"The unwritten rules run the deepest," says Mr. Rickey in "Jackie and Me", a play about breaking the color barriers in 1947 when Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, based on the book by Dan Gutman, adapted for the stage by Steven Dietz, and directed by Marion McClinton, playing through April 14, 2013 at The Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN.
Yellow Fever by R.A. Shiomi is a detective mystery set in Vancouver, Canada in the early 1970's. It has all the elements of a great film noir style detective show. Private Detective Sam Shikaze is called upon to help solve the disappearance of Miss Lilly from the annual Cherry Blossom festival. The characters are lively and colorful and all work smootly to carry the plot along. Soulful jazz slides us from scene to scene as Detective Shikaze narrates the story, and the supporting cast brings the actions and emotions to life.
"Buzzer" written by Tracey Scott Wilson and directed by Marion McClinton is a Pillsbury House production currently playing at the Dowling Studio at The Guthrie Theater. "Buzzer" is a contemporary play set in urban America. It has mature themes and adult language and pulls you in from the opening sentence. The characters feel like people you already know and as you're watching, you feel like you are inside the apartment ready to join in on the conversation. I give the director, Marion McClinton, credit for how well the characters interact with each other and the audience.
"The Biggest Little House in the Forest" is a puppet show that invites in even the youngest theatre fans. From babies to Grandparents, the show delights kids of all ages. When you enter the theatre, you are given the chance to wear sock puppets on your feet and slide on into the performance. Autumn Ness keeps the energy and story alive as she tells the tale of Bernice the Butterfly and how she welcomes all her new friends into her home.
From deep personal pain comes great literature and art. My own observations as I watched "A Long Day's Journey into Night" by Eugene O'Neill, currently playing at The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, January 12 - February 23, 2013.
When you go to see "Pinocchio" at the Children's Theatre in Minneapolis, you might think that they aren't ready for you, yet. The set is paint cloths and scaffolding, with buckets and brushes lying around. The actors are in work clothes and seem distracted until you arrive with your energy and eagerness to watch them tell a story. They look at you. They listen to your cries to tell the story, and they hear you taking in your breath as the magic unfolds. They hear your giggles and encourage you to help Pinocchio on his way.
Paint to Music at Glaze 2 Amaze, Thursday, January 24 from 6:30-8:00 pm. Joy Ciaffoni and Mary Aalgaard, who have started the Primo Art Spa to assist artists in the area, will be performing live music while you paint a plate and find out what kind of music brings out your red, blue, lemon, or your spice. Using a plate as a palate, you will create art that serves up memory, emotion, and delicious inspiration. You can use it as a plate for special occasions, a gift, or a memory piece for someone you love. Glaze 2 Amaze is located at 706 Laurel Street in Brainerd.
Memories are formed around food, the preparations, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the people who share a meal with us. Thanksgiving is all about the menu. You remember meals shared, where you were, and who was there. We reminisce about holidays of the past, someone's home who is no longer with us, and longing to taste one more time Grandma's lefse as only she could make it.
"A Christmas Carol" has been a tradition at The Guthrie Theater for 38 years. I wonder if anyone out there has attended a performance every year? Are there people who work for the Guthrie who have been part of every production? I know that some of the actors have been in several productions. This year, J.C. Cutler is again playing Ebenezer Scrooge. I think he's fantastic.
Attending holiday performances is becoming part of my family's tradition. To read more of my review and see photos of the production, go to my writer's blog, Play off the Page, www.maryaalgaard.blogspot.com.