• Oct. 16-19: Zorongo Flamenco’s "Marchita" (dance + film)

    Thursday, October 16, 2008 to Sunday, October 19, 2008

    The Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis

  • Illusion Theater's Fresh Ink offering "A Quartet of Mothers" is a must-see

    You know a play is written well when you keep recalling snippets of dialogue well into the next day. And you know that a piece is performed well when the actors’ facial expressions and vocal inflections so inform your understanding of the content as to become inseparable in your mind from their soliloquies.

    All day today, I’ve been chuckling and choking back tears as I’m revisited by the most poignant and the most delightful moments of Illusion Theater’s A Quartet of Mothers.  read more »

    Guthrie's "The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde" tells a sickening but fascinating tale

    Happy Fathers’ Day! Any father attending The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde at the Guthrie may feel that he has done a wonderful job in comparison to Oscar Wilde. (Who knew the famously gay Irishman had kids? All we talked about in English Lit was his work: The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan….)

    A gifted and renowned poet, author and playwright, Oscar Wilde (Matthew Greer) married a lady, as 19th Century gentlemen were expected to do, and then took pouty playboy Lord Alfred Douglas (Brandon Weinbrenner) as his lover. His dalliances with other gay and bisexual men, as well as drinking and indiscriminate spending, earned Wilde an unholy reputation as well as a prison sentence.

    Bad Dad Gift Guide: From Darth Vader to Pete Doherty, a lighthearted list of the 10 worst fathers ever and the presents they deserve, by Steve Almond for Salon.com  read more »

    From the heart of a woman flows her song

    Thomasina Petrus as Billie Holiday

    Anyone who’s read my blog from the beginning knows that the voice of Thomasina Petrus leaves me breathless, and that I admire her talent and her work ethic as both an actor and a producer. (This view is not at all influenced by the drunken pleasure I derive from her butter-laden home-made cashew brittle.) But of the myriad characters and concerts I’ve seen Thomasina perform, none has touched me more than her title role in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, an end-of-life vignette of jazz singer Billie Holiday, at Park Square Theatre.

    I had anticipated a special performance, not because of the profusion of public relations material sent my way, but because I heard Thomasina “try out” this character last year in a show at The Capri Theater. She introduced a Billie Holiday song by saying it was her goal to someday “channel” the troubled and transcendent jazz legend on stage. I recall hearing a distinctly different voice from Thomasina that evening, but it still felt like emulation. In Lady Day, the actor/singer becomes Billie Holiday as she might have appeared at a Philadelphia nightclub four months before her death.  read more »

  • Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) @ Wellstone Center

    Friday, April 18, 2008 to Sunday, April 27, 2008

    The Neighborhood House, Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center, 179 Robie Street East, St. Paul

  • Half-price tix for Blues in the Night @ Ordway

    Thursday, April 17, 2008 to Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Ordway Center's McKnight Theatre, 345 Washington St, St Paul

  • 4/11-4/27: Autistic License (select performances free!)

    Friday, April 11, 2008 to Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Illusion Theater and various venues, see below

  • Thru 4/12: Mrs. Mannerly @ Illusion Theater

    Friday, March 14, 2008 to Saturday, April 12, 2008

  • The show must go on...but when does being a "pro" become a no-no?

    During my weekly radio show days, there were times when I felt woozy with a cold, but I would slog it out for two hours anyway because the listening audience was doing their part, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Callers said my voice sounded sultry, which is fine. But had I crossed the line into froggy, I would have hired a sub or pieced together a “best of” show.

    Vocal chord martyrdom is silly. I once heard a laryngitic colleague croaking out her on-air interviews, and vowed that I would never make listeners suffer like that. I understood her position—when you’re a pro, it’s “on with the show.” But when the malady becomes the performance, a real pro will step aside for the sake of the audience.

    Twice in the past few months, I’ve witnessed the machismo of seasoned and talented actors who should have been lying in bed but chose the spotlight instead. They were not doing their fans any favors.  read more »

  • 5/1-5/4: Ragamala Music and Dance Theater’s "Sva (Vital Force)"

    Thursday, May 1, 2008 to Sunday, May 4, 2008

    Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis

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