What a great combination of theater, music and historyOriginally published by DK on September 18, 2018 at 10:50 pm
The History Theater was smart to bring this backOriginally published by DK on July 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm
This has really been a great weather year in MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on November 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm
Cirque slots by Sci GamesOriginally published by DK on September 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm
Here’s to the naughty list – @GentlemansGuide Saw and Ax Cookie CuttersOriginally published by DK on December 19, 2014 at 12:21 am
Backstage at A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and MurderOriginally published by DK on November 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm
Gentleman’s Guide up close – thanks Dillon!Originally published by DK on November 1, 2014 at 9:17 pm
Going to see Dilly B’s show todayOriginally published by DK on November 1, 2014 at 11:07 am
JNUC 2014 @ Tyrone’s JointOriginally published by DK on October 22, 2014 at 7:58 am
View of Gold Medal Park from the “new” Guthrie, MinneapolisOriginally published by DK on August 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm
Dowling Studio lobby – all the yellow you could ever wantOriginally published by DK on August 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm
http://www.agentlemansguidebroadway.com/Originally published by DK on June 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm
Guthrie parking ramp water feature
JNUC at the Guthrie
Pride and Prejudice, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) with Jim Cunningham, Caponi Art Park, Eagan, Minnesota
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/199043511.htmlOriginally published by DK on March 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Tonight’s entertainment on Broadway, Peter and the Starcatcher, Brooks Atkinson Theater, New York, New YorkOriginally published by DK on November 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm
Waiting for 50% off tickets to Peter and the Starcatcher, Times SquareOriginally published by DK on November 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm
I know there are some people who don’t like A Prairie Home Companion, but you have to admire the longevity and Americana that is live radio. Plus the show put the Fitzgerald and my hometown of St. Paul on the map and introduced me to a lot of music I wouldn’t otherwise hear. Last Saturday was no exception:
- Winnipeg-based Chic Gamine
- Minnesota singer Holly Jones
- Guitarist Dean Magraw
- Blues singer Hilary Thavis
In addition to the guests, there was the usual music from Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, which included an awesome cover of Louis Armstong’s What a Wonderful World by Pat Donohue.
This was the first show I had seen in person since Tom Keith passed away, so it was weird to see Steve Kramer from The Wallets doing sound effects with Tim Russell and Sue Scott.
Garrison Keillor has had several skits in the past that hit home for me and he did it again during Tales from Lake Wobegon, we he started talking about the old English teacher visiting the casino.
Good stuff.Originally published by DK on October 16, 2012 at 10:34 am
Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on October 13, 2012 at 10:49 pm
View out a window, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on September 25, 2012 at 1:44 am
MPR’s Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on April 28, 2012 at 12:35 am
Beauty and the Beast tech crew, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on April 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm
Alice in Wonderland, Deerwood Elementary 5th Grade Play, Eagan, MinnesotaOriginally published by DK on November 17, 2011 at 11:16 pm
Last night I took my mom to see the live stage production of It’s A Wonderful Life at the Saint Paul Hotel. My friend Phil Callen plays George Bailey in a cast that also includes Wild and Twins regular Jim Cunningham, Adena Brumer, Jennifer Edward-Hughes, Christopher Whiting and Ross Young. This is the fourth year of this production, but my first time seeing it.
The performances are held in the Promenade Ballroom on the main level of the hotel, with tables of eight people set up around the room. For the dinner performances, Executive Chef Lance Kapps created the following menu this year:
- First Course: Sliced Roasted Beets with Feta Cheese and Haricot Verts with Baby Greens served with Horseradish Vinaigrette
- Second Course: Chicken Breast filled with Spinach Mousse with Roasted Shallot Demi-Glace, Parmesan Risotto Cranberry Glazed Baby Carrots
- Third Course: Chocolate Dipped Ginger, Snap Mini Cranberry Trifle Martini, Candy Cane Chocolate-Raspberry Roulade
The food was excellent and the servers were swift and unobtrusive during the performance. An open bar was available in the foyer for drinks before the show and during the two short intermissions.
The performance itself was split into two parts: Christmas carols at the beginning, followed by the entire It’s A Wonderful Life play. The fictional radio station WBFR serves as the backdrop to the entire night and was reminiscent of watching A Prairie Home Companion – right down to the live sound effects performed by the very talented and funny Mr. Whiting and the radio notes from the audience read on stage after the second intermission.
The cast mingled with the audience during breaks and after the show, which was refreshing. Phil’s wife was there with her mother and I got to talk to Mr. Cunningham about the show I saw him in at Dudley Riggs a long, long time ago. He even remembered the name of the show, once I mentioned it had a lot of songs by Bread. Sex, Lies and Videogames was one funny show and was his first with that theater group.
It’s A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play runs through December 23. There are only a few tickets left for selected performances, so check out the schedule and call 651-228-3860 if you want to see the 2009 edition of this new St. Paul tradition. The afternoon tea performances are $55 and the dinner shows are $70.
Originally scheduled to make the U.S. premiere in St. Paul, Kooza is finally re-scheduled to come back. Shows start July 3rd and are currently on sale to Cirque Club members for various dates through July 26th (no shows on Mondays or on Tuesday the 21st).
Pricing for this show is sort of complicated (see this page), but basically ranges from $60 to $215 for adults and from $42 to $150.50 for kids age 2-12. Discounts are also available for students and seniors on non-peak performances. Children under 2 years old are free, but must sit on a parent’s lap.
I believe the big top (or “Grand Chapiteau”) will be in the parking lot off of Kellogg in Lowertown overlooking the river. Capacity for each performance is 2,600 and the show is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, including a 30-minute intermission.
Even though Cirque is one of my fetishes (and I had purchased four tickets for the last time this show was supposed to be here), I’m not sure if we will be going to this one. I definitely can’t afford to take the whole family, but maybe Colleen and I can sneak away for two cheap seats.Originally published by DK on March 1, 2009 at 1:38 am
The family attended a Sunday afternoon performance of Oklahoma! this weekend that was produced by the Eagan Summer Community Theatre. Colleen couldn’t wait to finally hear the real Surrey with the Fringe on Top after all of those When Harry Met Sally references.
The production quality of this show was quite high and we enjoyed the lead actors: Ashley Lemaire as Laurey and Jared Oxborough as Curley. Douglas Castle was also great as Ali Hakim and the kids liked Honey Ribar as Ado Annie the most.
The worst part of the show by far was the audience – why can’t people shut up for two hours? Aside from that, it was nice to finally see the play that every Okie is duty-bound to watch at some point in their life. Ok-la-hom-a, OK!Originally published by DK on July 28, 2008 at 8:36 pm
A few weeks ago, we went with our friends to see The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde at the Guthrie’s Proscenium Stage. That was the only stage at the new Guthrie that I hadn’t been in, and it was very nice: red everywhere, comfortable seats, good sight lines and strong acoustics.
We got there about an hour early to get rush tickets, which worked perfectly – four seats together for $20 a seat. The theater got some of that money back in concessions, but I was disappointed that none of the restaurants (both in the theater and those nearby) were open after the performance.
The show itself was entertaining. You really can’t go wrong with anything at the Guthrie, but I didn’t know much about this play beyond what I had read about Oscar Wilde on Wikipedia.
Very interesting character, which led to an interesting play that jumps around in time. The on-stage musicians and four puppeteers helped tie transitions together and the three primary actors were all enjoyable to watch.
The Thomas Kilroy play runs through July 11th (ticket information here).Originally published by DK on July 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm
This was a busy family activity weekend – wedding on Saturday in Plainview, Minnesota, and a community theater presentation of Cats on Sunday in Maplewood.
Congratulations to Justin and Mindy Tentis on their marriage. How often to you get to see a bride and groom drive away in something like that? It probably cost more than I paid for my house too…
The Heritage Theater Company production of Cats at the Maplewood Community Center included two Smiths – my uncle Jeff playing Bustopher Jones and my cousin Peter playing Mungojerrie. They both had solos and were awesome. The three hours worth of makeup was impressive too. The show runs through May 18 if you want to catch some good community theater (40+ people in the cast and orchestra).Originally published by DK on May 5, 2008 at 12:57 am
Colleen and I went to see Warm Beer Cold Women at the Guthrie’s Dowling Theater this weekend. The theater was set up the exact reverse way from when we saw Phil Callen in Pen this fall, which threw me off at first.
I’ve liked Tom Waits for a long time, but realized I’m not much of a Waits expert. This show had lots of songs I’d never heard before, but we still had a good time. Katy Hays was our favorite performer, but Dennis Curley had his moments and Robert Berdahl (who also wrote, directed and produced) did an admirable job with his torn Achilles and crutches.
The musicians were very strong and we really liked Dan Chouinard on keyboards and Mark Stillman on accordion (his entrance at the beginning of Rain Dogs was a highlight of the evening).
Complete list of songs from the program after the jump.
Warm Beer Cold Woman
- New Coat of Paint (1974)
- Ice Cream Man (1973)
- Fumblin’ with the Blues (1974)
- I Want You (1973)
- I Never Talk to Strangers (1977)
- Warm Beer Cold Women (1976)
- The Tango (1982)
- Ruby’s Arms (1980)
- Xmas Card from a Hooker in Mpls (1978)
- Picking Up After You (1982)
- Broken Bicycles (1982)
- Take Me Home (1982)
- Rain Dogs (1985)
- Tango ‘Til They’re Sore (1985)
- Frank’s Wild Years (1983)
- Jockey Full of Bourbon (1985)
- Yesterday is Here (1987)
- Bend Down the Branches (1998)
- Temptation (1987)
- Johnsburg, Illinois (1983)
- Telephone Call from Istanbul (1987)
- Time (1985)
- It’s Over (1999)
- I’ll Never Let Go of Your Hand (1992)
- Reeperbahn (2002)
- Mr. Henry (1981)
- Down There by the Train (1994)
- Buzz Fledderjon (1999)
- Walk Away (1995)
- That’s the Way (1993)
- The Briar and the Rose (1993)
Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota
January 31st – February 17th, 2008
This weekend my wife and I went to see our friend Phil Callen perform in the two act play Pen at the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio in Minneapolis. Phil was his usual great self, or as Star Tribune reviewer Rohan Preston called him, “a smooth and smarmy cad.”
The review in the paper didn’t really prepare us for what we actually experienced. I was expecting a grim and dark storyline, but found myself smiling through most of the show. One big twist I totally wasn’t expecting too (I won’t spoil it here).
The play runs though November 25–go and see Phil before he returns to New York. Ticket info here. Prices are very reasonable and seats are general admission, so get there early (doors opened 30 minutes before show time on Saturday).
I’m really becoming attached to the new building. The 180-seat Dowling Studio space is very special (not to mention hard to find). Here’s a nice local photo site I found that has some shots of the exterior (including the cool yellow overhanging block with the glass floor).
After the play, we stopped at the Spoonriver restaurant located across the street from the Guthrie. Started by the same people behind Cafe Brenda, the Spoonriver space is small and narrow and focuses on locally produced, organic ingredients. We ordered off of the after-theater bar menu and enjoyed the following:
- Caesar Salad – with sliced Free Range Chicken Breast
- Quesadilla – Local Free Range Smoked Chicken, Greek Keseri Cheese, Mango – Cranberry Coulis
Very fun to see the picture of Ian McKellen in the front foyer, too.Originally published by DK on November 11, 2007 at 4:34 pm
Last month I ended my boycott of the new Guthrie (mad about the old one being torn down) to see my friend Phil Callen portray Georgia senator Lyman Hall in 1776.
The new building is stunning. The interior of the Wurtele Theater is a virtual carbon copy of the old space–intimate, with every seat a good one. The “bridge to nowhere” is unique and has awesome views of the river and skyline (including the eerie site of the 35W bridge collapse). The best view, however, was in the hard-to-find ninth floor, with tall, yellow-tinted windows. The restaurants looked great–I especially want to visit Cue, even though Lenny Russo is no longer involved.
The play was very enjoyable. It’s always fun to watch shows with people you know and the “charismatic” Phil Callen didn’t let us down. Love to see live musicians too–just like a Cirque show…
Best of luck to Phil as he heads out to New York. He will return to the Guthrie later this year performing in the Dowling Studio’s production of Pen.Originally published by DK on September 9, 2007 at 11:44 am
On Sunday evening we took the family to the 5pm performance of Pippi Longstocking at the Children’s Theater in Minneapolis. This was the last of our season ticket package for the 2005-06 season, which included 4-ISH and Sleeping Beauty. There a number of good shows coming up next season, but we haven’t decided to renew yet.
Pippi was a fun show and the kids enjoyed it. Reed Sigmund has appeared in many of the shows we’ve seen over the years and he just knows how to make children laugh–very, very talented. Jessie Shelton was energetic in the title role and her style suited the role well.
The only disappointing thing about the night was CTC’s policy of not letting parents take pictures of their kids in their seats before the show and during intermission. It’s a public theater with no copyright issues during non-performance periods–how about some relief from the threatening P.A. warnings? Better yet, make it more fun for the kids by allowing pictures with the cast afterwards…DKOriginally published by DK on May 23, 2006 at 5:14 pm