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.
Watching a live theatre production often feels like a reflection of our own lives or people we know. It offers a glimpse of times past, and helps clarify what life is like for us now. "The Glass Menagerie" is playing at the Dryden Theatre at Central Lakes College, and it is an excellent production. Director Gary Hirsch brings out the best of the four actors who perform in this show. I can't imagine anyone else playing these rolls. Laura Busch is Amanda in her voice and mannerisms, and the costume designer gets an A+ for finding such a great dress for her to wear in Act 2.
The Cat in the Hat provides fun that is funny on that cold, cold, wet day when Sally and her brother let him into their house. The suspicious, old fish scolds and complains as he, and many other household items, hang in the balance, on the end of the Cat's umbrella, or the top of his hat. When the Cat lets Thing One and Thing Two out of the box, the chaos is out of control, and the fish worries that "They should not be here when your mother is out!"
The Crow Wing State Park located nine miles south of Brainerd on highway 371 offers gorgeous trails with historical markers. The Chef and I walked along the trails where the Mississippi and Crow Wing Rivers intersect. I wondered why I hadn't been there before either on my own or with a school group with one of my kids. Some schools do use this park as one of their field trips. My kids' classes did not go here. I think they missed out.
"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.
"Appomattox" by Christopher Hampton is a play in two acts, currently playing at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The first half of the play is set during the American Civil War with all the main players of the time, President Abraham Lincoln, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, and their wives, generals, soldiers and slaves. The battle is raging to end slavery, save the union, and end oppression.
Thank you, supporters of the arts in the Brainerd lakes area! Performances for "To Kill a Mockingbird" sold out. The Lamplighters in Staples had a full house for most of their shows. My original play, "Coffee Shop Confessions," sold out in the first week. We're opening tonight, March 2, at the Coco Moon at 6:30. See recent posts on my writer's blog www.maryaalgaard.blogspot.com. We'll be performing again on April 9, at the Senior Center for their fundraiser dinner. Call DeAnn, 829-9345, to reserve a spot. We'll add a few more performances at a location to be determined.
In the play "Hay Fever" by Noel Coward, playing now through April 22 at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the quirky Bliss family has a lovely cottage in the English countryside and each of the four members has invited a special guest for the weekend, but didn't tell anyone else until just before they all arrive. The family members are all eccentric, artistic types who are extremely self-absorbed, especially the mother Judith, played by the amazing comedic star Harriet Harris (Bebe Glazer from "Frazier", his conniving agent).
I've seen "The Diary of Anne Frank" performed several times, and this production at the local college/Brainerd community theatre was different. It is a newer adaptation of Anne's diary. I had a stronger sense of their religion and customs in this version. Anne speaks more openly about her body and sexuality, though not overtly, rather as most girls do as they're growing up and curious about their bodies and who they will fall in love with. I felt more of a tenderness between Anne and her mom towards the end of this production than I've ever felt.