Monthly Archives: March 2014

Peter and the StarCatcher: Orpheum Theatre

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Written by: Chrissi

Night number two of my theater double-feature brought me to the Orpheum Theatre for the touring production of Peter and the StarCatcher. I didn’t know much about this show going into it aside from the knowledge that it is a prequel to Peter Pan and that, you know, it won like 5 Tony’s. Having seen Othello the night before, I was pretty excited for something a little bit lighter. (Not hard to accomplish when Othello strangles his wife. ON STAGE! I digress.)

Although this show is kid-friendly, it was not in any way dumbed-down. I will stand on my soap-box for a moment to say this- just because a show is kid-friendly does not mean you should sacrifice quality! (*cough cough* Beauty & the Beast touring production which robbed me of like $75 *cough*) Instead, this show provided a night full of wonderful, fast-paced theater thanks to an energetic and entertaining cast.

psc1The story began as a play within a play. One of my favorite parts of theater is that as an audience member, you are asked to accept a certain level of reality in order to get anything from the story being portrayed. If you choose to invest your imagination into this particular play, you will reap massive rewards. The show was inventive and, while it was by no means a musical, flowed smoothly from scene to scene with added music and the occasional musical number. The set was relatively simple, and, in fact, employed much of the cast to serve as pieces of the set at varying points within the show. The cast was tight. They worked wonderfully together and never missed a cue. Their comedic timing and ability to read the audience was spot on. Although the cast as a whole was strong, the obvious stand-out character was Black Stache, played by John Sanders. He was brilliant and hilarious.

All this to say, I laughed. A lot. This play is a lot of fun, well acted, wonderfully produced, and top notch. You have until March 16th to catch this gem, so give the box office a call ASAP to get your tickets!

Until next time!

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Othello: Guthrie Theater

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Written by: Chrissi

There were many reasons to love life this week. First off, we Minnesotans got our first taste of Spring with some gloriously warm days putting a dent in the mountains of snow. Hallelujah! Secondly, it was the Bachelor finale on Monday. (Judge awayyyyy.) And finally, I had a theater double feature this week with Othello on Tuesday and Peter and the Star Catcher on Wednesday (see next post). Life is good 🙂

If you know anything about the Guthrie you know that Shakespeare and the Guthrie are like peanut butter and chocolate- while great on their own, together they’re unstoppable. Honestly, I probably don’t even need to write this post because it goes without saying that this production of Othello is a home-run. Still, I’ll put together a thought or two in case you needed to be convinced.

This production was well-stocked with Guthrie favorites including the amazingly talented Stephen Yoakam as the evil antagonist, Iago. Yoakam is a phenomenal actor. I can with confidence say that he is one of the finest actors I will see in all of my theater-loving life. The title character was played by Peter Macon. Physically, Macon is a presence. He is a solid man with a booming, deep and captivating voice. His performance was astounding. He believably wore the hat of giddy newlywed, proud soldier, and jealous, murderous husband. Truly, there was no weak player in the cast. I caught one of the first performances of this production and I anticipate it only getting better as the run progresses.

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Aside from the cast, the costuming and set were not my particular favorite. When the acting is strong, I can appreciate a simplistic set that allows the story to take center stage. However, in this case I don’t think that was the intention of the set design or costuming and they just weren’t on the same level as the on-stage talent. There were some cool lighting features, particularly the clouds in the sky. Ultimately, while these elements did not take away from the production, they didn’t exactly add much either.

You have until April 20 to catch this production of Othello at the Guthrie and I highly suggest that you take advantage of the chance to see this ridiculously talented cast. Be sure to take a nap beforehand because if you get as invested in the show as I did, you will leave exhausted! Give the box office a call and order your tickets!

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