Michelle Hensley, outgoing artistic director of Ten Thousand Things Theater, knows Peter Vitale very well — he's been the music director for more than 35 of her company's shows. Now Vitale has created his own full-length musical, based on a short story by Kurt Vonnegut. Hensley says "Who Am I This Time?" is a delightful story about the power of theater to transform lives. The production runs through July 1 at Calvary Church in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. Profits from the show will be put toward restoring the church's Glanton Theater.
Jennifer Bowen Hicks of the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop has become a big fan of Shakespeare in St. Anthony Park. Each summer, Guthrie-trained actor Sam Bardwell (get it? BARD-well?) works with teenagers to put on a production of a Shakespeare classic. Hicks says Bardwell teaches the kids to perform Shakespeare in a way that makes the language accessible to audiences, something professional actors often fail to achieve. This summer, local youth will perform "As You Like It" in College Park on June 28 and 29.
Playwright, director and theater critic Janet Preus is consistently impressed by Duluth's Lyric Opera of the North (or LOON). She's looking forward to a lush production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," directed by Twin Cities talent Christina Baldwin. The shows take place in the newly renovated NorShor Theatre, which inspired the company to set the show in the golden age of 1930s Hollywood. There are only two performances: one at 7:30 p.m. June 22 and another at 3 p.m. June 24.