Tag Archives: hennepin theatre trust

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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Cabaret: Theater Latte Da

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Written by: Chrissi

To simply describe Theater Latte Da’s production of Cabaret performed at the Pantages Theatre in a word, it’d be ‘committed.’ When a show begins with a scantily clad Emcee appearing from the second level of the theater only to descend into the lap of one lucky audience member- it’s clear that the show has a definite willingness to ‘go there.’ Cabaret is a perfect example of an important lesson in the world of theatre: have some understanding of what you are getting yourself into or leave all expectations at the door and dive into it. If you have any aversion to slap you in the face sexuality, do not see Cabaret. You will see a lot of exposed skin, thrusting, and you’ll probably be offended and want to leave. All this to say, once you adjust to the level of sexuality and interpret the show within that context, the reward is tremendous (so try to adjust quickly).

Ok, on with the show-

This entire production was a clear example of the idea that working with talented people makes the individuals involved step up their game. There was not a weak link in the entire bunch. Every actor was completely committed to their role, making it easy to transition your mindset as the plot moved from one extreme to the next.Cabaret 3

I cannot properly express to you how completely outstanding Tyler Michaels was as the Emcee. He was dynamic, engaging, and an excessively talented singer, actor, and acrobat. (Who knew such a skinny dude was so strong!) Michaels is without a doubt going places fast and I am excited to see where he goes.

Minneapolis favorite Sally Wingert also did not disappoint in her heart-warming and heart-breaking performance of Fraulein Schneider. She offers subtlety and  grace to every role she plays. It’s always a joy to see her on the cast list. Another familiar face was Aeysha Kinnunen who played the saucy and desperate Fraulein Kost.

Cabaret 2Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this production, but I’m going to cut myself off. Each element was purposeful, meaningful, and exceptionally executed. I highly suggest seeing it while you still can.

Cabaret closes on February 9th, so change your plans to make this fit into your schedule.

Order tickets online

or

Call the box office: 1-800-982-2787

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War Horse: Orpheum Theatre

Written by: Chrissi

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It is a long running joke amongst those who knowme that I do not cry. If I were in a boy band, my persona would not be ‘the emotional one.’ So, when I tell you that when I saw War Horse at the Orpheum and I not only teared up, but cried, it’s pretty significant.

Somehow I have not read the book this play is based off of, nor have I seen the hit film version. I’m not much of a ‘war story’ person, so although I was exposed to the play on the Tony’s as well as when I was in NYC last summer, I didn’t have a strong desire to see it. Thankfully my Pumps & Playbills counterpart Karyn was interested in checking it out.

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First off, the story is beautiful. The story followsJoey (a horse) and his owner, Albert. There was a brilliant balance of reality and imagination. As an audience member, you have to accept that the three people on stage handling the horse puppet are a single character. Not just that, but this character will not speak to get their message across. If you are willing to invest in that, the return is a masterpiece.

Really, it is theatre at its finest. A musical element beautifully accompanied the story and seamlessly took you from scene to scene. The staging was marvelous. Simple and powerful. The set was simple and purposeful, continuing to walk the line between reality and imagination. It was engaging, beautifully produced, and wonderfully performed. I could not get out of my seat soon enough for a standing ovation.

War Horse is playing at the Orpheum through June 23.

Get your tickets ASAP!

*Note there is a student/educator rush- see website for details.

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