Sleep Deprivation Chamber
Now through Oct 10th
Penumbra Theatre kicks off its new season with Adam and Adrienne Kennedy’s intense drama, Sleep Deprivation Chamber. Revolving around an African-American college student who was senselessly beaten by police officers and who, upon testifying in court, is accused by the officer of throwing the first punch. Told in an autobiographical format focusing on the mother’s point of view, Sleep Deprivation Chamber tells the tale of a woman fighting for her son at the risk of her own sanity.
For more info on Sleep Deprivation Chamber click HERE.
Black Nativity: Now’s the Time
Nov 26-Dec 26
A rousing romp through contemporary gospel, this holiday musical rejoices in music, family, faith and love. Black Nativity: Now’s the Time brings together an all-star ensemble of the Twin Cities top jazz and gospel singers as well as members of the always-spectacular TU Dance company. Ring in the holiday season with this heartwarming, soulful spectacular!
For more information on Black Nativity: Now’s the Time click HERE.
Julius by Design
Jan 20-Feb 13
Written by Kara Lee Corthron and directed by Penumbra’s fearless leader and creative director, Lou Bellamy, Julius by Design weaves the heartbreaking tale of a couple, Josephine and Laurel, whose teenage son was murdered. As the two struggle to get through each day, Josephine secretly begins writing letters to her son’s killer in prison. A story that defines courage and forgiveness in the aftermath of tragedy.
For more information on Julius by Design click HERE.
I Wish You Love
Apr 21-May 22
This intimate portrait of music legend Nat King Cole tells the inspiring tale of one man whose talent transcended racial boundaries in the 1950s. The dapper crooner paved the way for so many other artists of color to be accepted by the mainstream media in a time when civil rights were not exactly civil. I Wish You Love explores the dreams and beautiful music of one man, and the hope of a nation in racial peril. After its world premiere at the Penumbra, the play will be presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
For more information on I Wish You Love click HERE.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Feb 11-Mar 6
This special Penumbra production staged at the Guthrie Theater follows the tale of blues-woman Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, who, in the attempt to record a hit record with her bandmates, encounters a little competition. A young ingenue enters the scene and threatens to knock Ma Rainey off her pedestal. A soulful play filled with heart-twisting melodies and plenty of attitude, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a knock-out end to Penumbra’s winning season.
If you’re like me you’re a sucker for a great magic show! I love being completely dumbfounded while my brain asks my eyes if they believe what they just saw. Did you know we have a theater in Saint Paul that regularly brings magic acts to town? It’s the Jewel Theatre in the Twin Cities Magic & Costume store on West 7th Street. Not only does this place have every kind of costume you could ever imagine, it has an upstairs theater for magic shows.
TCMC is not messing around either. Their website boasts:
“We have Magic, over 4,000 Rentals, Makeup, 15,000 Wigs, Masks, Boas, Costumes, Novelties, Gloves, Hats, Rhinestone Jewelry and much, much more ! ! ! ! 15,000 items for sale! THE ONLY COMPLEX OF ITS KIND ON THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT”
That write up alone was enough to get me there. I mean with 15,000 wigs you could wear a different wig every day for 41 years!
So check this place out for costumes or for magic. In fact, here is the next show:
Monday, December 21, 2009
7:30pm–doors open at 7pm.
Who is Eric Anderson, you ask? Well, he was a featured performer at the Atlanta Olympics and has performed for President Jimmy Carter.
Or as Stephan Marston, Sales & Marketing Director at an international publisher says, “I must admit that when I told some of my colleagues that I was going to fly this guy named Eric Anderson from Atlanta to London just to perform for a couple of hours at our cocktail party, they all thought I was crazy! Now that they have seen you in action they all agree that it was worth every penny.”
Speaking of pennies, it’s $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.
No word yet if he’s planning to make subzero temperatures or bump to bumper commutes disappear.
I hope he does!
The Autumn theater and performance season kicks into high gear in St. Paul! With last week’s opening of the Ordway’s theater season it wasn’t long before other local dramatic hot spots followed suit. You can expect Autumn in St. Paul to be quite an exciting season for performance, dance, theater, music and everything else in between.
@ Park Square Theater
Runs Oct 16th through Nov 8th
Ah, Shakespeare. How can you go wrong? The Park Square crew brings to life the classic tragedy, which brims with themes of love, treachery, jealousy and prejudice. Othello, a general in the Venetian army, is drawn into a complicated series of lies woven by one of his trusted comrades, who covets Othello’s new wife, Desdamona. Betrayal on multiple levels ensues and, as is typical for a Shakespearian tragedy, leaves a good number of the characters dead and/or ruined. Pretty heavy material, but since when has The Bard ever disappointed? The show runs through November 8th, so there’s plenty of time to plan your night. Park Square’s website also offers a number of nearby dining recommendations HERE.
For tickets and info visit www.parksquaretheatre.org
Bonus: This Sunday at 7pm hit up Park Square Theatre for Russian Seasons in Minnesota: an Homage to the 100th Anniversary of Russian Seasons in Paris, a special event filled with music, opera, ballet and art. For more info visit www.russianseasons-mn.com
HUNUMAN & THE GIRL PRINCE
@ SteppingStone Theatre
Runs October 23rd through November 8th
SteppingStone Theatre always amazes us with their sense of sheer originality, whimsy, and on-the-mark casting of some of the most charismatic kids in town. Their brand new musical production, Hanuman & The Girl Prince, is a sassy, colorful Bollywood-style comedy that focuses on a young Indian princess disguised as a prince who finds love with the helpful antics of the frolicsome Monkey King, Hanuman. The second play in SteppingStone’s bright, adorable Hunuman Trilogy, this production is a can’t-miss for families with boundless imagination. Online tickets will go off sale Thursday evenings prior to weekend performances. Tickets are generally available at the door.
For tickets and more info visit www.steppingstonetheatre.org
MOVING WORKS BY JAMES SEWELL BALLET
@ O’Shaughnessy Hall
Runs through October 25th
The always-innovative troupe at the internationally renowned James Sewell Ballet Company bring us Moving Works, a stunning, contemporary collection of four fantastical dance pieces that celebrate both music and motion. See work by choreographers James Sewell, Sally Rousse, and Penelope Freeh accompanied by the music of Steve Heitzeg, Ludvig von Beethoven, and local progressive jazz trio, The Bad Plus. There’s nothing like pairing the grace and strength of the ballet with wonderful, varied musical themes — and the eclectic and talented peeps at the James Sewell Ballet are definitely masters of that formula. This series of performances only runs through this Sunday, so step to it (no pun intended)!
For tickets and more info visit www.jsballet.org
OTHER COOL PERFORMANCES HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND:
Saturday, October 24th: Prairie Home Companion @ The Fitzgerald
Through Nov 1st: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story @ History Theater
Through November 8th: Little House/The Full Monty @ The Ordway
This weekend saw the official return of Ordway theater productions and Saint Paul is all a-buzz. Kicking things off for the 2009-2010 season is the big-deal production of Little House on the Prairie the Musical in the Ordway’s main hall and Theater Latte Da’s theatrical version of The Full Monty in the McKnight Theater. Snap up your tickets now, as we’re sure they’re going fast!
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE THE MUSICAL
Runs through October 25th
Oh, Half Pint, how Minnesota loves thee. One of our claims to fame as Minnesotans is that the Little House books, written by and based on Laura Ingalls Wilder took place right here in our fair state. Forget Prince and Josh Hartnett, we’ve got Half-Pint, right? This musical adaptation of the wildly popular books (and of course, television series) Little House on the Prairie the Musical is a tale of the ups, downs and heartland values of the Ingalls family. Laced with well-placed comedy, drama and plenty of catchy tunes, this production is one that every Minnesotan who grew up on these tales should see. Not to mention, Melissa Gilbert (who played Laura herself in the TV series) is back to play “Ma” in this adaptation.
THE FULL MONTY
Runs through November 8th
Excerpted from my daily column at www.secretsofthecity.com
The clever crew of Theater Latte Da always impresses with their festive forays into musical theater, and their most recent production, now playing at the Ordway, is no exception. Based on the hit film, The Full Monty, this production is filled with hilarity, original music, and a lot of skin! A comedic romp portraying a group of unemployed steelworkers who use their personal, um, resources to make ends meet, The Full Monty is a feisty tale of friendship and unconventional methods in tough times.
Tickets and more info HERE.
OTHER EVENTS AT THE ORDWAY THIS MONTH:
October 26th: The Schubert Club feat. Leonidas Kavakos
October 30th: Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance
October 31st: SPCO feat Haka Hardenberger and Frankenstein!