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The Fall 2011 Guide to Museums, Culture and Entertainment

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Minnesota Opera

It will be a year ofexhilarating singing, riveting theater, and the discovery of a new operatic masterpiece during the 2011-12 season of Minnesota Opera, bringing together world-class artists to create spectacular productions on the Ordway stage.

The season opens Sept. 24 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sophisticated comedy Così fan tutte, marking the main stage debut of Twin Cities director Peter Rothstein. For over two centuries this opera—of love’s power to confound reason—was considered risqué. It wasn’t until after World War II that it gained its place in the standard operatic repertoire.

The first commission of the Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative is the world premiere of Silent Night, a production by composer Kevin Puts, librettist Mark Campbell, and director Eric Simonson, based on the 2005 Academy Award-nominated film Joyeux Noël. Opening Nov. 12, enemies become brothers on the western front of World War I as a Christmas Eve truce is negotiated.

Opening Jan. 28, 2012, is Werther, by Jules Massenet, a romantic tragedy inspired by the heartbreaking true story of unrequited love.
On March 3, 2012, it’s Gaetano Donizetti’s powerful and gripping opera Lucia di Lammermoor, the story of Lucia and her secret love/clan’s enemy Edgardo, a forced marriage, and disastrous consequences.

Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini rounds out the season, opening April 14, 2012. Seduced by handsome American naval officer Pinkerton, a young geisha falls deeply in love, but his betrayal leads to one of opera’s most heartrending conclusions.


History Theatre

For more than 30 years, History Theatre has been entertaining audiences by dramatizing history and setting it to music, and this year’s lineup— including everything from Judy Garland to G-men; the Civil War to the war in Vietnam; and the music of the roaring 20s to the classic rock of the 60s—is proof that oftentimes truth is more exciting than fiction.

From Oct. 8-Nov. 6, 2011, the talented Jody Briskey returns as Judy Garland in Beyond the Rainbow: Garland at Carnegie Hall based on Judy’s legendary 1961 Comeback Concert. Featuring “Get Happy,” “That’s Entertainment,” and “Over the Rainbow” (among others), select performances will include a special cocktail hour prior to the show—serving up different brands of Garland’s favorite vice: vodka. The regional premiere of A Civil War Christmas will run Nov. 19 - Dec. 18, 2011, giving voice to the many characters living and working in D.C. during the final days of the Civil War.

1968: The Year That Rocked the World, from Jan. 21-Feb. 19, 2012, will bring unforgettable events, personalities, and music of 1968 to the 3M Auditorium at the Minnesota History Center. The trials and tribulations of a smart, adventurous, mischievous 13-year-old girl growing up on Summit Avenue in 1927 will be told in Coco’s Diary—adapted from the diary of Clotilde Irvine—from March 3-25, 2012. Crime is running rampant in St. Paul in Capital Crimes: The St. Paul Gangster Musical from April 21-May 20, 2012. It’s high stakes at the Hollyhocks with great songs by Drew Jansen, dance numbers featuring G-men and Tommy guns, and a dose of dark humor as we explore the crazy days of St. Paul’s infamous past. Join your friends before select performances for speakeasy cocktails and a classic car show.


Hennepin Theatre Trust

La Cage Aux Folles, starring film and TV actor George Hamilton, will be playing October 18-23 at the State Theatre—the first show in the 2011/2012 Broadway season of Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Winner of three Tony Awards including one for Best Musical Revival, this hilarious new production of La Cage Aux Folles was the biggest hit of the 2010 Broadway season. La Cage, remade as the 1996 American film “The Birdcage” starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, tells the story of Georges, the owner of a glitzy nightclub in lovely Saint-Tropez, and his partner Albin, who moonlights as the glamorous chanteuse Zaza. When Georges’ son brings his fiancée’s conservative parents home to meet the flashy pair, the bonds of family are put to the test as the feather boas fly! La Cage is a tuneful and touching tale of one family’s struggle to stay together...stay fabulous...and above all else, stay true to themselves! With a glorious score of hummable melodies and a dynamite cast featuring the “notorious and dangerous Cagelles,” La Cage is an indisputable musical comedy classic.

La Cage features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, a book by Harvey Fierstein and is based on the play by Jean Poiret. The production was nominated for 11 2011 Tony Awards, won three Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Revival of a Musical and four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Revival of a Musical.

For ticket information:

Shen Yun: Reviving 5,000 Years of Civilization

Shen Yun. For Chinese, the words evoke a sense of wonder, magic, and the divine. To audiences who have seen it, they recall the experience of a lifetime—a moment so powerfully beautiful it touches the soul.

Discover the glory of a fantastically rich culture, that of classical China, brought to life through brilliantly choreographed dance and mesmerizing, all-original orchestral compositions at the Orpheum Theatre from March 9-11 2012. Magnificently costumed dancers—the world’s elite—move in poetic arrangements that evoke pastoral beauty, imperial drama, and the glory of an ancient civilization. This season, discover what art was meant to be.

Discover Shen Yun
For 5,000 years in China, culture was heralded as a divine gift. Its glory was long the inspiration of countless artists and poets, until this heritage was nearly lost …

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts seeks to revive this once-majestic tradition by creating a production worthy in its beauty of this noble history—something that enriches the lives of audiences in powerful, lasting ways.

“Brilliant choreography...extravagantly beautiful.”

1-800-982-2787, 1-800-554-5109

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