"Grown-ups have lived their lives and made their wars. We kids didn't start these wars or make these messes. We deserve a chance to live our lives." This is a paraphrase from Anne's line in "The Diary of Anne Frank" at the Park Square Theatre in St. Paul. I attended this performance as a chaperone with about 200 eighth graders from Forestview Middle School. It was stunning. The cast of characters were exactly how I have pictured them through my readings, imagings, and visit to the Annex in Amsterdam.
In "Tales from Hollywood" the exiled writers who fled Nazi Germany form a community in Los Angelos. They're trying to write in a foreign country using a foreign language with foreign ideals and concepts. And, all the while they're trying to make sense of this cruel world and eek out an existence. Bertolt Brecht questions why he is writing for the screen when he is a playwright in a medium where there is no interaction with the audience. In an interesting use of light and sound, the creative team at The Guthrie Theater projects scenes from the play onto screens as the backdrop.
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams is a steamy Southern drama. Once again, the creative team at The Guthrie produced a show that felt real and intense. We quickly forgot that we were at a play and leaned foward to listen in on the family conversations. It is the evening of Big Daddy's birthday and the family has all gathered. They want to believe that the reports of his terminal cancer are false, that he just has a spastic colon. They want to act like they're all doing just fine, that their relationships are going well, and that the future is bright.
"Julius Caesar", performed by The Acting Company, is a unique theatrical experience. You can catch a performance at CLC this Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7:30. I attended a performance at the Guthrie with my 14-year-old son and young adult niece. We all enjoyed it. We all understood what was happening, and we agreed, it was a fascinating performance. The use of screens as a backdrop give us visual cues as to what is happening. From the moment we enter the theater, we see numerous tv screens with various news reporters. The screens change throughout the performance.
"Brighton Beach" memoirs, playing through July 28 at CLC theatre in Brainerd, is a play of historical merit and themes that connect with a modern day audience. This is my second viewing of a Neil Simon play in less than a week. Simon does know how to create a captivating script. His characters are real, humorous, and deal with issues that are relevant through the ages. Director Patrick Spradlin did an excellent job of casting this show. I thought that Caleb Christiansen, who plays the lead character Eugene, and Jen Anderson, who plays his mother Kate, were outstanding.
"Buccaneers" has all the elements of a great show for older elementary students through adults. It does have some scary images that might be disturbing for younger kids. I heard one mother say that her preschooler wanted to leave after the opening scenes on board the ship. The captain looks and sounds scary and he doles out some harsh punishments. The boys who attended the show with me, ages 11 & 13, loved the show. They thought it was exciting, said it was, "Awesome," and were really engaged with the show.
"Time Stands Still" opens with photo journalist Sarah Goodwin struggling to re-enter her home in Brooklyn, physically and emotionally. She has been injured in Iraq by a roadside bomb. Her partner, James Dodd, is trying to help her while dealing with his own emotional wounds and guilt of not being with her when she was nearly killed. Sarah is a renowned photo journalist. Her photos bring to light the atrocities that happen around the world, most of them inside war zones. She says that when she looks through the lens of her camera time stands still.
The best thing about watching plays at The Guthrie Theater Studio is that they offer something new. Not that all the plays are brand new. I saw "Julius Caesar" there last year, but done in a contemporary way. Other shows have been quite new from lesser known, still alive, playwrights, that have more diversity. "The Brothers Size" by Tarell Alvin McCraney is a modern play about brothers who live in a community in Louisianna where life is a struggle. People don't have much, and what they have, they've had to fight to keep. This includes relationships.
Bruce Norris was inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's play," A Raisin in the Sun," which was made into a movie in 1961. As a young white male growing up in the South, he was stunned to see a play/movie where all the main characters were black, and the only white character was the villain, Karl Lindner. Years later, the playwright who hails from Houston, Texas, wrote about what was happening on the other side of town. He focused on the family who was moving out of their house in "Clybourne Park," Bev and Russ, and gave them their own story.
"The older I get the more offensive I hope to be," Mark, from the play "Art," by Yasmina Reza, currently playing at the Central Lakes College Dryden Theatre. Serge bought a piece of art for a hefty sum. He's criticized and ridiculed by his friend Mark. Yvan, the third friend in the triangle, tries to be a peacemaker, but ends up causing more strife. At times you feel the two against one scenario that happens in groups of three. Conversations are held in pairs, and the third one is left out, talked about, and later on the defensive.
CLC OSP visits TCC Head StartBrainerd Boys Hockey vs St. Cloud ApolloBrainerd Post Office ActivitySanta Visits Brainerd LibraryBHS Boys Hoop vs. RogersRazing a House.Area Firefighter TrainingPaul Bunyan Wrestling Tournament ChampionshipsWreaths for the Fallen
Has the recent breach of credit card data at Target made you more cautious using your credit or debit cards for purchases?