War with the Newts

Opening: Sandbox Theatre starts its residency as one of the partner troupes with Park Square. Sandbox creates its work through improvisation and ensemble collaboration. Ryan Hill is credited as writer for this project, which takes off from Karel Čapek’s 1936 satirical sci-fi novel about an intelligent band of newts who are exploited and then rebel. Nationalism, consumerism and self-destruction are all themes. The Sandbox ensemble includes Wade Vaughn, Heather Stone, Derek Lee Miller and Evelyn Digirolamo. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Mon. & Thu. Ends May 30; Park Square, 20 W. 7th Pl., St. Paul; $25, 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org)

Graydon Royce


Chopin’s Heart

Friday-Saturday: Composer Gary Rue has been cradling this song cycle for many years, through workshops and staged readings. He brings a four-voice ensemble directed by Ben Krywosz, with musical direction by Dan Chouinard in this performance. Norah Long, Sasha Andreev, Jennifer Grimm and Dennis Curley — an impressive lineup — sing songs about a Warsaw cabaret that was snuffed out in 1939. Dan Pinkerton wrote the book and additional lyrics. Rue’s songs reflect his typical wide range of styles, but all retain the flavor of prewar Europe. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St., Mpls.; $25, 612-874-6338 or openeyetheatre.org)G.R.


From Darkness

Opening: Nimbus director Josh Cragun wrote and helms this new play about the rise of abstract expressionism. The characters include Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. The dramatic engine is fueled by a marginalized talent, and a forgery. Cragun explores how artists borrow and learn from each other and where the tipping point of fraud begins. The cast includes nimbus regulars Heidi Berg and Zach Morgan and Art Peden. (8 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Thu. Ends June 14; nimbus, 1517 Central Av. NE., Mpls.; $10-$18, 612-548-1380 or nimbustheatre.com)G.R.



Opening: Theatre Unbound presents William Shakespeare’s classic with an all-female cast. “In Shakespeare’s day, all the characters were played by men,” says Stacey Poirier, Theatre Unbound’s artistic director. “We’re returning the favor.” Director Leah Adcock-Starr has set the story amid a traveling troupe that remains on stage as part of the play’s theatricality. Kathryn Fumie plays Hamlet and the cast includes Laura Mahler, Muriel Bonertz and Bethany Ford Binkley. This is Theatre Unbound’s third all-female Shakespeare, following “The Tempest” and “Julius Caesar,” which won an Ivey. (7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Mon. & Thu. Ends May 31; JSB Tek Box at Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.; $18-$20, 612-206-3600 or cowlescenter.org)G.R.