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Minneapolis/St. Paul Spotlight: September 2010

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Marsha Norman
Internationally renowned director Francesca Zambello helms the world premiere production of Marsha Norman's The Master Butchers Singing Club at the Guthrie (September 11 - November 6). The play is the story of German immigrant Fidelis Waldvogel and his family as they adjust to life on the American frontier. It is based on the eponymous novel by Minnesota author Louise Erdrich, owner of Birchbark books, an independent bookstore situated near Lake of the Isles. The Guthrie also hosts The Great Game: Afghanistan (September 29 - October 17), an epic three-part event that recalls the modern history of Afghanistan through one-act plays written by twelve different authors.

After appearing Off-Broadway last year, Morris Panych's Vigil makes its area premiere at the Pillsbury House Theatre (September 10 - October 17). The story follows Kemp, a selfish banker who sits vigil at the deathbed of his dying aunt, Grace, in order to secure a position in her will. Shirley Venard and Steve Hendrickson star in this Minneapolis premiere which is directed by Stephen DiMenna, who also handled the New York production.

Penumbra Theatre tackles the controversial issue of police brutality in Adam and Adrienne Kennedy's Sleep Deprivation Chamber (September 16 - October 10). This area premiere is the authors' semi-autobiographical story of a mother fighting to protect her son from a police officer who claims that he was assaulted first.

The Jungle Theatre presents the Tennessee Williams classic, The Glass Menagerie (September 10 - October 17), starring Twin Cities favorite, Wendy Lehr as Amanda. Meanwhile, Theatre in the Round stages Tom Stoppard's variation on Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (September 10 - October 3), which looks at the story through the eyes of its two most minor characters.

The Minnesota Opera opens their 2010-2011 season with a brand new production of Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice (September 25-October 3) from director Lee Blakeley. Dance fans will enjoy Anaya Dance Theatre's Kshoy!/Decay!, which explores social justice issues through the elements of mud, gold, oil, and water (Southern Theatre, September 9 - 12). The Southern Theatre will also play host to Theatre Novi Most and their retelling of the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Oldest Story in the World (September 24 - October 3).

The Children's Theatre Company kicks off its 45th Anniversary season with an audience favorite from its 1979 season, Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (September 14 - October 30). Near the end of the month, CTC offers up some action with award-winning director Greg Banks' stage combat-filled production of Robin Hood (September 28 - December 5). Finally, Stages Theatre Company presents E.B. White's classic children's book, Charlotte's Web (September 24 - October 24), a perfect play to lead us into autumn.

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