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Minneapolis/St. Paul Spotlight: April 2010

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Ansa Akyea and Gerardo Rodriquez in
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
(© Ann Marsden)
Mixed Blood Theatre ends its 2009-2010 season with the area premiere of Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (April 9 - May 2). Told from the perspective of Macedonio Guerra, a "professional loser," the show is about the intersection of racial politics and pro-wrestling. Mixed Blood partnered with Victory Gardens in Chicago and InterAct Theatre in Philadelphia to develop and produce the work.

The Guthrie presents its second David Henry Hwang play of the year with the Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly (April 17 - June 6). The piece follows Song Liling, a female-impersonator in the Peking Opera and her volatile relationship with French diplomat Rene Gallimard. Randy Reyes plays Song in his third leading-role in a Hwang play this season, having previously appeared in Yellow Face and Flower Drum Song for Mu Performing Arts. Meanwhile, Mu presents taiko artist Iris Shiraishi memoir Becoming at Dreamland Arts (April 9 - May 2).

Jason Grote's wildly-imaginative Gothic comedy Maria/Stuart gets its regional premiere at Red Eye Theater (April 2 - 22). Loosely based on Shiller's Mary Stuart, Grote's work brings the Mary, Queen of Scots story into modern-day suburbia. Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone also gets its area premiere at Park Square Theatre (April 9 - May 2). A rising star of American theater, Ruhl is also the author of such recent hits as The Clean House, Eurydice, and In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) which recently completed a run on Broadway.

The national tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q makes a brief stop at the Orpheum (April 13 - 18). Nearby at the State Theatre, beloved American comedienne and six-time Emmy Award winner Carol Burnett spends a night answering her Twin Cities fans' questions in Laughter and Reflection: A Conversation with Carol Burnett Where the Audience Asks the Questions (April 14).

Minneapolis Musical Theatre wraps up its 2009-2010 season with Roger Miller's Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Illusion Theatre, April 9 - 25). Based on the classic Mark Twain novel, Big River is the winner of seven Tony Awards, including "Best Musical." Originally commissioned by Israel's national theatre, Habima, Women's Minyan, the story of domestic abuse in an ultra-religious Israeli community, gets a run at the Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company (April 17 - May 9).

The History Theatre presents another original production set in the Twin Cities, Queens of Burlesque (April 22- May 23), about the lives of Minnesota burlesque performers in the 1950s. Theatre in the Round puts up a new production of Alan Ayckbourn's delightful comedy, Relatively Speaking (April 23 - May 16).

The Minnesota Opera brings to life Richard Strauss' scandalous opera Salome as the final production of its season (Ordway Center, April 10 - 24). Mlada Khudoley returns to play the title role in this David Lefkowich staging.

Finally, the Children's Theatre Company closes out its season with Disney's Mulan Jr., based on the animated film by the same name (April 27 - June 13). They also have an offering for the pre-school set, The Biggest Little House in the Forest (April 27 - June 20), featuring actor Autumn Ness and a supporting cast of colorful puppets.

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