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Watson: trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes; loyal engineer who built Bell's first telephone; unstoppable super-computer that became reigning Jeopardy champ; amiable techno-dweeb who, in the present day, is just looking for love. These four constant companions become one in this brilliantly witty, time-jumping, loving tribute (and cautionary tale) dedicated to the people—and machines—upon which we all depend.
Everyone has a different view. Amy's view is that love conquers all. In 1979 Amy visits her mother, the West End actress Esme Allen, with a big favor to ask and a brash new boyfriend in tow. When the pair meet, Amy will find the views she holds so dear are painfully tested as she has to decide what's worth fighting for. What none of them can know is that the events of that day will set in motion a chain reaction which will dramatically change their lives forever.
Based on a true story, Bars and Measures, a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, is the fascinating tale of two brothers. One a classical pianist. The other a jazz bass player. One a Christian. The other a Muslim. One living in freedom. The other in jail. Separated by bars, the brothers try to reconcile their differences through the language they know best. Music. A beautiful journey through faith, family, melody and time.
The ever-innovative ensemble will devise another world premiere story told with imagination and plenty of movement, this time based on the life of Michael Larson, who cracked the code of the 1980s game show Press Your Luck.
Long-time Penumbra company member Daniel Alexander Jones returns to the Twin Cities with Black Light, the newest iteration of performance featuring the original and elegant Jomama Jones. Moving and grooving between song and monologue, the diva and soulful songstress explores love and life with extraordinary style and strength. Featuring original songs from Jones' forthcoming album Flowering, created with Bobby Halvorson, Black Light includes music by celebrated pianist Samora Pinderhughes and vocalists Laura Jean Anderson and Kelly Erin Sloan. Representing radical love at the heart of black and queer theatre, Jomama Jones' joyous reflections expand our capacity for love.
This timeless holiday tradition is treasured by families across the Twin Cities. Today, kids who grew up with Black Nativity are returning with their own families. Under the direction of Lou Bellamy and the musical direction of Sanford Moore, this homegrown Christmas show returns with exceptional lead vocalists, the outstanding Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir, and the stirring choreography of Uri Sands of TU Dance. Join us for an experience full of joy, community, and spirit.
Based on Toni Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye is a heartrending coming of age story about a young black girl in 1940s Ohio. Pecola Breedlove wants nothing more than to be loved, but she's only met with ridicule and abuse. Confronting turmoil at home, she prays for Shirley Temple's blue eyes, believing their beauty is the only thing standing between her and the happiness of the white girls at school. By turns beautiful and harrowing, this powerful adaptation explores the destructive power of a racist society and the strength of a community attempting to embrace an era of change.
This spellbinding, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know – delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.
Amir Kapoor, a successful Pakistani-American lawyer, is happy, in love and about to land the biggest promotion of his life. But ethnicity collides with ambition when Amir and his wife, Emily, host a dinner party at their Upper East Side apartment. Friendly conversation soon turns confrontational and Amir makes a costly decision. A 2015 Tony Award nominee for Best Play and winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize, this 90-minute one-act has been described as a "blistering social drama about racial prejudices" (Variety) and a "combustible powder keg of identity politics" (Bloomberg). Don't miss this conversation-starter from one of the most promising playwrights in theater today.
Why is it so hard to grow up? GIRL is a good girl: smart, beautiful, and a little rebellious, or, as her family would say, "hard-headed." For the most part, she has played by the rules, finishing college and then graduate school. She is perfectly poised for success, but something is in her way. Floundering in love, life, and career, GIRL goes on a journey to discover what she's missing, but wherever she goes, there she is. Eventually, GIRL learns that what she's seeking is herself: powerful, grounded, and so much stronger than she thought. A groundbreaking new musical by Zakiyyah Alexander and Imani Uzuri, Girl Shakes Loose is the soulful story of one woman's search for herself. Based on the lush poetry of Sonia Sanchez and featuring a stirring original score, you won't want to miss this world premiere. Brimming with hope, humor, and headstrong passion, you'll cheer GIRL on, remembering your own journey along the way.
Based on the celebrated novel, The House on Mango Street is a series of vignettes - sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous - about a young Latina growing up in Chicago. Determined to leave her impoverished neighborhood, she discovers writing is both her way out and her path back to the place where she invented herself.
Winner of the 1936 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Idiot's Delight is a romantic commentary on greed, idealism, love, and the grim realities of war. An eccentric assortment of characters are stranded together in a European mountaintop resort at the outbreak of war, including a munitions magnate, his mysterious Russian mistress, and an American song and dance man with his chorine companions "Les Blondes." Girl Friday Productions brings its signature large ensemble cast to this dramatic comedy with musical accents, set in a world on the brink.
It is 1977, and in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, city officials threaten to level a makeshift taxi dispatch office where neighbors have gathered for years. At a time when safe and comfortable transit was not guaranteed for black customers, Becker's car service provided mobility and a modicum of respect for the community. Now his building has been identified as prime real estate for redevelopment, and he might be forced out of business. Meanwhile, his estranged son has been released from prison and wants to come home. As pressure mounts, Becker is forced to reckon with powers beyond his control. Jitney is an "explosive" and "gripping" portrait of African American life from the pen of one of America's greatest writers. Join us for a riveting production brought to you by the nationally-known and critically-acclaimed creative team at Penumbra Theatre.
For the first time in more than 20 years the Guthrie will stage Shakespeare's searing masterpiece. After years of ruling Britain in peace, a respected King Lear decides to relinquish his crown and divide his kingdom among his three daughters. But when their love and loyalty falter, so does Lear's sanity. King Lear is a gripping portrait of fathers, daughters and a once mighty ruler thwarted by his own hubris and betrayed by a vanishing mind.
In the world-premiere romance Le Switch, marriage equality finally reaches the U.S. and commitment-shy David finds himself unsure how to react to the nation's honeymoon phase. Nervous in the face of"wedding fever," he retreats to his home full of unopened books and his grieving activist roommate. When his best friend's bachelor party takes him to Montreal, he's unexpectedly swept off his feet by a beautiful young florist. In the months that follow, David and his non-traditional family must decide for themselves what it really means to be committed, what it means to be married and what it means to be queer.
Cliton can't tell a lie, but his master Dorante can't tell the truth. Dorante is in hot pursuit of one woman, but thinks she is another, which leads to amazing mix-ups and breathtakingly intricate lies. Sharp and saucy modern language adds zest to this sparkling urbane romance.
"Well – what shall we hang? The holly or each other?" Set during Christmas 1183, The Lion in Winter tells the wickedly amusing tale of King Henry II, his imprisoned queen (released only for the holiday), and their three entitled sons who vie for the throne in a double-dealing division of the kingdom. With elegance and barbarism, devotion and disloyalty, this brutally funny family comedy is a high-stakes chess game where the pieces constantly change sides and no one is spared the sword.
Shakespeare's great tragedy explores the darkest corners of the human heart as the ambitious Macbeth schemes and murders his way to the throne. Filled with raw ambition and greed that seems ripped from the headlines.
California truck driver Larry Walters attached 45 helium-filled weather balloons to his lawn chair one afternoon and soared 16,000 feet into the sky. If you remember reading that in the paper 20 years ago, you may have had a good laugh. But for Larry, flying was serious business and his adventure meant everything to him. But then, this world is a tough place for dreamers.
Eleven years ago, wealthy Nebraska businessman James Herrold unjustly threw his only son, Paul, out of the family business. Now he wants Nero Wolfe to find Paul so he can make amends. But what if the young man doesn't want to be found? And what if he's the same Paul Herrold on trial for murder? This case draws the great detective and his devoted sidekick into a web of deceit, one that even the master sleuth may regret taking on.
A moving and delightful exploration of love and letting go. The story centers around an American mother whose young son is believed to be the reincarnation of a high Buddhist Lama. When Tibetan monks arrive unexpectedly, asking to take her child away for a life of spiritual training in India, she and her Tibetan husband must make a life-altering choice that will test their faith...and their hearts...
At the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, brave women and men of all backgrounds said goodbye to their families, boarded buses and headed into the Deep South to battle discrimination. Arrested and imprisoned in Mississippi's notorious Parchman Farm Penitentiary, these Freedom Riders endured by creating a nightly variety show called "The Parchman Hour." The Parchman Hour is a captivating play with music, one that reveals a defining chapter in American history while celebrating the hope and resilience of a community that joined together to stand against segregation.
This fiercely moving portrait of a family living and struggling on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. The Washington Post hails it as "one of a handful of great American plays - it belongs in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Glass Menagerie."
Meet Bob and Jennifer and their new neighbors, John and Pony, two suburban couples who have even more in common than their identical homes and their shared last names. As their relationships begin to irrevocably intertwine, the Joneses must decide between their idyllic fantasies and their imperfect realities.
From the internationally renowned ensemble The Moving Company (core members of the former Theatre de la Jeune Lune), comes Refugia, a riveting investigation of the lives of those who find themselves navigating life's margins at the crossroads of transition. Composed of interconnected chapters and conveyed through music, movement, language and video, this world premiere – developed by the Guthrie – explores exile, borders and the displacement of peoples now and throughout time. At once funny and poetic, cinematic and theatrical, Refugia is a vital new work not to be missed.
For the Cavendishes, the "Royal Family" of Broadway, the show must go on. Set in 1920s Manhattan, this American classic (loosely based on the legendary Barrymore family) centers on three generations of actors, each at different stages in their careers. From an aging grande dame to a promising ingénue, together they confront a choice between secure, yet dull domesticity and an erratic, egocentric yet potentially fulfilling life on the stage. A brilliant, fast-paced comedy, The Royal Family is a masterfully written love letter to the Great White Way.
Full of humor and emotional depth, a fresh adaptation of Austen's treasured novel opens the season in a bright, bold and theatrical way. Set in late 18th-century England, Sense and Sensibility centers on sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, whose lives are turned upside down when their father passes away suddenly, leaving them penniless and with reputations at stake. Together the women must learn to mix sense with sensibility to find happiness in a society where love is ruled by money.
Joseph Douaihy isn't doing well. The marathon champion has chronic pain. His boss is overbearing. His father and uncle are ailing. His brother is a handful. And that's just a typical day. Stephen Karam's Pulitzer Prize finalist is a comic and poignant exploration of our secret needs, the surprising people that fulfill them, and the unspoken moments of renewal that can happen on any typical day.
It is 1957 in New York and rehearsals have begun for a racially integrated production, one the company hopes will be the next hit. But when prejudices and stereotypes emerge, African American actress Wiletta Mayer faces a difficult decision: should she swallow her pride and compromise her values to achieve her lifelong dream of playing a leading role on Broadway. This award-winning biting satire by the first African American female playwright to have a play optioned on Broadway has been called "one of the best plays about racism ever written" (The Washington Post).