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Minneapolis/St. Paul Spotlight: January 2010

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Moya Angela in Dreamgirls
(© Joan Marcus)
The national tour of Dreamgirls stops into the Orpheum for one week (January 12-17). Fresh from a run at Harlem's famed Apollo Theatre, this re-imagining of the classic musical is directed by Robert Longbottom. Also at the Orpheum, for one night only, is the 2010 Chinese New Year's Gala: Carnival China Style (January 10). Down the street, the Pantages Theatre hosts two-time Tony Award nominee Vivian Reed in her tour-de-force one-woman musical revue Virtuosity (January 26 - February 14).

The Acting Company returns to the Guthrie with their production of Romeo & Juliet (January 9-31). Directed by Penny Metropulos, this production features graduates of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. program, just as last year's production of Henry V did. Sonny Valicenti and Laura Esposito lead a 13-member cast in Shakespeare's tale of tragic star-crossed love. Following the run at the Guthrie, this production embarks on a 25-city national tour. The Guthrie continues to present Shakespeare's classics at the end of the month with director Joe Dowling's production of Macbeth (January 30 - April 3).

20% Theater presents an evening of world-premiere one-act plays titled The Fresh Five (Bedlam Theatre, January 8-23). Three of the plays are written by local playwrights and all five of them are directed by a local emerging female director. Opera lovers will not want to miss Minnesota Opera's production of Roberto Devereux (Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, January 30 - February 7). Minnesota favorite Brenda Harris stars as Queen Elizabeth in this Bel Canto masterpiece by Donizetti, the first installment in Minnesota Opera's "Tudor Trilogy."

Bryant Lake Bowl hosts local author and actor Lorna Landvik in her one-woman comedy show Party in the Rec Room (January 2-30). It becomes a new show every night as Landvik creates characters on the spot. Also at Bryant Lake Bowl, for one night only, Dragmanity: Dragxclamation! promises to deliver a night fright and drag (January 16).

The Southern Theater continues to present new and exciting dance theater with a double bill program featuring Battlecats and Kenna Sarge (January 14-17). Making their Southern Theater debut, the former is a b-boy hip-hop crew, while the latter fuses hip-hop techniques with traditional West African dance. Meanwhile, the BodyCartography Project brings together an amazing collaborative team including composer and harpist Zeena Parkins, visual artist Emmett Ramstad, and physicist Bryce Beverlin II for 1/2 Life (Southern Theater, January 28-30).

The Australia-based Patch Theatre brings a new musical to Children's Theatre Company called Mr. McGee & The Biting Flea (January 12 - February 21). Based on the stories of award-winning children's author Pamela Allen, the show comes with the following cryptic disclaimer: "WARNING: There is no (actual) nudity in this play." Also perfect for families is Sesame Street Live: 1-2-3 Imagine!, which stops by the Target Center for a week (January 13-17). Now celebrating their 40th season, the characters of Sesame Street are adored by multiple generations PBS-loving Minnesotans.

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