Monthly Archives: April 2013

Art in Bloom: Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Written by: Chrissi

One of my favorite events each year is Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Here is the premise: Florists select pieces of art as inspiration for floral designs. Some of the floral artists take a more literal approach while others are more conceptual. The best part? As always, it is free! (There is a suggested donation.) Also, the MIA smells SO GOOD!

I snapped some photos of my favorites!

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Clearly the Twin Cities can boast of some awesome floral artists. Art in Bloom 2013 was such a success that I went twice! If you missed it this year, no worries, there is always next year.

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Turandot: Minnesota Opera

Written by: Chrissi

You need to see Minnesota Opera’s production of Turandot. Go order your tickets right now and then come back to read this post.

It’s no secret that I hold a special place in my heart for the Minnesota Opera. The first opera I ever saw was their production of Carmen from the 2004-2005 season when I was visiting the area as a freshman in high school. Now that I am fortunate enough to live in the Twin Cities, I love being able to soak up all the great things this organization has to offer.

Turandot is everything great about opera. I was blown away by the beautiful costuming, scenery, lighting, and overall theatricality of this production. After the opening scene, a man sitting near us said something along the lines of, “Now THAT is the way to start an opera.” While I am not an advocate of fellow audience members speaking loud enough for me to hear, I couldn’t blame him for needing to say something at that point.

With beautiful singing, quality acting, and top-notch, everything, I have only positive things to say about Minnesota Opera’s Turandot. This was the perfect end of the 50th Anniversary Season. It is easy to see why this company has been such a success for these past 50 years and I look forward to many high-quality, innovative years to come.

Need something to hold you over? Check out Nessun Dorma performed by Adam Laurence Herskowitz.

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Performance Dates:
Tuesday, April 16, 7:30pm
Wednesday, April 17, 7:30pm
Thursday, April 18, 7:30pm
Friday, April 19, 7:30pm
Saturday, April 20, 7:30pm
Sunday, April 21, 2pm

Where: Ordway, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102

Tickets: $20 – $200. Call the Minnesota Opera Ticket Office at 612.333.6669, Monday–Friday, 9am–6pm, or purchase online at mnopera.org.

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To Kill a Mockingbird: Park Square Theatre

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Chrissi:

We had a great opportunity to catch To Kill a Mockingbird performed at Park Square Theatre during one of the few public performances. Unfortunately, the only way to see it now is during one of the student matinees, which are performed through May 17. The play was based on Harper Lee’s classic novel, and translated well as a stage production. If you are able to make it, expect a great performance of the story you know well.

While this was not the most innovative production, it was well done and definitely a great supplement to the classroom and exposure to live theatre for students. I was impressed by Fred Wagner’s performance as Atticus, not to mention the great performances by the younger members of the cast, Olivia Coon (Scout), Noah Coon (Jem), & Ben Atmore (Dill). A Park Square favorite, Thomasina Petrus also left us all wishing that this was a musical adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird in which her character, Calpurnia, had a much larger role. (In other words, Thomasina is a very talented singer.) There was also a great twist of some intermission entertainment in the form of quality gospel songs performed by members of the cast.

If you missed To Kill a Mockingbird this time around, Park Square tends to cycle this one every few seasons, so definitely check back!

Karyn:

Even a snowstorm in April couldn’t stop us from seeing Park Square Theatre’s production of Christopher Sergel’s play, To Kill A Mockingbird. Most people have seen and/or read this classic book/movie/play so I won’t bore you with the plot details (feel free to Wikipedia it). Overall, the production was good but missed the tiny details that make a production great. The play is set in the 1930s during the Great Depression, yet the overalls worn by the cast were brand new. Shouldn’t clothes worn by farmers in the Great Depression be dirty and worn in the knees?!?! Luckily, this detail didn’t hinder me from enjoying some great acting.

Olivia Coon (Scout) and Noah Coon (Jem) acted with the innocence of a child but the experience of an adult. Expect great things from these two kids in the future! Fred Wagner (Atticus) is no stranger to the Park Square stage and he did a phenomenal job. Joel Raney (Bob Ewell), Warren C. Bowles (Reverend Sykes), and Thomasina Petrus (Calpurnia) all gave strong performances. I especially enjoyed the church choir singing. It provided a break from the heavy topics of the show, while adding to the story.

Come see the great acting at Park Square! And make sure to wear your pumps!

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The Taming of the Shrew: Guthrie Theater

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Vince Leigh & Dan Wheeler in the Taming of the Shrew

Written by: Chrissi

Unfortunately, we hit the end of the run on this great show, so you only have util April 6th to catch it. This production was hosted by the Guthrie and performed by Propeller, an all-male Shakespeare company out of the UK. It was a great take on Shakespeare as it was performed with an all- male cast (as it would have been when it was written), but it was as modern as a photo of Anderson Cooper with grumpy cat.

If you don’t know the story, think 10 Things I Hate About You. However in the original, Julia Stiles & Heath Ledger don’t really make nice at the end. Had ’10 Things’ stuck to Shakespeare’s script, Heath would’ve humiliated Julia at the prom and then said something like ‘kiss me Kat.’ I digress.

As a company, Propeller made me remember just how awful of a story this is. They did not at all shy away from the fact that Petruchio is kind of a horrible human being that treats his wife like a piece of property. Even as I write this today, I feel like a raging feminist. I do find solace in the fact that Petruchio will forever be an ass in my memory of this show. (Literally, you see some major British booty.)

Ultimately, this is a wonderful production. I didn’t spend my time dwelling on the costumes, sets, or even the acting because I was so consumed with the story that was being told. The fact that  I am still thinking about what this story means for my life brings me back to why I love theater. While this was a highly entertaining show, the story didn’t end with a final bow. So, if you have a free night in these next few days, get your tickets while you can!

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