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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
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.
'Lion King,' 'Book of Mormon' returning to Hennepin next season

'Lion King,' 'Book of Mormon' returning to Hennepin next season

“The Lion King” will return to the house in which it was born nearly 20 years ago. Hennepin Theatre Trust announced Tuesday that the Disney blockbuster will return to the Orpheum Theatre in the summer of 2016 as part of the 2015-16 Broadway on Hennepin season in Minneapolis.
Hennepin Theatre season: 'Lion King,' 'Book of Mormon,' others

Hennepin Theatre season: 'Lion King,' 'Book of Mormon,' others

Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Broadway subscription season is a mix of old and new (and something blue).
Wait for the blood to flow in Walking Shadow's 'The Coward'

Wait for the blood to flow in Walking Shadow's 'The Coward'

REVIEW: “The Coward” is a thin comedy that overstays its welcome – until one glorious bloody denouement.
Guthrie zeroes in on a replacement for Joe Dowling

Guthrie zeroes in on a replacement for Joe Dowling

The Guthrie Theater has identified a successor to Joe Dowling, who will retire June 30 after leading one of Minnesota’s cultural cornerstones for 20 years. An announcement is expected “before March.”
Guthrie Theater reports budget surplus

Guthrie Theater reports budget surplus

Strong summer box office and conscious cost cutting helped theater bounce back from 2012-13 deficit.
Latté Da returns to Hennepin with a steampunk 'Oliver!'

Latté Da returns to Hennepin with a steampunk 'Oliver!'

A steampunk-inspired “Oliver!” is the largest production so far in a budding partnership between Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust.
'God Girl' playwright was disillusioned by the church

'God Girl' playwright was disillusioned by the church

Kristine Holmgren recounts her experience with the patriarchy in a play that opens Saturday.
Review: Old friends spar on stage in 'Death and the Maiden'

Review: Old friends spar on stage in 'Death and the Maiden'

Stacia Rice, Peter Christian Hansen and Craig Johnson are three of the good artists who worked together in the old small-theater clubhouse gang in the…
Plymouth Playhouse creates a light confection in 'Pop Up Musical'

Plymouth Playhouse creates a light confection in 'Pop Up Musical'

REVIEW: Plymouth Playhouse brings the snark of VH1 to Broadway songs.
Minnesota Orchestra will return to Carnegie Hall in 2016

Minnesota Orchestra will return to Carnegie Hall in 2016

2016 concert establishes “we’re back,” president says.
Dec. 24: Walker balances its budget for 33rd straight year

Dec. 24: Walker balances its budget for 33rd straight year

The Minneapolis art center also saw increases in revenue, membership and its endowment in fiscal 2014.
Review: 'Gertrude Stein and a Companion' at the Jungle

Review: 'Gertrude Stein and a Companion' at the Jungle

The Jungle opens its 25th year with a popular old favorite.
Park Square thinks big with 'Color Purple'

Park Square thinks big with 'Color Purple'

“The Color Purple” could change people's impressions of what the St. Paul theater can accomplish.
'I Love Lucy' at the State Theatre: Warmed-over reruns

'I Love Lucy' at the State Theatre: Warmed-over reruns

REVIEW: “I Love Lucy Live on Stage” doesn't capture the lightning of the original.
Old Log's 'Outside Mullingar' eases into a sentimental journey

Old Log's 'Outside Mullingar' eases into a sentimental journey

REVIEW: “Outside Mullingar” is a romantic comedy brimming with the moody sentimentality of rural Ireland.
Obituary: Singer and actor Dianne Hill-Hines had many gifts

Obituary: Singer and actor Dianne Hill-Hines had many gifts

Dianne Hill-Hines “never thought of herself as God’s gift to the stage,” said Gary Gisselman, who directed Hill in many theatrical productions. “But she was.…
Minnesota Orchestra will complete Sibelius cycle

Minnesota Orchestra will complete Sibelius cycle

Music director Osmo Vänskä and the musicians will finish their Grammy-winning cycle of Sibelius symphonies this spring.
'Outside Mullingar' brings a new/old cast to Old Log Theater

'Outside Mullingar' brings a new/old cast to Old Log Theater

The rejuvenated theater welcomes four well-known players for the regional premiere of a John Patrick Shanley play.
Philip Bither: Getting 'Out There' with the ultimate insider

Philip Bither: Getting 'Out There' with the ultimate insider

To fill the Walker’s Out There series, curator Philip Bither searches the world for cutting-edge performance art that he hopes will speak to everyone.
7th House Theater hopes to make a splash with 'Jonah'

7th House Theater hopes to make a splash with 'Jonah'

7th House Theater channels its young energy and musical acumen into a very old tale.
Theater review: 'Longest Night' is a lovely moment

Theater review: 'Longest Night' is a lovely moment

Bradley Greenwald and Sonja Thompson welcome the solstice.
Unholy nights on Twin Cities stages with Harold Pinter and Bradley Greenwald

Unholy nights on Twin Cities stages with Harold Pinter and Bradley Greenwald

Harold Pinter’s “The Hothouse” and Bradley Greenwald’s “The Longest Night” are of the season in different ways.
Peter Vaughan, former theater critic, dies at 76

Peter Vaughan, former theater critic, dies at 76

Peter Vaughan chose wisely. Vaughan, a reporter for the old Minneapolis Star, took on the role of theater critic in 1977, just as the Twin…
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