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Minneapolis/St. Paul Spotlight: November 2010

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Daniel Gerroll stars as Scrooge in
The Guthrie's A Christmas Carol.
The Guthrie kicks off the holiday season with a brand new production of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol (November 19 - December 30). Daniel Gerroll stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in this world-premiere adaptation by Crispin Whittell, newly-commissioned just for the Guthrie. Gerroll was last seen at the Guthrie as Henry Higgins in the 2004 production of Pygmalion. He also recently appeared as Lindsay Dunne on the unfortunately canceled ABC series Ugly Betty. Meanwhile, Mu Performing Arts moves into the Guthrie's Dowling Studio with their production of Cowboy Versus Samurai (November 12 - 28), which re-imagines the story of Cyrano de Bergerac in small-town Wyoming.

The holiday fare continues with Phillip Grecian's stage adaptation of A Christmas Story (Children's Theatre Company, November 16 - December 31). Based on the short stories of Jean Shepherd and the eponymous film, A Christmas Story makes its CTC debut this season. The Stages Theatre Company puts up Junie B. in Jingle Bell, Batman Smells (November 19 - December 27) and Penumbra brings back their perennial favorite, Black Nativity (November 26 - December 26).

Audiences looking for big laughs this holiday season should look no further than the Jungle Theater and their production of the riotous one-man tour de force, Fully Committed (November 5 - December 19). Nathan Keepers plays Sam Peliczowski, an unemployed actor/telephone operator for Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant who just wants to go home for the holidays. Of course, what holiday would be complete in this bastion of public radio without David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries (Hennepin Stages, November 26 - December 31). This year's production features Joe Leary as "Crumpet" the elf.

Early this month, Spring Awakening makes a brief two performance stop at the Orpheum (November 6 & 7). If you didn't catch this Duncan Sheik musicalization of Frank Wedekind's story of puberty in fin-de-siècle Germany when it came to the Orpheum in 2009, make sure to see it this time around. The slightly more carefree musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a satire of corporate America, plays the Minnetonka Theatre (November 5 - 20).

If you're not quite fed-up with election season yet, Theatre in the Round keeps the politics rolling with Born Yesterday (November 19 - December 12), one of the longest-running comedies in Broadway history. It's about the rich and eccentric Harry Brock, who arrives in Washington with the aim of shaking things up. Just in time for the impending Minnesota winter, Park Square Theatre presents Shakespeare's classic, A Midsummer Night's Dream (November 16 - December 17).

The holiday fun keeps coming with Chanhassen Dinner Theatres' zany holiday revue, O Little Town of Chanhassen (November 19 - December 30), which promises to be a mixture of The Carol Burnett Show and The Dean Martin Show. Also, Plymouth Playhouse offers up Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas (November 4 - January 16). Finally, you'll want to text all of your friends (and maybe that special someone) about Brave New Workshop's revamped holiday show, Brett Favre's Christmas Spectacular II - The Second Coming (November 4 - January 29). You can use the brand-new iPhone App!

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