Look to this spring for rollicking fun and solid entertainment. Five great theater performances are coming that will delight people of all ages and interests.
‘Bye Bye Birdie‘
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
501 W. 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
www.chanhassentheatres.comDates: Now through March 30
“Bye Bye Birdie” has a “theme of parents and teens that will still resonate with today’s audiences,” says Resident Artistic Director Michael Brindisi. The 1960 award-winning Broadway production followed by a 1963 movie is a fond replay of earlier days put to music and dance. The storyline and catchy tunes such as “Put on a Happy Face” will bring back many memories of events from the 1950s.
818 S. 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Dates: Feb. 27 through April 5
Clear speech, sharp language and fresh comedy are the hallmarks of English theater director Edward Hall’s internationally acclaimed production. As it was in early England, the twelfth night of Christmas was celebrated with riotous disorganization and with everything turned upside down. Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” was originally produced with an all-male theater company. The storyline features a female protagonist who disguises herself as a male, complicating identities and heightening intrigue. Casting a male in that role only enriches the comedy.
Related: Best Theatre Gems In The Twin Cities
Broadway Songbook: The Words and Music of Cole Porter
345 Washington St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
www.ordway.orgDates: April 19 through April 28
Cole Porter’s effervescent tunes, sophisticated lyrics and clever rhymes belied his earlier classical training and defined Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s. From Indiana to Paris to a tragic horseback riding accident, Cole Porter continued to treat the public with style and class. Hits such as “You’re The Top,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “So In Love,” “Another Opening, Another Show,” “Night and Day” and “True Love” will thrill the audience.
Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash
2705 Annapolis Lane N.
Plymouth, MN 55441
Dates: Now through May 26
This is more than a jukebox musical about Johnny Cash. It is an attempt by two who knew Cash personally to touch the heart, mind and soul of anyone who watches. Upon giving permission to write this musical, Cash requested to never be impersonated. Richard Maltby, Jr. and William Meade instead created an intimate experience of the singer’s storied life through more than 35 of his hit songs. His style spanned from gospel to folk, rock to blues and country. Some of the many songs are “I Walk the Line,” “Jackson,” “If I Were A Carpenter,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “A Boy Named Sue,” his final hit, “Daddy Sang Bass” and “Ring of Fire.”
Stages Theatre Company
Hopkins, MN 55343
www.stagestheatre.orgDates: March 8 through March 24
“It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime. There was no wind. The trees stood still.” In a magical tale told by a daughter reminiscing with her father, Escalate Dance and Theatre Studio interprets the 1988 Caldecott Medal book in music and ballet. This world premier is destined to delight all ages.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.