Twin Cities Theater Things

My October has been absolutely jam-packed with the point where I can't believe it's already almost over! Weddings, engagement parties, work travel, football, and of course, because it wouldn't be me without it, a lot of awesome theater. 

Minneapolis knocked it out of the park with two separate shows this month that were standing ovation-worthy (at least in my humble, totally-not-a-theater-critic opinion!). My mom and I saw Theater Latte Da's "Sweeney Todd" mid-month at the Ritz Theater, a tiny venue in Northeast. 

Featuring two of my absolute favorite TC actors, Tyler Michaels as Toby and Sally Wingert as Mrs. Lovett, the show was creepy and gothic and twisted in all the right ways. The set looked like an abandoned playground, sirens blared every time Sweeney Todd killed someone, and the vocal talent was beyond compare. I had Tyler Michaels singing "Not While I'm Around" stuck in my head for a week! He's going to go insanely far. Sally Wingert injected exactly the right dose of comedy and was as charming as usual. 

It's garnered rave reviews so far and is playing through November 1--check it out for a perfect Halloween treat! 

Just a few days later my Open Call crew got together for the first show of our 2015-16 season, the Guthrie's "To Kill A Mockingbird!" 

I know I'm a pretty effusive writer, and that I tend to like most plays I see, but there is truly no exaggeration when I say that this was one of the top three productions I've ever seen at the Guthrie (and I'm at 46 or 47 now). The talent of the children in the cast portraying Jem, Scout and Dill blew me away, but it was the quiet power and dignity of Baylen Thomas as Atticus Finch that brought the show to the next level. 

Featuring one of the most clever intermissions (a "court recess") that I've ever seen, the production was tight, focused and fast-paced in all the right ways. I think Hal and I both teared up several times and, by the end, I was out-and-out bawling. What a powerful novel, and what a beautiful treatment by the genius crew at the Guthrie! It started off our Open Call season perfectly. 

As a fun aside, Open Call also hooked us up with the opportunity to take a private backstage tour of the Guthrie, and it was so interesting! The way the set shop is configured to access both the stages and the fact that it's built to accommodate everything being built right on site blew my mind. I loved getting to access the parts of the theater I haven't gotten to see as a patron...especially getting to set foot on BOTH of the stages! Total nerdgasm moment right there: 

Coming up, I'm looking forward to our next Guthrie show, "The Cocoanuts," as well as a few trips to the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera and hopefully "A Christmas Carol" this holiday season!