Saturday, March 27, 2021
Locally Grown Theatre, a community theater in "Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Newport, Grey Cloud Island, and the surrounding area," but this week I watched a virtual play in the zoom style of theater and quite enjoyed it. Kodachrome is a sweet little Our Town-ish play about life in a small town, with all the mundanity and profundity that entails. Even though they're each performing in their own little box, the seven-person cast (although disappointingly lacking in diversity) all give wonderful performances that create a feeling of community in this story of love and loss.
Sunday, March 21, 2021
The Lady with All the Answers, is now streaming from Lakeshore Players Theatre. #TCTheater favorite Shanan Custer inhabits the woman behind the famous words, whose real name was Eppie Lederer, as she navigates a challenging time in her life and the wish to share honestly with her readers. With full set, costumes, lighting, and even a bit of crowd laughter from the crew, filmed from several different camera angles, it really feels like an engaging and entertaining theater performance that we just happen to be watching from home.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
|Berit Ahlgren and Nathan Keepers|
(photo by Shelly Mosman)
Saturday, March 13, 2021
The Ghostlight Series" is now available! Following January's powerful and moving Twelve Blocks From Where I Live, Regina Marie Williams's response to the murder of George Floyd in photos and song, Re-Cast gives some of our favorites the chance to sing a song from a role they would never be cast in. Or at least haven't been yet. Both shows are available to watch now and as many times as you want through August with the purchase of a season pass. These gorgeously filmed and edited 30-minute shows with fantastic performances from some of #TCTheater's best are worth every penny, helping to bridge the gap until we can gather in person again to share stories and music.
History Theatre's smash hit original musical Glensheen) has adapted her solo show Live From New York, He's A Prom Date! to the streaming environment. Written and directed by her husband Pete Simmons, the show tells the story of when Jen's mom called the Sally Jessy Raphael Show and got them on the show for an episode about moms upset that their daughters weren't asked to prom. Yes, that actually happened, and yes, it's just as awful and cringe-worthy as you think. Jen plays all of the characters as she tells this story, which is as hilarious as it is poignant in her description of her relationship with her mom.
Friday, February 26, 2021
|image courtesy of Emily Michaels King|
Thursday, February 18, 2021
a series of podcast play readings, had several entries in the 2020 Virtual Minnesota Fringe Festival, and presented a live virtual production of The Awakening of Spring from various locations. Now they're bringing us the regional premiere The Dolls of New Albion, which seems to be somewhat of a cult hit musical, especially in the UK. In fact, this is only the third US production. It's a great piece; it reminds me of the kind of obscure musical gems that Theatre Elision and Minneapolis Musical Theatre often do. And it lends itself well to this time, in that although this production features a nine-person cast, most scenes only involve a few of them. They're able to practice social distancing on stage, wearing masks if there are multiple people on stage (even singing through masks), or removing their mask if they're alone on stage. Because that's right, this show is performed live, with all of the performers together, at Elision Playhouse. I can only hope/assume that they are following protocols backstage as well, but from this end, they appear to be doing everything right. That is: live theater almost as we remember it, with safety protocols in place for the performers, and with the audience tuning in from the safety of their own homes.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
"Promise of America: A Celebration of Jewish American Song" streaming from Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company
available to stream at specific times through February 21. The cabaret show features songs from musical theater and popular culture by Jewish American composers, as well as a bit of history and commentary provided by the cast and creators. Of course, one hour is not nearly enough to showcase the incredible contributions to 20th Century music by Jewish Americans, but it's a great sampler, from the Gershwins to Carole King to Nassim Black.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Valentine's Day Cabarets Streaming from Yellow Tree Theatre, Collide Theatrical Dance Company, and Duluth Playhouse
click here for more on that). Or choose one of these on-demand options (click on show title for more info and to purchase tickets).
Sunday, February 7, 2021
|cover of virtual program|
(photo by Rich Ryan)
Saturday, February 6, 2021
'Til Death, written by and starring co-founders Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble, in 2012. They've presented it at Art House North in St. Paul's West 7th neighborhood since 2015 for Valentine's Day. This year, they've turned it into a concert version, streamed live from Art House North into your house! I've seen the musical twice in the past before watching the premiere of the livestream last night, and I'm truly impressed at how the charm, silliness, and heart of the piece has translated into the virtual space. And it's about as close to live theater as we can get these day. Only four more performances remain - one tonight and three next weekend (click here for more details).
Saturday, January 30, 2021
The Ghostlight Series," with new installments to be released approximately every six weeks through the summer. The first one is out now and is available when you purchase a series pass, and can be viewed an unlimited amount of times through the end of the summer, along with the others when released. The series looks to be more than just a collection of great performances of our favorite musical theater songs, but rather an exploration of different ideas and themes using music. Which, of course, is something Theater Latte Da does very well.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
To Breed, Or Not To Breed at the Crane Theater* in Northeast Minneapolis. I chose not to attend, because I've been very cautious since the start of the pandemic and don't anticipate returning to the theater until the vaccine is more widely distributed and/or local case numbers decrease significantly (maybe this spring if things go well?). But fortunately for us, Fortune's Fool recorded these performances and have made them available to view on YouTube for free, with a suggested donation if you're able. I watched all three 50-ish-minute installments this weekend and found this series of storytelling pieces about the choice to have or not have children very engaging, moving, relatable, and honest.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
Jungle Theater's "Jungle Serial" series of short audio plays was released last week. This has been such a wonderfully creative, inspiring, and entertaining series, but I'll Be Seeing You Again is my favorite of the three. Written and directed by #TCTheater artist JuCoby Johnson, it's a sweet and simple story of a relationship set against the backdrop of a very complicated time - Minneapolis in the uncertain, terrifying, inspiring days shortly after the murder of George Floyd, in the middle of a global pandemic. The intro invokes the physical theater space that we all miss so much, and the play itself feels like a teaser of the incredible art and theater that will be coming out of the events of the past year. As always, the audio play is best enjoyed sitting or lying in a comfortable position, with eyes closed and all other distractions removed, to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
I "celebrated" my 10th anniversary in August), I'm not quite sure who I am without it. Yes, I've found things to fill the time, and fill my soul a little (I bought a Minnesota State Parks permit for the first time in my life and visited 22 of them, I went on a scavenger hunt around Roseville looking for 20 beautifully painted six-foot statues of roses, I started cross-stitching and playing around on the piano again), but nothing is the same as sitting in a roomful of humans (now a scary thought) experiencing storytelling that takes you to another place. I believe that there is a light at the end of this theater-less tunnel, but how long we have yet to travel in that dark tunnel is unknown. So at this time, I'd like to look back on the year that was 2020, in hopes that the worst is behind us.