Art Hounds celebrate summer performances, and an indoor escape from the heat

A woman in a digital background setting.
Jamila Joiner as Agent Halo in the Walking Shadow Theatre Co.'s production of "Reboot."
Courtesy image

Mike Larson of Minneapolis is an escape-room enthusiast, and he loved Walking Shadow Theatre’s production of “Reboot,” an online play with puzzles.

Larson says an interactive puzzle-solving experience is the best version of this story, as opposed to one forced to fit a virtual medium. The actors are engaging and the puzzles enhance the play’s narrative, Larson says.

Participants play the role of hackers and you don’t have to act. Larson’s group of friends and strangers became so engrossed with the story that they found themselves having ethical discussions over their hacker plotline.

Unlike other escape rooms, there is no ticking clock built into the story, though there is an urgent mission to accomplish. You can buy tickets as individuals or with friends, and you’ll be interacting with other attendees to problem solve. The play and puzzles take about two hours. Ticket sales run through Aug. 31.

Shannon Riley of Stillwater, Minn., regularly checks the billboard at the Zephyr Theatre in downtown Stillwater for an eclectic mix of theatrical productions, literary readings and live music that gets people dancing in the parking lot.

The theater makes its home in the renovated Zephyr train depot, which Riley says is a cool and quirky spot to explore. This weekend, Zephyr is staging a full-scale professional production of the musical “Mamma Mia!” at North Lowell Park.

The musical about a summer wedding is set to music by the Swedish pop group, ABBA, and staged against a backdrop of the St. Croix River. The show runs Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m., rain or shine.

Colin Bracewell recommends the music of Minneapolis singer/songwriter Brooke Elizabeth, who’s headlining at Aster Café in Minneapolis on Friday. Bracewell says the songwriter has made music since finishing high school, and has a steady performance calendar this summer to promote her new EP “You and Me.”

Bracewell, also a singer/songwriter, compared the honesty of her sound and the quality of her vocals to that of Phoebe Bridgers.

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