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Billy Crystal is bringing his "700 Sundays" to Minneapolis.

Robert Gauthier, MCT

Theater: Billy Crystal, 'Charlotte's Web,' 'Fiddler'

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE and ROHAN PRESTON
  • Star Tribune
  • September 13, 2013 - 3:15 PM

700 Sundays
Oct. 22-26 • State Theatre, Mpls.


Before Billy Crystal opened his one-man autobiographical show on Broadway in 2004, it had $10 million in advance sales. That sweet and touching production is being readied for a return to Times Square. But before he opens at the Imperial Theatre, Crystal makes a tune-up stop in Minneapolis, where he will enact stories about coming of age in a quirky family and meeting famous people along the way.

Orpheum Theatre, 805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., Ticketmaster.com or 1-800-859-7469.

Also:

“Charlotte’s Web”: Imaginative director Greg Banks helms the Children’s Theatre’s first production of this stage play adapted from E.B. White’s classic children’s book about Wilbur, a piglet ostensibly saved from slaughter, and Charlotte, the spider that knows his fate. Ethan Davenport plays Wilbur while Joanna Harmon plays Charlotte in a cast that includes Dean Holt, Gerald Drake and the indefatigable Reed Sigmund.
Sept. 17-Oct. 27, Children’s Theatre, 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls., $10 -$52, 612-874-0400.

“How to Be a Korean Woman”:
Actor Sun Mee Chomet, highly regarded for fearlessly essaying roles from the Greeks and Shakespeare to contemporary hipsters, evinces similar courage when it comes to her autobiographical one-person show. In “How to Be a Korean Woman,” she tells of a Korean adoptee’s search for her birth mother.The result is a poignantly funny show that, under Zaraawar Mistry’s direction, has become a resonant success.
Sept. 19-24, Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls. $22-$30. 612-377-2224 or www.guthrietheater.org.

“Steerage Songs”: Theater Latté Da built this musical from old songs and first-hand accounts of the passage from Europe to America at the end of the 19th century. Peter Rothstein and Dan Chouinard wrote the book and curated folk songs from ethnic European groups. Rothstein directs and Chouinard is musical director. The piece was presented a few years ago in a concert version. Rothstein and Chouinard took it back to the workshop and turned out this fully staged production.
Sept. 25-Oct. 20, The Lab Theater, 700 N. 1st St., Mpls., $31-$45, 612-339-3003 or theaterlatteda.com.

“Jamaica, Farewell”: Director Joel Zwick of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame is staging Debra Ehrhardt’s compelling autobiographical one-person immigration story. Ehrhardt, who has been called Jamaica’s answer to Halle Berry, is an engaging performer whom the Chicago Tribune called “sincere,” “honest” and “potent.” She closes Penumbra Theatre’s mini-festival of solo shows.
Sept. 26-Oct. 6, Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul, $15-$61, 651-224-3180 or www.penumbratheatre.org.

“Life and Times: Episode 1”:
The Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s “Life and Times” has been hailed for its “mad spirit of playfulness” (the Guardian) and its epic scale. Twin Citians will only get to see episode one of what is expected to be a multi-part series performed over 24 hours. The show is drawn from verbatim conversations that the creative team held with Kristin Worral, an ordinary woman from Long Island, about her life. Her answers are staged in different theatrical styles, from Broadway musical to opera.
Sept. 26-28, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $20-$28. 612-376-7600 or www.walkerart.org

“The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry”: Director Marion McClinton’s stages Marcus Gardley’s epic play about blacks in Wewoka, Okla. The production’s cast of 11 includes Traci Allen, Ansa Akyea, James Craven, Keli Garrett, H. Adam Harris and George Keller. It’s part of a rolling national premiere that extends to venues from Alaska to California. The play was developed, in part, at Penumbra Theatre.
Sept. 27-Oct.. 27, Pillsbury House Theatre, 3601 Chicago Av. S., Mpls. All tickets are pay-what-you-can. 612-825-0459 or www.pillsburyhousetheatre.org

“Fiddler on the Roof”:
It has been 20 years since this warhorse graced the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre stage. It’s one of the best sellers in the theater’s history. Keith Rice heads the cast as Tevye, with director Michael Brindisi planning to understudy the role. That would be something to see.
Sept. 27-Feb. 22, 501 W. 78th St., Chanhassen; $47 ( show only) to $82, 952-934-1525 or chanhassentheatres.com

“An Iliad”:
Stephen Yoakam gave a tour-de-force performance earlier this spring in Lisa Peterson’s and Denis O’Hare’s 90-minute distillation of Homer’s epic about war and its reverberations. The theater brings it back for a deserved encore engagement.
Oct. 1-20, Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls., $24-$39, 612-377-2224 or www.guthrietheater.org.

“Displaced Hindu Gods”: In a trilogy of plays that looks like a landmark event of the season, actor, director and playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil fuses Hindu deities with muscularly expressive contemporary ideas. One show revolves around an intersex personage (“Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Comedy Show”), another centers on girl-gang comic-book action heroines (“The Chronicles of Kalki”) and the third deals with ideas of destruction and rebirth (“Shiv”). The directors are Jeremy Cohen, Bruce A. Young and Risa Brainin. The acting company includes Cat Brindisi, Joetta Wright, Nathaniel Fuller and Peter Christian Hansen.
Oct. 2-27, Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. Fourth St., Mpls., 612-338-6131 or www.mixedblood.com

“Mary T and Lizzie K”:
Director Tazewell Thompson wrote this piece about the relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Lizzy Keckly, a freed slave. Linda Kelsey and Sha Cage star in the Park Square production, directed by Richard Cook. Tazewell sets the play inside the White House on the eve of President Lincoln’s assassination.
Oct. 18-Nov. 10, Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul, $29-$58, 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org.

“Rancho Mirage”:
Old Log Theater makes its most ambitious foray into new material with this play by Steven Dietz. It bears similarities to “God of Carnage” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” in the broad strokes — couples navigate a friendly conversation into stormy waters and before you know it, people are carving each other up. The cast includes James Denton, Stacia Rice and Ann Michels — all newcomers to the Old Log. Kent Knutson directs.
Nov. 8-Dec. 7, Old Log Theater, 5185 Meadville St., Excelsior; $24-$35, 952-474-5951 or www.oldlog.com

“Driving Miss Daisy”:
The Jungle ends its year with Alfred Uhry’s classic two-hander about a snappish widow and her chauffeur. Bain Boehlke will direct Wendy Lehr as Daisy Werthen and James Craven as Hoke Colbern. The relationship begins with hostility and a prickly sense of distrust in Uhry’s scenario. It blossoms into a profound and deep friendship. Boehlke and Lehr are longtime Jungle denizens. Craven, a steady presence mostly at Penumbra, joins them.
Nov. 8-Dec. 22, Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.; $20-$38, 612-822-7063 or www.jungletheater.com

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