Performing Arts

Nov 10, 2008
THEATER: "Animal Farm" from Page to Stage
Review by Christy DeSmith

Theater critic Christy DeSmith offers her take on Jon Ferguson's ambitious staging of the classic dystopian George Orwell allegory, "Animal Farm." She finds it to be a deeply flawed but, nonetheless, provocative and worthwhile bit of theater.
Nov 3, 2008
THEATER: Naked Stages Indeed!
Review by Christy DeSmith

Theater critic Christy DeSmith reflects on the first weekend's Naked Stages 2008 offerings which included deep thoughts, family descent, and a depantsing! The second and final lineup of performances is on stage November 6-8.
Oct 21, 2008
THEATER: Comedy in the Long Shadow of the Reich
Review by Matthew Everett

Playwright Matthew Everett weighs in on Walking Shadow Theatre's new production, "Amazons and Their Men," which offers a clever take on the thorny character of the Nazis' favorite filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl: on stage through November 1.
Oct 20, 2008
DANCE: The Promise of "Dancin' with ETHEL"
Article by Lightsey Darst

Performance critic Lightsey Darst offers a glimpse into ARENA Dances' eagerly anticipated collaborative performance with acclaimed string quartet ETHEL and newly commissioned music by local composer Michael Croswell.
Oct 13, 2008
MUSIC: Too Much Information? Music Criticism in the Digital Age
Article by Megan Wiley

Veteran music writer Megan Wiley asks: With the migration of their writing from print to web, are critics altering how they cover music? More important, is the trend toward digital content working in in favor of the craft of smart music criticism or not?
Oct 1, 2008
DANCE: Intimate Attacks
Article by Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst offers a revealing, eloquent preview of Karen Sherman's provocative new dance performance, "copperhead," on stage at the Southern October 2-5.
Sep 29, 2008
MUSIC: How Do You Suppose She Got to That Moment?
Profile by Alison Morse

Alison Morse offers a lyrical profile of internationally acclaimed composer Mary Ellen Childs, whose movement-rich compositions weave between dance, visual art, music, and poetry.
Sep 22, 2008
DANCE: 2008 Sage Awards (More Insidery Than Ever)
Article by Camille LeFevre

Dance critic Camille LeFevre plays connect the dots with this year's SAGE Award "Performance" category nominees.
Sep 8, 2008
THEATER: Looking Over "Fences"
Review by Matthew Everett

Playwright Matthew Everett weighs in on Penumbra Theater's ambitious production of August Wilson's classic play, "Fences." Like the other productions in Penumbra's CENTURY CYCLE, it doesn't disappoint.
Sep 2, 2008
Essay by Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst chronicles the recent turmoil at the Southern Theater, but her nuanced essay offers insight into more than just this particular tumult. It's a good start to this month's featured forum on recent shakeups elsewhere in the art scene.
Aug 18, 2008
MUSIC: Bought Any Good Records Lately?
Article by Chris Godsey

Duluth music writer Chris Godsey investigates the quiet resurgence of vinyl among audiophiles and finds there may just be more to the trend than simple nostalgia.
Aug 18, 2008
MUSIC: Free One, A Serious Somali MC
Article by Justin Schell

Hip-hop expert Justin Schell profiles up-and-coming MC Free One, who's also part of the promising new hip-hop group Usual Suspects. This Somali-Minnesotan's path, from Mogadishu to Minneapolis, makes for a compelling story.
Aug 8, 2008
FRINGE SHORTS: "small aïda" by Penelope Freeh
Review by Lightsey Darst

Critic Lightsey Darst loved noted dancer and choreographer Penny Freeh's (James Sewell Ballet) ambitious rendering of Verdi's classic opera into a wordless narrative told in dance. Read on, and she'll tell you why.
Aug 8, 2008
FRINGE SHORTS: "The Jamal Lullabies" by Emily Conbere
Review by Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst assesses the satirical musical theater production, "The Jamal Lullabies," by Emily Conbere and the East River Commedia--showing at the Southern Theater for two remaining shows, August 8 and 10.
Aug 4, 2008
FRINGE SHORTS: "Deviants" by Live Action Set
Review by Christy DeSmith

Theater maven Christy DeSmith is reporting back on a handful of this year's Fringe offerings for First up: "Deviants" (a remake of the popular production "Desiderare: Desire the Undesirable") presented by Live Action Set.
Aug 4, 2008
FRINGE SHORTS: "You're No Fun" presented by Bedlam Theatre
Review by Christy DeSmith

Christy DeSmith is reporting back on a handful of this year's Fringe offerings for This dispatch offers her take on Bedlam Theatre's satisfying farce, "You're No Fun."
Aug 2, 2008
THEATER: All Hail the Fringe!
Article by Geoff Herbach

Or, "You Go See 'Audish'"--Novelist/performer Geoff Herbach offers an unabashed ode to the Fringe Festival, the Twin Cities, and especially the teenagers of the Bakery Theatre Company, who are behind the endearingly wacky Fringe production, "Audish."
Aug 2, 2008
DANCE: The Momentum Continues
Review by Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst assesses two very different "Momentum" performances from the second weekend's line-up of shows--the oblique "La Brea" by Anna Marie Shogren and wildly entertaining "Brown Rocket" by Eddie Oroyan.
Aug 2, 2008
FRINGE SHORTS: Malia Burkhart's "Survival Pages"
Review by Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst is reporting back on a sampling of dance-y productions which are on stage as part of this year's Fringe Festival. First in line: Malia Burkhart's eco-minded multimedia performance, "The Survival Pages."
Jul 21, 2008
DANCE: Momentum Right to the Edge of Dance
Review by Lightsey Darst

Lightsey Darst reflects on the first weekend of Momentum dance premieres (co-commissioned by the Walker and The Southern)--Chris Schlicting's "love things" and Maia Maiden and Ellena Schoop’s dance-theater production "The Foundation, et cetera."
Jul 21, 2008
THEATER: Chasing Windmills in Lanesboro
Review by Christy DeSmith

Theater critic Christy DeSmith weighs in on Commonweal Theatre's production of "Man of La Mancha" and on what happens when that critical cha-cha-cha, the pizzazz of a beloved classic show, goes missing.
Jul 14, 2008
VISUAL ART: Through Baryshnikov's Eyes
Article by Camille LeFevre

Camille LeFevre weighs in on iconic dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov's exhibition of photography, "Merce My Way", by which he documents the inspired movements of fellow dance legend, Merce Cunningham. (At the Weinstein Gallery through August 2)
Jul 10, 2008
THEATER: Goodnight Moon
Essay by Christy DeSmith

Critic and one-time Jeune Lune staffer Christy DeSmith gives an elegy to this storied, soon-to-close theater, and she offers some frank reflections on the changing audience tastes and company politics that likely hastened its demise.
Jul 8, 2008
THEATER: The Best Local Theater You Never Hear About
Article by Matthew Everett

Playwright Matthew Everett saw the TC Improv Festival, which showcases top-shelf talent from Minnesota and across the country. His newfound admiration for this under-appreciated pool of performers has him thinking about what makes for "good theater."
Jul 8, 2008
DANCE: Something in the Way She Moves
Profile by Lightsey Darst

Performance maven Lightsey Darst looks into the artistic heart of the dancer, with a revealing profile of McKnight dance fellow Laura Selle Virtucio (one of the featured soloists in the upcoming show, SOLO, at the Southern Theater July 11-13).


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