater

Sarah Rasmussen begins her tenure as artistic director with a reputation for decency and inclusiveness – and an all-female "The Two Gentlemen of Verona."
'Newsies' at Orpheum is a dance-happy celebration of youth

'Newsies' at Orpheum is a dance-happy celebration of youth

REVIEW: The dance-happy Disney musical tells of scruffy kids who fought for their rights.
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."
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