You can’t swing an umbrella without hitting a Playbill this weekend. Here are some of the shows opening on Twin Cities stages.
Although David Henry Hwang’s “FOB” is an acronym for “fresh off the boat,” his play is not to be confused with the upcoming ABC-TV series of that title. But both works center on Asian-American families. The play, written while Hwang was an undergraduate at Stanford, mines cultural stereotypes and biases as established Chinese-American immigrants mock newer arrivals.
Mu Performing Arts first staged it as a tour of Chinese restaurants last summer. For Frida’s opening, Mixed Blood Theatre has been transformed into a Chinese eatery.
Director Randy Reyes had no plans to be in the show, but after an actor left, he stepped in to play the newer immigrant who is the love interest of one of the main characters.
We wondered: Is “FOB” dated? (It won an Obie in 1980.) No, said Reyes.
“There’s still friction in communities and between communities over who’s authentic, who’s American, who’s backwards and who’s not,” he said.
Still, Mu is treating the play as a period piece. “The issues of adaptation still resonate, even though the costumes, haircuts, music and everything is of the ’80s,” Reyes said.
7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Feb. 15 • Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. • $22 • 651-789-1012 • muperformingarts.org
‘Love and Information’
Frank Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s latest play, “Love and Information,” can be described with a dizzying array of numbers: 14 actors play 165 characters in 69 scenes in 60 locations, all in under 100 minutes. Got that?
“It’s massive! It’s huge! It’s really fun,” exclaimed director Wendy Knox.
And what is this play about?
“Our quest for connection in love and information,” Knox continued. “It’s written like a bunch of poems. You’re not given any character description or stage directions. It’s a wide open, great puzzle that we’re having fun figuring out.”
“Love and Information” premiered in London in 2012 before getting a New York production. Frank has staged several works by Churchill, including her most famous work, “Top Girls,” and “Vinegar Tom.”
Knox’s cast includes Virginia Burke, Kirby Bennett, Patrick Bailey, Leif Jurgensen, Taous Claire Khazem, Joy Dolo and Brianne Hill, a veteran performer who’s a newcomer to the Twin Cities.
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Feb. 22 • Frank Theatre at the Ritz, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls. • $22-$25 • 612-724 3760 • franktheatre.org
‘These Old Shoes’
Founded by Isabel Nelson and Diogo Lopes in 2010, Transatlantic Love Affair is an Ivey Award-winning physical theater ensemble that does work devised over a relatively long period.
Their shows are few but often exciting. “Ash Land,” which played in the Minnesota Fringe Festival and, later, at the Illusion Theater, was a highlight of 2014.
“Shoes,” the top-selling show of the 2013 Fringe, is getting a more fleshed-out production at the Illusion. It is set in a senior living facility where music jogs memory.
7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Feb. 14 • Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. • $17-$25 • 612-339-4944 • illusiontheater.org.
‘Death and the Maiden’
It’s a grand collaboration of small companies. Torch Theater is teaming up with Gremlin for a four-play run that kicks off with Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the Maiden,” starring Stacia Rice and Peter Christian Hansen.
The suspenseful play, made into a film by Roman Polanski in 1994, is about trauma and madness. A woman who was repeatedly raped in a repressive Latin American nation hears the voice of her captor, a doctor, many years later, and seeks to get him to confess. Craig Johnson plays the doctor while David Mann directs.
7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Ends Feb. 21 • Minneapolis Theatre Garage, 711 W. Franklin Av., Mpls. • $8-$30 • torchtheater.com
Brian Sostek and Megan McClellan have bounced around the globe with their witty Fred-and-Ginger production since it first premiered in 2002 at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
The pair, who wrote, directed and choreographed this show, have taken it to Canada, the United Kingdom and to cities all across the United States. Now, they are bringing their impressive physical dexterity and spot-on timing home for an encore engagement in the Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square in St. Paul.
7:30 p.m. Wed.- Fri., 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Feb. 8 • Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul • $25 • 651-291-7005 • parksquaretheatre.org.