The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

Opening: Here’s a show that underscores that it’s not your grandmother’s Old Log Theatre anymore. “Whorehouse” sells clever country songs at the Chicken Ranch, and a whole lot more. Composer and lyricist Carol Hall’s musical first bowed on Broadway in 1978, co-directed by the legendary Tommy Tune, and has been a staple ever since. A glitzy Broadway tour came through the Twin Cities in 2002 with Ann-Margret playing the madam, Miss Mona. The Old Log, which came under new ownership not long ago, is reviving the show under director Kent Knutson with Julia Cook playing Miss Mona and Jefferson Slinkard her friend Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd. The cast also includes John Paul Gamoke and Britta Ollmann. (Previews 7:30 p.m. Fri., opens 7:30 p.m. Sat.; 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 1:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 4 p.m. Sun.; also 1:30 p.m. June 24 and July 8. Ends Aug. 29. Old Log Theatre, 5185 Meadville St., Excelsior. $16-$35. 952-474-5951,



LEMONADE FOR THE Lawnboy: The Musical

Opening: Twin Cities playwright and performer Greta Grosch helped develop the last four shows in the long-running “Church Basement Ladies” series, inspired by author Janet Letness Martin. Grosch has gone back to the same well for her latest show, about the life of gardener, artist and troubled muse David W. Cook II, who came out of recovery to live with Martin, the real-life “Church Basement Lady.” Cook, who is gay, and Martin, a widow, wrote a book about their friendship and about his life growing up in the western suburbs and making artwork while tending yards. Co-directed by Grosch and Dennis Curley, “Lawnboy” features music by Joe Weismann and Jimmy Kennedy of local jazz-pop band the Smarts. The cast includes Sally Ann Wright, Joy Dolo and Wendy Short Hayes. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and Thu., 2 p.m. Sun.; also 7:30 p.m. June 22. Ends June 28. Minnetonka Theatre, 18285 Hwy. 7, Minnetonka. $25.


The Illusion

Seventeenth-century French dramatists Molière and Jean Racine are better known than their peer Pierre Corneille, best remembered for the tragicomic play “Le Cid.” In 2011, Tony Kushner did a free adaptation of Corneille’s “L’Illusion Comique,” in which a man, in search of his prodigal son, enlists a conjurer for help. The sorcerer shows him the boy in three distinct situations, each with a different ending. Carin Bratlie directs this Twin Cities production for Theatre Pro Rata. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and Thu., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends June 28. Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. $23. 651-291-7005,



Northern Spark is not only a chance to check out cool visual art projects. You won’t want to miss the launch of BodyCartography Project’s “Closer, Part 1,” which continues throughout the summer. It’s a one-on-one experience between you and the performer, so be prepared for a rather intense experience. (9 p.m.-midnight Sat., Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls.) Northern Spark also offers a look at Morgan Thorson’s “Still Life,” which eventually will be performed at the Cowles Center and Performance Space 122 in New York. The piece plays with time, using endurance-based dancing performed by three ensembles that explore repetition, endurance and decay. Helped along with old-school theater techniques such as spotlights, fog machines and curtains, “Still Life” is danced to a newly commissioned score by New York-based composer Dana Wachs. (9 p.m.-midnight Sat.; 2:30-5:30 a.m. Sun., Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, 333 East River Rd., Mpls.