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Minneapolis/St. Paul Spotlight: May 2009

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Stephen Spinella
(© Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
The Guthrie continues its celebration of Tony Kushner with the world premiere of the playwright's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (May 15-June 22). The play takes its name from George Bernard Shaw's The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (a copy of which Kushner found in his paternal grandmother's library after her death) and Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The starry cast will include Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Cristofer, Linda Emond, Michael Esper, and Stephen Spinella.

In the latter half of the month, the Guthrie will present Tiny Kushner: A Evening of Short Plays (May 16-June 7), which will include such Kushner favorites as Flip Flop Fly!, Terminating or Sonnet LXXV or "Lass Meine Schmerzen Nicht Verloren Sein" or Ambivalence, East Coast Ode to Howard Jarvis, Dr. Arnold A. Hutschnecker in Paradise, and Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy.

The world premieres just keep rolling out in the Twin cities as the Sabes Jewish Community Center presents Chaplin: The Son of Isadore and Hanna Thornstein (May 2-17), a play loosely based on the unsubstantiated rumor that legendary silent film star Charlie Chaplin was born a Polish Jew. Speaking of Chaplin, his film Modern Times, along with several Diego Rivera Murals, is the inspiration for Cirque Mechanics Birdhouse Factory (Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, May 30 & 31). Also, the Pillsbury House Theatre's Breaking Ice Company offers an original collaboration with playwright Aditi Kapil called Playlist: America '09 about what exactly "change" means in America (May 8-23).

The Jungle Theater has an exiting new stage adaptation of Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in 80 Days (May 22-June 28). Penumbra Theater presents Radio Golf (May 7 - June 7), the final play in August Wilson's Twentieth Century Cycle. Over at the Gremlin Theater, The Twenty Percent Theatre Company explores abusive relationships through the eyes of the abuser in Teach Me Tonight (May 14-24).

The Southern Theater offers two special performances from up-and-coming composers Nico Muhly and Son Lux (May 20 & 21). Of course, the Southern continues to be a bastion of great dance in the Twin cities with Fuego Flamenco (May 7-10) and Scuba Touring Network (May 15 & 16). Later on in the month, Mixed Blood Theater hosts their one-weekend-only Taiko Party! (May 21-23). Finally, dance lovers won't want to miss the farewell tour (suspend your disbelief) of Riverdance as it steps through town at the state theater (May 8 -10).

Still running strong on Broadway and in tours around the world, with no signs of slowing down The Phantom of the Opera comes back to the Twin Cities at the Orpheum Theatre (May 13-June 7). Also appearing at the Orpheum for one performance is comedy's "loveable queen of mean," Lisa Lampanelli (May 2).

SteppingStone Theatre continues to present excellent and locally-inspired children's theater with their newest work (and fifth collaboration with Mu Performing Arts) Tiger Tales: Hmong Folktales (May 1-23), about Hmong children struggling to adapt to life in St. Paul, but encouraged by their grandmother's traditional Hmong tiger stories. Meanwhile, Target Center hosts Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage: A Circus Comes to Town (May 2 & 3) and Dora the Explorer Live! Search for the City of Lost Toys comes to the Stage Theatre (May 15-17).

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