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.
My favorite part about watching "Charley's Aunt" at The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis was hearing the giggles from the kids in the audience. This show is full of physical comedy, quirky characters, and funny lines. The costumes and set are colorful and bring you to another time and place.
Entertainment options are exploding as the New Year begins. After a few quiet weeks where we had time to celebrate the holidays, meet and greet family and friends, and ring in a New Year, we now have an abundance of choices to entice us out of our warm houses and mingle with the local folks. It's opening week for many new shows in the Twin Cities. I've been invited to two at the Guthrie and one at The Children's Theatre in Minneapolis. Check back next week for some reviews.
A friendship blooms amidst the weedpatch of life in a coastal community in Maine in 1912. Turner Buckminster is new to town and doesn't quite fit in. He doesn't play baseball the right way. He wears too nice of clothes, and besides that, he's the preacher's son. Lizzie Bright Griffin is kept on the fringes because she's a colored girl from Malaga Island. The two meet while they're both trying to find some thinking space along the shores. Lizzie has rowed over from the island to dig for clams, and Turner has escaped the heat, from the sun and society.
"Pippi Longstocking" is a high-energy, rollicking good show. Katie Adducci, who plays Pippi, is so athletic. I chatted with a woman at intermission who has seen several productions of "Pippi". She thought Kate was one of the oldest girls to play Pippi. (She seemed youthful to me.) I said she looked like she's a good gymnast. The woman replied, "That's probably why they chose her." She's everywhere on stage. Big movements. Animated dancing. My heart rate went up from watching it!
Roman Holiday, playing through August 19 at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, is a delightful stage production inspired by the 1953 movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The creative greats at the Guthrie really know how to produce good, old-fashioned, visually stunning musical theatre with the help of author Paul Blake and the musical genius of Cole Porter. The set was gorgeous. The dancers were amazing. The stars were delightful, and the secondary characters brought pizzazz to the stage.
Entertainment offerings are heating up as the temperatures are cooling down. Don't let the first glimpse of snow keep you home and covered up under a blanket. This is the time of year when talents light up the dark evenings.