Cheeseheads, take note. History Theatre opens its 2012-13 season in October with "Lombardi," a 2010 play by Eric Simonson (who directed "Silent Night" last fall for Minnesota Opera). Simonson grew up in Milwaukee, so his fascination with the legend of the Green Bay Packers is understandable. Jim Detmar, a Wisconsinite himself, will play St. Vince, and Norah Long is scheduled as Marie Lombardi. The show runs Oct. 6-Nov. 4.

History Theatre will stay in the popular icon mode for the holidays with "Christmas of Swing." Ruthie Baker will return to play Patty Andrews, with Stacy Lindell and Patty Nieman as Maxene and Laverne Andrews. It runs Nov. 24-Dec. 23.

Playwright Kim Hines will debut "Nellie," Jan. 26-Feb. 17. The new play focuses on Nellie Stone Johnson, the beloved advocate for workers' rights who helped form the DFL party and advised Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale. Johnson was the first black elected to Minneapolis city office when she was chosen for the library board in 1945.

Lee Blessing's play about Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun will run March 2-24. "Courting Harry" will feature Clyde Lund as the St. Paul jurist and Nat Fuller as Chief Justice Warren Burger, Blackmun's longtime friendly rival.

The season concludes April 20-May 19 with "This Side of Paradise," a new musical that tries to find more ore in the F. Scott Fitzgerald lode. It ran in New York in 2010 and subsequently spent some time at the script doctor. But it's Zelda and Scott, and do they ever get old?

Information at 651-292-4323 or


Ten Thousand Things

Artistic director Michelle Hensley stirred up considerable interest in New York when she brought her Ten Thousand Things aesthetic to a production of "Measure for Measure" for the Public Theater last year. Hensley will stage the show when her theater company opens Sept. 27-Oct. 21. Luverne Seifert, Sally Wingert and Sonja Parks head the cast.

Director Sarah Rasmussen makes her company debut with "The Seven," Feb. 15-March 10. The work by Will Power is a hip-hop retelling of Aeschylus' "The Seven Against Thebes." Aimee K. Bryant, Bruce Young and Kinaundrae Lee are featured.

The company finishes its season with Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" directed by Lear de Bessonet, who staged "As You Like It" this past February. The show -- with Ansa Akyea, Sonja Parks, Sha Cage and Randy Reyes -- runs May 2-26.

Information at www.ten