Lawrance Bernabo, for the News Tribune
Just a few gigs past being named vocal group of the year at the Country Music Awards, Old Dominion arrived at Amsoil Arena on Saturday night for their last concert of the year. The evening showcased contemporary country music and underscored what it takes for musicians to thrive and survive today. In a world where every song can be converted from YouTube video to MP3 in seconds, concerts are where artists really make their living. Saturday's show was within shouting distance of being sold out.
Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” has returned to its proper place, performed by dancers on a stage at the DECC's Symphony Hall, courtesy of the Minnesota Ballet. If you need a little Christmas, right this very minute, this is the show for you. For all the precisely executed choreography in this classic holiday show, there is pleasure in watching the little carolers, trying their best to incline their heads, skip, turn and shuffle off stage in unison.
The Minnesota Ballet season begins this weekend with "Rite of Spring and Other Dances" at the DECC's Symphony Hall. The opener put several new company members in the spotlight in a collection of five pieces that includes three world premiers before intermission. "Curl, Uncurl and..." plays out before projections of a quartet of paintings by Karen Owsley Nease of waves washing ashore on Lake Superior.
Wise Fool Theater’s recreation of the infamous 1938 radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds,” by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater of the Air, premiered Friday night in the acoustic cathedral that is Lincoln Park Middle School’s auditorium. Writer Howard Koch gets the credit for the script that transformed the novel by H.G. Wells into a Halloween staple. But director Chani Ninneman and her cast get the credit with for actually allowing the audience to be in the studio where it happens.
If you saw "The Full Monty" the first time the Duluth Playhouse put it on, then I should tell you: There is a little bit more to see, this time around. The musical version of the 1997 hit film opened Thursday night at the NorShor Theatre and showed again how entertaining a musical about unemployment, depression, suicide, divorce, impotence and brief nudity can be.
The artwork on the program centers on the chin, collar and pearls of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. The pearls look like a smile, but if you notice her neck, the shading provides a clue to the nature of her unique story. "I Am My Own Wife," which opens Thursday night at the Underground, is a one-person play starring Alec Schroeder, based on playwright Doug Wright's conversations with von Mahlsdorf, a German antiquarian and founder of the Gründerzeit Museum of everyday items in Berlin-Mahlsdorf.
"Much better than I anticipated." After the musical "The Toxic Avenger" opened at the Underground Theater on Thursday night, several audience members expressed their surprise at how much they enjoyed the show. Well, start spreading the word. "The Toxic Avenger" is more goofy that gross, and a show where you find yourself just sitting there smiling.
“The Music Man,” the as American as apple pie musical, opened Thursday night at the NorShor Theatre, a production totally committed to charming the audience from start to finish.
You are pretty much guaranteed to see puppets of some type in any Theatre for Young Audiences production. So it is not surprising that this summer, TYA has gotten around to providing their own take on the most famous puppet of all.
A hallmark of Lyric Opera of the North productions is that the staging is as important as the singing. With their Mozart meets the movies production of "Don Giovanni," LOON once again has a show to enchant first-timers while enthralling longtime opera devotees. Stage director Christina Baldwin setting the opera in 1930s Hollywood is a cleverly exploited conceit that pays immediate dividends as the overture is staged as shooting a movie scene. Each LOON chorus members has a distinctive studio personnel role.