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Minneapolis/St. Paul Spotlight: June 2010

What's in a Mame? logo
Kevin Hansen in Mame!
(© Laurie Etchen)
Minneapolis Musical Theatre presents its final show of the season, Jerry Herman's classic musical, Mame (Illusion Theater, June 11 - 27). In a twist that seems inevitable, MMT co-founder Kevin Hansen steps into the title role of Mame Dennis, the freewheeling, unconventional, and all-around fabulous auntie to ten-year-old orphan Patrick. Hansen is widely remembered for his other notable turn in drag, as Albin/Zaza in MMT's 2006 production of La Cage Aux Folles.

Comedian Steve Martin brings his musical act, Steve Martin: An Evening of Bluegrass and Banjo to the State Theatre for one night only (June 13). NPR's popular new quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me also makes a brief stop at the State (June 24). The taping will air two days later on June 26. Meanwhile, stand-up comedian and D-List reality star Kathy Griffin appears at the Orpheum (June 26).

Skylark Opera presents two operettas running in repertory: Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow, about the rich widow Hanna Glawari and the men who pursue her, is arguably the most popular Viennese operetta of all time. Noel Coward's tribute to Viennese operetta, Bitter Sweet, features the standards "I'll See You Again" and "If Love Were All." Both shows perform at Concordia University's E.M. Pearson Theatre (June 12 - 20).

Bryant Lake Bowl continues to push the envelope, this month with Scott Lyons's Dizney Titillations (June 4 and 5). This scintillating combination of burlesque, cabaret, dance, puppetry, and performance art draws its inspiration from the canon of Disney princesses and is allegedly illegal in five countries. The Saved By the Bell Show also has several performances at Bryant Lake Bowl this month (June 2 - 30). See two back-to-back episodes of the classic early 90s teen sitcom, with commercials all performed live on stage.

Park Square Theatre closes up their season with the area premiere of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily (June 4 - July 3). Playwright Katie Forgette offers her own take on Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories, with a healthy dose of Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare thrown in for good measure. In a similar vain, the Jungle Theater presents Charles Ludlam's brilliantly theatrical two-man send-up of Victorian Melodrama, The Mystery of Irma Vep (June 18 - August 1).

Sure to be fun for the whole family, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts presents the 2010 Flint Hills International Children's Festival (June 1 - 6). Peruvian puppeteers Hugo and Ines, who helped launch the first Festival in 2000, return with a series of short stories. The festival also includes Shangilia, a youth performance troupe from Nairobi, Kenya, led by singer/director/composer J.D. Steele and Nova Scotia's Mermaid Theatre which will perform their staging of the classic children's books of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

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